Make a Small Master Bathroom Large on Luxury

If your master bathroom is small in scale, the good news is that although you have to trim the amenities down to size, you don’t have to scrimp on luxury. A small master bathroom can be designed to look like a well-appointed retreat and function just as well as the rest of your home without adding any more square footage. You just need to know a few tricks that will make your small bathroom look and feel larger. Here are a few pointers that can help a tight space grow visually.

  1. Splurge in a Small Place
    Less square footage means that you can use luxurious finishes without as large a price tag. When the area is small you can afford to pamper yourself with details like radiant heat, a heated towel rack, natural stone flooring and countertops. If you have just a single sink, you can splurge on that polished nickel faucet. Even a tiny shower enclosure can be an asset when you convert it into a steam shower. And, you also get far more bang for your decorating buck in a small master bathroom because decorative finishes in small doses pack more of a punch.
  2. Select the Right Colors
    Using a monochromatic color scheme for the walls and cabinetry will help to make the room seem larger. And, it does not have to be white; any light, cool color will tend to give the feeling of serenity and the illusion of more space. Simplicity is essential to designing a small room. With a heavily utilized room like a master bath, stay away from busy wallpaper patterns because they can make the room feel small and cluttered. Stick with a small, subtle pattern and avoid contrasts that will break up the space.
  3. Choose Light Colored Flooring
    Try to avoid breaks in flooring finishes because consistent flooring will always make a space feel larger. For example, if the adjoining master bedroom flooring is finished in oak, consider extending the oak flooring into the master bathroom for a seamless transition. If you cannot replace the flooring, choose a large, light-colored rug over your existing flooring.
  4. Visually Extend the Room Height
    Drawing the eye upwards is also important because it will make the room seem taller. Extend wall tile to the ceiling or consider adding perimeter crown molding because this fools the eye into seeing more height in the space.  Lastly, even if you choose a light, cool color for the walls, paint the crown molding and ceiling white to add visual height to the room.
  5. Brighten the Space
    Without taking up any space, you can add extra lighting to brighten the look of your bathroom and add interest. Recessed lighting can be installed into the ceiling and focused anywhere in the room. Wall sconces or will add warmth and luxury. More expensive alternatives for brightening the room include the addition of skylights or larger windows.
  6. Trick the Eye
    To create a master bathroom that doesn’t feel cramped, incorporate elements that visually expand the space. Avoid clunky fixtures: A pedestal sink is trimmer than a sink in a base cabinet and a pedestal tub takes up less visual space than a tub set into a surround. Finally, a mirror over the sink is a given, but hanging additional mirrors, such as a full-length wardrobe mirror, will provide a sense of depth to a small space.
  7. Squeeze in Storage
    To build in storage in a small master bathroom, look for areas around the perimeter of the room where you can take advantage of nooks and crannies while keeping the floor area free. Recess a medicine chest into the wall. Hang two tiers of towel racks or stagger hooks to use up vertical wall space. Recess a niche into the shower wall as a holding area for soaps and shampoos. Finally, maximize the inside of the vanity cabinet, making the most of cupboard and drawer space with organizers that keep items tidy.
  8. Eliminate Visual Distractions
    Change out a frosted-glass bath or shower door with a clear glass one so you can see all the way to the back wall; your eye won’t stop at the door and think that the room is smaller than it is. Pare down on towels and use just one large floor rug. Select one piece of art instead of lots of small pieces. Use one decorative accessory instead of a number of small ones. Store whatever else you really need out of sight.

Robert Frank is a local resident and owner of Robert Frank Interiors, a full-service interior design and construction company located in San Marino, California. Robert Frank Interiors works in collaboration with clients to create beautiful, functional spaces that reflect their lifestyles and personalities. Visit us on the web at