How to make a small bathroom grandiose (without renovation)

Today I’m working on a kitchen design, bathroom design, editing photo shoot photos, and I need to HUNT DOWN some pillows for a living room. Didn’t you know I was a juggler? Also writing this post (as I suck down more coffee/caffeine) to share with you a lil design trick I use for my own bathroom and which I blab about to my clients all the time. If you have a SMALL BATHROOM in your home here’s a great way to make your small bathroom feel/look grandiose (big, huge, Godzilla like) without any renovations or mirrors – since you can’t stretch your bathroom’s width or depth, then tackle (emphasize) it’s HEIGHT!

Standard size shower curtain rod placement (heights) make small bathroom simply look mediocre (blah). In my bathroom we have a window in the tub wall which was even taller in height than the shower curtain height (so it looked unbalance). And as a designer that drives me NUTS!  So, in raising up the curtain rod height up up up up, we were able to (1) hide (balance) the window and (2) make the bathroom appear bigger / taller /grandiose. I also added 2 shower curtains instead of the standard quantity of one. And I looove it, it’s like a stage …. curtains open, and I am ready for a beautiful new day! Do ya’ll like it? ….

to make a small bathroom appear grandiose without renovation

– curtain rod (use existing or buy new one)
– two new shower curtains (I used an outdoor curtain)
– new shower liner (cost was @ $12)
– drill and hardware
– wall spackling + lil dab of paint

1. remove your current rod completely (including hardware)
2. spackle + paint wall area so it looks like there were never holes from the hardware
3. then install the shower rod higher to accommodate a TALLER shower curtain.
4. attach your longer curtain(s) with hooks (add 2 curtains instead of 1 for a dramatic exclamation singing “I’m reeaaaaady for this new beautiful day” exit from your tub. Plus, it actually makes the bathroom appear WIDER bec there is now a spacial balance on both sides (not just flushing the curtain to just 1 side).

So in theory the installation process is pretty simple, EXCEPT that in my bathroom I wanted a sleeker modern look so I decided to add a grommet design outdoor curtain vs a standard curtain that you simply add shower hooks to hold the curtain onto the rod. With standard ‘hooked’ curtains you simply unhook it to throw it into the laundry for cleaning. But with a grommet design we needed to make an adjustment to the rod so it would unscrew and the curtain would simple slide off. Simple? Yes, once the LIGHT BULB IDEA comes into your head on how to make it work (thanks hubby).

Ooooh, and the shower rod also arrived broken . . . .

But there is NO PANICKING in interior design!!! I called up for a replacement (which arrived miraculously quick … yaaaay!), and we were back to diving into the installation. One of the lessons that I always teach my design assistants is that something usually goes wrong in a design project.  It’s not a negative outlook, it’s more of a factual heads up to a problem solving opportunity. An item arrives late, or damaged, or we receive the wrong item. Contractor or client is sick and we have to postpone meeting / installation. It’s raining / snowing / or scorching hot outside and we get a delayed in our paint drying time schedule. I train to turn panic into problem solving (no yelling at vendors/stores either!). I had an assistant who I had to teach her to soften up .. it’s not customer services fault, they didn’t pack the item, they are there to help us get a solution. Ok, enough of my preaching. Back to the installation,  replacement part arrived . . . .

 . . . . and we added a bolt onto the hardware so the rod can screw/unscrew easily for whenever we had to launder the shower curtains.


Do you remember how the bathroom looked before? Here are some flashbacks – – – – the pink wall tiles (warning, it’s hideous – view here), when the pendant was installed (see here), the origami decal (see here), the chevron window valance (here), our trip to aruba (see some vaca pics, here). Always add a personal decor in a room that has meaning to you (we purchased the old Aruba license plate in Aruba for $5.00).

Also, we replaced our boring and hideously grimy shower head – yuuuuuuck:

 Replaced with a dual hand held one … isn’t it beautiful:

The installation process was simple -> muscle your way into strangling it into place.

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2 Responses to How to make a small bathroom grandiose (without renovation)

  1. Antonio says:

    The bathroom looks great.

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