Small Bathroom Ideas: 6 Changes to Make Tiny Bathrooms Feel More Spacious

updated Oct 14, 2022
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(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Do you have a cramped, small, hard-to-move in bathroom? Do you feel slightly claustrophobic every morning when getting ready for work? If you rent or don’t have the funds for a huge wall-moving renovation that will literally give you more space, try one of these six ideas that could improve the feel, at least. Some changes are big, and some are small, but all will go toward creating a more spacious feeling space — perhaps you’ll find something you can try this weekend?

I’ve organized these ideas from easy-to-complete to take-a-bit-more-time:

Take it out

Sounds simple, but do you really need those extra towel holders on the wall? That shelf? We’ve always provided you with ways to add more storage to a small bathroom — ways to carve out more space for stuff. But if you’re feeling cramped, shave away some of that storage space in exchange for more room to breathe. Consolidate your stuff and whittle down multiple shelves to one. Take away that visual clutter, yes, but quite literally give yourself more elbow room by clearing up wall and floor space.

Make it clear

If you need elements in the bathroom, opt for clear ones. From clear shower curtains, to trash bins to yes, even shelves, just like in larger rooms, using clear materials will cut down on the visual heaviness of a room, giving the illusion of more space.

→ Furniture Focus: Acrylic & Lucite Furniture

Make the mirror bigger

Or add another mirror opposite of your window, if you have one. Expanding these elements in a tiny bathroom will help make it feel like the walls don’t close in quite as much as they might.

→ Tricks of the Trade: 5 Smart Ways To Use Mirrors In Small Spaces

(Image credit: Rebecca Bond)

Add more light

It’s mostly psychological, but just being able to see all the corners clearly in a space can help make it feel a little larger. So update bulbs and light fixtures for better and more light.

Freshen the paint — and choose one color for most surfaces

If you want to use light colors to brighten the space, great. But even if you use a dramatic dark color, consider painting many of the elements in a space that same hue — from the walls, ceiling and even some furniture elements — to create a cohesion and make it feel like less things are encroaching in the usable space.

Purchase and install smaller elements

A giant, too-big-for-the-space bathroom sink or cabinet taking up more room than it needs? Switch to a smaller, affordable more streamlined bathroom vanity. The same goes with any other elements in the bathroom. This isn’t the cheapest way to get a bigger feeling space — and renovations like this will take DIY work or hiring help — but smaller elements can definitely give you a more room to move around in, plus a more spacious feel, without having to knock walls down.

How have you made a tiny bathroom feel more spacious before? Any ideas to share of things that have worked for you and your home?

– Re-edited from a post originally published 9.21.2014 – CM