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Small bathroom remodeling tips

Learn how to make the most of tiny bathrooms with these simple design ideas.

The small hallway bathroom, a common feature of many homes, is an interior design nightmare for many homeowners. With a bathtub/shower, toilet and vanity crammed into such a tiny space, it can be difficult to make these small bathrooms look nice, and the tight space doesn’t offer many layout options.

Small bathrooms can also be stuffy and dark, often because they lack a window to bring in natural light or fresh air from the outside.

Laura Tusken, the creative force behind Inspiration for Moms, recently faced this challenge. While her husband liked their hallway bathroom’s dark, cave-like ambiance, she wanted to remodel it to open, airy and visually inviting. After all, it’s the first room you see as you walk upstairs.

Check out Tusken’s bathroom before it was remodeled.

Tusken focused her design on a few upgrades that would completely transform the bathroom. She also paid close attention to the small design details that can create joyful moments years after the makeover is completed. If you have a small bathroom that you’re struggling with, use these five tips for planning its makeover.

Give it height with a skylight

Tusken wanted to open up her hallway bathroom without reconfiguring any walls. She found a simple design solution: add a skylight. By opening up the ceiling with a VELUX No Leak Solar Powered “Fresh Air” Skylight, she gave the room height by flooding it with natural light and fresh air.

When the skylight is open, humid air can escape, keeping the bathroom fresh and clean. And because the bathroom is at the top of the home’s stairwell, Tusken uses it for whole-home airing. She installed the VELUX ACTIVE with NETATMO skylight automation system, which opens the skylight when fresh air is needed based on input from an online weather station and indoor climate sensors.

And her husband can still enjoy his favorite cave bathroom, because the skylight has room darkening blinds. With the blinds and skylight closed, the bathroom can fill with steam during showers. And afterward Tusken can open both to quickly refresh the space.

Below, see how dark the bathroom is with the skylight blinds closed.

Give it depth with dark tile flooring

The bathroom has large, black, hexagonal floor tiles with white grout, sort of a yin to the ceiling’s bright yang. Tusken wanted a larger, deeper color tile on the floor to provide depth, and having an abundant amount of sunlight allowed her to achieve this look.

Marble subway tile on the shower walls provide a soft transition to the ceiling. An even smaller herringbone tile pattern in the shower niche breaks up the back wall, while also providing a place for soaps and shampoos.

Choose a simple color palette

Tusken’s black and white color scheme creates a simple, modern look. She softens it with a natural wood vanity and brass electrical outlet covers and floor vent plates.

Soften the design with plants

Before the renovation, no plant could live in the bathroom given the total lack of sunlight. With plenty of natural light streaming in through the skylight all day, she was excited to add some greenery to soften the modern décor.

She hung three triangular wall vases above the toilet, and their geometric design speaks to the octagonal floor tile.

Add a surprise element with wallpaper

From the upstairs landing the bathroom appears spare and modern, but step inside and close the door for a fun, floral surprise. Tusken wallpapered the back of the door and surrounding wall with a black-and-white, oversized rose print. An unexpected accent wall? Now that’s using the small space wisely!

Inspired by this small space renovation? Sign up for a free virtual design consultation with a VELUX daylight designer to find out how natural light from above can transform your next home improvement to-do into a ta-da worth celebrating!

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