How to optimize space in your bathroom
Last modified: 2019/07/30 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
Many couples, families and even those living alone struggle to keep a small bathroom organized, with all moving parts under control. The standard bathroom found in most households is snug, barely fitting a sink, shower and vanity comfortably. Maintaining all these fixtures plus a sense of aesthetic appeal can be a serious challenge. On top of these aspects, there's ergonomics. Luckily, we live in a modern world where designers have taken the time to come up with various solutions to these traditionally small spaces.
If you’re living with a bathroom that leaves you feeling frustrated, now’s the time to take action and find ways to optimize even the smallest of spaces. We’ve taken the time and done the research to come up with a list of options that’ll help you make better use of the space you’ve got in your bathroom.
How to optimize the space in your bathroom
Begin thinking about the bathroom's design
Before you launch this project, you’ll need to take the time and consider what needs to change and how you’re going to approach changing it. Think about the integral elements of the bathroom, and this includes the interior design, adding as well as removing appliances, accessories and finding proper storage solutions. Some questions you can ask yourself before starting this project are:
- What sanitary elements must be included in this space? Think sink, bath, shower and if you’ve got the room, sauna, steam room and so forth.
- Does the door open into the room, and thus, take up a lot of space? Is it possible to maximize space by changing the type of door you’re working with?
- Is this the only room where a washer and dryer can be connected? If so, how can you optimize the room for these items?
- Do pipes, sewage passages, heating, electrical elements and so forth, need to be relocated?
- Is there a bathtub in your bathroom? Is it infringing on other elements in the room?
These questions will allow you to narrow down what needs to be done and what doesn’t. In some cases, it may just be about opening up the space with mirrors and a lightly coloured paint. In others, you may have to get into the nitty-gritty of your bathroom and physically move wires, pipes and larger elements. Whatever your situation may be, begin from a place where you understand exactly what needs to be done to reach your final goal.
For the smallest of spaces, every single piece you place in the bathroom counts. Expert designers recommend carefully planning out all items that you want to include in a room, down to the tiniest of pieces. This type of planning will allow for the design of a utilitarian space, making this room efficient and comfortable instead of cramped and awkward. There are three major aspects to consider when it comes to the visual appeal of your bathroom, and these are:
- Colour scheme
For a small bathroom to feel more spacious and comfortable, it’s important that these three elements complement each other.
When it comes to lighting, find ways to optimize natural light as much as possible. This can be done by incorporating reflective surfaces into the room including the possibility of tile floors or a backsplash. Glass tiles in light colours are an excellent way to reflect the light that’s available. Mirrors should be used effectively. A large mirror over your sink can work to open up the space, and if it stretches upward it can give the illusion that your ceilings are much taller. Smaller decorative mirrors can be used to reflect the light into darker corners of a small bathroom. If you’re working with fairly limited wall space, consider mirror cabinet doors.
Make sure that the colour scheme in the room is kept to light or neutral hues. It’s also fairly important that these colours coordinate, as too many clashing colours will make a small space appear further cramped.
When it comes to the forms included in the space, try to minimize disparaging elements and consider how each item helps to create a cohesive visual flow. Too diverse a mixture of accessories or awkward shapes will give the room a cluttered feel, and this is what you’re looking to avoid.
As mentioned, making sure that each element has an important place in the room is absolutely necessary for smaller spaces. Your bathroom is no exception, and every piece needs to be carefully thought out. Bathroom cabinetry is one of those things that can make or break the room. So, it would be worth taking the time to consider how to best incorporate cabinetry and additional storage options.
Consider things like width, depth as well as colour and material of your cabinets. Avoid heavy materials as well as dark colours when it comes to cabinets. Also, bulky units are going to look extra large in small spaces, so think about minimalist or streamline storage options. You’re looking to find ways to reduce the negative visual effects of furniture that’s too big for the room.
If you have a bathtub and find it’s taking up too much space, you may be inclined to replace this with a free-standing shower unit or even a wet room. An open shower area can have a dramatic effect and really open up the space further. We’d suggest replacing a solid shower door with a glass one in order to let light filter into all areas. If you really want to incorporate a bathtub, it’s definitely possible. There are plenty of small bathtub options on the market.
When it comes to the overall layout, what’s right for you will come down to the perimeters you’re working within. There are plenty of programs online that will have you submit a floor plan in order to devise the best layout for your bathroom. If you’re really interested in ergonomics, this can be helpful.
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