Australians are well and truly in a renovation boom with low interest rates, record numbers of people refinancing and the government’s HomeBuilder Scheme. Along with kitchens, bathrooms are the most commonly renovated rooms in the house. A new bathroom can completely change the look and feel of a property, not to mention the potential added value.
Not every Australian has the luxury of having an expansive bathroom to renovate; in fact, many of us live in apartments and units. Despite this, it’s still possible to remodel a tiny bathroom into something breathtaking. Whether you are renovating a small bathroom in a house or a cramped apartment ensuite, we have compiled a list of tips and advice to help your tiny bathroom dreams come true.
Be smart space
Using the space, you have well and designing a clever layout is essential in a tiny bathroom. Before reworking your layout, think about how you’ll use your bathroom. Who will use it? How will they use it? Will two people be using it to get ready every morning? Or is it just a guest bathroom?
Whatever you land on, keep in mind you will need adequate space to move around. The general rule for the perfect bathroom layout is there should be roughly 75cm between the elements of your bathroom. This means you might have to sacrifice a double sink or bath for a more functional room.
If you’re living in an apartment, you may not have the luxury of moving the toilet, sink or shower, as the plumbing is firmly fixed in place, but you can replace bulky items with more compact ones.
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There a few clever ways to streamline and maximum your bathroom space:
- A corner sink is an excellent space-saving idea to replace a bulky vanity.
- Ditch the shower door and opt for a glass screen, so you won’t have to factor in space for an opening door.
- Get clever with your fixtures and choose a wall-mounted tap and fix the towel rail to the back of the door or onto the shower screen.
- Consider a narrow trowel sink.
- Extend the counter over the toilet for more storage space.
- Float your vanity to make the space appear bigger and create room for scales etc.
Storage is integral to a well-functioning bathroom. When you don’t have the luxury of space, it’s important you can hide your toiletries etc., to avoid clutter. There’s no need to compromise on storage space in your tiny bathroom renovation with a few storage solutions.
Recessed shower shelves are not only popular, but they are also a smart space-saving option. They’ll allow you to get your shampoo and conditioner off the shower floor and tuck them away out of sight and out of mind. You can also install recessed shelving in other areas of your bathroom and create hidden storage – the classic behind mirror medicine cabinet is a great example.
Going overboard with closed in cupboards can cramp your space, which is where open shelves are a good alternative. Not only are they a modern storage option, but they also create depth in a room, making the walls appear further away than they are. To avoid your shelves looking cluttered, pick up some storage baskets to house your salves and balms.
Of course, a vanity is a no brainer for bathroom storage. Even the smallest vanity can still provide ample storage. Use every inch of potential storage space in your vanity, even the dead space surrounding your plumbing. Choose a vanity that has u-shaped drawers which accommodate plumbing fixtures.
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Splash out on special features
Just because a bathroom is small, it doesn’t mean it can’t be luxurious. The upside to a small space is that you can afford to be a bit more extravagant than if you were renovating a larger room. Use the money you’ll save and splash out on a beautiful tile or an indulgent extra.
Features like underfloor heating, heated towel racks, rainfall showerheads or marble tiles are all within reach in a tiny bathroom budget.
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Keep it simple
Renovating and styling a small space requires some design restraint. It can be challenging to pair back your design, especially when you’ve been dreaming of your renovations for months or years on end, but a busy bathroom can create an eyesore and make the room appear smaller.
Choose one or two design features and let them take centre stage. If you can’t give up a dramatic, claw-footed bathtub, then choose a simple subway tile. Or, if you have your eye on a statement tile, pair them back with a streamlined, modern basin and vanity.
You might also like: 13 ways to style a small balcony.
Create the illusion of space
There are a number of clever tricks to creating the illusion of space in a tiny bathroom.
Keeping colours light and bright is essential to making a room look as large and possible. White walls and light grey marble tiles are a perfect combo that will keep things light and won’t date quickly.
Mirrors are a great tool in the space creating arsenal, reflecting light around the room whilst creating the illusion of more space. When it comes to bathroom mirrors, the bigger, the better.
Fill the whole space behind the vanity with a mirror and take it all the way to the roof for a dramatic look. This will also allow more than one person to use the mirror at one time.
Choosing the right tile pattern and layout can also significantly affect how big a bathroom feels. It’s a common mistake to opt for small tiles in a small bathroom, but large square tiles will actually make the floor space look bigger, plus create a clean, uncluttered look. Tiling up to the ceiling on at least one wall will create the illusion of height and space.
Using design lines is another tricky way to create the illusion of space. Play to your bathrooms strengths by highlighting the widest point in the room. Take a blank wall and add a long horizontal shelf to accentuate and draw the eye to the area. If you’re working with a narrow bathroom, you can utilise horizontal lines to push the walls apart and widen the room.
Make your bathroom look as bright and open as possible by utilising a glass shower screen – opening up the space and reflecting light around the room. Choose a frameless shower screen to get rid of any visual barriers. A glass shower screen that seamlessly meets the floor will make the room appear much larger.
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Lighting is key
The right lighting is essential in a tiny bathroom – making it feel lighter, brighter and bigger. Allow for as much natural light as your space will allow. If possible, expand existing windows, or install a skylight for a solution that will maintain your privacy.
A good lighting scheme has light coming from multiple sources. In a bathroom, this could include downlights, a decorative sconce and around mirror lighting. If space is extremely tight and there is only room for a single ceiling light, a fixture with multiple globes will emit light from multiple directions. Be mindful of the size and height of pendant lights, as they could obstruct site lines and clutter the space.
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Words by Nell Matzen
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