I am in the process of pulling together my final design for the One Room Challenge™ that I will be participating in at the beginning of October. While we fully renovated our home three years ago, we did not touch our main bathroom. Both kids were still using that space and I’ll be honest – I didn’t want to spend money while they both shared the space. Fast forward to today. My daughter has moved down to our newly developed basement and my son will be home from college full-time as he graduates in December. The main bathroom will be his bathroom and is in need of a refresh (happy graduation son)! Part of the design includes my lighting plan for the bathroom. Lighting for a bathroom may seem like a fairly simple thing to incorporate, but there actually is a lot that needs to be thought through.
Our main bathroom is not super huge (65 sq ft) and as there are only 6 weeks from start to finish for this challenge. Here is what our main bathroom layout looks like.
Since this is a design challenge, I wish to do a few ‘extra special’ things for this space. I have already been talking with my electrician (Denny from 4 Star Electric) about this challenge and we’ve started to discuss options. Peter, also from 4 Star Electric, started texting me ideas of some ‘wow’ things we could do with lighting for a bathroom. While I won’t be sharing my final design today (I’ll be leaving that as a surprise for when the challenge actually starts), I thought this would be a good time to discuss what goes through my head and what I think of when looking at lighting for a bathroom.
Ambient/General Lighting for a bathroom
Typically this involves ceiling lights or a wall light (vanity light). Most of my clients often state that the vanity light is simply not enough lighting in their space. As such, I am typically including additional ‘general lighting’ by installing pot lights. One area that I seem to be adding a ceiling light is to the bathtub/shower area. My own home does not have a light in that area and I know there will be one there when I’m all done the challenge.
TIP: When adding these ceiling lights, have them installed (or re-positioned) to the walkway so the light is coming from behind you (when standing at the mirror).
Task Lighting for a bathroom
Task lighting is just that – lighting that is installed for a specific task. When you are standing at the sink, most often you are washing your face and hands, brushing your teeth, doing your hair, and for some, putting on makeup. Most ‘standard’ homes have a bathroom vanity light installed at the top of the mirror. The image below truly shows you what happens when you have a light directly over your head vs wall sconces that are positioned for the light to shine towards your face.
TIP: When using sconce lighting, ensure there is equal lighting on both sides of the mirror. According to Geoffrey De Sousa, the co-founder of the DeSousa Hughes showroom,
Placing a fixture on just one side of your mirror will create uneven illumination and make grooming difficult.
Accent Lighting for a bathroom
Our main bathroom currently has zero accent lighting. I mean – it’s the main bathroom that only my son uses. I typically add accent lighting to master bathrooms if the clients are open to this. Some types of accent lighting are:
- lighting in a niche
- undercabinet lighting
You’ll just have to wait and see what I’ll be adding to my own main bathroom (shhhh…don’t tell the Mr. that I’ll be adding accent lighting for my son’s bathroom)!
Light Bulbs in a bathroom
This always seems to be a hot topic with a variety of opinions.
While most people are familiar with wattage, Interior Designers typically talk colour temperature that is measured in degrees of K(kelvin). For a bathroom, I suggest anywhere between 3,000 – 4,000 (and always with a dimmer).
Lighting for a Bathroom
As you can see, there’s more to lighting for a bathroom than one may think. Currently, our main bathroom has one vanity light – BORING! For this One Room Design Challenge, there’s going to be ambient/general lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting! I can’t wait to show you the plan!