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Trick out your tiny bathroom on a budget

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Almost everyone who's lived in a NYC apartment has had to deal with a miniscule bathroom—and often, sharing it with roommates—and barring a major overhaul, a cramped, poorly lit WC can start to feel like an inevitable fact of life. Not so: an Apartment Therapy reader named Louise recently wrote about her reno of a narrow little bathroom, and passed along some seriously useful strategies, to boot. (You'll have to click through for the dramatic before-and-after photos).

A few things to keep in mind if you're re-working a bathroom that feels more like a closet:

  • Beware the beige. The previous owner of the place had gone for an "all beige everything" color scheme with the sink, shelving, and tub, and in a bid to lighten up the space (and make it feel more open), Louise added in new materials in clean shades of white.
  • Free up the floor. Particularly in a narrow bathroom (but in any small space), keeping the floor as clear as possible is key to feeling like you've got a bit more room to breathe. For her reno, Louise swapped out the previous owner's large, clunky vanity for a "floating" Ikea sink, and had her contractor build a simple base that attached to the wall. She also added "above the stove" cabinets from Ikea to up the bathroom's storage space without taking up valuable real estate on the floor, and added a wood top so the shelving could double as a vanity table.
  • Trick yourself. Adding in mirrors is a time-honored way of opening up a small space, and Louise added large mirrors on two of the room's walls. That, plus recessed shelving in the walls for extra storage, goes a long way towards making a small bathroom feel almost suspiciously spacious.

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