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10 Small Bathroom Ideas That Make a Big Impact

There are some simple things you can do to make your small bathroom feel bigger—including some tricks that take just a couple minutes. Try these 10 small bathroom ideas that will make a big impact in a tight space.

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Less is More

When it comes to making spaces look bigger, less is more. Wish Sotheby’s International Realty says,”If you don’t really need maximum storage, consider using a smaller vanity to leave a bit more open space, rather than fitting in the biggest unit you can.” Leaving some negative space makes a small bathroom feel less cramped.

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modern Kristi Blokhin/Shutterstock

Use a Frameless Shower Door

Frameless glass shower doors make a small bathroom feel more open and airy, as they remove the visual obstruction of a traditional shower door. However, keep in mind, this only works if the door is clear glass. Scott McGillivray, a real estate investor, says textured glass will make the space feel like it has an extra wall.

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Try White

“One of the easiest ways to give your room a spacious look is to use lots of white—white tile, white paint, a white vanity and so on,” Yanic Simard of the design website Houzz told Forbes. “This noncolor-color naturally recedes, making the space look bigger. It also reflects any available light, rather than absorbing it.” If you have to stick with a color on the walls, bring in as much white as you can with towels, accessories and art.

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wood Chris Haver/Shutterstock

Use a Pocket Door

Traditional doors can take up a lot of valuable space in small bathrooms. McGillivray suggests installing a pocket door, which slides right into the wall. “If this isn’t possible, consider a sliding door as an alternative.”

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feetWhat Photo/Shutterstock

Hide the Bathmat

According to Zillow, having a bath mat on the floor all the time makes your bathroom appear smaller. “Put your bath mats away when you’re not using them to expose the flooring and make the space appear larger.”

Bonus: This stone bath mat keeps floors as dry as can be.

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towelAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Try Open Shelving

Instead of having bulky cabinets, try open shelving. The Allison Ziefert Real Estate Group suggests this can be as easy as simply removing cabinet doors. “Display towels, soaps, and canisters in a pleasing way—they can be both decorative and functional.”

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shutterstock_44365882 half bathroomJohn Wollwerth/Shutterstock

Use a Floating Vanity or Pedestal Sink

When it comes to small bathroom ideas to make the space appear bigger, ditch the bulky vanity that takes up valuable space and replace it with a floating vanity or pedestal sink. You’ll give up some storage space, but you probably don’t need all of that stuff hiding behind those vanity doors anyway.

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Go Big with Mirrors

Adding a big mirror is an easy way to make your small bathroom appear larger. McGillivray notes mirrors are not only a necessity in bathrooms, they also reflect light and open up spaces, so choose a mirror on the larger end of the spectrum. “If you have room for one that’s full length go for it, and over the vanity consider taking it all the way up to the ceiling,” he says.

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curtains donikz/Shutterstock

Raise the Bar

In small bathrooms, raise your shower curtain bar all the way up to the ceiling. According to Zillow, it will draw your eyes up and make the ceiling seem taller, making your small bathroom appear larger. This trick also works for window treatments.

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vanity Artazum/Shutterstock

Watch the Clutter

“Resist the urge to decorate with potpourri bowls or fake floral arrangements that attract dust and add clutter to your sink space,” according to “Sleek-looking canisters for your cotton balls and swabs, along with one piece of eye-catching artwork, are all you need in a small bathroom.” You can also hang a narrow shelf above the toilet for a few storage canisters. Check out these 20 bathroom storage hacks.

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.