Bathroom Edit Lighting

The Bathroom Edit – Lighting

July 15, 2016
The Bathroom Edit - Lighting

A bathroom is a place that we don’t typically spend much time in, but when we do, we want to feel the love of the space. For most, it’s the only private, relaxing and quiet area in the home. It’s our little escape from the outside world. It’s usually one of the smallest spaces and so a little love and due care to the design elements is important. After all, our well-being is ever more prevalent considering the pressures of our everyday lives.

Today, I am kicking off ‘The Bathroom Edit’ by writing about the lighting element, which is often overlooked and not thought through as much as our other living spaces.

General/Ambient Lighting

There typically tends to be a lot of reflective surfaces in a bathroom space and lighting can be used to visually soften these hard surfaces, such as mirrors, tiles and glass.

In general, the bathroom needs a good amount of ambient light that is practical to carry out our day-to-day ablutions. Think about adding layers of lighting, no matter how small the space. By having at least two circuits ensures that you can manipulate the lighting from practical to soft, mood enhancing for bathing. Also think about introducing lighting at different levels, such as niches and low-level flooring fixtures.

Downlights are the best source of ambient lighting to bathroom spaces, in conjunction with other lighting fixtures. If you are fortunate to have tall ceiling height, hidden indirect lighting can be installed around the perimeter of the space.

Task Lighting

The mirror in the bathroom is the place to add task lighting to and it is best to avoid positioning lighting directly above.  Lighting either side will stop shadows forming across the mirror and gives you optimum light to carry out tasks such as shaving.  Lighting the mirror also gives some focal point to the space for the eye to fix on.

A good example of lighting the mirror as light fixtures are placed at a practical height.


These elegant wall lamp fixtures provide a soft light which enhances the space.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting adds another layer of lighting to the space. Niches are perfect to add accent lighting to. Helping to soften the look of hard surfaces and adds to a more relaxed bathing experience, especially above the bath or in the shower.

Adding niche lighting not only adds interest to the space, but also provides mood lighting for bathing. The recessed floor lighting here adds to the ambience of the space by adding a little drama, whilst softening the tiled walls. With light comes shadows and both of these are important in getting the lighting aspect of any space right.

Recessed floor uplights, provide a subtle source of night-light too. Make sure you position them close to the wall, to ensure a soft wash of light to the wall.


In larger bathroom spaces, decorative ambient lighting can be added to create interest. Chandeliers, may not be an obvious choice, but they can really make an impact and I love them.

The Bathroom Edit - Lighting

Image source

The chandelier adds an element of luxury and decorative interest to this contemporary space.

This beautiful delicate dandelion style pendant firmly defines and highlights the bath area of the space. The large mirror helps reflect the lighting and, doing what mirrors do best, visually makes the space look bigger and brighter. The dark wood flooring and black ceiling add depth and warmth.

Here a drop chandelier is positioned over the bath, providing decorative ambient lighting that defines the area. Notice the use of the large mirror, which again typically reflects the light and bounces it around the space.

On an end note, well thought out lighting in the bathroom will not only enhance the space, but it will bring out textures and the colours within and ensure a pleasurable bathing experience.

Have a great weekend!







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  • Reply Colin July 20, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Interesting post!

  • Reply Amanda Dodds-Hooson July 24, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Another good read. Lighting is of the utmost importance and a lot of people I come across tend to see it as something of secondary importance!! There is nothing like a humongous chandelier suspended over a freestanding bath…heaven lol!! From a study point of view, I recently converted an outbuilding into wheelchair user friendly guest suites. The main building was just too quirky in its layout to offer suitable accommodation. It was lovely to install state of the art wet rooms which lifted them from being what is often seen as ‘disabled’ wet rooms into works of art. They were dressed with huge suspended industrial style light fittings (converted from wheels) and wall lights which had been converted from industrial style fans….love lighting :D x

    • Reply maria July 27, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      I love that you used industrial style light fittings in your wet rooms. I can visualise the space just from your description and it makes me excited just thinking about it. Lighting design is amazing and love how lighting can transform our spaces, and bathrooms should be no different. Thanks again for stopping by :D x

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