How to Decorate a Small Bathroom

Three Methods:Getting Creative with Lighting and ColorMaximizing SpaceClearing Away Clutter

Sprucing up a small, dull-looking bathroom can make an apartment or home feel more comfortable and polished. Whether you want to tear out the tile and get new bathroom fixtures or you're just looking for ways to bring some life to the room, here are are tricks you can employ to make your bathroom seem more spacious and pleasant.

Method 1
Getting Creative with Lighting and Color

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    Make use of your bathroom's natural light. Even a small bathroom can be a peaceful, relaxing getaway in your home if it gets good natural light. If possible, don't cover up your windows with dark curtains or blinds.
    • Install curtains or blinds in a light color like oatmeal or cream; make sure they're thick enough to provide a secure screen, but thin enough to let some light in.
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    • You could also install curtains that cover only the bottom half of your windows, letting light in through the top half.
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    • If your bathroom is situated away from other people's view, go ahead and open the curtains or blinds to let the light shine in.
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    Replace yellowish ceiling lights. If you have an old-fashioned, dull yellow ceiling light - which many bathrooms do - a simple way to transform your bathroom is to update the light fixture with something more modern. Choose a light covering that helps bath the bathroom in white light, rather than yellow, which causes rooms to look gloomy and small.
    • A small chandelier is a good choice for a tiny bathroom; it adds elegance without taking up too much space.
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    • Track lighting can also help give the appearance of a bigger space.[1]
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    Choose paint colors wisely. Painting a room with highly contrasting color can make it look smaller, so choose paint that isn't too wildly different from your bathroom tiles. For example, if you have cream tile, painting the walls dark blue might make the space feel claustrophobic; go for a lighter shade of cream, peach, pale blue, or another color that isn't too loud.
    • If you prefer bolder colors, consider painting the walls a neutral color and adding a more colorful trim or border.
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    • You could also paint just one wall a bold color and leave three walls neutral, or use wallpaper in one area and neutral paint everywhere else.
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Method 2
Maximizing Space

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    Add functional shelving. Small bathrooms tend to have limited floor space, but what about the unused area above the toilet or next to the window? If your bathroom has a spot on the wall that isn't getting much use, consider installing some sturdy shelves where you can store towels, extra shampoo and soap, or small decorations.
    • Be sure to place the shelving above your head level - you don't want to be bumping your forehead each time you step out of the shower.
    • If you have a free corner, choose corner shelves to maximize space even more.
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    • If your bathroom seems too small for shelves, install some hooks instead. Choose a style that matches the décor of your bathroom and hang three or four in a row on the wall. Use them to hang your towels, loofah, body brush, or other bathroom equipment.[2]
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    Get a shower caddy. The shower itself can be a storage area and a place to decorate. Hang a cute wire shower caddy over the shower head and store your shampoo and conditioner there. You could also look into installing waterproof shelving inside the shower to hold these items.
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    Remove unnecessary furniture and floor cabinets. If you have a cabinet under your sink, there's no need to have an extra dresser in another corner of the bathroom. Clear away decorative tables, laundry hampers (they can go in your bedroom instead) and any other piece of furniture that sits on the floor of your bathroom. You'll be amazed at what a difference clearing away even a small piece of furniture can make.
    • If you absolutely must keep a dresser or small piece of furniture in your bathroom, try to maximize space by creating a second level of usage. For example, a small dresser can double as a vanity if you hang a mirror on the wall above it.
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    • If you have a large clothes hamper that you prefer to keep in the bathroom, consider getting a cloth laundry bag instead. These take up much less space than large basket hampers.
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    Replace large bathroom fixtures with smaller ones. If you're prepared to spend some money to decorate your small bathroom, you may want to look into getting a smaller bathtub, or converting your bathtub to a shower that takes up less space. You could also get a a smaller sink fixture to replace one that is large and bulky.

Method 3
Clearing Away Clutter

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    Decorate sparingly. A small bathroom doesn't need too many decorations; your paint color, a pretty bathroom mirror, and a picture or two will be enough to create a functional, relaxing space. Avoid hanging large posters, light fixtures, or anything that sticks out from the wall too much.
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    Throw away old toiletries. Do you hold onto once-used bottles of hair products that you hope may someday tame your frizz? Is the area under your bathroom sink crammed with 10 bottles of sunscreen and sticky bars of soap? Getting rid of these old products can clear up a lot of space and make your bathroom feel more comfortable.
    • Collect the products you and your family actually use - not products you might use someday, but those you really need. Organize them in a basket or drawer so they're conveniently accessible.
    • Donate or throw away products you haven't used in a few months.
    • Consolidate mostly-empty bottles of shampoo, conditioner or body wash into one bottle, then toss the empties out.
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    Pare down your bathroom appliances. That unsightly tangle of hair dryers, curling irons, straighteners, and other appliances is probably taking up too much space on your counter. Instead of leaving them sitting out all the time, find a box that fits them all. Store them in the box when you aren't using them, then place the box under the sink, on the shelf, or in another room.

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    Keep items off the floor. Hanging up your towels, putting your clothes in the hamper, and keeping books and magazines on a shelf can make your bathroom appear to be more spacious. In addition, go for a thin, subtle bathmat instead of a big, fluffy one, which can make the floor appear cluttered and small.

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