Karen Wiggins on July 14, 2014 0 Comments Comfortable, easy-to-use bathrooms offer sufficient storage space, but in a small bathroom, space is often at a premium. However with a little maneuvering and planning, you can squeeze out much-needed room. Here’s how: 1. Capitalize on shelving Shelving is your best friend in a small bathroom, and using your vertical surfaces to add shelving on the walls is the secret. To avoid creating a closed-in feeling with the shelving, install at eye-level unobtrusive, narrow open shelves that are the same color as the walls, and put in deeper cabinet shelving higher up. On the eye-level shelving, store items that you use most often. For instance, decorate the space with toiletry and beauty products like bath salts and lotions in attractive bottles, and use designer baskets for holding items like towels and toilet paper. Store less-often-used items in the higher-up cabinet shelving. If wall space is insufficient for hanging enough shelves, consider adding recessed shelving. This is created by using the empty space within the walls between beams. It can only be done on walls that are made with drywall, and the job of installing recessed shelving should fall to an experienced professional. 2. Maximize Your Medicine Cabinet If you have an old medicine cabinet, consider getting one of the new models on the market. Today’s medicine cabinets feature plenty of storage space, as well as handy added features like lockboxes for storing prescription meds. Some models even have a towel rack and include a combination of open and closed shelving. Choose a cabinet that has shelves of varying heights so you can fit all of your belongings. 3. Tackle the Toilet Area Perhaps because of its location, the area above the toilet often goes unused. Take advantage of this wall space by installing a cabinet unit over the tank. Some models are fairly tall and extensive and include closed and open shelving. If you are considering a toilet replacement, you can save even more room by opting for a rounded bowl, rather than an oval, elongated one. 4. Organize the Shower Keeping shampoos and conditioners in the shower helps to free up storage space in other areas, but a mess of bottles can become disorganized and unsightly. Opt for a shower caddy that you hang on the shower arm if you only have a few bottles, or get a tower shower organizer. Corner units that match the décor scheme of your bathroom offer a seamless look, and many of the taller towers feature a great deal of storage space. They also make wall-mountable dispensers that you fill with your shampoo and conditioner. 5. Use Your Sink Space Wisely If your sink doesn’t have a cabinet underneath, install one, or replace the sink with one that has a storage cabinet below. Also opt for a sink that has countertops, which gives additional space to store often-used items. 6. Redirect the Door A door swinging into a small bathroom makes things seem even tighter. Reposition the door to swing outward or use a pocket door that slides. 7. Trick the Eye Various visual effects give the illusion of more space in your bathroom than actually exists. A well-placed mirror reflects light and adds depth to a room. Hang one large mirror in the bathroom, positioning it so it’s one of the first things you see when you walk in the door. Or add a decorative eye-catching focal point such as a painting, sculpture or plant. Having something attractive for the eye to fall on takes the focus off of the fact that the space is small. Painting in light, neutral tones also helps open up the room, as does using multiple shades of the same light paint color. Opt for paint colors like beige, cream, taupe and off-white, as well as muted blue, gray, yellow, pink and blue. If you want bright complementary colors, introduce them through accessories like towels and soap dispensers. 8. Use Accessories to Your Advantage While adding a few purely decorative items to your bathroom works, when possible choose attractive accessories that do double duty by also being functional. For instance, get eye-catching soap dispensers and holders and designer hooks and towel racks for hanging items like clothing and towels. Decorative bowls, tins and boxes also work well for storing a wide variety of bathroom items. Keep these tips in mind for maximizing bathroom space, and you’ll end up with a small bathroom that could almost pass for a mini mansion.