Even though bathrooms are used many times every day, they’re often the smallest rooms in the house. Customers who want to make a bathroom luxurious may feel limited by the constraints of the space. There might also be a lack of natural light, which can hamper a bright, fresh feeling.
The good news is that a few color and design techniques can make a small bathroom feel larger and more luxurious at the same time. Master this delicate balance by following the helpful tips outlined below.
The Fundamentals of Luxury
When you’re thinking about how to add luxury to a small bathroom, it’s a good idea to think about the design elements that characterize luxury interior design.
Light is one of the hallmarks of luxurious design, Tara Bellucci at Apartment Therapy points out. While it tends to occur more abundantly in larger rooms, there are ways to create the illusion of light in smaller bathrooms through colors and mirrors. Additionally, high-end bathrooms make use of natural materials, so homeowners with small bathrooms should consider adding a touch of granite, marble, river rock, or teak where possible.
Author Sara Bliss adds that luxury spaces often steal elements from other rooms. In a boutique Tuscan hotel, a chandelier is combined with velvet curtains and elegant wall art to elevate a bathroom from ordinary to amazing. A stool and bright lighting can also add warmth to a space and make it feel more inviting.
The right color choice can make all the difference in a small bathroom. A monochromatic bathroom color scheme, for example, can add the illusion of space, Carla Aston, interior designer, explains. You can paint the ceiling the same colors as the walls while also blending the tile color with that of the walls for a smooth, seamless expansion.
For a touch of luxury within a monochromatic color scheme, incorporating an elegant element, like a hanging light fixture, would do just the trick. Other ways to add luxury through color is to focus on low-contrast colors that feel warm and inviting.
Design journalist Janet Eastman says that tone on tone colors create a sense of relaxation, and slightly textured walls can create a similar feel. She warns that overly polished surfaces and materials, such as chrome, add glare that can be visually abrasive. Since luxury is all about effortless calm, matte or muted tones work much better.
It’s clear that simple, monochromatic color schemes work best for adding luxury to small spaces, but these tones don’t always have to be white. In fact, Architectural Digest digital design editor Amanda Sims says that some designers prefer painting small rooms in dark colors to add depth and space. This adds a dramatic and sophisticated look to the room, and helps bounce light around better.
While you might steer away from wallpaper for fear that it’d make a small bathroom appear too tiny, wallpaper is actually a smart way to make a bold statement in small spaces. This in turn makes those spaces feel more luxurious and expensive.
This is demonstrated successfully on the European-influenced home design blog Petite Haus. Here, an elegant powder room is adorned with green floral wallpaper. This wall covering is in a fresh, bright green and is adorned with exotic birds and pops of pink and red to keep things warm. The elegant elements of this wallpaper stand in contrast to the rustic upcycled vanity and tan brick flooring so that it doesn’t feel too posh and is still approachable.
When choosing tiles for the bathroom, the size, shape and color can all play a role in making the bathroom feel larger and more luxurious. One idea comes from HuffPost Home editor Shana Ecker, who explains that large-format tiles make a bold statement in any bathroom. This is because small tiles can look busy and crowded, especially when they’re adorning tight corners and spaces. On the contrary, larger tiles help a space feel larger and more open.
Additionally, marble is a go-to choice for large, luxurious-looking slabs. Because it can be hard to tell where tiles end and begin, marble plays with the boundaries of perception for tiles and walls, Jennifer Louise Ebert, senior content editor at Time Inc. UK, writes. This makes the marble appear as one huge sheet on the wall, adding space and depth in an effortlessly elegant way.
Luxurious decor certainly has a place in the small bathroom, but it must be tastefully curated. Too many elements can add busyness to the space, detracting from the serene, high-class look one is aiming to achieve.
To keep things simple, MyDomaine editorial director Julia Millay Walsh explains that a new bath mat can make all the difference in a bathroom. Getting rid of a tired and dirty bath mat in exchange for a plush, ornate rug is one of the easiest swaps you can make. Ultra soft fabrics like tufted wool and oriental prints ooze luxurious vibes.
Lighting fixtures can also play a role in making your bathroom feel larger and more elegant. High-end designers usually approach lighting in unique, creative ways, Diana Hathaway Timmons, color expert and designer explains. Instead of adding a traditional light bar above the vanity, for example, wall sconces on either side of the mirror add moody elegance. Pendants and hanging lights are also trending in luxury spaces.
Fixtures and storage
Believe it or not, fixtures also do their part in adding luxe looks to a small space. According to home decor consultant Gabrielle Savoie, who founded the blog SavvyHome, small bathroom owners should add hooks to dead spaces, like the back of the door. Then, Savoie suggests loading up these hooks with plush towels and bathrobes, making those items easily accessible.
You can also make the most of storage in a small space by adding elegant storage options. A luxurious medicine cabinet can elevate your space in a practical way, according to Jamie Lundstrom of the home decor blog So Much Better With Age. Recessed or non-recessed cabinets will both work in a luxury space, as long as they’re the right finish. Lundstrom relied on polished nickel to add a touch of reflective shimmer.
Consider freestanding furniture that can be moved around at a moment’s notice. In her Ideal Home article mentioned earlier, Jennifer Louise Ebert explains that moveable furniture such as a chair or stool can double as storage and tucked away when not in use. This adds luxury by adding creature comforts to the space, and they can even be moved to and from other areas of the house to keep things interesting.