10 Ways to Make a Small Bathroom Look Bigger

Paige Bennett
Written by Paige Bennett
Updated February 4, 2022
white bathroom with round mirror
Photo: LightItUp / Adobe Stock

There’s a tip and trick for every budget

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When it comes to choosing a home or apartment, you’ve probably weighed most of your decision on how spacious the kitchen is or how many bedrooms are available. Now that you’ve fully moved in, you’re realizing you have a bathroom that feels like a tight squeeze. 

But with a few tricks, from simply raising the shower curtain to adding value with a full bathroom remodel, you can make your small bathroom appear larger and more luxurious.

1. Maximize Natural Light

worker drilling on roof
Photo: coralimages / Adobe Stock

Of all the rooms in a home, bathrooms often have the least amount of natural light. But natural light can make even the smallest bathroom appear larger. If you have windows or a skylight in your bathroom, make sure to keep them clean to let in the most light. 

If you don’t have windows, consider installing at least one to bring in some light during the day. For added privacy without sacrificing light, install frosted glass windows.

2. Keep Clutter Hidden Away

small beige and grey bathroom with drawers under sink
Photo: adpePhoto / Adobe Stock

Your sink covered in toothpaste tubes and jars of skincare can make a small space look cramped. Avoid visual clutter by storing items out of sight in a medicine cabinet or in drawers. 

For bathrooms that seriously lack storage space, consider storing items in a separate closet. Alternatively, you can add clever storage options to maximize space in a small bathroom, such as a few decorative storage bins under the sink or shelves on the bathroom walls.

3. Install Large Mirrors

blue and white bathroom with large mirror
Photo: coralimages / Adobe Stock

Mirrors are a powerful interior design tool. They’re functional for ensuring your hair and outfit are put together before rushing off to work, but they also can make your small bathroom appear larger. 

With a large mirror or multiple mirrors, you can make the most of even a small amount of natural light in the bathroom. Plus, the mirrors will reflect the room’s details, like tiled walls, making it seem bigger than it really is.

4. Invest in a Glass Shower

small white bathroom with glass shower
Photo: boris / Adobe Stock

A large shower enclosed with a busy curtain can make a bathroom look smaller than it is. If you’re ready for a remodel, switch to a glass shower, which prevents visual interruptions and makes the room look bigger. Just make sure to effectively clean your glass shower to keep the space looking open and pristine.

5. Switch to a Pedestal or Floating Sink

blue and white bathroom pedestal sink
Photo: Iriana Shiyan/ Adobe Stock

While a full vanity is handy in a bathroom, it’s not always practical for small bathrooms. A pedestal or floating sink opens up around the base of the sink, showing off more wall and floor space to make a room look larger. If you love the look of this sink, and you’re a confident DIYer, you can DIY a pedestal sink installation

6. Go Monochromatic

white and beige monochromatic bathroom
Photo: KCULP/ Adobe Stock

Not planning your bathroom’s color palette is one of the most common remodeling mistakes you can make. For a cohesive look, a bathroom designed primarily with one color is key. This design trick works best with all light or all dark hues. For example, an all-white bathroom can feel open and airy, while a dark, moody bathroom adds depth to seem much larger. 

When you choose your color scheme, make sure you stick to it. Extending the same floor tiles into your shower will make the room look wider. Using the same or similar colors for the wall paint and wainscoting will keep the eye moving all the way up the wall.

7. Opt for Recessed Lighting

bathroom with round vanity and recessed lights
Photo: zhu difeng / Adobe Stock

Save your chandeliers for the entryway or dining room. Decorative, hanging lighting can pack a design punch, but they also take up more vertical space. Instead, use recessed lighting for small bathrooms.

8. Add a Pocket Door

small bathroom with connecting sliding door
Photo: sergojpg / Adobe Stock

It can be a little uncomfortable to squeeze into a small bathroom, especially if the door opens inward toward the toilet or bathtub. Pocket doors slide in and out of the wall rather than operating on hinges. 

Just keep in mind that installing a pocket door may require professional help. While they do add more space, they don’t always add the same level of privacy as a door on hinges.

9. Play With Patterns

bathroom with black and white pattern tiles
Photo: Javani LLC / Adobe Stock

If you don’t love the idea of a monochromatic bathroom, you can also play with large patterns to open up the space and make it appear larger. Giant floral motifs on the walls or herringbone tile floors create an optical illusion and visual interest. 

Working with a tile contractor or designer can help you nail down your design and make the biggest impact. Just be sure to keep decorations, like rugs or shower curtains, minimal to prevent the room from looking cluttered.

10. Raise the Shower Curtain

bathroom with high shower curtain rod
Photo: coralimages / Adobe Stock

By now, many people know the trick of placing window curtains high up on the wall to make a room look taller. The same advice can apply to your shower curtain. If you’re able to move the curtain rod in your bathroom, bring it closer to the ceiling and pair it with a longer shower curtain.

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