Brighten Up a Small Bath
Eight ways to fashion a bathroom that will put a smile on your face every morning.
Synopsis: Acrylic-block windows, big tiles, and hanging cabinetry and toilets are just some of the options that can make a small bath live large. Author and interior designer Maaike Linnenkamp shares her proven strategies for transforming a small bathroom. In this particular example, she replaced the crammed tub/shower combo with a walk-in shower encased in glass. An awning-style bay window in the shower adds to the sense of spaciousness and also improves ventilation. Other special touches include a shower bench, a storage built-in, and a timeless color palette with sophisticated accents.
The only bathroom in this small ranch-style house was cluttered, dark, and uninspiring. Besides changing the aesthetics, the main challenges were bringing in more daylight, increasing storage, and giving the bath a much-needed sense of spaciousness. The bold stroke is a 2-ft.-deep bay that extends beyond the original exterior wall. The bay created space for a shower bench, room for a towel rack out of the spray pattern, and a place for a generous frosted-acrylic window that offers privacy, light, and ventilation. Storage is provided by a custom cabinet recessed into the bay. A totemic floor-to-ceiling glass-tile inlay surrounded by alabaster floor and wall tile injects a prominent centerpiece.
These elements are the most obvious changes that transformed this bath. But they are only part of the story. A supporting cast of less obvious details and principles is making quieter contributions. Here are the lessons, both large and small, of this little bath.
1. MAXIMIZE DAYLIGHT WHILE MAINTAINING PRIVACY
Acrylic-block windows are lightweight and unbreakable; this awning-style version lets in fresh air. tubular skylights are another great way to bring daylight inside. They are less expensive than conventional skylights, are less prone to leakage, and can eliminate the need for electric light during the day. Both options maintain…