How to Make a Small Bathroom Larger (Without Renovating!)

by Audrey SomeroFebruary 22, 2019

While bathrooms are typically the smaller rooms within a home, they are certainly not insignificant. Selling a home with smaller-than-average bathrooms can be an uphill battle because to make one larger is a hefty investment of time and money. Sometimes, because of structural issues, it can’t be expanded at all.

So, it begs the question: How can you make a small bathroom seem larger without breaking the bank?
Answer:  With the right staging and decor!

The key elements needed to visually expand your bathroom are light and simplicity. Lighter colors make a space seem larger, and keeping things decluttered evokes a sense of calm.

The Walls

  • Give your walls a fresh coat of light, neutral paint. (Check out these paint colors for a peaceful look.)
  • While you might love your pictures or fake plants, covering the walls with them will definitely make the space feel crowded. Instead, use only one or two.
  • Hang mirrors to bounce light around the room. This is especially effective if you face them toward a window!
    • Tip: Make sure the mirrors don’t have “busy” frames, thus defeating the purpose of keeping things neutral and calm.

The Cabinets

  • Just like the walls, paint them in a light, neutral color if needed.
  • Swap out chunky cabinet handles for sleek ones. You can usually find great ones that are new or gently-used at a thrift store or Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
  • Remove any items sitting on top of the cabinets if at all possible.

The Main Fixtures

  • If your shower features dark-colored tile, a cost-effective solution to brightening them is by using a specialty tub-and-tile paint.
  • Remove extraneous items from the toilet cover, the vanity, and the shower area. We know it’s tempting to house all five bottles of shampoo there, but that’s what your cabinets are for!

The Extra Details

  • Swap out dark-colored bath mats and shower curtains for simple, lighter ones.
  • If you have towels hanging up for guests, make sure they’re light colors as well. But, don’t be afraid to use a different hue so they can serve as accent pieces for the space.
    • A tip: The higher your shower curtain rod is placed, the taller your room will feel thus giving the illusion of more space.

For more tips on staging your home, download the free How to Sell Your Home Playbook!

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About The Author
Audrey Somero
Audrey is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator at, with a master's degree in strategic communication. A lifelong arts aficionado, she's also a part-time dance teacher in Virginia Beach. Wife to aerospace engineer Ryan and fur-mom to rescue pup Lucy, she's the self-declared World's Greatest Pizza Lover who lives for chocolate and a sunshine-filled day at the beach.

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