Smaller bathrooms with just a sink and toilet commonly are known as powder rooms, derived from an area where people freshen up. When you are working with a smaller space, you are limited by size, and it helps to design the bathroom around certain elements, such as the corner toilet and corner sink, to maximize the space you have and create the illusion of a larger bathroom.
When you are limited on space in a powder bath, the last thing you want is a door that swings into the bathroom, limiting your access to the sink and toilet. Doors swinging outward are a rarity, but that is one option. A better option, however, is a pocket door, also known as a sliding door. While it takes some creative framing to create the space for the door to slide away unseen, consider putting the sliding door on the outside or the inside of the wall, visible on its tracks even when it is open. This keeps the door from cramping the size of the room.
Wainscot or Border
One of the easiest ways to tie a small bathroom together and help elements like the sink and the toilet blend together is to set the sink and toilet at the same height, if possible. If not, run a wainscot or border around the room at the same height as the backsplash of your sink. If you don’t have a backsplash, such as is the case with a pedestal sink, pick a point that is level or just above the top edge of the sink, and use that as the defining height marker for the entire perimeter of the room. Think about strips of wood, wallpaper, natural stone borders, marble strips or wainscoting in wood, plastic paneling, tile or natural stone. If possible, match the sink to the height of the toilet’s upper area to tie everything together.
The last thing you want to do in a cramped area is cramp it more with extraneous items, such as a cabinet. While you might need space for storage, consider that a cabinet pushes the sink out farther from the wall and creates a box-like structure that takes up space. A pedestal sink is a more frugal option because you are limited by space, and rather than tie up that space with squares and box-like structures, a pedestal sink is simply a single column up to a bowl, which you set into the corner. This also allows you more leg room if your sink and toilet happen to be on the same end of the wall. The exception to this is if you are building a full bathroom and need storage space, in which case you may need to re-situate the sink if the cabinet interferes with the toilet and your access to it.
Mirrors and Lights
When limited by space, illusion is the next best thing to actual size. The more light in a room, the larger it appears -- even if you have a smaller room and things are cramped in their placement. Placing plenty of lights around the edges of the room keeps the bathroom well lit, adding to the illusion of space. A single, large mirror placed on the wall also helps with the illusion of space, as does lighting above the mirror. If you have natural light via a window, consider using sheer curtains as opposed to dark curtains to let in more light. Use lighter colors on the wall and floor.
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