Make a Small Bath Look Larger

Make a big splash in a pint-size bath by indulging in chic fixtures and glamorous finishes. Look to colorful fabrics, updated fixtures, and storage niches to help your tiny bath sparkle.


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Show a Little Leg

    Cabinet doors can visually weigh down a petite bath. Keep things light and airy with a furniture-style vanity. With this unit, baskets hold supplies on the bottom shelf, ensuring the undersink area provides plentiful storage. Small drawers on both sides of the sink house small toiletries and cosmetics.

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Presto, Change-o

    Give a plain bath a quick update by plucking out a few of the existing tiles and replacing them with decorative glass tiles. Flashy new 4x4-inch solid green tiles alternate with a mosaic motif to take the white tiles in this bath from sterile to sensational. To continue the shimmery theme, swap out a standard light fixture in favor of a chandelier. Add a dimmer switch to set the mood for ultimate relaxation.

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Space Saver

    When you're tight on space, call on a pedestal sink -- or two! A traditional vanity would have closed in this bath and obscured the shower, but a pair of pedestal sinks provides the luxury of a space built for two while maintaining an open feeling. A skylight above adds natural light to this interior room, also making it feel bigger.

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A Classic Approach

    Give your bath a timeless look by splurging on a marble countertop and save on inexpensive cabinetry. This simple marble-topped workbench-style vanity provides room for towels and toiletries under the sink. Simple cotton skirting, instead of traditional doors, keeps the items under wraps. Flirty green floral wallpaper adds cottage style that's easy to update in the future.

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Table Toppers

    Create an eye-catching focal point by pressing an antique table or dresser into service as a vanity. Modern vessel sinks partnered with vintage-inspired bridge faucets connect old and new in this bath. To keep the look streamlined, two slender vertical mirrors hide 9-inch-deep medicine cabinets, one complete with an outlet for the hair dryer.

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High Style

    A powder room is a great place to showcase high style. It's a smart place to invest in luxurious products because this room is often frequented by guests, and its small footprint will keep your budget in order. Here, a wall of glass mosaic tile creates a dramatic backdrop for a glamorous retreat. A standout vanity echoes the rich tone, and a shapely toilet continues the geometric theme.

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Behind the Scenes

    The one strike against installing a pedestal sink in a small bath is limited storage space. By adding a tall, skinny cabinet behind the sink, you can have the best of both worlds: convenient compartments for beauty products and a streamlined sink that won't weigh your bath down.

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Stowaway Storage

    Carve out additional storage by building a recessed shelf between the studs in a wall. Recessed shelves put unused space to work and don't take up floor real estate, which is a plus in a small bath.

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Bath Bling

    With a touch of sparkle, a diminutive powder room can morph into a stunning jewel. In this small bath, slivers of glass tile create a shimmering backdrop for an infinity-style sink. Create a similar effect for less cash by covering a single wall with vibrant wallpaper.

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Streamline Storage

    For a sleek, clean look, keep storage flush with walls whenever possible. Narrow shelving units also help you edit what you keep in your bathroom. With just enough storage, you'll have space to store the essentials, with no room left over for clutter.

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Open Up

    Visually lighten a floor-to-ceiling built-in cabinet by combining open shelves with closed doors. Towels, soaps, and glass canisters are perfect candidates for open shelving because they're decorative and functional. Closed storage is important for storing personal items, cleaning supplies, and laundry bins.

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Out in the Open

    Compartmentalized rooms appear smaller, while open spaces create the illusion of size. To maintain an open view, trade in a traditional shower curtain for clear-glass doors, which help stretch the visual length of the room. Continue the bath flooring into the shower to amplify the effect.

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Depth Perception

    Extend the sight lines of a small bath by using a light color throughout the space. In this room, white finishes on the floor, walls, sink, toilet, and shower make the small space seem bigger. Natural light from the window also brightens the space. A few black tiles on the floor and wall add visual interest without becoming overpowering.

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Corner Unit

    Open a small, square bath to smoother traffic flow by positioning the vanity in a corner. An oval mirror fits perfectly where two walls meet. For eye-pleasing symmetry, flank the mirror with matching sconces and the vanity with coordinating towel rings.

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Added Features

    Minimize clutter on bath walls by attaching a towel rod to the side of a freestanding vanity. For an extra dash of panache, change out a standard mirror for one with a decorative frame that complements the style of your vanity. A column of drawers between the open shelves boosts storage while keeping the look of the vanity light and open.

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High Style

    Plenty of natural light, wall-to-wall glass shower doors, and white woodwork create an expansive look in this narrow master bath. To live up to its focal-point status, the shower is wrapped in luxurious marble mosaic tile. A simple white vanity balances the splurge.

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It's a Wrap

    Vanities with cabinet doors are great for hiding personal items, cleaning supplies, and plumbing fixtures, but opening and closing the doors in a long, narrow bath is tricky. Adding a sink skirt to this bath helps disguise the toilet and the sink's plumbing while highlighting the existing decorative red tile border. A Roman shade in the same fabric completes the look.

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Slide, Don't Swing

    Trade a standard door for a sliding pocket door to gain additional floor space once reserved for the door swing. Bifold doors (doors that fold up like a screen) can also save space.

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Lead the Eye Upward

    Make a ceiling look taller with some visual tricks. A vertical stripe on the walls can give the illusion of a higher ceiling. Wood moldings, wallpaper borders, and tile designs placed where the walls and ceiling meet will also provide a splash of color and help naturally draw the eye upward. Otherwise, choose a wallpaper with a small, airy print or lattice design. Avoid large or busy patterns that will diminish the scale of the space.

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Take a Neutral Stance

    Pale and cool colors reflect light, so soft whites, pastels, and neutrals can make a bath feel bigger. Woodwork, trim, and doors will "disappear" if they are painted the same hue as the walls. The effect is enhanced if cabinets and counters are the same color as the walls. To keep a neutral scheme from appearing bland, introduce bold colors through accessories, linens, and artwork.

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Treat Windows Simply

    No matter their size or style, windows enlarge the feel of a room if they're allowed to transmit light. If possible, leave windows unadorned with clear or frosted glass. Mini blinds, matchstick blinds, or shades that can be drawn to the top of the window are other sleek solutions. Or cover the lower half of the glass with sheer fabric that will admit light but maintain privacy.

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Take a Reflective Look

    Mirrors stretch space by reproducing it. Mirroring the long wall of a narrow bath, for example, can change the room's proportions and make it seem wider. Be sure to place mirrors so they reflect the bath's assets -- whether that's a wall hanging, a panoramic view, or the widest room angle. Two mirrors positioned opposite each other create the illusion of a never-ending room.

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Glass Shelves

    Glass shelves increase a room's sense of space because they can appear invisible. Items placed on them seem to hover in air -- a much lighter effect than heavy cabinetry.

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