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Small bathroom, big ideas
Add the appearance of space, unconventional storage to your petite powder room



Dark, earthy colors and dramatic lighting can add character to any small bath.

A small bathroom presents many challenges. But with just the right design and decorating ideas, you can make changes that create the illusion of more space and the luxury of more storage ó without knocking down a wall or breaking the bank.

Go Monotone

"Use light colors on the walls, countertops and the flooring. Shades of beige, silver gray, pale blue or ivory will make the room appear more spacious because the color flows from floor to ceiling," says Sandra Bernacchi, designer with Colleen Horner Design Studio in Milwaukee and Pewaukee. "You can still use a small amount of accent color if you like."

Youíre So Vain

Instead of using a traditional vanity, consider a pedestal sink or a sink that fits against the wall on two legs, Bernacchi says. "More of the floor is exposed, giving a wide-open effect. Some of the new vanities are up off the floor on legs but they also have some drawers," she says.

Store More

"You can add storage by taking cabinetry up to the ceiling. Consider adding shelves that are only 12 inches deep instead of 24. One more fold in a towel allows you to use narrower shelves," says Cheri Ware, owner of Ware Design in Delafield.

By taking the door off a linen closet and adding some glass shelves, you can increase storage, Bernacchi suggests. "Reducing clutter by storing extra items is another way to make a room appear larger. Anything that makes your eyes move continuously around the room gives the appearance of space," she says.

Add Some Drama

Traditional glamour is back in style, even in a small bathroom. "Many of us consider a bathroom a non-live-in room, so we donít pay a lot of attention to its character. But a small bathroom can be dramatic despite its size," says Ware. "Break the rules by using some darker colors, oversized mirrors and dramatic lighting. The mirrors can give the illusion of a much deeper space," she says. m