Painting Small Bathrooms – How to make them look bigger ?

Small bathrooms can be a pain to deal with.  If you as a homeowner are planning a residential painting project, optimizing the use of existing space is probably one of your major concerns. A home can certainly use more area, but in situations where it isn’t feasible to expand an existing bathroom, one of the ways you can make a small bathroom look larger is through paint.

Bathroom painting is a cheap and easy way to create the illusion of space. While a paint job is not the only option you have, it is one of most convenient ideas out there. If you think you have a small bathroom, check out these painting tips to make one of the most used spaces of the home, look spacious.

Opt for Lighter Colors

Neutral or lighter shades can make a bathroom or any room look larger. There are some industry critics who believe that an all white or almost white bathroom will look big. However, that is a never ending debate. Using any pleasant-looking, light colour will work just fine. Such colours can make a small bathroom feel open and airy. The light colours will also complement natural sunlight. So variations of blues, greens, cream will look great. As will shades such as light grays, or aqua. Remember to select a softer variation of the colour as overly bright colours can be blinding and shrink the space.

Maintain Tone Consistency

Light colours can make a small bathroom look larger but the whole bathroom need not be the same light shade. If you need to make the space more interesting and bigger than it is, you can experiment with colours. Ask your painting contractor to use colours within the same tone or use variations of the same colour. While light colours will look pleasing, make sure you avoid the blunder of having dark tiles on the floor! If this happens, the light wall colour will not serve any purpose. The contrast may make your bathroom look congested.

Match Wall and Tile Colours

There are some homeowners who don’t want the same tone all over the bathroom. But you need not be afraid. Ask your painting contractor to match the wall colour with the colour of the tiles and you’re good to go. When the wall and tile colours are similar, the entire room feels consistent. You may choose the wall colour to be slightly darker than the shower tile colour. This can create the illusion of two separate areas within the same bathroom. Make sure to use complementary colours though. This way, by matching the shower/tile and wall colours, the area will look bigger.

Use Vertical Stripes

Bathrooms can be big or small, tall or wide depending on the way your home was constructed. Generally, you cannot have both the scenarios at the same time. You may have a wide bathroom that feels cramped or a tall one that dwarfs everything else. If the ceilings are stunted and you want to make a small bathroom look taller, paint vertical stripes on the walls. It is important to follow the same colour palette that has been used for the rest of the bathroom when painting stripes. You can ask the painters to use a shade or two lighter for them.

Pick an Accent Wall

Accent walls are a great way to liven up a space. But use a colour that you don’t mind looking at day after day. A light accent wall is a big no-no. If you do have lighter shades all over the bathroom, you can have an accent wall in blues or reds. The point is, it needs to suit your colour preferences and go with the overall theme.

Use Horizontal Stripes

In some older homes, there are bathrooms with tall ceilings and not enough space. Painting horizontal stripes will create width. Once again, you can trick the eye as it will perceive the small bathroom as a large one. The horizontal stripes will work well with tall ceilings in achieving this illusion.

Choose Light Colours for Doors, Windows & More

Who said light colours can only be used for walls and ceilings? There are many other aspects of the bathroom that you can paint. Don’t ignore the fixtures, doors, windows, trims etc. Paint the window frames or wall trim in a lighter colour than the walls. When you do this, the wall appears farther away and makes the bathroom look bigger.

Don’t Ignore Unusual Accents

We have talked about ceilings, walls and doors. But there is no rule that says stick to the obvious elements of a room. There are other ways to add splashes of colour. How about painting the radiator? Or using a brightly patterned bathmat or shower curtain? If the hallway to your bathroom is dark, use a light shade in the bathroom, this will make both the areas look like one big room. Some more suggestions here.

Other Tricks

In addition to the ideas discussed elsewhere in this article, there are other ways to trick the eye. Paint the end walls a shade lighter than the end walls is one. The ceiling can be painted a specific colour and use the same colour on the down walls. Murals and arched design can also be used.

Incorporate mirrors into the decor. Some people think that smaller bathrooms should have just a small, modest sized mirror so that the wall space looks bigger. However, do not simply assume that a large mirror will cramp the space. In fact, if you place an above average sized statement piece just above the sink, expect your bathroom to appear more expansive. Ever heard of the ‘infinity mirror technique’? This is a way to incorporate mirrors on multiple walls to create the illusion such that the space looks bigger than it actually is.

The ideas expressed above are just some suggestions that you can incorporate when renovating a small bathroom. Ask your painters or colour consultant for more tips.

What other ways can be used to make a small bathroom look bigger? Share your views with us through the comments section.

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