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Small Bathroom? Big Ideas! Maximizing Space in Your Palo Alto Bathroom Remodel

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Roey & Gil
Roey & Gil

Meet your one-phone-call-away remodeling team - Clever Design & Remodeling. We will deliver 110% customer satisfaction with every project we remodel.

Living in an urban area, you know that square footage is definitely at a premium, especially in your small bathroom.

Renovating a small bathroom presents several unique home design challenges, and making the wrong choice can be detrimental not only to the space but also to your home’s resale value.

Working inside a minimal space means you need to break some of the traditional design rules, but don’t worry; it will all be worth it when you enjoy the amenities in your beautiful new luxury Palo Alto bathroom!

Ready to perform a little renovation magic and make your small space feel like a five-star luxury bathroom?

Here are a handful of very simple tips and tricks straight from the bathroom remodeling experts at Clever Design & Remodeling that are guaranteed to make your cramped bathroom look and feel much bigger:

bathroom makeover before
So your modest bathroom is in need of a makeover. Where to begin? Allow us to guide you!

Ramping Up Your Small Bathroom Bathroom Renovation: Professional Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Square Footage

Your bathroom isn’t tiny – It’s downright claustrophobic.

Demolishing the bathroom and starting from scratch is outside the budget.

Your only option is to utilize quality materials, help from home remodeling experts, and some sleight of hand to make your small bathroom look much bigger.

Trick the Eye to Instantly Create the Illusion of a Larger Space

Here’s some information from professional bathroom remodelers on how to renovate a bathroom successfully.

You don’t need additional floor space or square footage; you just need to fool the eye into thinking the bathroom is more extensive.

The best way to accomplish this is through the wall colors, tile, and finishes.

For example, contrasting finishes, such as a mixture of matte and glossy, can add visual interest to the room that will detract from its diminutive size.

light colors finish bathroom
Painting your bathroom in light, semi-gloss tones will create the illusion of space and catch more natural light during the day!

light colorChoose Light Paint Colors

The colors on your bathroom walls will make or break the room, so choose your shade wisely.

Painting the walls a light shade of gray, green, or blue is a classic choice that will brighten up the room.

Want a perfect blank slate for your decorative finishing touches?

Your contractor will often recommend white or gray.

Whatever color you choose, opt for a semi-gloss finish.

This finish not only reflects light, but semi-gloss can withstand the constant humidity and temperature changes that naturally occur in your Bay Area bathroom.

Additionally, because semi-gloss and glossy paints are less porous, they do not provide as ideal of a breeding ground for mold as flat or exterior paint.

ceramic tileLarger Tiles make the Room Look Bigger

Ceramic, porcelain, or elegant natural stone tile is the standard in many bathrooms.

Did you know that continuing the tile on the walls into the shower creates a more cohesive, seamless finished appearance, tricking the eye into thinking the room is bigger?!

Larger tiles can have a similar impact due to the lack of grout lines and because they make the space seem less busy and crowded.

When in doubt, choose large or extra-large tiles at least 12×24 to make the most impact.

hanging bathroom fixtures
Hanging fixtures – storage, sink, even the toilet bowl – will give your small bathroom more legroom!

Make the Most of Your Bathroom’s Vertical Space

You’re considering an ADU bathroom remodel, but floor space is at a premium – What are your options?

Instead of cluttering the floor with a massive vanity and standing shelving, utilize the bathroom’s vertical space to prevent overcrowding, making the room feel small.

open shelvingOpen Shelving Makes the Space Feel Larger and Provides Much-Needed Storage

Shelving is a must in your busy, bustling bathroom – but a large, clunky medicine chest or wall-mounted cabinet will take up even more elbow room.

Open shelves provide the perfect mixture of extra storage and floor space!

You’ve decided that open shelves are the solution to your storage needs but are worried about the clutter.

Luckily, several decorative options exist to hide your stuff from nosy neighbors and family members!

Store towels, extra toilet paper, makeup, and cleaning products in small baskets to keep everything organized.

bathroom mirrorReplace Your Outdated Medicine Cabinet with a Large Mirror

One of the oldest tricks in the design book is adding a mirror to the wall, whether it is the wall in a tiny bathroom or a wall in a seriously massive master bedroom or kitchen.

The mirror reflects light, creating the illusion the room is much larger.

From a design standpoint, medicine cabinets are outdated relics, and any modern bathroom deserves to be updated with a sleek, stylish mirror.

If you can squeeze two small vanities into the space, opt for one large mirror to prevent disrupting the room’s flow.

bathroom vanity
What kind of vanity will you choose for your small bathroom?

Think Outside the Box When Choosing Your Bathroom’s Vanity

The bathroom vanity is always a focal point in the space, and almost any design firm will tell you to start the remodeling process by choosing a vanity.

The vanity provides more than counter space; it adds some texture and flair to the room – But did you know the wrong vanity can ruin the room’s flow while wasting valuable floor space?

Throw all the conventional design rules out the window, and instead, think outside the interior decorating box when choosing a vanity for your Santa Clara bath.

floating bathroom sinkA Floating Vanity is a Hot Trend That Won’t Take Up Precious Floor Space

A floating vanity provides the same extra storage and counter space as a traditional, freestanding vanity, but with a twist: The vanity is attached directly to the wall.

Use caution when purchasing this type of vanity to ensure it has the ideal dimensions for the space!

Have a small ADU bathroom, and you don’t want to spend your construction dollars on a vanity and extra storage? A floating-style model is a perfect compromise.

Pedestal Sinks are Perfect for Small Bathroom Remodels

Your half-bathroom, water closet, or guest bath brings a new meaning to the word “small.” There is absolutely no way even a tiny vanity could fit inside.

The best solution is a pedestal sink.

In addition to taking up minimal space, pedestal sinks are inexpensive, versatile, customizable, and easy to clean.

If you are a budding small business entrepreneur hiring local contractors to build an accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, on your property, a pedestal sink in each bathroom is an ideal cost-saving option.

glass shower doors
Glass shower doors will also catch the light and create the image of a larger bathroom

Glass Shower Doors Save Space and Make the Room Feel Bigger

Nothing transforms a bathroom from drab to high-end faster than a new shower or freestanding tub.

You love the idea of a massive whirlpool and a separate shower, but your small bathroom simply won’t accommodate both, so where do you compromise?

Instead of arguing this if/or/and scenario with your contractor or spouse, there is another option: Ditch the shower curtain in favor of glass shower doors.

These doors don’t interrupt the bathroom flow, and if you pair the doors with large tiles, you can transform your bathroom for a small investment.

bathtub and showerAre You Ready to Ditch Your Bathtub?

Nothing compares to spending a few quiet moments alone with your thoughts in a warm bubble bath, but is it worth making your bathroom seem smaller than it actually is?

Many homeowners are ditching their bathtubs in favor of a standing shower.

A standing shower, instead of a bathtub/shower, is one of the most cost-effective ADU bathroom ideas recommended by the pros!

small corner shower unit
A corner shower unit will get you cleaned just as easily as a large bathtub and at only a fraction of the floor space!
Save Even More Space with a Corner Shower

Even a small shower can take up 36 square inches of space, which is a massive compromise in a small bathroom.

Many San Francisco Bay Area homeowners and ADU contractors opt for corner showers, making the most of this underutilized space.

At a minimum, you will require at least two feet of clearance, so keep this in mind when determining the ideal spot for your corner shower.

Ample Lighting Makes All the Difference In Your Palo Alto, CA, Bathroom

You’ve invested in beautiful new flooring, have consulted all your favorite house remodeling magazines, and purchased the perfect vanity for your small bathroom.

However, unless you pay close attention to the lighting in your small bath or other small spaces throughout your home, all the design choices and expenses won’t matter.

Proper lighting is also a safety issue and is especially important if you have small children or people with mobility issues living inside your home.

bathroom lightingAdd Depth and Dimension With the Right Light Fixtures

Proper lighting is about layers; at minimum, you should install task lighting above the vanity and an overhead light.

However, adding ambient lighting can help highlight the room’s architectural features, making the space feel larger and ensuring you have enough light to remain safe.

The right light fixtures can also add a layer of decorative interest and allow you to introduce some darker tones into the space.

Mix white walls and tiles with black fixtures and faucets to create an eye-catching high contrast.

lighting in bathroom
Skylights and strategically placed mirrors will capture more natural light than you thought your bathroom ever could!
Utilize Natural Light to Create an Airy Space

If a small window is the only source of natural light, it is time to consider adding a second window or upgrading to a larger pane of glass to illuminate the space.

Install minimal window treatments, or if possible, avoid blinds or shades, as these can disrupt the room’s flow and block your only source of sunlight.

Talk to your design team about installing a skylight!

bathroom paint colors
Take your time deciding the right colors for your bathroom walls

Tips From the Pros: Avoid These Three Common Small Bathroom Renovation Mistakes

Mistakes happen, but the blunder can be even more apparent when a mishap occurs in an already small bathroom.

As you work with your talented bathroom remodeling services in the Bay Area, make sure to avoid these three common mistakes:

Utilizing the Wrong Materials and Paint Colors

Never skimp on materials or quality paint, as these two decisions can be as detrimental to the finished product as choosing the wrong paint color.

Instead, always choose quality, especially when choosing the paint, tiles, floors, and counters for your new bathroom renovation.

If you want to introduce darker colors, including black or dark gray, stick to small accents, such as darker cabinet doors, light fixtures, faucets, or hand towels.

minimalist bathroom design
Minimalism is the art of making the most with the least amount of space

Overcrowding the Bathroom Floors and Countertops

Adding finishing touches is the fun part, but don’t go overboard. Instead, adopt a minimalist philosophy for your bathroom decor.

For example, hang a mirror featuring an ornate frame instead of artwork.

Store everything not utilized daily – from extra toilet paper to cleaning products and makeup – and only keep the necessities on your bathroom countertop.

Exposed Plumbing Makes the Bathroom Feel Cluttered

Nothing makes a bathroom look messy and unfinished like exposed pipes.

Luckily, there are several inexpensive, decorative options available, including:

  • Install pipe box skirting.
  • Hide the exposed plumbing with furniture.
  • Block exposed pipes under the counters with woven baskets or other decorative storage.
professional bathroom modeller
Hiring a professional bathroom remodeller for your project will ensure everything is executed perfectly!

A Small Bathroom Isn’t a DIY Project: The Importance of Professional Bathroom Remodeling Services

As the proud owner of a house or ADU construction with a very small bathroom, you are considering ditching the whole house remodeling project and looking for a new place with a bigger bathroom.

Before making rash decisions, talk to a design company in the Bay Area, including the professional team at Clever Design & Remodeling, to discuss your options.

Ask any friends or family who have hired unique home design pros in the past, and they will tell you a talented team is the best way to utilize every square inch of your bathroom.

project managerAn Interior Designer Is Your Secret Weapon To Transforming Your Small Bathroom

The general contractors, designers, and custom builders at Clever Design & Remodeling have decades of combined experience working with amazing homeowners like you who have unique needs and concerns.

We service several popular locations around San Francisco, from Santa Clara to Palo Alto, CA.

When you work with Clever Design, you can rest assured your home improvement job, from a bathroom renovation to a kitchen remodel or ADU construction, will be completed to your high, exacting standards.

In addition to our bathroom remodeling services, you will find related searches on our website for complete home remodeling.

clever design logoClever Design & Remodeling: Your One-Stop Shop for All Your Whole Home Remodeling Needs

Ready to transform your cramped bathroom into a space you can be proud of?

Is your outdated kitchen an eyesore, and are you ready for a drastic change?

Are you considering constructing an ADU on your property to act as a passive income source?

If you’re struggling with any design and remodeling job in your Bay Area home, look no further than the pros at Clever Design & Remodeling.

We are your premier destination for all your remodeling needs and projects!

Our team of in-house designers, builders, and contractors have the skills and know-how to transform any home space.

bathroom remodelling faq
Bathroom remodelling raises a plethora of different questions and concerns. Call us today and let us know how we can assist!

Our Customers Also Ask

costWhat is a realistic budget for a small bathroom renovation?

The typical bathroom remodel in Palo Alto costs between $17,000 and $50,000.

Of course, several factors will influence this cost, including the bathroom’s size, the materials, and the amount of labor required to finish the job.

Your general contractors are the best source of information about the exact cost of your bathroom project.

waterproofingWhat is the most expensive part of a bathroom remodel?

Believe it or not, waterproofing is the most expensive aspect of any bathroom remodeling project, followed by labor, new cabinets, and a new shower.

However, even though waterproofing isn’t the most exciting aspect of your remodeling job, it is the most important for the future of your bathroom and your home’s value.

RoI return on investmentAre bathroom remodels worth it?

Yes, especially when considering the fantastic ROI (return on investment) of even a minor bathroom remodel, which is nearly 70%.

In addition to adding value to our property, you cannot discount the importance of having a functional bathroom that can accommodate your growing family or make your ADU more attractive to potential renters.

painting bathroom ceiling
Color uniformity for your ceiling and walls will help enlarge your bathroom

ceilingShould I splurge and paint my bathroom ceiling the same color as my walls?

Painting the ceiling and walls the same bright shade will help open up the space.

Make sure you use the same high-quality semi-gloss paint on the ceiling used on the bathroom walls.

If the ceiling is textured or worse, you have an outdated popcorn ceiling; talk to your contractor about its removal before painting.

calendarHow long does it take to complete a small bathroom remodel?

Even a small remodeling project can take several weeks or months, as several stages are involved in creating a beautiful bathroom.

The process starts in pre-construction when you are local contractors, and you discuss your budget, expectations, and design inspirations.

Next, the demolition and building phases begin; when your bathroom is assembled, the walls are painted, the tile is installed, and the vision starts to come together.

Finally, the construction team will perform any necessary finishing touches and take you for a final walkthrough of the remodel to ensure you are thrilled with the final product!

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