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Home Improvement

Make the most of small bathrooms

10/4/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

A frameless shower can take up less space in a small bathroom.
Photo courtesy of MetroCreativeConnection
Renovating bathrooms is commonly at the top of home improvement to-do lists. Though some rooms around the house may remain timeless, bathrooms, like kitchens, show their age (and era) much more easily, which could be why homeowners are always on the lookout for new ideas.

Although many people may dream about creating a spa-type oasis in their homes, not everyone is lucky enough to have a large bathroom, much less a large budget for a full-scale renovation. Small bathrooms are common, particularly in older homes, but they needn’t force homeowners to compromise on style when renovating.

Small bathrooms may be a half-bath on a main home level or even a full bath, depending on the home. By thinking creatively, homeowners can maximize their spaces and redo bathrooms in ways that bring out their best assets.

• When space is at a premium, it’s best to look for fixtures and items that fit with the scale of the bathroom. Although you may want a large vanity and cabinet in which to hide all of your toiletries, this simply may not be practical and take up most of the bathroom space. Instead, look for elegant pedestal sinks that have a much smaller profile. They’ll also help you control the clutter in the bathroom because there won’t be anywhere to hide it.

• Use optical illusions to make the bathroom appear more roomy. For example, lay tile diagonally to create the impression of space. A large mirror will reflect the room back and make it appear much larger than it really is.

• Select lighter hues in paint colors and accessories. Dark paints and fixtures could make the room feel cramped. Dark colors are generally used to make spaces feel more cozy. In a small bathroom, it may make the space feel claustrophobic. Instead, think light and bright and the room will instantly feel more airy.

• Minimize wall hangings and keep fixtures smaller. Filling the walls with knickknacks may contribute to clutter and make the space appear closed in. Use decorative items sparingly.

• If possible, store towels in a closet outside of the bathroom. This way you won’t have to devote space inside the bathroom to a closet, leaving more room for other things.

• While some people like the thought of a separate bath and shower, in smaller bathrooms this may not be possible. Instead, look for a combined shower and bath, or select a walk-in shower with a much smaller profile.

• Windows are often welcome in bathrooms because of the ventilation they provide, but they could be a hindrance in smaller bathrooms because they take up prime wall space. Cover a window in a shower stall to free up space. Just be sure to install a venting fan to reduce moisture in the bathroom.

• Maximize wall space if you need storage. Find cabinets that will fit beneath windows or be able to fit in thin areas between sinks and toilets. Over the toilet is prime area for cabinetry.

• Consider a frameless shower. This is a partitioned area of the bathroom that’s set aside for the shower and is typically only cordoned off by a thin wall or piece of glass. Or a shower with no walls at all is the ultimate in saving space. The entire bathroom floor is decked out in tile, and a portion is sloped toward a shower drain.

• Think about installing a skylight if you prefer natural light but there is no room for a traditional window.

Thinking creatively can help turn a cramped bathroom into a space-saving and well-designed room that homeowners desire.

 

This information was provided by MetroCreativeConnection.

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