We all dream of a spa-worthy bathroom, complete with bath tub or XXL Italian shower. Unfortunately, more often the lack of square meters sends us back to reality! Don’t panic, all hope is not yet lost! In fact, you can turn your rental’s small bathroom into a functional and relaxing space using certain tips and tricks. Fittings, furniture, lighting, colour, mirrors..., here are 7 tips to optimize space and offer your travellers an oasis of well-being.


1. Clear the floor space

The smaller the room, the more it is necessary to free up floor space to move freely and to give a feeling of grandeur. If your wall is strong enough, hang the sink cabinet and the toilet. Also, give preference to wall shelves to storage placed on the floor. Besides the visual comfort, installing the furniture without legs will facilitate cleaning. If your budget allows, it is recommended to replace the opaque partitions or shower curtains with transparent walls that give depth to the room.


2. Play with the tiling

Large tiles are trending at the moment which is just as well since they visually enlarge a space. 30x60cm tiles for example, will make an area feel much larger than smaller ones would. Another trick for making your bathroom feel larger is extending the floor tiles up the walls until about door height. Keeping the space below the ceiling white also adds volume to a room. If you’d like to add a border or frieze, the best height to position it at is three quarters of the way up the wall, which will heighten the sense of a high ceiling.


3. Favour colour

White walls are usually used to give an impression of cleanliness, but they can at times feel too sanitized. In a small bathroom, think pastel colours that will create warmth through soft tones. Dark colours, as elegant as they can be, will make a small room feel cramped, especially if there is little to no natural light. Little bursts of colour however will personalize the space and seal the deal.


4. Choose the right lighting

If you can, install two independent lighting fixtures. Place the first in the ceiling, or better yet, add spotlights (requires a dummy ceiling). This is mood lighting and diffuses a soft yellow light. The second light should be placed around or above the mirror overlooking the wash basin. Don’t place the light too high up as this will accentuate shadows on the face of the onlooker. Favour LED bulbs that produce a light similar to daylight.

Uncluttered bathroom with natural light and light coloured walls©Ikea


5. Multiple mirrors

In a small bathroom, mirrors are a great way to create depth. Install two models and have them facing each other or on an angle that allows them to reflect light off each other. Opt for larger mirrors or a large mirror/cabinet combination around the sink.


6. Unclutter

Accumulating small items and accessories on the walls or on the furniture will clutter a small bathroom and reduce the visual sensation of space. Opt for closed storage that can conceal toiletries and keep the uncluttered, sleek feel. If your bathroom has niches, optimize the space and add shelving in them. Don’t forget the door, a few hooks on the back make all the difference.


7. Chase out humidity

An airy bathroom is an invitation to relax, so as long as it’s got flow, your bathroom will have nothing to envy the large ones. To avoid humidity and help preserve the paint job, install a CMV (mechanical ventilation system). If your budget allows, favour an electric towel dryer over the traditional metal bars. Go for 100W per square meter of power and for extra heating power opt for an air-rotating (blowing) model.


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