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    How to Add Style to Your Small Bathroom

    Military homeowners often prioritize renovating or refreshing their bathrooms. One reason for the desired upgrades is due to a significant lifestyle change in the U.S. decades ago. Homeowners didn’t have the luxury of bathrooms with extensive square footage, and people didn’t hang out in there like we do today.

    That leaves many homeowners with older houses who want to add style to a small bathroom in any way they can!

    How to Add Style to Your Small Bathroom-1Your outdated bathroom likely falls into one of two categories:

    1. It needs a major rehab, potentially stealing space from adjacent closets or rooms.
    2. The space is permanently defined but decorative techniques could enhance it. 

    Of course, budget plays a role in either of these scenarios. Read on to find options for both, with tips for inexpensive investment updates.

    small bright bathroom with sink and toiletPhoto from iStock.com/DianaRui

    How to Add Stylish Space to Your Bathroom During Renovations

    • Showers with curbless entry, glass doors, and tile work that reach the ceiling offer the illusion of a larger area.
    • Curved front or rounded corner vanities maximize the area.
    • Avoid pedestal sinks. You’ll lose precious storage space. 
    • Large mirrors reflect light and trick the eye.
    • Floor-to-ceiling cabinets extend the line of sight to add height.
    • You can mount wall-hung toilets in tiny spaces. The tank is hidden in the wall.
    • Skylights always add the appearance of more space.
    • Pocket and sliding doors eliminate the room for door clearance.
    • A built-in ledge over the sink lessens the need for storage space. In fact, built-in shelves and nooks that efficiently utilize a small space are two of the best ways to achieve storage area.
    • Use patterns judiciously. If you have patterned tile, don’t use an oversized patterned wallpaper. It clutters the bathroom.
    • Consider splitting the wall space in half by adding decorative molding. You can install wallpaper on top and paint on the bottom, or vice versa.  

    Easy DIY Kitchen and Bathroom Updates inspires new ideas for your home. 

    white bowl sink with blue painted wallPhoto from iStock.com/JaysonPhotography

    How to Choose Paint for a Small Bathroom

    • The amount and kind of lighting in the bathroom affect how paint colors appear. Maximize your light output before choosing a color. 
    • Although white is a go-to bathroom color, greens, blues, and grays also make small spaces appear larger.
    • Buy paint samples or hang swatches to see how the color looks throughout the day. It will change as less light enters the bathroom.
    • Check out Martha Stewart’s favorite small bathroom colors for inspiration. 
    • Paint the ceiling with reflective semi-gloss paint for a dramatic effect. Color draws attention upward. 

    bathroom sink with plant and hanging towelsPhoto from iStock.com/Liudmila Chernetska

    Add Style to Your Small Bathroom with These Decorating Tips

    • Strategic lighting throughout the bathroom makes the space appear larger.
    • Use of the same finishes on fixtures throughout the room unifies, rather than distracts or breaks up the view.
    • Bring in modular storage units or ladders to hang towels and optimize vertical space.
    • Don’t clutter the bathroom with bath and beauty accessories. Tuck them into stylish containers.
    • Use the same flooring throughout the bathroom, even into the shower if it's a walk-in.
    • Oval-shaped mirrors elongate small areas over vanities.
    • Use one color for the wall and paint trim, which diminishes break lines in your line of sight.
    • Reduce the need for a large vanity by adding shelves for towel storage.
    • Use and display the same color towels, preferably white, to keep the room cohesive. Plus, you can easily bleach and rotate towels as needed. 
    • Think vertically and use the space above the toilet and mirror for storage and shelving. 

    Living on base? Your bathroom probably needs an update. See these Quick and Easy Tips for Decorating Military Housing.

    The desire for a spacious bathroom isn’t a trend that will fade. The modern bathroom has become a relaxation haven with spa qualities like sculptural elements, such as a free-standing tub. It's also not unusual to see accommodations for wireless entertainment.

    Instead of the utilitarian hub it once was, stylishly decorated and designed bathrooms are now considered just as important as any other room in the house, if not more so.

    For even more help to add style to the bathroom, start at the beginning of this home décor series with Discover Your Home Decorating Style.

    Home Decorating Toolkit for Military Families

    Dawn M. Smith


    Dawn M. Smith

    Dawn is a real estate and military life writer who has a serious HGTV habit. When she is not writing, her teen daughter, Army husband, and golden retriever keep her busy through chauffeur duties, travel planning, and long dog walks. Dawn is pleased to share her experiences with MilitaryByOwner readers who are hoping to simplify military family journeys of all kinds. Follow Dawn on Pinterest for more ideas and resources and visit her site at Dawn M. Smith Custom Content Creation.

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