Using the Right Paint Colors Can Make Rooms Feel Bigger
You can turn a small, boring, outdated powder room into a welcoming, contemporary bathroom with the right paint colors and a few essential accessories.
The general rule for making a room look larger using colors is to use lighter, brighter colors on the walls but we found that using a light color on one half of the room and a deeper, warmer color on the other half not only makes the room look larger but it gives it much more character!
If you want to make the room feel larger, keep the ceiling white or near white.
Here’s what we wanted to do:
- Modernize the wall color and the vanity light fixture
- Make the room look larger using paint colors and a bathroom wall mirror
- Warm the appearance without cluttering or shrinking the space
- Add accessories for storage, hand towels, toilet paper, bowl cleaner and plunger.
Are you embarrassed to invite guests to use your powder room? Is it dated with boring walls, cluttered shelves or dirty, broken accessories? It does not take a master plumber to turn that uninviting room into a stylish bath that will give your guests a “Wow!” moment when they open the door.
Turn Plain Into Impressive
Who would have thought such a small, bland room could take on a character all its own? We started with an existing powder room measuring 4 X 4 with toilet, sink and a custom counter top space all in very good condition. The 71/2 inch floor tiles were also in good condition except that the grout was dirty, dirty, dirty!
We wanted to change the powder room to give it a more contemporary look and make it feel larger at the same time. Luckily, all the essentials of the room were newer and still in good shape. So we emptied the room of everything except the plumbing and decided we would start with the basics – wall color.
Make a Room Look Larger With Color
With such a small area, painting all the walls one color made it feel like a very small box. While dark colors can make a room feel smaller, combining two completely different colors and tones helps break things apart, giving the room a warm but slightly larger feeling. After repairing some minor flaws in the wall surface, we applied Behr Premium Plus satin finish paint in Malted Milk to two walls and Behr Premium Plus satin paint in Bear Claw to the other two walls. Such a strong difference in the colors made the room start to come alive.
When joining colors at any point, masking the first color with Frog Tape helps provide a super sharp, clean line where the colors meet.
After one color has tried for at least 24 hours, apply a strip of Frog Tape over the first color. The key to a sharp line is to use a wall paper roller and really seal the ends of the Frog Tape to avoid any seepage. Apply the second color up to the Frog Tape – keep the first coat a little lighter as you brush over the tape. Apply the second coat of your second color and remove the Frog Tape as soon as you are done painting. Don’t wait for the paint to dry after the second coat – remove the tape while the second coat of paint is still wet, gently pulling it down and away from your wet paint.
I’ve used Behr paints around the house many times and have never been disappointed. Check out their web site where you can get inspired with more ideas.
Update Powder Room Light Fixture and Accessories
An easy way to add some interest to a small powder room is with a simple lighting fixture change. Lowes offers a nice selection of vanity lighting but we found that the concept we liked the most was the ability to select a base and choose globes separately from their large selection in a variety of shapes and colors. The base we picked out also matched the color and design of the accessories we picked for the toilet paper holder and the hand towel holder!
How lucky we were to find the perfectly matching tissue box holder at Bed Bath and Beyond! It’s the little things that can add the perfect touch!
Functional Space Saving Storage
Uncluttered is always a nice look especially if you want to make a room look larger. But you still need to keep some essentials in a powder room. No one wants to have to shout for a fresh roll of toilet paper or have to dry their hands on their jeans. While it’s nice to have a vanity cabinet to store the extras, the space available in our tiny room did not allow for any standard size vanity. In fact, adding a vanity under the sink would have made the room appear even smaller!
To allow some storage space for a few essentials and keep an uncluttered look at the same time, we purchased a very simple table from Ikea for about $10.00. Its straight, simple lines and height of only 18 inches made it an ideal fit under the counter top. It holds plenty of tissues, towels and other items and because of it’s smooth design, it enhances the overall contemporary feel of the room.
Finally, the Floor
After finishing all the top level cleaning, painting and installation of hardware, it was finally time to address the issue of the floor. The floor tiles were in really great condition and we liked the overall appearance. We just didn’t like how dirty the grout had become. Evidently, when the prior owner had the tiles installed, the grout was never sealed which allows dirt to become easily embedded and seemingly impossible to get clean.
Deep Cleaning Floor Tile Grout
Initially we applied Rejuvenate Non Toxic Bio Enzymatic Tile and Grout Cleaner to the grout, letting it sit overnight per the product directions. In the morning we scrubbed the grout with a stiff brush and wiped up the cleaner with rags. What was left behind was a beautiful, vanilla colored grout – it looked brand new and made our whole floor look brand new! Now we were determined to keep it looking new.
The next step to keeping that beautiful tile floor like new was to seal the grout.
After cleaning the floor, we allowed it to dry thoroughly overnight. Once dry, we applied a coating of Aqua Mix Grout Sealer using a small sponge type paint brush. Allowing an hour to dry, we then applied a second coat just because I really, really don’t like scrubbing tile floor grout. Seriously, a second coat is recommended.
Grout sealer is a milky colored liquid that has almost no odor. It is absorbed into the tile grout and will help to keep dirt from penetrating the grout.
It’s very important not to let the grout sealer dry on the surface of the ceramic tile as it will dry to a milky, rubbery finish on the tile that will have to be scrapped off. Wipe away any sealer that gets on the tile surface as you work. Sealing your grout is not difficult and well worth the time. ( It took about 30 minutes to seal this 4 X 4 powder room. )
Accessories to Add Personality
We finished the powder room with a very affordable framed mirror that uses the entire width of the room and added a family history photo canvas on one wall and a newer photo collection to the adjoining wall. You can’t help but smile just looking at all those happy faces! Adding accessories that match the new lighting fixture such as the hand towel holder, toilet paper holder and tissue box joined it all together in dark colors and light colors.
Our new powder room is now warm and friendly while using the color separation and large mirror to brighten and give the room a larger feeling!