Bathrooms are often assigned to the window-less areas of the home, given a natural preference for privacy in these spaces. If your bathroom has no little or no access to natural light, you'll find that the room can take on an unappealingly dank undertone. One solution that's become highly popular is the addition of a skylight, which allows sunlight to enter the bathroom through the ceiling without opening up the walls for views from your next-door neighbors.
If you're not ready for a renovation by an interior architect – like the skylight solution – which can work to bring light into your space, you can still make small changes to your decor and lighting to brighten up your space with these tips!
Colours make a room come alive. However, color can also work against you, because more muted or dark colour schemes can make a room feel smaller than it is. To stay on the safe side, think white, beige, taupe and cream for a bathroom that's on the smaller side. Looking for something besides the
safe neutrals? A fresh pastel is also a good choice for brightening a room. Likewise, you can keep most surfaces light and add just one contrast wall in the deeper colour of your choosing. And if your space feels cold as well as dark, consider adding some natural wooden surfaces, like the architects have done in this gorgeous bathroom.
Asses how (and if) light is entering the bathroom. Replace heavy curtains with a lighter fabric to allow more light and air to pass through. If you're not ready for a renovation that adds a skylight or large window, opt for light fixtures that can be installed subtly behind your bathroom cabinet and mirrors, or within any open shelves. This will bring consistent and well-distributed light into the room.
Mirrors are a must-have in a dark or small bathroom – or any small space, for that matter. Place your mirror strategically in a place where the maximum amount of natural light is reflected into the room. In small rooms, there's no size limit on your mirror – this bathroom has a mirror that spans the width of the entire wall, increasing the amount of visual space.
Light gets lost when it becomes trapped in corners, folds, and bumpy surfaces. In a bathroom, having a large number of small, busy tiles can clutter your space and weigh it down with a sense of restlessness. A smoother floor surface or larger tiles can provide a breath of fresh air to a small space, as light and air moves effortlessly across it. This bathroom is an excellent example of a room with smooth surfaces, with a beige linoleum floor that is uninterrupted, even when it meets the standing shower.
Some bathroom designs solve the problem of darkness with interior windows or room partitions that let light from other rooms in the home enter the bathroom. Replace your heavy, solid door with a door that has a translucent pane like the one in this large bathroom window. If the option's available, you hire a professional to help you replace portions of your wall with sections of translucent material that bring light into the room.
Glass can do wonders in a dark bathroom! Aside from being practical in that it lets light bounce effortlessly around the room, glass shower stalls have also become a popular trend in home design! Not only does a glass stall allow light to roam freely, but it also opens up the room visually as you can see to the far corners of the room, unobstructed by walls or shower curtains.
Make sure your floor is free of clutter and unnecessary furniture! By removing these physical obstacles and visual burdens from the floor, the bathroom will gain a sense of lift, even if darkness is weighing it down.
Limit the number of items you let cluster around the sink and around shower. Darkness can feel relaxing and peaceful – and even romantic! - in a bathroom, just as long as the decor is also working to create this peaceful experience. Remove clutter, and add baskets or bins that allow you to minimize visual distractions. You may find that you enjoy the dark atmosphere of your bathroom when it starts to feel more like a romantic spa, and less like a cluttered mess.
For more bathroom improvement ideas, see this ideabook: Unique bathroom designs that create more space