11 Ways How To Make A Small Bathroom Look Bigger

Crafting Spaciousness: Design Strategies for an Airy Bathroom Look

How To Make A Small Bathroom Look Bigger

The Illusion of Space Through Color

Light and Neutral Color Palettes

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to create an illusion of more space in a small bathroom is through the use of light and neutral color palettes. Lighter shades have the innate ability to make a space feel open, airy, and more expansive. This is because light colors, such as whites, beiges, and pastels, reflect more light than they absorb, brightening up the room and making the walls appear further back than they actually are.

When choosing the right shades for your bathroom, consider the room’s natural light. Bathrooms with ample natural light can benefit from cooler tones like soft blues or gentle grays, which will complement the brightness and create a serene space. For bathrooms with limited natural light, warmer neutrals like creamy whites or soft yellows as wall and floor colors can add a cozy, inviting feel.

Combining colors effectively is also key. A monochromatic color scheme, where different shades of the same color are used, can create a sophisticated and harmonious look.

For those who prefer a bit more contrast, consider using complementary light colors that blend well together without creating a stark contrast, which can segment the space and make it feel smaller.

Color Continuity

Continuity in color across different elements of the bathroom can further enhance the perception of space. This approach involves extending the same color palette from the floor to the walls, and even to the ceiling, in some cases. By doing so, you minimize visual breaks, allowing the eye to move smoothly around the room. This seamless transition between surfaces blurs the boundaries within the bathroom, giving the illusion of a larger, more open space.

This concept of color continuity can be applied in various ways. For instance, using the same tile color for both the floor and the walls can make the bathroom feel more cohesive. If you prefer painted walls, choose a wall color that closely matches the floor tile color. For added depth, you could use a slightly darker or lighter shade of the same color on different surfaces.

Incorporating fixtures and fittings in similar hues can also contribute to this sense of continuity. For instance, choosing a vanity or bath linens in shades that complement the primary color scheme can tie the room together.

Maximizing Light

Natural Light fixtures

Maximizing natural light in a small bathroom not only enhances the space’s visual appeal but also contributes to a sense of well-being. To achieve this, consider the following ideas:

Translucent Window Treatments: Choose window treatments that allow natural light to filter through while providing privacy. Sheer curtains, frosted glass, or blinds with adjustable slats can be excellent choices. These options let in a lot of light without compromising privacy.

Strategic Mirror Placement: Mirrors can play a crucial role in amplifying natural light. Positioning a mirror opposite or adjacent to a window can reflect light throughout the room, brightening even the darkest corners. Larger mirrors or a series of smaller mirrors can be used for greater impact.

Skylights and Tubular Daylights: In small bathrooms without windows, installing a skylight or a tubular daylight device can bring in natural light from above. These options are particularly effective in illuminating central areas of the bathroom that external windows can’t reach.

Artificial Lighting Solutions

In addition to natural light, artificial lighting is vital for maintaining a bright and airy atmosphere, especially in small bathrooms with limited or no natural light sources.

Layered Lighting Approach: Implement a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting. Ambient lighting provides overall illumination, task lighting focuses on specific areas like the vanity or shower, and accent lighting highlights architectural features or decor.

Types of Lighting Fixtures:

Ceiling-Mounted Fixtures: For ambient lighting, options like recessed lights or a central ceiling fixture can provide uniform illumination.

Vanity Lighting: Sconces or vertical fixtures on either side of the mirror offer the best task lighting for grooming activities, reducing shadows on the face.

Shower Lighting: Waterproof recessed lights in the shower area can enhance safety and functionality.

Accent Lighting: LED strip lights under cabinets or along toe kicks can add a soft glow and create a luxurious feel.

Dimmer Switches: Installing dimmers allows you to adjust the lighting intensity based on the time of day or desired ambiance, making the space versatile.

Color Temperature Consideration: Choose light bulbs with a warm color temperature for a cozy feel or cooler temperatures for a more energizing environment. LED bulbs with adjustable color temperatures can offer flexibility.

Reflective Surfaces and Materials

Mirrors and Glass

Incorporating mirrors and glass into bathroom design is an effective way to amplify light and create a sense of depth, making the small space feel larger and more open.

Mirrors: A well-placed mirror, especially large ones or full-length mirrors, can significantly enhance the feeling of space. They reflect both natural and artificial light, making the bathroom brighter and more inviting. Mirrors can also reflect views and colors from art or opposite walls, adding to the room’s visual interest. Consider placing mirrors strategically across from windows or in dark corners to maximize their light-reflecting potential.

Glass Elements: Using glass for shower enclosures or shelves is another way to maintain an unbroken visual flow in the bathroom. Clear glass doors in your shower allow the eye to travel uninterrupted across the room, as opposed to opaque materials that can segment and close off spaces. Glass shelves or glass countertops can also add a sleek, modern touch while keeping the space feeling open.

Glossy Finishes

Glossy finishes on tiles and fixtures are excellent for creating a sense of openness through their reflective qualities.

Glossy Tiles: High-gloss tiles, whether on the floor, walls, or as accents, can make the bathroom appear brighter and more spacious. They reflect light, contributing to the overall luminosity of the room. When choosing glossy tiles, consider light colors to maximize their reflective properties.

Polished Fixtures: Fixtures with a polished finish, such as faucets, showerheads, and cabinet hardware, can also contribute to the bathroom’s brightness. Their reflective surfaces can catch and scatter light, adding another layer of depth and openness to the space.

Considerations for Balance: While glossy finishes are effective for creating a sense of space, it’s important to balance them with matte or textured elements to avoid an overly stark or cold atmosphere. Combining different textures can add warmth and character to the bathroom.

Decluttering and Minimalism

Embracing decluttering and minimalism in bathroom design is key to creating a space that feels open, serene, and spacious. This approach involves selecting fixtures wisely, managing floor space effectively, and implementing smart storage solutions.

Streamlined Fixtures and Fittings

Choosing the right fixtures and fittings can significantly impact the overall feel of your bathroom. Here are some tips for selecting sleek, contemporary options:

Go for Wall-Mounted Fixtures: Consider wall-mounted sinks, toilets, or a floating vanity. These fixtures free up additional room, making the entire bathroom appear more open and less crowded.

Choose Compact, Modern Designs: Look for fixtures with clean lines and minimalistic designs. Avoid bulky items that can make the space feel cramped.

Functional and Stylish Faucets: Opt for faucets with a simple, elegant design. They should not only complement the aesthetic of your bathroom but also be functional and easy to use.

Consider Scale: Ensure the size of your fixtures is proportionate to your bathroom’s dimensions. Oversized fixtures in a small bathroom can overwhelm the space.

Floor Space

The way floor space is managed plays a crucial role in creating the illusion of a larger bathroom. Here’s how to maximize this aspect:

Keep the Floor Visible: The more of the floor you can see, the larger the space will appear. Aim for an uncluttered floor by minimizing floor-standing furniture or items.

Choose Larger Tiles: Larger floor tiles can make the floor appear less busy. Fewer grout lines create a cleaner, more seamless look, enhancing the sense of space.

Light-Colored Flooring: Lighter colors for flooring can help the room feel more open and airy. They reflect more light than darker colors, contributing to a sense of spaciousness, even in a tiny bathroom.

Smart Storage Solutions

A clutter-free bathroom is essential for a minimalistic and spacious feel. Here’s how intelligent storage solutions can help:

Utilize Vertical Space: Wall-mounted shelves, cabinets, or racks take up less space and provide ample storage. They keep your essentials organized without cluttering the floor.

Built-in Storage: Consider built-in niches or cabinets, especially in shower areas. They offer a sleek way to store toiletries and towels without encroaching on the usable space.

Multi-functional Furniture: If space allows, opt for furniture that serves multiple purposes, like a vanity with built-in storage or a mirror cabinet. Additional storage space is always a plus!

Declutter Regularly: Keep only the essentials in your bathroom. Regularly declutter and organize your items to maintain a clean, open space and allows you to really utilize all the square footage you have at your dispoal.

Layout and Spatial Arrangement

Effective layout and spatial arrangement are critical in maximizing the perceived and actual space or square footage in a small room. Thoughtfully designed open showers and strategically placed furniture and fixtures can make a significant difference and make a small bathroom look bigger.

Open Shower Concepts

Open showers, including those with glass enclosures, are an excellent way to create a sense of spaciousness in the bathroom.

Creating a Seamless Look: Open showers, especially those with clear glass partitions or no barriers at all, create an uninterrupted visual flow. This seamless look prevents the shower area from feeling like a separate, confined space within the bathroom.

For more ideas, please check out our blog post on showers with half walls here.

Amplifying Light: Glass-enclosed showers allow light to permeate freely throughout the space, enhancing both brightness and openness. This is especially beneficial in smaller bathrooms where light can be limited. You can opt for either a clear or frosted glass shower door to achieve this effect. Whether you want glass shower doors or not, depends on your personal preference of course.

Design Flexibility: Open showers offer design flexibility. They can be customized to fit any bathroom or powder room layout, from a compact corner shower to a more expansive walk-in design.

Minimalistic Appeal: These showers align well with modern, minimalistic bathroom designs. They emphasize clean lines and uncluttered spaces, contributing to a contemporary and open aesthetic.

The Role of Furniture Placement

The placement of furniture and fixtures plays a pivotal role in enhancing the sense of space in a bathroom.

Strategic Positioning: Position large fixtures such as the vanity or bathtub in a way that maximizes open floor space. For instance, placing the vanity against the wall as opposed to the center of the room can save space and make a small bathroom look bigger and more open.

Floating Vanities and Toilets: Consider installing floating vanities and toilets. By lifting these fixtures off the floor, you create an illusion of more space as the floor extends all the way to the wall.

Mirrors and Reflective Surfaces: Utilize large mirrors to create a sense of depth. Mirrors not only reflect light but also the visual space, making the bathroom appear larger than it is.

Avoiding Overcrowding: Be mindful not to overcrowd a small powder room or bathroom with too much furniture or too many fixtures. Opt for multi-functional furniture that can provide storage without taking up additional space.

Consistency in Design: Ensure consistency in the design of fixtures and furniture. Cohesive designs and styles can create a unified look, making the entire space feel less cluttered and more harmonious.

Incorporating Elements of Nature

Bringing elements of nature into the bathroom can transform it into a more refreshing and open space. This approach taps into the biophilic design, which integrates natural elements into interior spaces to promote well-being and harmony.


Adding greenery is one of the most effective ways to infuse a sense of freshness into the bathroom. Plants not only enhance the aesthetic appeal but also improve air quality and add a calming, natural element to the space.

Consider humidity-loving plants like ferns, peace lilies, or aloe vera, which thrive in bathroom environments. Hanging plants or small potted plants on shelves can add a vibrant touch without taking up too much space. For a small bathroom space with limited natural light, opt for low-light plants such as snake plants or pothos.

Natural Materials:

Incorporating natural materials like wood, stone, or bamboo can bring warmth and texture to the bathroom, further enhancing the feeling of being connected to nature. Wooden accents, such as a teak shower bench or bamboo bath mats, add an organic touch.

Choosing natural stone as wall tile or for your countertops can create a spa-like atmosphere, making the bathroom feel like a tranquil retreat.

Color Palette Inspired by Nature:

Choose color schemes that reflect natural landscapes, such as earthy tones, soft greens, or sky blues. These colors can create a serene and open environment that mirrors the tranquility of nature.

Natural Light and Views:

If possible, maximize natural light and outdoor views. A window overlooking a garden or natural scenery can dramatically open up the space, bringing the outdoors in and creating a seamless transition between nature and your bathroom.

Textures and Patterns:

Use textures and patterns that mimic natural elements. For example, tiles with a stone or wood finish can give the illusion of natural materials while offering the durability required in a wet bathroom environment.

Incorporating plants and natural materials into the bathroom not only enhances its aesthetic appeal but also creates a sense of openness and connection to the outdoors. This approach can turn an ordinary bathroom into a soothing, spa-like sanctuary that feels more spacious and harmonious.


In this article, we’ve explored several key strategies that can significantly impact the perception and reality of space in your bathroom. These strategies, when implemented thoughtfully, are ways how to make a small bathroom look bigger.

As you embark on your bathroom renovation or refresh, keep these ideas in mind to create a space that is not just functional but also a peaceful haven in your home.

Our team at Hercules Tile specializes in tile installation and home remodeling, and we’re here to bring your vision to life. With our expertise and your inspiration, we can create a bathroom that’s not just beautiful but a reflection of your unique style.

Contact us today to start planning your bathroom makeover and take the first step towards a more tranquil, open space in your home. Let’s build something amazing together!