How to Make A Windowless Bathroom Brighter

Bathroom Colours

Dark bathrooms can appear dreary and uninviting, which is the opposite of what a bathroom should be. Opting for the right paint colours can help you bring vibrancy into a bathroom that lacks windows.

Whites & Neutrals

A bright, coastal type feel in the bathroom can be created with soft pastel shades and neutrals, which will help to lighten up your space. In terms of floors, steer away from dark woods colours and and go for lighter flooring options to help bounce light around the room. Although white is a great colour to add vibrancy to a small, windowless bathroom, overusing the colour can actually wash out your space so instead go for off-white tones, greys and beige and layer these with light wood accessories, different textures and plants.

Check out the bathroom transformation below that sees a bland, dark blue bathroom transform into a bright white dream that looks unrecognisable! This windowless bathroom was done on a budget and looks stunning.

Bring the Indoors In

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Orchids, succulents, cacti, air plants… there are many hardy varieties that will thrive in your bathroom. Plants can also keep bathrooms smelling fresh, thanks to their natural air-purifying powers. Choose plants best suited to your bathroom’s atmospheric conditions. Staghorn ferns are known to enjoy humid environments, as well as moderate light. Peace lilies can bloom several times a year, even in low-light conditions. Whatever plant you choose, learn about its care regime and cultivate your very own micro-garden in your bathroom. Related: The 10 Best Plants for Your Bathroom istockphoto.com

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Bathroom Lighting

Using the right artificial lighting in dark bathrooms will make up for the lack of natural light, making it easier to do those bathroom tasks such as shaving and applying makeup. Here are some more ways to bring light into your bathroom space with a mixture of lighting sources.

Artificial Lighting

Lighting such as recessed downlights and spotlights are great for brightening up a bathroom that lacks natural light. Placing spotlights above a shower or bath will also accentuate these items as the focal points. For general bathroom lighting, pick a mix of soft ambient light with more intense spotlighting so you can have appropriate light for all times of day. Recessed lighting in bath panels, skirting boards and below shelves can be a perfect option to provide subtle light in areas that are often shadowed.

#4 – Liven it Up with Plants

If you want your bathroom to be a home oasis, you will need some plants. After all, no oasis is complete without a few bits of greenery. Since your bathroom lacks light, it’s important that you are selective with what types of plants you choose. Be careful not to pick a plant that requires a lot of light. Prayer plants, peace lilies, and parlor palms are all wonderfully green but do not need sunlight. They can fit above your vanity or in a pot off to the side. 

If space is limited, we recommend a hanging English ivy that can extend from above. Just like with a pendant light, you can maximize your vertical space by hanging plants rather than cluttering up the floor space with large pots. Plants will add a freshness and liveliness to your bathroom and make it feel more natural than just a cramped closet with a toilet and shower. 

Related: Bathroom Design and Inspiration

5. Layer Lighting

Of course, bathrooms need more than natural light. Use a combination of recessed  lights, sconces, undercabinet lighting (great for the middle of the night) and ceiling lights like chandeliers, pendant lights or flush-mount lights to create layers of light. And put them all on dimmers —  this strategy will also help you switch up the mood in the bathroom for different times of day.

#2 – Freshen Up with a New Coat of Paint

Color and light go hand in hand. Darker colors, such as black and brown, are dark because they absorb more of the visible spectrum of light. Lighter colors, such as whites, creams, and pastels, are light because they reflect more of the visible spectrum of light. So, if you want to maximize how bright your bathroom looks, it’s best to go for a lighter color. Clean whites or pale blues go great in a bathroom and will give it a fresh, clean feel.

Alternatively, you could try tile. Tile has the added benefit of being glossy, so it will reflect more light back into the room. Tile floors are quite common in a bathroom, but you can also tile the walls. A half tile, half paint wall is a great way to find balance, and you can work in more color. We recommend a pastel tile base that works up to a white wall. Just be careful not to go too dark on your shades. 

6. ​Glass

Marike

Marike

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.

Use plenty of candles

Providing extra lighting and creating a calming tranquil space for an evening soak, candles will add instant character and warmth to a dark windowless bathroom. You could also bring some sparkle into your mornings by filling a small or large glass jar with fairy lights, or alternatively, hang them over your mirror.

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3. ​Mirrors

ZR-architects

ZR-architects

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.

3. Choose Reflective Materials

Glazed ceramic and glass tiles and slabs are great for reflecting the light. This tumbled subway tile adds a handmade look to the shower stall and reflects the light at different angles.

All tiles with a bit of texture to them will reflect light in interesting ways. Other materials that will bounce the light around include high gloss finishes, glass light fixtures and polished metal fixtures.

Any chance you have to add a polished metal is a c

Any chance you have to add a polished metal is a chance to add some reflective glint to a space. These include faucets, shower heads, cabinet hardware, shower hinges and towel bars and rings.

Incorporate Layered Lighting

Extra lighting will be required within a dark bathroom because of the absence of any natural light. Therefore, consider a layered lighting scheme which combines ambient, task and accent lighting. The ambient lighting should include at least two ceiling mounted lights or pendant lights on the ceiling. For the task lighting, incorporate a mirror light above the mirror or preferably flank both sides of the mirror with bracket lights at eye level to prevent the formation of any shadows. Highlight the niches or any other design feature within the bathroom with accent lights. Introduce LED strip lights within the shelves, below a floating vanity or behind a mirror to create a floating effect.

Install a Glass Shower Enclosure

Make the bathroom feel spacious by creating a framed or frameless glass shower enclosure in frosted, textured or clear glass. Glass shower enclosures add brightness to the shower area because they allow light to pass through. Also, make it a point to ventilate these bathrooms with an exhaust fan to expel foul odours and moisture.

Glass enclosures allows light to pass through and brighten up the space. Photo credit: Olga Prava/ Getty Images

Update your bathroom fixtures and fittings

    If your bathroom is due an upgrade, replacing any dated fixtures and fittings can instantly add life to a dark and windowless space. Simple chrome or copper fittings will enhance the sense of light and space in your bathroom.

    Full tour: This modern new-build cottage feels right at home in Suffolk Rachel Whiting

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    If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!

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