Four tips for maximising light in your bathroom
Tuesday, 20th May 2014, Paul Dore
Great lighting in the bathroom is crucial. You need to see what you're doing in there, right? Whether you're lathering up for that morning shave, putting in contact lenses or applying that thick coat of mascara, it's important you're not 'working' in the shade. If nothing else, you could risk a slip, trip or injury.
With British bathrooms reportedly among the smallest in Europe, according to Good Homes Magazine, you might feel there's not much scope for a lighting concept. However, you would be wrong. Here are four ways to maximise the light in your bathroom:
When it comes to maximising light, the first feature you'd surely turn to is the window. Allowing in as much natural light as possible is key, which might mean replacing old-fashioned frosted glass with a transparent pane. Don't worry about your privacy - simply install a simple roller blind, though the chances are, you have one already. A roller blind is the perfect option as it doesn't obstruct the window when fully rolled up, whereas curtains or an inset Venetian blind might.
Another idea, if it's logistically possible, is to create a skylight in the ceiling. This usually works well in loft conversions, providing extra illumination while preserving privacy. Naturally, this would require external expertise, but could significantly light up a space, especially if there is not a window in the room already.
Pale fittings and decoration
The usual advice given for creating a light and airy space - or the illusion of this - is to choose decoration and fittings that are on the paler end of the colour spectrum. Dark paintwork and bathroom suites can close a room, while creams and whites do the reverse. In fact, they can to some extent also reflect any natural light. Pale tiles on the floor and wall, a light-coloured quartz bathroom worktop and perhaps a modern, white suite will enhance the impact of any natural light and make the bathroom - no matter the size - feel bright and cheerful.
The bathroom isn't traditionally one of those rooms which is known for jazzy lighting concepts. It typically comprises one central, uninspiringly practical ceiling bulb and a dim shaving light. Thankfully, things have changed a lot. Search any online lighting retailer and you'll be presented with a plethora of attractive wall lights, illuminated mirrors and ceiling lights that wouldn't look out of place in the lobby of a chic boutique hotel. It's possible even to buy chandeliers that have been especially designed for the bathroom.
Though style should be a consideration, so should the amount of light which is emitted. Perhaps you might prefer ceiling spotlights that can be angled to shine exactly where you need the light most? Or maybe a fixed shower downlight would do the trick? Of course, some fancy power showers, taps and shower enclosures incorporate LEDs, allowing you to create a lighting concept that matches your mood. Essentially, we're saying that there's no longer any excuse for boring lighting in the bathroom!
To absolutely maximise the light in your bathroom, hang a couple of sizeable mirrors. While you probably want/need to see your face, mirrors also reflect the light from your windows or various bulbs. Better still if, as mentioned above, you can find one that is illuminated, then you can chuck out the old dust-trap shaving light. Nice new mirrors can help you create a bathroom that looks modern while providing the light that you require.