Big ideas for a small bathroom “remodel” on a dime

The Rob Ellerman Team at ReeceNichols
The Rob Ellerman Team at ReeceNichols
Published on August 29, 2022

Large-bathroom envy. It’s common among homeowners in small homes with cramped bathrooms and most feel that they are stuck with what they have.

The truth is, there are plenty of remodeling/redecorating ideas to make a small bathroom feel and look larger than it is and they don’t require a single additional foot of space.

Follow these tips and start living large with a bathroom floor plan that might otherwise seem small.

Trick the eyes

High ceilings make rooms look larger and a few tricks can make yours soar.

Look up. See the spot where the walls meet the ceiling? Consider attaching some wood molding, tile or even a wallpaper boarder in those spots. Ensure that the product you choose is simple and thin.

“Wide, contrasting, and ornate molding will make a room with short ceilings appear smaller. Thin, color-matched, and simple molding will blend the walls into the ceiling in a smooth transition and make a room look bigger,” suggest the pros at

They also suggest that the molding be painted the same color as the ceiling.

Here’s another tip: Two mirrors placed opposite of one another will trick the eyes into seeing the bathroom as more palatial than it is. Or, you might want to consider placing a large mirror along one of the longest walls in the bathroom to add to the illusion.

“Decorating with mirrors is a must for making a small bathroom look bigger,” suggests Sophie Warren-Smith at


Soft color schemes are ideal for giving the illusion of more space in a small room. Cool colors reflect more light than warmer colors and should be used not only on the walls, but the trim and doors as well.

The editors at suggest sticking with designer-proven colors, such as:

  • White
  • Crème
  • Pastel blue
  • Gray

Then, lighten up the floor to make the bathroom appear more open and spacious. If you can’t afford to replace your flooring right now, consider using a light-colored rug to get the same effect.

Less is more in some cases

Go easy on the window treatments. In a small bathroom the general rule of thumb let in as much natural light as possible.

Consider ditching the window coverings altogether. “… natural light can make even the smallest bathroom appear larger,” suggests Paige Bennett at “For added privacy without sacrificing light, install frosted glass windows,” she concludes.

If you have the budget, the installation of a solar tube or small skylight will allow even more light into the room.

Ditch the clutter

Even a little bit of clutter in a small space can make the room appear smaller.

Use your cupboard space wisely by storing all that clutter within in bins and baskets. Keep all countertops clear of anything that isn’t decorative.

Plumbing considerations

Oversized plumbing fixtures can make the room look cluttered and cramped as well. Consider ditching the bulky vanity for a pedestal sink. If you choose this option, however, you’ll lose the aforementioned storage option.

Swab out a rarely-used tub for a sleek, glass-enclosed shower.

A small bathroom doesn’t have to be cramped and dreary. You can make it cozy and intimate, with minimal effort and (very often) a minimal investment in time and cost.

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