You don’t need to move walls to create larger bathroom
How can you create more space in your bathroom without moving walls? It can be done — with careful planning and research. And, yes, you will have to spend some real money in order to achieve significant change.
I love the idea that you can cultivate more space within your own “footprint,” and this is a job where the assistance of an architect or trained interior designer can help immensely.
We walk into a space and see it differently than you do, without the hindrance of what is there already. A professional brings years of experience to the task, both in terms of ideas and in terms of what they’ve done for other clients.
If you are committed to staying in the house you now own, this is a practical way to look at all of your space and to reexamine how to make it work harder for your family.
According to architect Duo Dickinson, “Spending more than $500 without a plan just guarantees regret.” He’s the author of my favorite remodeling guide, Staying Put: Remodel Your House to Get the Home You Want.
If you “wing it” too much on home-improvement projects, you will find yourself wasting precious resources and not liking the way you spent the available funds. Then you really will be stuck forever with an unsuitable mess that you cannot afford to change again. It is not worth it.
My residence is a 40- year- old tract house that featured two bathrooms with long vanities of 6 feet each, holding two sinks. This was typical in the 1970s — to have a long countertop and a full mirror above it.
If you too have such a bathroom, consider shortening the countertop to about 48 to 54 inches. Select smaller basins or under-mount sinks. Then, with the remaining 24 inches to 18 inches of space, you can create a linen closet or open shelving (as you see here).
Another visual trick is to lift the cabinet up off the floor and create a grander toe-kick of eight to nine inches (also as you see here), or to hang cabinets off the wall in order to run the flooring in a fluid action under the cabinetry.
Other visual tricks include the large, expansive mirror that meets the backsplash and rises to the ceiling and adequate lighting.
In my own powder room, I decided to install a much smaller vanity in order to increase the illusion of more space in the room. Because the room doesn’t often have to function as a full bathroom, the need for storage is minimal.
I opted for an antique Japanese console table with a 2 ½-inch-thick wood slab top and a vessel sink. Another way to make more floor space could be to remove a standard 5-foot tub and create a smaller shower stall instead. Saved space might be used for linen storage or open shelves (again, like you see in the example).
The room could also be devoted to numerous robe hooks for pool towels, kids’ pajamas or robes. If you are really space-starved in your home, a narrow utility closet could be incorporated to hold brooms, a dust pan, cleaning products and paper goods.
There are no “design police” who will come to your home and inspect how you have chosen to use space. The end use should be the only thing that determines how you design your rooms. Ask yourself how you actually do live, and be at peace with that reality.