3 Design Tricks to Make a Narrow Bathroom Look Larger

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3 Design Tricks to Make a Narrow Bathroom Look Larger

In this episode of Houzz TV Live, Houzz US senior editor Mitchell Parker discusses three tricks designers use to make a narrow bathroom layout look and feel larger than it is. He shows how they highlight the floor and rear wall to focus attention on the length of a room rather than its width, use a light colour scheme to create an airy atmosphere, and add an abundant amount of small tiles to trick the brain into thinking there’s more space. Watch the video to see the bathrooms and find out more.

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Comments (28)
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Kathleen Marineau

I recognize the bathrooms from other ideabooks and liked some of them. Explanations of why and how of the tile and flooring choices really helps me understand the design goals.

Since my 40sqft bathrooms (2 of them) will need a repaint next year, this is good timing. New flooring is now on the list of changes to see what I can do without changing the acrylic showers and tub. There is hope for something more pleasing.

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Christine Botti

LOVE the black & white👌

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Marie

I loved these ideas for tiny bathrooms. I have two small, very dark, windowless bathrooms and would love to see tricks of your designers to bring more light to them.

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buster57

Marie: If any of them have access to the roof, you can put in a skylight or the tube light - which I should have done but didn't. :(

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buster57

PS-no matter how big it "looks" I still smash my elbows into the sink or the wall when drying off. LOL.

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Kathleen Marineau

I ditto Marie. Our main bath has no window.

I wonder how skylights and tube lights handle snow, ice and hail.

   
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Marie

Thanks buster57, no skylight since I live in an apartment, but the tube light is a great idea!

   
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buster57

Yes, the spouse is very mad at me for not having that tube light thing put in.

   
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Kathleen Marineau

Are tube lights a difficult retrofit project?

   
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Bella Kitchen and Bath

Add crown moulding in small bathrooms. It draws the eyes up and makes the room "look" larger.


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Caroline Chavez

We have a tube light that also gathers solar during the day and then acts like a soft night light!

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bizeebees

great , practical ideas with examples...Thanks!!!

   
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HU-958998050

I have a tube light in my (windowless) kitchen in Wisconsin. Never a problem with ice or snow. I LOVE it! It was a retrofit, installed when we reroofed. I also have a narrow, windowless bathroom, and am reroofing my new house. Great ideas here!

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Barbara O'Keefe

The solar tubes are fantastic. One lights up my large, windowless bathroom as much as a big window. I have had them in my houses for over 20 years without any leaks or troubles. Since I live in MN, snow is not an issue (although deep snow does filter the sun a little). It was installed in a few hours by the pros, no mess, and around a $1000 for the large size, about 14". You won't believe the difference. By the way, retrofit is easy if the roof is above the room.

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Kathleen Marineau

thanks for the encrougaement to add natural light to a bathroom.

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SALO BOAKYE

lovely bathrooms

   
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buster57

Thanks everyone: Got me in more trouble by loving those tubes! LOL.

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ForestWaif

A shallow vanity and a smaller toilet both leave more space. I think both of these are shown in the pictures. Thanks for the article. Very encouraging.

   
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Cindy Broadway

My bathroom is even shorter and possibly more narrow than the one shown here! My sink cabinet is looking pretty worn and could use some updating! I think that might help as long as I get a light color!
My biggest problem is there is no place for bath towels! I know they make the tacky cheap little things that go above your toilet. I don’t think it looks good putting them under the bathroom sink! There is no place I can figure out that I could put a cabinet anywhere without running into it when you came into bathroom.
Does anyone have any suggestions of how I can solve this problem!

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Kathleen Marineau

Somewhere on Houzz within the last year, I saw a wall mounted rack that stuck out just far enough to drop in rolled towels. The photo showed 3 or 4 in there with room for at least 1 more.

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Diane Miles

We just remodeled a master bathroom and second bathroom. Our contractor suggested a solar tube to replace the widow we lost in the remodel. It’s fantastic! Lights up the whole bathroom. We also used a narrow vanity in the second bathroom. Made all the difference. Now it’s easy to walk into the room and not feel crowded.

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Helen Keating

Cindy Broadway, I think Kathleen is describing something like this item (I didn't save the actual link, but my file notes say: Design Stuff By Wirth towel rack black oiled oak $159)


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Sandra Francis

Our guest bathroom is between two bedrooms with full closets on the connecting walls. Plan to cut open niche from bathroom into one closet ends to make storage for towels, etc. it will only take about 12 to fifteen inches off of end of closet.

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Kathleen Marineau

Yep, that's the towel holder I recalled seeing.

Creative re-assignment of space is the only way to solve storage problems for most of us as Sandra Francis describes.

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Sandra Francis

We are also converting tub to walk-in shower. Will try to post pics of before and after when projects are complete.

   
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Sandra Francis

From indoor emergency facility to lovely powder room. The house a lovely 1905 coLonial that endured many little improvements over the years. Including a toilet room on the first floor. In the first photo the dark area lower left is a very steep, rickety stairway to the basement. To get to the toilet to the right required stepping across part of the open floor. We were able to install a trap door with a hydraulic lift kit. The door was then covered with vinyl flooring to match the original pine floors in the adjacent room. Inspired by a photo of an under stairway powder room I saw on Houzz, I finished the room with bold wallpaper and bead board and a very small corner sink.

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Sandra Francis

That Reno is in upstate NY. Latest Reno is in Florida. Will post when finished sometime in July or August.

   
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Michele Vercoutere

Beautiful baths. I suggest also that the vanity float off the floor. It makes the floor seem wider and, bonus points, is easy to clean. I used the same 4x10 subway all along the sink wall and the back wall around the shower of my 6x10’ bathroom, cut only by the shower glass.


Cohesion always makes a space bigger. Finally, I used a large mirror to bounce the light, insetting it into the tile, framing it with contrast tile that I also used on the shower floor. I did this 10 years ago and am still very happy with it all.