How to maximise bathroom space

Using colour, design, mirrors and other visual tricks can make your bathroom look larger and feel roomier. Dingy powder rooms and guest bathrooms are not only a nuisance but might be a problem if you think about selling your home in the future. The solution: you need to know how to maximise bathroom space.

The most important thing is to not let lack of space affect functionality or style of your bathroom, whether it’s a cosy ensuite or small second bathroom.

Think about who will be using the bathroom, and how often, to determine what actually needs to go in it. Family bathrooms call for storage, resilient finishes and most likely a bath, while a small ensuite probably doesn’t need a bath but you might want to include a more generous shower with a luxurious rain shower instead. Guest bathrooms on the other hand won’t be used as much so why not focus on creating a well-appointed oasis? Powder rooms can be a tranquil little sanctuary as well.


Whether you’re renovating or in the planning stages or a new build, you need to create a floor plan so you know exactly what you have to work with. If you’re toying with different ideas, the good old paper sketch and cut-out shapes for showers, toilets and other items will do the job perfectly to start. Then, when things are more firm in your mind you can get computer generated drawings done. An important thing to remember is to make sure not to forget about sufficient clearance for doors, including vanity doors; with sliding doors a great space saver.

Great lighting. It’s not only important for putting on make-up, but it makes a small room appear bigger. Make the most of natural light with big windows or even skylights, then add a mix of ambient and task lighting. A back-lit vanity or shelf adds a sense of depth, while illuminating the surrounds of mirrors draws the eye around the room. Powder rooms are all about nice feature lights.

Mirrors are a must when creating a sense of space and they brighten small rooms too. Full-length mirrors are ideal, but if they don’t fit your design, mirror-fronted cabinets are perfect. If you’re lucky enough to have great views mirrors bring expansive landscapes into the tiniest space, and thereby open it up. Glossy wall tiles have a very similar effect as a mirror as they boost reflections and bounce light around the room.

A cluttered bathroom instantly appears smaller whereas the clean lines of good storage make the space feel bigger. Think about thin vertical shelving rather than wide shelves or cupboards. Also, if you have storage available elsewhere choose open shelving, however, if that’s not an option then drawers help keep things tidy.

Light neutral colours on the walls allow them to recede into the background. If you’d like your bathroom to stand out, you can always introduce a splash of colour, no matter how small the space is. Simply stick to feature tiles behind the splashback, a recess in the shower or a border around the room. And here’s a tip: rectangular 300×600mm or 400×800mm tiles enhance the sense of scale. In a brick pattern they elongate the room; vertically they add a feeling of height.

The more floor you see, the bigger the room feels. That means floating cabinets and vanities, and wall-mounted basins and toilets . When it comes to showers, clear frameless screen are best to enhance a feeling of space. When choosing a bathtub, go for free-standing options with feet.

Last but not least: indulge! Beautiful finishes, plush towels, scented candles and personalised features such as iPod outlets make for a luxurious pamper zone which, in turn, creates a feeling for space. While fragrant rose petals might not be suitable for your family bathroom, designer tapware and heated towel rails certainly have their place. Also think about introducing a range of textures such as wooden bathtub caddies, granite benchtops or mosaic feature tiles.

To discuss your ideas with an expert or to get more bathroom ideas get in touch with our team today.

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