How to Answer Your Outdated Small Bathroom’s Cry For Renovation Help

It happens out of the blue with eyes finally wide open. One day you walk into your small dainty, dusty powder bathroom and can hear it crying for help.

This always ready, always working friend of your family and guests looks older than Rip Van Winkle’s bathroom. The tile’s dull, the walls are gray and the décor screams of a long ago 1980s design craze. You admit to yourself you’ve seen 14th century English castles with more style.

“Man, this bathroom’s really let itself ago,” you joke to yourself.

No, this half bathroom needs a design intervention, STAT. It needs you the way you need it every day.

But in the year of COVID when America’s household budgets are tighter than ever, the majority of re-designers are working with tight wallets. But you will be surprised what $6,500 – HomeAdvisor’s average cost of an American small bathroom remodel – can do for one of the most essential and underappreciated rooms in your home.

“In a small space like a bathroom, every detail matters,” HGTV’s Keri Sanders writes. “The right wall color, tilework or lighting can transform a dull, outdated bathroom into a bright stylish retreat.”

Is it worth it, you may ask before digging into the project? Yes, when we figure we use our bathrooms multiple times every day.

“The powder room has become a staple in new American residences,” Houzz’s Steven Randel writes.

Plus, the design potential of small bathrooms, The Home Atlas’ Donna Young writes, is endless.

“Big bathrooms are a luxury; only a handful of us can afford it,” Young writes. “However, small bathrooms have so much untouched potential. With the right ideas, design, and execution, you, too, can convert your small bathroom into a mini sanctuary.”

This holiday season may be the perfect time to perform design and function CPR on your home’s small or half bathroom. But what does the average small powder/half bathroom need to come back to contemporary 21st century style life?

  • Faucet, toilet and vanity upgrades
  • New flooring and lighting
  • Freshly painted walls and/or new wallpaper

So how are America’s small home redesigners resituating their powder bathrooms?

The Right Colors

Nothing brings an outdated bathroom instantly out of the design stone ages like light colors, which open up space. White, off-white and peach brighten both walls and fixtures like bathtubs and sinks, making the bathroom, Young notes, “feel more open, airy, and spacious than it is.”

Call it the small bathroom remodel magic trick.

Reflecting Your Bathroom’s New Image

Throw in your Sleeping Beauty joke here, but mirrors, mirrors on the wall will see and broadcast your small bathroom’s style revival. Mirrors reflect light and pattern and present the illusion of a larger space. Plus, they double the effect of any lighting. Adding a mirror above your vanity or sink space can visually double the space of your small bathroom.

Having a Style Conversation with Small Bathroom Spaces

Extra design space is unfortunately a luxury small bathrooms don’t have. Remember, the average American powder room/half bathroom is just 20 square feet total.

Alas, awkward corners are a style reality of every small bathroom. How do you make use of an awkward small corner space? Installing a corner sink can fill in that uncomfortable space hole with a bathroom essential, and Young stresses, “free up the rest of the bathroom for other features.”

Door in a Pocket

Remember, extra space is not an option here, so a regular full-size swing indoor may not be the best option for your small bathroom. Opening up a wall and adding a pocket door can create up to nine square feet of usable space in your bathroom. As any real estate agent in America will tell you, adding space to a high-usage home space is pure design gold.

Furniture of Today, Tomorrow or All Days

Remember, there is really never a reason to have a large chair or sofa in a bathroom, especially one where every square inch is important. Also go with small essentials like smaller sinks and floating vanities. They save space while not compromising on functionality.

Smart Storage

A necessary design evil of all bathrooms, storage’s space intake can be reduced with shower cubbies, floating vanities, glass-front cabinets and open shelves.

Simple Style Ideas

It’s completely natural to be tempted to transform into a mad design scientist during the renovation process as new and exciting ideas pop into your mind along the way. But, as any design coach will tell you, it’s best and smart to stick to the game plan.

“It’s always better to keep things as simple as possible,” Young stresses. “Clean lines, simple designs will give your bathroom a sharp look. … If a lot is going on with patterns, designs and fixtures, it will look more crowded and compact than it needs to be.”

Remember, you are bringing your hardworking small bathroom back to design life, giving it an energy that matches the functionality it gives your family every day. For every small American bathroom deserves to feel, look and perform like a star’s bathroom and not a hopelessly dated relic from the 20th century.

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