How to Make a Small Bathroom Look Bigger

When you think about it, the bathroom may not be the heart of the home, but it is definitely important. It should be a place where you feel comfortable and safe, and able to either relax into a long bath or hop in and out of a quick morning shower before work. Not only that, but it also needs to serve both a practical and an aesthetic purpose, being somewhere that you enjoy spending time while also retaining its primarily useful facilities and environment.

But the fact remains that bathrooms are not always big - in fact, a lot of the time they are quite small, with home bathrooms ranging from small toilet rooms to en suites and larger family bathrooms.

In this article, we are sharing some of our top tips, tricks, illusions, and decorative ideas which allow your small and functional room to feel bigger and more luxurious.


Tip 1: Get a Large Mirror

Not only will a mirror create the illusion of more space around the room, but it will also reflect the natural light around your entire space and brighten the room up, especially if your mirror has no outside frame. If your bathroom has the floor space then free standing mirrors are really popular and can be adjusted to your need, however hanging mirrors is also easy and effective - with the back of the bathroom door a convenient place for a mirror if you are lacking in alternative room.

Panelled bathroom with brass tap and large brass mirror

Image: @home_at_holmfield


Tip 2: Pay Attention to Colour and Patterns

Colours are important across your whole house but in the bathroom, they can make or break the way the entire space feels. First thing’s first, pick clean and neutral colours which support that hygienic and clean feel that so many of us want in our bathroom. Whites and greens are popular, alongside blues and greys. Avoid beiges and creams if you can as these off-white colours can make a bathroom feel dull, and if you decide to introduce an accent colour, stick with just one.

Patterns are another thing to focus on as too much pattern can make a space feel smaller and more intense. Keep it light and bright with a small pattern in your fabrics if required - for example in the hand towels and bathmat.

Grey bathroom with patterned tiles and brass tap

Image: @flockandhare 

TOP TIP: This doesn’t just apply to the walls - the floor of your bathroom can have a huge impact on how big or small the overall space feels. Keep the floor tiles light and bright as much as you can.


Tip 3: Increase Natural Light

The difficulty with bathrooms in particular is that frosted glass and blinds (chosen for privacy) can inhibit on the amount of natural light which reaches into and around the room. This, in turn, can make the room look and feel smaller.

Blue bathroom filled with light and brass accessories

Image: @macandmaxwell

Where possible, open your blinds a small amount to let more light filter in the room when you’re using it, and open them completely when you’re not. Cleaning windows can also make a huge difference and hanging mirrors in the room (as explored in tip one) can help reflect any natural light you do have in the room and make the whole space appear bigger.


Tip 4: Levels!

There is no better use of bathroom space than layers and levels, whether you find a ladder style set of shelves or integrate floating shelves into your bathroom. If we could make one suggestion it would be to remove any vanity cabinets you have installed, as these jut out into the bathroom and can make the entire space feel more claustrophobic at eye level and below. Instead, consider a pedestal sink which stands on its own and replace all that cabinet space with shelves which are more open but make better use of the space on the walls. 

Tip 5: Minimise Decoration and Texture

Too many opposing textures and colours can create a feeling of clutter if you’re not careful, and while we love a vibrant colour in the bathroom, more than one can be a bit overwhelming - as discussed in tip two. Thin out your bathroom décor and stick with natural accessories and colours as much as you can - for example getting your colour and texture from indoor plants rather than rugs and wall hangings.

Tip 6: Do you need a bath?

This is not the cheapest fix, but if you really want to open your bathroom space out and make better use of the floor space you do have, removing the bath and replacing it with a shower can be a real space saver!

You can take this even further by installing a frameless glass enclosure to your shower, to protect the bathroom from getting wet but without introducing too many lines and frames which break up the room and halt the flow you are looking to achieve.

Wet room walk in shower with brass showerhead 

Image: @fionadukeinteriors


How to Make Your Bathroom Appear Bigger… on a budget!

Worried that you don’t have the budget for some of these tips and ideas? No worries!

Some of these tips and ideas are super easy to replicate on a budget, whether it means covering over vibrant and patterned tiles, picking up some bargains from marketplace sites or community car boot sales, or getting stuck into a bit of DIY.

The main idea behind making your small bathroom feel and look larger is to minimise the colour and texture in the space - as a more neutral space will naturally feel bigger and more open. If you’re on a budget, remember:

  • Less is more
  • A tidy bathroom will instantly feel bigger
  • Opening the blinds will bring a new lease of life into your bathroom
  • Replacing chunk blinds with thin wooden ones is an instant uplift
  • Use a neutral bathroom paint over vibrant and patterned wall tiles or invest in tile stickers which give your bathroom a new aesthetic.
  • Don’t hang towels loosely on hooks - instead, fold them into piles or hang them on rails rather than hooks. This is a cheap and easy fix that can transform how neat and organised your bathroom feels and looks