Real Estate Advisor: December 2010

Making the Most Out of Small Bathrooms

It doesn't take a full remodel or removing walls to open up space in an otherwise small bathroom. Below are some cost-effective methods for making tiny bathrooms feel less closed in.

Pedestal Sinks

Pedestal sinks are not only stylish - they also eliminate the boxy, space-eating traditional vanities that can close off small bathrooms. Switching from a traditional vanity to a pedestal sink will reduce some storage space in the room, so you may want to install small shelving above the sink or additional towel racks/hooks in the room.

Minimalist Storage

When space is at a premium, you may not have room for a large storage unit or vanity. Keep only what you absolutely need in the bathroom, ideally in a slim vertical storage unit or on built-in shelving. Store non-essentials like extra towels, bathroom cleaning products and other supplies in the nearest closet.

Light Colors

Larger bathrooms allow you some design freedom to play around with darker colored wall and trim paint, accessories, and major fixtures. In small bathrooms, those dramatic touches can actually make things seem more cramped. Stick with classic white tubs, sinks and toilets and brighter splashes of color on shower curtains, rugs and towels to lighten up the space you have.

Simplify Fixtures

Ornate fixtures can be appealing, but many are bulkier than their simpler counterparts. When space is at a premium, you may opt for sleeker, slimmer fixtures throughout the room.

Pocket Doors

The door swing of traditional hinged doors can make small rooms feel even more cramped. Sliding pocket doors can open up additional space without drastically changing the room itself.


Small spaces without proper lighting will have a drastically more claustrophobic atmosphere. Try combining wall fixtures with overhead lights to improve the aesthetic while providing illumination for applying makeup or shaving. For bathrooms on exterior walls, consider adding a window to let in natural light.

Top Winter Selling Tips

  • Keep it Cozy: You may be energy conscious during most winter days, but when potential buyers are on the way, you will want to turn the thermostat up a few degrees in advance. You want your home to be comfortable for a wide range of visitors.
  • Time the Light: Having indoor and outdoor lights on timers is not only smart from a security standpoint, but it can also make your home look warm and inviting to buyers passing by when you're not at home. Make sure there is enough outdoor lighting to properly show off your home during the darker winter months.
  • Wash all windows: You're already battling a lack of natural light, so make sure your home takes full advantage of what light there is! Thoroughly clean windows both inside and out to ensure that as much natural light as possible can stream in.
  • Decor: While you may want to avoid heavy use of holiday-specific decorations, you can still decorate to the season to add a festive atmosphere to your home. Utilize the rich reds and blues popular in winter, and consider hanging basic winter wreaths or adding winter centerpieces to tables and countertops.