5 steps to a spacious bathroom (and 1 way to make it a dungeon)

The 90’s called, they want my bathroom design back. There are few things as difficult for a designer to live with than outdated pastel colored formica hodgepodge reminiscent of puberty and teen angst. I have a bathroom in my house that is ugly, functionless, and small to boot.

After spending months getting the kitchen and family room remodeled, the time has come to take care of the thorn in my side: the downstairs bathroom. ¬†Everyone has that small bathroom that they want to feel larger, so I’ve compiled 5 steps to a spacious bathroom to guide your bathroom remodel.

These are 5 steps to a spacious bathroom (and 1 way to make it a dungeon):

1: Color.

This is pretty simple, the lighter the color, the more open your space feels. Add in accent colors for a pop, but keep your main wall color close to white.

2: Materials. Shiny things will keep your eye moving around the space, catching reflections. This is a great way to tie a room together in any setting, and bathrooms are no different. Keep your finishes the same. Brushed nickel and chrome are reflective.

3: Glass. Have clear shower glass. Being able to see through to the far wall makes a big difference. And since you can see all that way, you might as well make your tile something special as well. Creating visually interesting options for your eyes will open up your space.

4: Volume. Chose cabinets, shower bases, and toilets that have a small footprint, smaller volume, and a lighter feel to them. You won’t lose much functionality, especially if it’s a second or third bathroom.

5: Easy Clean. Don’t choose materials that will get easily stained or dirty. Quartz vanity tops, porcelain, and large tiles. The less grout or caulking there is, the less dirt will collect in them. Not having little corners, crevices, and crannies will cut down on dust bunnies.

So what should you avoid when aiming to get that spacious bathroom feel?

The sure fire way of making a small bathroom look smaller: Dark, heavy colors. There’s a difference between having a traditional motif and washing your hands in the dungeon waters of King Henry the VII’s castle. There needs to be a balance of clean crisp lines and ankle irons. While your house guests might appreciate the ankle irons, they’ll be more likely will find a clean spacious environment appealing while taking care of business.