10 Ways to Make a Small Bathroom Look Bigger

Can’t knock down walls? No problem! Work a little design magic to make even the tiniest bathroom feel spacious.

Small bathroom spaces aren’t found just in apartments and condos — they’re in our guest bathrooms and powder rooms, too. Since no one likes feeling crowded, here are a few tips for making any small bathroom seem bigger — no wall demolition required.

Brighten the room

Bring in as much light as possible. Light, bright rooms always feel more spacious than dark and drab ones.

  • Wall color. Paint the walls and ceiling the same light color to make the bathroom feel double its size. Anytime an area of the room is a different color, it chops the room into different compartments, making it seem smaller.
  • Windows. If you have a window, use sheer window coverings to maximize the natural light.
  • Lighting. Install additional flush-mount wall or ceiling light fixtures to increase the light in the room.

Add mirrors

Install larger — and more — mirrors than you typically would in a bathroom. The reflected light will open your small space into one that feels more spacious.

Photo from Zillow listing.

Install a sliding door

Swinging doors can take up almost half the room, depending on how small the space is. A sliding barn door or a wall-pocket door won’t encroach on your bathroom’s already limited real estate.

Photo from Zillow listing.

Think pedestal sink

The added bulk of a full vanity takes up valuable space, so try a pedestal sink instead. You may not have a place for soaps or towels on the vanity, but there are plenty of wall-mounted solutions perfect for bathroom accessories.

Photo from Zillow listing.

Streamline storage

Keep all storage as flush with the walls as possible, because anything that sticks out will chop up the space and close it in. Install recessed shelving and medicine cabinets instead.

Choose light-colored flooring

Even if your walls and ceiling are light and bright, a dark floor will negate their effect and close the space in. Keep the flooring light to create a space with a bright and open flow.

Photo from Zillow listing.

Eliminate clutter

Nothing crowds a space faster than clutter. A good rule of thumb: If you don’t need it there, store it elsewhere. Pare what you keep in the bathroom down to the bare necessities.

Hide the bathmat

Having a bathmat on the floor all the time can make your bathroom feel smaller. Put your bathmats away when you’re not using them to expose the flooring and make the space appear larger.

Raise the shower curtain bar

Raising your shower curtain bar all the way to the ceiling draws your eyes up and makes the ceiling seem taller, creating the illusion of a larger space.

Photo from Zillow listing.

The same goes for any window treatments. Raising sheer curtain panels to the ceiling also creates the illusion of a larger window, making the small bathroom seem larger.

Go frameless, clear, and cohesive in the shower

Clear glass shower doors make the room appear larger, while frosted glass breaks up the space and makes it seem smaller than it already is. The same goes for a frame around the glass. A frame can make the area seem choppy rather than smooth and open.

Additionally, install the same shower tile from floor to ceiling. The seamless look from top to bottom adds cohesion and openness.

Just a few changes to your small bathroom can make dramatic differences in how open it feels. Once you’ve tried these tips and tricks in the bathroom, apply them throughout your home! It’s all about creating the illusion of space.

Posted by Christina El Moussa on Zillow

 

Advertisements

3 Design Tricks That Will Make Your Small Space Feel Big

With tiny homes and personal decluttering trends taking the world by storm, many people are learning to do more with less.

Do you have a small space in your home that you’re unsure what to do with? Or is your cramped apartment forcing you to be creative in your living arrangements? You’re not alone.

Make your small room or living area fit your needs with clever solutions that will streamline your life and maximize your space.

Paint can work wonders

Choosing the right paint color for your small room can instantly give the impression of more space or emphasize its cozy feel. Traditional neutrals like white, cream and light gray are great choices because they provide a clean and streamlined look, while making the room feel brighter and more expansive.

Painting the ceiling white to draw the eye upward is an easy way to create visual openness overhead. You’ll have an airy and inviting space in no time.

Courtesy of Orlando Soria.

On the other hand, if you want to play up the small space vibe even more, go bold with dark colors. It’s a fun and unique design choice to emphasize the smallness of a room by making a cozy den-like atmosphere with colors like black, dark gray and navy.

Courtesy of Allison Lind.

Whether you decide to go light or dark, adding paint to your small space will help you get the effect you are going for in a quick and budget-friendly way.

Savvy storage

With tight spaces, there isn’t always room for all the storage needed for belongings, clothing, office supplies and more. By incorporating creative and flexible storage solutions, you can easily keep clutter out of sight, while still keeping everything you need handy.

For example, the kitchen is a great place to implement clever storage. Roll-away islands and pantries create an adjustable cooking area to fit your needs.

Courtesy of Sandra Bird.

Add storage by using the space beneath your cabinets for hanging spices or wine glasses, and attaching holders to the backs of cabinet doors to keep foil and cleaning supplies neatly out of sight.

Don’t forget about uncommon spaces like ceilings for hanging items like bicycles out of the way, or adding shelving high up in closets for rarely used items.

Multi-tasking furniture

When you have limited floor space, it’s important to make your furniture work double duty. Choose pieces that have hidden storage and multiple functions, or can be compacted and stored when not in use.

Photo from Zillow listing.

If you can’t fit a dresser in your bedroom, try using drawers or crates under the bed for clothing and extra linens. A pouf or leather ottoman can easily transition from a seat to a footrest or side table.

Add function to your entryway by employing a bench with storage inside to hide extra shoes, gloves, and scarves. And if you have wall space to spare, hang a fold-down dining table.

Photo from Zillow listing.

Using modular pieces that can serve different purposes or fold out of the way frees up room to make your space comfortable and livable for you and your guests.

Limited square footage doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice function and style. Small space living is a great way to lead a simplified and streamlined life. With creative thinking, you can go from a cluttered, cramped mess to an organized and inviting space with room for all.

Posted by Erica Sooter on Zillow

Nooks and Niches: Here’s How to Optimize Those Quirky Spaces

If you’ve got one, you probably know the head scratching question, “what in the world do I do with this space?” You’re not alone. Nooks, niches and alcoves are tricky areas to decorate, but there are great pros to having them. They add charm to your home while serving functional purposes when innovatively used. So let’s get down to business! Here are eight ways you can utilize those odd corners in your house.

Reading Nook

JWT Associates

It’s the classic reading nook, and, if you have the space for one, it’s definitely worth considering. They’re perfect for anyone that enjoys curling up with a good book or, if you’re like me, your laptop and Netflix (no shame.) All you need is a custom-sized cushion, a few pillows, lighting, and you’re ready to go.

Bar Nook

Laura Hull

Laura Hull

Here’s one for all you mixologists: Transform your empty nook into a bar station. You can go the bar cart route or add a thin sideboard for more storage. You’ll have a well-stocked bar complete with blenders, cocktail mixers, bottle openers and all your bar essentials.

Office Nook

If you don’t have the space to dedicate to an entire home office, a corner nook can be your best friend. Install a shelf and you’ll have a space-friendly work station. For some extra charm, add a pop of color by painting the back wall and a couple decorative shelves.

Multi-Purpose Nook

Meggan Haller/Getty Images

Meggan Haller/Getty Images

What I love about this hideaway nook is it serves more than one purpose. It has desk space and a small lounge area for entertainment. By hanging curtains, you can easily close the nook off for a cleaner look. You can also add shelves and drawers for extra storage.

Dresser Nook

Wendy Labrum

Wendy Labrum

Dressers were made for nooks. They fit so perfectly in those tight spaces and provide additional storage for the things that don’t quite have a specific home. By adding wall art, lamps, clocks and photos, you can add some character to your nook.

Makeup Nook

Tim Lee

Tim Lee

Think of all the possibilities there are with a makeup nook. With one desk, stool and mirror you have your own makeup vanity. Add some drawers and you’ll have additional storage for your favorite beauty products. (You’ll catch me at the makeup counter weekly, if I ever get one of these for myself.)

Attic Nook

Jason Kisner

Jason Kisner

Aside from storing holiday decorations, attics make great getaway spaces for both kids and adults. Transform your attic into an extra room for whatever you need: office, hangout area, bedroom or all three combined! For those nooks and crannies, add a floor bed with lots of throw pillows. It’s low to the ground, so the angular ceilings feel taller, and it gives you extra space for entertaining.

Seating Nook

Georgette Westerman

Georgette Westerman

All it takes to transform an awkward corner into a conversation area is a set of chairs and a tiny table. Your guests will feel cozy, and you’ll feel happy that you filled that odd space.

Posted by Kayla Suazo on hgtv.com

 

7 Clutter Problem Areas And How To Tame Them

Bins with lids, cabinets that are oddly-shaped, and beneath the bed are some of the best places to hide items and clear your clutter.

Little apartments tend to come with big responsibility. Here’s how to maintain a clutter-free home without purging all your stuff.

So you’ve found The One: a space to call your own. It’s got a great location (you actually landed a Mission-area apartment in San Francisco, CA!), the rent fits your monthly budget, and it even has a little architectural charm. The only downside? Its size. And while you knew things would be tight, there’s still a moment of surprise when you realize that an amount of clutter that wouldn’t make an impact in a larger place makes your apartment look as though it should be on Hoarders.

Short of doing a major purge, you can focus on smaller, easier-to-manage problem areas. “Apartments, or small-space homes, tend to have two main areas that get easily cluttered: the entryway, and the kitchen counter or table,” says Clea Shearer, co-founder of the stylish organizing service The Home Edit.

Here are a few expert solutions to tame those areas — and others — that collect the most clutter in your small space.

1. Empty the sink

If you let dirty dishes take over the sink (or, perhaps, have temporarily hidden them in an unused oven when guests drop by), you know how to solve this clutter area: Wash them. Divide the task into two parts to make it seem like less of a time commitment: Once you rinse dishes, stack them on a drying rack — just be sure to tackle the rest of the chore later. “Dirty dishes should never pile up,” Shearer says. “But once they are clean, they can go right onto a drying rack if you don’t have time to put them away immediately.”

2. Rethink recycling bins

If you have an open bin for recycling, you’re going about it wrong — all it takes is an empty milk jug (even flattened) and a few catalogs to create an overflow. The better alternative is a receptacle with a lid (like this IKEA Sortera recycling bin). You can also stack another bin on top, to further sort paper from plastic, doubling your bin space in the same amount of floor space. Thinking vertical also comes in handy for cleaning supplies, which can be sorted in stacking bins (like in the above image from The Home Edit) or in rolling drawers.

3. Manage mail

The answer to stressful heaps of old bills and junk mail: Know thyself. “If you walk into your apartment and always set the mail down in the same spot, put a basket down to keep everything contained and neat,” Shearer says. You could even use a slim magazine file to separate must-read mail from the inevitable catalogs if you’re the type to lose things in a pile.

4. Relocate laundry supplies

If you’re living without a laundry room, detergent and dryer sheets can end up anywhere — sometimes out in the open or cluttering up spaces that don’t make sense, like your pantry. Look to odd-sized cabinets instead. “Use that brilliant little cabinet in the kitchen, there’s almost always one, that’s oddly positioned and wouldn’t be used for china or dishes,” says Nicole Krinick, a real estate agent with Douglas Elliman in New York, NY. “This is always a go-to, or under the sink in the bathroom if there are cabinets there.” If you just laughed at the idea of cabinets, you might have to store supplies in the open. But you can make detergent pods a little prettier by stowing them in a nice jar, decanting liquid detergent into bottles (just make sure to label!), or throwing everything into a stylish bin like in the above example from The Home Edit.

5. Stop shoe piles

Corners of any room can collect shoes, and when tossed absent-mindedly on the floor, shoes are at best hard to find and at worst, a tripping hazard. Organizing expert Felice Cohen (you might remember her from the viral video on living in a 90-square-foot apartment) stresses first cutting down on how many pairs you own, then solving the issue at hand. “Once you’ve culled down a little, under the bed is a good place for shoes,” she says. “Or a multifunctional bench with shoe storage in the entrance. I like shoe cubby storage that has slots for several shoes. You can also fit one on the bottom of a closet, where the space is usually wasted.”

6. Get creative with sports gear

Sports gear often is tossed just about anywhere. To better organize it, hide it in plain sight. “Yoga mats, rolled up, fit nicely in an umbrella stand outside my door. They also fit nicely into shoe cubbies, or you can roll them up and place behind an angled piece of furniture,” Cohen says. “For bikes, I have found they take up the least amount of room hung up by the top wheel on a hook. They’re easy to install and can fit up high.”

7. Give your closet a breather

Small spaces often come with small closets and small spaces for dressers, which is why it’s important to prioritize what you need and store things based on use. When it comes to next season’s clothes, a somewhat-inaccessible location is totally fine. “High, hard-to-reach cabinets or under the bed are great for storing things you use less often, like decorations or off-season clothing,” Cohen says. Subdividing smaller items, like ornaments, into smaller bins minimizes headaches when it comes time to use them.

Bonus tip: Declutter in phases

Of course, even the cleverest solutions won’t help if you’re still holding on to things like your high-school T-shirt collection. If this sounds like you, it’s time for a purge. “That can be easier said than done, which is why I encourage clients to break the clutter down into manageable, bite-sized tasks,” Cohen says. “Can you get rid of five things a day? Or put away just five things a day? Now imagine if you did that every night. Soon, most would be put away.”

Posted by Brie Dyas on Trulia

Save Money, Get Healthy: How To Grow Your Own Food In An Apartment

Grow a salad without a yard? Challenge accepted.

Follow these tips to grow your own food in no time, with or without outdoor space.

Growing your own food is appealing for many reasons: You know exactly where it came from, you can control your chemical use, and it’s a cheap source of healthy food. But without an expanse of land, gardening can seem impossible. But it’s easier than you might think to grow produce in an apartment setting, even if all you have to work with is a windowsill on the 20th floor of your New York, NY, apartment building. The first step is to figure out your Plant Hardiness Zone, which determines what plants “will be most successful based on where you live,” says Jenny Prince, brand manager at American Meadows, a gardening retail site. Then read on for tips on how to pick the right types of plants and get them to grow. Happy harvesting!

Consider an herb garden

Chives, oregano, parsley, lemongrass, and basil are easy to grow indoors. Try to keep them near a window and use a breathable pot, such as one made of terra cotta, with drainage holes — the bigger and deeper the pot the better, says Rebecca Lee, founder of RemediesForMe.com, a resource on holistic healing. And don’t overwater them! “Herbs only need to be watered once a week,” says Lee. “Make sure the soil is completely dry, bring the plant to the sink, and run the water until the soil is completely wet. Let the water drain, repeat, and then bring the pot back to its saucer to let it completely drain.” If you’re just starting out, skip the seeds and buy baby plants, or seedlings, from a nursery. Just be sure they’ve been raised indoors because you don’t want to drastically change their environment.

Get your greens on

Lettuce, spinach, arugula, and chard tolerate low-light conditions, so they’re easy to grow indoors or on a shady balcony garden, says Prince. Greens also grow well in window boxes because of their shallow roots, which is ideal for apartment dwellers.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match plant types

“Thrillers, spillers, and fillers is a common design technique for container gardening,” says Prince. Container gardening is the idea of planting a variety of plants in one large pot — or container. “The idea is to choose plants that behave really differently but complement each other visually.” For example, you could plant eggplant or mini bell peppers (thrillers because of their dramatic texture and color) with romaine lettuce, spinach, chives, or oregano (fillers because they are bushier, medium-height plants) and finish the pot with cascading cherry tomatoes or sweet potato vines (you guessed it; these are spillers because they fall over the sides of the container).

DIY an ideal growing environment

Too much sun on your balcony or roof? Use an awning to create shade or place sun-loving plants like tomatoes in front of or next to shade lovers to block the light. Too little sun? Paint a pallet white and lean it against the wall to redirect what little sunlight you do get. For hot, dry climates, Prince says to make sure your pots are resting in drip trays that you keep filled with water, or invest in self-watering planters.

Be choosy about where you buy your plants

You’re selective about the produce you buy, so employ the same caution when buying seedlings, advises Prince. “Try to buy from a nursery rather than a big box store,” she says. “Often the plants you buy at big box stores aren’t well cared for. (Think pesticides and synthetic plant food.)”

Eat what you grow

Once your garden is producing veggies, fruits, and herbs, reap what you sow. This is especially true for herbs, because the more you pick them, the more they’ll grow. One tip? A pair of herb scissors can make harvesting a cinch. “When harvesting, avoid tugging at the leaves,” says Lee. “This can strain the entire plant and dislodge its roots.”

Posted by Michelle Hainer on Trulia

5 Tricks for Sneaking Storage into Small Spaces

If you’ve ever wished you just had one more empty shelf or drawer, these tips are for you.

Whether they live in large or small homes, most people wish they could find a little “extra space.” This is especially true of those whose closets, cabinets or rooms are on the small side.

One way to create more space is to practice the new trend called minimalism, which involves a clear and decisive focus on keeping what we most value and eliminating anything that distracts us.

To live like a minimalist demands rigorous review of our purchases, as well as what we create, receive and keep. Because we live in a world of “Free, free, free!” and “Buy, buy, buy!” it is very difficult to avoid collecting more things in our homes.

Some segments of our population have turned to a new kind of “forced” minimalism — living in what are known as tiny homes. Popular television shows on multiple networks cover this new lifestyle where, in some cases, folks are moving into spaces no larger than 300 square feet.

What if you’re not moving into a tiny home anytime soon and you don’t think the minimalist lifestyle is a fit for you, but still want to make the most of your small closets and storage spaces? Try using these small space organization tips to make the most of what you have.

Think vertical

For all the spaces in your home, think vertical. Tall bookcases and shelving can be the answer to your organizing dreams.

Use this prime real estate to store anything from cleansers to neatly folded clothes, knitting projects, or organized craft bins. You can double your available storage space by going up.

Go behind-the-door

It may not be the trendiest design option, but if you’re pinched for space, install behind-the-door storage with pockets or hooks to hold just about any small items you can think of, from fashion accessories to hair dryers, dog leashes, cosmetics, cleaning supplies and more.

Put it on wheels

Small homes and apartments often provide us with unique storage spaces, like closets located underneath a set of stairs.

Whether you have a normal closet or a unique storage space, using a wheeled moving dolly or storage bins with wheels allows you to store items and access them with ease.

Rather than climbing into a poorly lit closet under the stairs, where you can’t even stand up or move freely, you can create a convenient experience by opening the closet or cabinet door and sliding out the rolling storage piece to greet you — at your height, with room to move and view your belongings in plenty of light.

Adopt the dorm room approach

Shower Tote, The Container Store, $10

Bathrooms can be the most difficult space when you have no storage, but one super idea is to implement the use of a shower caddy.

Remember the days when you went to college or camp? You usually had a toilet kit or small shower caddy to carry your toiletries to and from the bathroom. Why not try this at home?

If multiple people use the same bathroom and there’s not a lot of counter space or storage, have everyone take out what they bring in. It allows each person to keep track of their favorite toiletries, and the bathroom stays more organized.

Keep it simple

Finally, you will create more space in your home by simplifying your life. Start by making a quick list of what you value most in life. I call this “organizing by your values.”

When you set priorities in your own life, your home and belongings will reflect your choices, allowing you to eliminate the less important or less valued items.

As part of this exercise, you may want to evaluate how you spend your time. Take a look at your commitments, from work to kids’ activities, volunteer projects, and friends who need favors.

Evaluating your priorities and possibly eliminating commitments which no longer make you happy may just give you the extra time you need to review and organize the items in your home.

Those small spaces may not be so small after all. They may just need a little focused attention from you to create the optimal space you need.

Posted by DorothyTheOrganizer on Zillow