Colour your bathroom bigger

29 Nov 2018

Small bathrooms can be a tricky design challenge – and probably one of the most common. The good news is colour choice can make a big difference into how the size of your bathroom is perceived.

Go light

Resene colour consultant Carolyn Atkinson suggests paler tints of blue, aqua or some greens to give the illusion of space. Try Resene Remember Me, Resene Mystery and Resene Aura from the new Resene The Range fashion colours fandeck.

Carolyn’s other hot tip is to hang a large mirror over the vanity. Not only will this create the illusion of more space, it will bounce light around the room. Windows can do the same thing.

Go bold

Another way to create a stunning sense of space is to go with a burst of bold colour in one or two areas of the room, and keep everything else neutral to open the space out. The yellow and white bathroom featured here is the perfect example.

Designer Laura Lochhead of Pocketspace Interiors used striking hi-gloss Resene Turbo yellow on the custom-designed vanity so it becomes the immediate focus of the room.  The rest of the room is in Resene Black White for a bright, clean finish. Having a floating vanity, rather than one which sits on the floor, also breaks up the visual lines, creating an impression of extra space.

Go outside the square

A smaller space doesn’t automatically mean you can’t opt for darker colours. You might just need to think about blurring the boundaries of the space a little. This Resene Olive Green bathroom works as a negative space.

The rest of the house is painted in the pale neutral Resene Wan White and the bathroom doubles as a laundry with two entrance areas. Designer Kelly Read decided to make a feature of the bathrooms connections to other rooms, emphasising the overlap rather than hiding it. The result is much better flow through the whole house and a bathroom that no longer feels like a pokey after-thought.

“It was really just about creating a deep recessive space within a much larger volume. Resene Olive Green accompanied with the dark tiles and lowered ceiling is in complete contrast to the light open nature of the living spaces. Both the hallway and bedroom borrow spatial volume from the basin area, and vice versa. We pushed this overlapping notion further by designing the open basin area to have the look of a dresser or hallway table.”

Other small bathroom tips:

  • Think about tile size and orientation as they can impact how big the space feels
  • A high-gloss finish helps bounce light around the space.
  • Go for as much storage as you possibly can in the design. You can always reduce it later.
  • Think about how the bathroom connects to the rest of the house. Think about overlapping design and colours to make all spaces appear larger.
  • Use light to mid-toned colour on the floor.
  • Don’t forget the ceiling. It’s another place you could use bold colour, instead of the typical white.

Images by Juliet Nicholas and Bryce Carleton

Do you have a home full of wonderful Resene paint and colour? Send us some snaps by emailing editor Sharon Newey on [email protected].

bathroom, white bathroom, yellow bathroom, yellow vanity, bathroom inspiration, bathroom ideas

Hi-gloss Resene Turbo on the floating vanity gives a sunny burst of colours against Resene Black White walls which make this bathroom designed by Laura Lochhead of Pocketspace Interiors feel bright and airy.

bathroom, yellow bathroom, yellow vanity, bathroom inspiration, bathroom ideas, resene turbo

The Resene Turbo vanity is echoed in the bright yellow tiled recess above the bath.

bathroom, green bathroom, bathroom inspiration, bathroom ideas, black and green, resene olive green

Bold Resene Olive Green with charcoal accessories works with the flow of the rest of the house painted in Resene Wan White to create an overlapping space. The bathroom and house were designed by designer Kelly Read

bathroom, green bathroom, bathroom inspiration, bathroom ideas, black and green, resene olive green

A partition wall in Resene Olive Green helps divide up a multi-use small bathroom space. 

bathroom, bathroom inspiration, bathroom ideas, blue bathroom, blue and white, patterned tiles

Clever use of tiles, and attention to the size and orientation of tiles, can make a dramatic impact on how big a bathroom appears. Here the tile detail works to show off the high-impact wall in Resene Indian Ink, chosen by homeowner and stylist Emily Somerville-Ryan.

bathroom, bathroom inspiration, bathroom ideas, blue bathroom, blue and white, resene indian ink

The right mirror, with good lighting will give the illusion of more space, and bounce light around the room, making it possible to go with a darker wall colour such as Resene Indian Ink used here.

As seen in the latest habitat by resene magazine, at Resene ColorShops and resellers or view online

register h icon  look book

Create your own mood boards of your favourite colours, photographs and information from habitat by resene.

Login or Register to get started!

×
Square square colour information icon
Square square colour information icon

Resene Black White

register h icon  look book

Create your own mood boards of your favourite colours, photographs and information from habitat by resene.

Login or Register to get started!

×
Square square colour information icon
Square square colour information icon

Resene Indian Ink

register h icon  look book

Create your own mood boards of your favourite colours, photographs and information from habitat by resene.

Login or Register to get started!

×

register h icon  look book

Create your own mood boards of your favourite colours, photographs and information from habitat by resene.

Login or Register to get started!

×
Square square colour information icon
Square square colour information icon

Resene Olive Green

register h icon  look book

Create your own mood boards of your favourite colours, photographs and information from habitat by resene.

Login or Register to get started!

×
Square square colour information icon
Square square colour information icon

Resene Remember Me

register h icon  look book

Create your own mood boards of your favourite colours, photographs and information from habitat by resene.

Login or Register to get started!

×

register h icon  look book

Create your own mood boards of your favourite colours, photographs and information from habitat by resene.

Login or Register to get started!

×
Square square colour information icon
Square square colour information icon

Resene Wan White

register h icon  look book

Create your own mood boards of your favourite colours, photographs and information from habitat by resene.

Login or Register to get started!

×

the look

If you're stuck on what
colour to use or need colour
advice, try out the Resene
Ask a Colour Expert service.

register h icon  look book

Create your own mood boards of your favourite colours, photographs and information from habitat by resene.

Login or Register to get started!

×
Square square colour information icon
Square square colour information icon

Resene Black White

register h icon  look book

Create your own mood boards of your favourite colours, photographs and information from habitat by resene.

Login or Register to get started!

×
Square square colour information icon
Square square colour information icon

Resene Indian Ink

register h icon  look book

Create your own mood boards of your favourite colours, photographs and information from habitat by resene.

Login or Register to get started!

×

register h icon  look book

Create your own mood boards of your favourite colours, photographs and information from habitat by resene.

Login or Register to get started!

×
Square square colour information icon
Square square colour information icon

Resene Olive Green

register h icon  look book

Create your own mood boards of your favourite colours, photographs and information from habitat by resene.

Login or Register to get started!

×
Square square colour information icon
Square square colour information icon

Resene Remember Me

register h icon  look book

Create your own mood boards of your favourite colours, photographs and information from habitat by resene.

Login or Register to get started!

×

register h icon  look book

Create your own mood boards of your favourite colours, photographs and information from habitat by resene.

Login or Register to get started!

×
Square square colour information icon
Square square colour information icon

Resene Wan White

register h icon  look book

Create your own mood boards of your favourite colours, photographs and information from habitat by resene.

Login or Register to get started!

×

the look

If you're stuck on what
colour to use or need colour
advice, try out the Resene
Ask a Colour Expert service.