By Samantha Magatelli
Most new builds have bathrooms that are designed to be much bigger than the bathrooms designed 20 or so years ago. So what do you do when you buy a beautiful character home that is perfect, apart from the pokey bathroom that comes with it?
Here are some tips to create the maximum space in a smaller than average bathroom:
- Floating vanities can make the room appear larger as they give the illusion that the floor keeps on going.
- Two basins are not needed in a bathroom in my opinion; they just take up extra space. Couples aren’t generally in there at the same time every day, so save room by putting the basin to one side. This way you maximise the amount of space on the bench for things like hairdryers, make-up etc. otherwise electrical items end up in the basin, and that can be dangerous!
- If the wall where the vanity will be going is double bricked, you will have room in the cavity to recess the mirror cabinet creating extra hidden storage.
- Hidden cisterns are the same idea as the recessed mirror. If the wall behind the toilet is double bricked (which more often that not it is) you will have room for a hidden cistern to be placed in-between the cavity. For homes that are timber-framed it is even easier. If these are not options in your home, you can create a half wall (around 1200mm in height) for the in-wall cistern to sit into, which will also act as a shelf for storing candles or decorative items. You can also use this as an opportunity to tile the half wall in a feature tile for a bit of interest in the room.
- Recessed shelves/boxes in the shower are great for storing objects like shampoo and conditioner instead of having a shelf take up more room in the shower. Again, this will need to be on a double bricked wall or a timber-framed wall.
- Larger tiles are a must for making a room appear larger as there aren’t as many grout lines closing the walls in. Also, laying them horizontally tricks the eye to follow the line across the wall, making the room feel larger. Choose a rectified tile so you can lay them close together and have minimal grout lines, which makes it easier for cleaning.
- Tiling to the ceiling will also give that feeling of space so that the room appears larger than it is, as the light will reflect a lot better on a tile than on a painted wall.
- Unless you have small children, I don’t think baths are necessary, especially in a small bathroom. They take up a lot of room unless you create a shower/bath combination, which isn’t always the most stylish option.
- Lighting is another important factor to make a room appear larger. It is vital to use nice, bright lighting in a bathroom in the correct positions so there are no nasty dark shadows. I would suggest using LED down lights, or starlights, as they are more economical than a halogen, and come in a cool or warm tone to complement the colours used in the space.
– Samantha Magatelli is an interior designer at .