How to Maximize Space in a Small Bathroom, Part 1

20 November 2014 by

Many of us are familiar with the struggles associated with having a small bathroom. But whether you live in a small high-rise apartment or share a pedestal sink with a roommate, there are both visual and organizational tricks for making the most of your space.

TJ Monahan, general manager of ibby, a design build firm that offers homeowners a 3D tool for remodeling a small bathroom in about 10 to 15 minutes online, says he keeps storage in mind when designing a bathroom’s layout and selecting fixtures. With the right design, you can make your bathroom feel larger.

First, Monahan recommends installing a wall hanging vanity, instead of one that sits directly on the floor. This allows homeowners to see more floor tile making the room look larger. In addition, he uses larger floor and wall tiles. “With less grout, there’s less time for your eye to get distracted so the floor looks bigger,” he said.

Similarly, he recommends using larger than normal wall tile and hanging both tile and mirrors in the landscape direction. “This makes the eye move around the room.”

Monahan said his team likes to use vanities that include full drawers beneath two-door cabinets. This makes the cavernous space under the sink appear smaller and less cluttered without removing any storage space. In fact, Monahan said the drawer adds 30 percent more storage space to the same size vanity.

For extra storage space in the shower, TJ Monahan of ibby, an online design service that specializes in small bathrooms, says he build shower niches (or shelves) into the wall. But he generally makes shower niches larger than normal, which adds extra space for storing shower products.

If a client wants even more storage, Monahan says his team will install small cabinets above the toilet. These are great for holding toiletries, he says. If they do install these cabinets, the ibby team selects finishes that match the vanity.

Jessica Decker of Become Organized, a professional organizing service in Manhattan, says the key to organizing a small bathroom is to maximize vertical space. She also recommends installing shelves or cabinets above the toilet. And, don’t forget about the space behind the door. Use that area for towel hooks, a hanging rod or even narrow shelves.

ibby designers consider towel rods when they make their plans, as well. They often hang two towel bars – one lower than normal, the other higher than normal – allowing them to get more storage out of the same space.

Finally, Monahan suggests keeping all paint colors in the gray family. Gray is calming, he said. “It makes the space look bigger.”

Check back tomorrow for more on small bathroom organization.



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