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How To Make a Small Bathroom Look and Feel Larger


Recently I met a couple at the store who had a number of major life changes: relocating to a new city, moving into a new home, starting new jobs, getting the kids into new school districts, and learning that Atlanta had over 50 streets with the  name “Peachtree” in them.  The only family member not under stress was the dog who was enjoying a much larger backyard! 


After discussing the dreams for their new home, it quickly became apparent that several projects would need to be completed as soon as possible.  The children did not like the wall colors in their bedrooms and they were quite unhappy; they said it was hard to sleep with the ugly colors on the wall - even with the lights off!   The kitchen would be the first room destined for major renovation – the current major appliances would not be suitable for the family’s needs and lifestyle.  To relax, the wife wanted a spa-like master bathroom after the master bedroom walls were expanded. 


As you can imagine, the kids’ walls are the first home improvement project to be undertaken.  The appliances will be changed out in the fall before the holidays (and distant family members) arrive.  The master spa bath would take a while – possibly several years – to become a reality.  I made several suggestions to the lady-of-the-house to help her through this slow transition.  Here are my five (5) favorite short –term fixes to improve her current bathroom:



Paint the walls and ceilings


A lighter wall color will help the room seem larger.  Painting the ceiling in the same color, or preferably a lighter shade in the same family, will add depth as well as create a larger-feeling room.  A fresh coat of paint will make any room feel fresher.  A semi-gloss sheen is suitable and durable for active bathrooms.  If the vanity and shelves are dark, consider painting them a lighter color – possibly a shade of two darker than the wall color.   Another option is to reface the vanity doors, change out the drawers and apply veneers to the vanity for a brand new look on existing cabinet frames.  



Add more light


Replacing the existing light fixture can instantly add more light into a dark room.  Adding sconces, recessed lights or pendants can also add more light.  Select sheer window coverings with window film or install white faux wood blinds to cover windows in bathrooms to maximize light yet provide privacy.  



Change out the hardware


There is a lot of metal in the bathroom: door hardware, drawer hardware, light fixtures, faucets, toilet paper holders, towel holders, shower curtain rods and even door knobs.  Consider selecting one metal – chrome, stainless steel, nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, and the new popular brushed brass – and matching all finishes in the bathroom for a consistent, polished appearance.



Move all non-essentials to a linen closet


Some bathrooms have a lot of wall space filled with numerous small storage options: shelves, over-the-toilet space savers and extended medicine cabinets.  Streamline the bathroom by removing most of the smaller storage holders and storing extra supplies in a nearby linen closet or one large linen cabinet.  Keep all daily essentials in a vanity drawer and off the countertop for a clean clear appearance.  Add a soap tray or a decorative soap dispenser for convenience.



Add a real plant


A single large houseplant will add some green space to a small place to make it appear larger.  A group of plants will tend to make the space appear smaller; consider moving them to another part of the home. 


All of these projects can be completed in a weekend and will greatly improve the look and feel of the current master bathroom.  The wife suggested a plan that was workable to the whole family: paint the kids’ rooms and her master bathroom to get everybody in a better frame of mind.  The older kids can help prepare their bedrooms and her bathroom by taping off the windows, doors, shower and vanity during the week.  Hubby can pick up the paint and supplies after work on Friday then the whole family can descend on the rooms first thing on Saturday.  Some extra allowance would be available if the family completed their paint projects by dinnertime.  Needless to say, the kids especially liked that financial incentive!


Do you have a tip or technique to help increase the size of a room without moving a wall?  I would like to hear about your experience and especially love to see your photos.

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Posted 2015-03-31T15:51:39+0000  by Eileen_HD_ATL Eileen_HD_ATL