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This week I decided I would start a blog series on small bathrooms. I wanted not only to write about how to make a small space function, but I also wanted to show you through images I will create in Google Sketchup (one of our 3-dimensional software programs we use at Kitchen Expressions). Each week for the next four weeks I will take an increasingly smaller space and create a well-designed bathroom, highlighting the solutions I have incorporated.

Tiny bathrooms can prove to be frustrating. I know this from experience! My bathroom at our home is so tiny that my expanding belly (I'm currently 6 months pregnant) leaves me worried that I will soon get wedged between the vanity and shower door! I live in an older home, and I know I am not alone when I say I have made the most of what little bathroom space I have.

This week I designed a small master bathroom. The room dimensions are 9' x 5'.

As you can see in this plan, I was able to incorporate a tub/shower (on the left), a double vanity, wall shelving for linens, and a toilet on the opposite wall. The tub is standard in size, but the sinks I chose for the double vanity are smaller in dimension, allowing me the space to incorporate two.

When designing a small bathroom, you can save space by decreasing the depth of your vanity cabinet. Standard depth is 21", but it is acceptable to decrease that depth to 18," as I have done with this design. Another space-saving design choice that I have used is to opt for a round toilet instead of elongated. This decision can save you 2-3 inches of critical clear space in front of the toilet.

 

 

 

 

The perspective image on the right shows the tub and double vanity, separated by a pony wall (a smaller, non-load-bearing wall, or a half-wall) to provide privacy. Wall-mounted faucets work well with the 18" depth of the vanity cabinet.

Shallow wall shelves (6-8 inches deep) to the right of the vanity allow for linen storage, while keeping the floor space open in front of the toilet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pocket doors, like the one shown in the perspective image on the left, are a great space-saving solution. However, they may not work for all bathroom designs, depending on where your plumbing is located. Since this pocket door slides into a wall that contains no plumbing, it will work well for this bathroom.

Toilet toppers (the storage cabinet above the toilet) are a necessity for a small bathroom. I have chosen a traditional cabinet and door style for this bathroom, but the style possibilities are endless and can be very contemporary in look.

 

 

 

 

 

This final perspective on the right illustrates how a small bathroom can look and feel uncluttered and spacious while still fulfilling all the functions expected of a master bathroom. In addition to space planning decisions, aesthetic choices can "make or break" a small bathroom. Stay away from large amounts of dark colors and bold patterns. Instead, choose lighter colors and faint geometric patterns that will create the illusion of more volume in your space. But don't be afraid of color! Accenting with a fun, bright hue can add life to your small bathroom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have a small bathroom? Have you used some of these design solutions? Or are you desperately thinking of remodeling your small space to achieve better function? I want to hear from you! Please leave a comment below.

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