5 Design Ideas to Make a Dark Bathroom Brighter

Bathroom lighting affects our mood and overall well-being. Our bodies yearn for natural sunlight after waking up; hence, we sometimes rely on natural daylight for that instant energy surge in the morning. That said, we all need a well-lit bathroom to give us the boost we need to face the day.

A well-designed bathroom has lighting that emulates daylight. Here are 5 design ideas to make a bathroom brighter and well-lit.

1. Use White or Light-Colored Paints
If you’re struggling to do simple hygiene and grooming tasks because your bathroom is not bright enough, it is time to consider renovation. Illuminating a dark bathroom requires more than installing lights. While it’s true that lights can do their magic, changing the colour of the bathroom can also do the trick. The bathroom paint colour does not necessarily need to be extremely white. You can choose a lighter colour that can lift the mood and brighten up the space.

Make sure that the paint hue complements the tiles and furnishings; otherwise, it is highly recommended to redecorate or consider a full bathroom renovation. You may consider white paints and tiles, then choose wooden furnishings for a more aesthetic look. The classic shade of white can make the bathroom look clean and well-lit. While white paints and tiles can make a dark bathroom brighter, this strategy alone may not mimic the natural light that our body craves. Adding a layered lighting design can further enhance the bathroom’s brightness while improving its overall design and look.

Light-colored bathroom design

2. Layered Lighting
Layered lighting can make the bathroom well-lit and improve the overall design quality of the room.. Most bathrooms are deprived of direct sunlight. Fortunately, layered lighting or a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting provides the best solution. Of course, as with any electrical element installed in a bathroom, it is essential to ensure that the items chosen are appropriate for the bathroom zone into which they will be installed and comply fully with Safe Electric Regulations.

Ambient Lighting
Ambient lights can brighten up the bathroom. The bathroom should ideally have at least have two lights in the ceiling to get that needed illumination coverage.. Adding pendant lights mounted on the ceiling can also heighten the brightness. Although it can effectively illuminate the space, there are other ways to position ambient lights. You can install at least three lights behind the shower or bathtub. The row of lights will flow and help fill the space with brightness as it illuminates even the extremities of the bathroom or the areas that are commonly unreached by regular lighting. Further, consider installing task lights for a brighter and more functional bathroom.

Task Lighting
Task lighting gives additional brightness that ambient lights alone cannot provide. Task lights have specific functions and make us do things a little bit easier. A mirror light, for instance, optimizes ambient lighting and makes one experience brightness close to natural lighting. It allows us to see our natural look in the mirror, which can make it easier to put on makeup, shave, or style our hair. Task lighting can involve installing lights over the mirror. The lights can also be placed on the sides of the mirror at eye level for a more aesthetic look and better brightness as it eliminates shadow formation. Illuminated mirrors or mirror cabinets are also a wonderful way to incorporate task lighting into the bathroom design. To complete the layered lighting design, incorporate an accent light.

Accent Lighting
Accent lights improve aesthetics and the overall brightness of the bathroom. They can be used to highlight specific areas or features in the bathroom. It includes led strips that illuminate the edges of a shelf and lights under the vanity. Accent lights can also be used as decorative elements while highlighting the function of an area. Installing a linear light to highlight a wall niche that can hold toiletries is the best example of adding accent lights in a practical way. Aside from the proper and aesthetic placement of lights, large mirrors can also enhance a bathroom’s brightness.


3. Adding Large Mirrors
Mirrors are a must have addition and can provide a decorative element for your bathroom. People use mirrors every time they enter a bathroom. Aside from being extremely functional, they can also enhance the lighting in the room. Regular-sized mirrors can do their job of allowing people to see their reflections and can make a wall look prettier, but, if space permits, large mirrors are better. You may consider installing larger mirrors in the bathroom for a more elegant and classic look. Its role in illuminating the bathroom is an added benefit.

Larger mirrors optimize the use of the bathroom as it helps people see their reflection more clearly. But, adding large mirrors can also do more than allow us to see more of our body parts. Large mirrors brighten up the room by allowing more lights to bounce around the area. Aside from this, you may consider installing lights behind the mirrors. It can boost the room’s artificial light, giving the bathroom illumination which is closer to natural lights during day time. In essence, a combination of large mirrors and proper task lighting can brighten up the bathroom aesthetically.

Large mirrors

4. Drop the Curtains, Use Glass
Shower curtains are functional in certain circumstances.. They are useful in keeping water and moisture in the shower or bath area when space is confined but honestly, who needs shower curtains these days? They need to be replaced regularly and limit the brightness of the bathroom. Considering this fact, it is safe to say that shower curtains don’t compliment dark bathrooms. Using a shower curtain or adding it as a decorative element is a big no no for those who want a bright bathroom. We recommend dropping shower curtains and installing glass doors or enclosures instead.

Glass or transparent materials let light pass through. They let more light flow into the room instead of trapping it like shower curtains do. They also complement the ambient lights and help them get through to more areas or extremities. Glass enclosures have various types, but it is recommended to use frameless ones for optimal lighting and brightness, if budget allows. Frameless glass improves aesthetics and gives a classier and more elegant vibe.

Glass shower enclosure

5. Let Natural Light Through
Finally, there is no better way to brighten up a dark bathroom than letting the natural sunlight in. Artificial lights can mimic natural daylight to some extent, but they cannot beat the brightness of the sun. Plus, it is environmentally-friendly as it limits the use of electricity. To achieve natural lighting, you can choose to install frosted glass windows or tube skylights, or both.

If a window in the wall isn’t possible, perhaps a roof window would work. Installing a tube skylight is another way to naturally illuminate a bathroom. It is a cost effective method of allowing natural sunlight to enter the bathroom as it limits the use of energy and does not require changing the structure or design. A brighter bathroom can be guaranteed while ensuring that the body receives the natural sunlight it craves in the morning.

Frosted glass window

Tube skylight

These 5 tips are among the methods that can make a dark bathroom brighter. Some may require major modifications, but following these recommendations can guarantee a brighter bathroom that can boost energy and enhance your mood.

Feel free to reach out to our team at aidan@aidankellyconstruction.ie if you need a bathroom specialist or if you need a full bathroom renovation, Aidan Kelly Construction is at your service.

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