Painting and Decorating the Smallest Room in the House

For most of us, the smallest room in the house – the bathroom – often provides the biggest decorating challenges. There are two very basic cardinal rules when approaching the décor of a small room.

One: avoid dark colors, as they will have the effect of making the room appear smaller.

Two: minimize the stuff in the room. For example, in a tiny bedroom, you would want to avoid heavy, thick oak furniture that dominates the room, and instead pick light and airy pieces, perhaps made of wrought iron, or that are minimalistic in nature. This same approach applies to decorating a small bathroom. Both rules can be bent a little when approaching bathroom décor, but in general, should be followed.

Don’t assume that the rule against dark colors means that a tiny bathroom must be completely colorless. If you must paint dark, save it for trim or on an accent wall. Painting one wall a contrasting color from the other three walls will make a tiny space appear larger to the eye. If your bathroom is taller than it is wide, painting the same color all the way up – ceiling too – will also make the space seem larger. Do avoid painting the entire bathroom white. Just because it is tiny, doesn’t mean that it has to be dull and boring. If you do go with one basic color, spruce it up with stenciling or accent colors.

Many people approach the “small stuff” rule with some confusion, wondering, how do I make the stuff in my bathroom smaller? We don’t often realize that toilets and sinks do come in different sizes. When shopping for a commode for a small bathroom, ask to see the compact models – the best toilets on the market today tend to shrink the amount of floor space taken up by the unit without compromising on comfort. The difference in size is miniscule enough to be unnoticeable when using the toilet, but large enough to save on room space. In a small bathroom, it is also a good idea to make use of a pedestal sink. Another option is a sink that hangs from the wall with no pedestal or base. There are many attractive options in the hanging style that will keep your home bathroom from resembling a barroom stall.

Finally, to keep your small bathroom from appearing cramped, don’t clutter it up with a lot of nonsense or decoration on the walls. One way to create the illusion of space is to hang a larger mirror, but that should be the biggest thing in the room – and – avoid a mirror with a large, ornate frame. Avoid large, clunky shelving systems on the walls and keep any accent pieces minimalistic in nature.