As the Winter days draw in, some bathrooms have begun to feel just a little dark and dull. But there are simple steps any home owner can take to brighten up the space. And don’t just take our word for it. Our colleagues at Victorian Plumbing have been generous enough to share their favourite tips to help you let the light in; from painting the ceiling to layering in accessories.
Of course, the best way to make your bathroom brighter is to add a window, or make an existing window larger. But, to state the obvious, this would be a costly undertaking or, depending on the floor plan, simply impossible. But there are some handy work-arounds that create a similar effect without breaking the bank.
Place mirrors near light sources
A mirror adds instant brightness to a bathroom by reflecting light around the space. If your bathroom is feeling dark and dull, reposition your mirror directly opposite your bathroom’s main light source. Whether that’s a window or a light fitting, your mirror will expand visual space and amplify lighting within the bathroom.
For the best results make sure that you use soft lighting so it is not too bright when reflecting off your bathroom mirror. Alternatively, you could switch to an illuminated bathroom mirror. This will provide you with additional lighting and add a stylish edge to a darker space.
Paint the ceiling white
A dark ceiling can loom above a room making it feel small and cramped. To instantly brighten your bathroom space, give the ceiling a fresh coat of white paint. And if you really want to bring life into your space, don’t just stop with the ceiling. Add a fresh splash of white paint to the surrounding bathroom walls. Adding neutral-toned colours will help brighten the room and expand the feel of the room’s size.
And, while your are at it, pair these new bright walls with a striking contemporary tile splashback above the basin. Consider a statement melange, such as Saigon Mix, or something a tad more understated, such as the timeless care-worn chic of Ottoman Blue.
Have plenty of candles and fairy lights
Candles and waterproof fairy lights will add instant character and warmth to a dark windowless bathroom. Candles add extra lighting and create a calming tranquil space for an evening soak. Bring some sparkle into your mornings by filling a small or large glass jar with fairy lights, or why not hang them over your mirror.
We really like to use plain beeswax candles in a plain metallic sconce that is mounted on a patterned hexagonal tile. Our Seville Persian Blue, with a hole drilled in the exact centre, would be perfect. Creative and unique: the epitome of romantic bathing.
Add a pop of colour
Now you've brightened up your room with a wash of white, add life to the room with a touch of colour. It seems counterintuitive but introducing some contrasting colours can make the surrounding areas pop even more. Look especially to statement colour and patterned wall art and accessories, to add life without overwhelming the room.
A tiled niche or, if you are feeling really bold, a whole tiled feature wall, will really make your bathroom sing. You can go powerful and graphic with a range like Palm Springs, or strong and geometric with Porto, or sunny and exotic with Fiesta or Tapestry. Make any of these choice and the one thing your bathroom won’t be is boring.
Bring in greenery
We all know that adding plants is a great way to improve a bathroom, both aesthetically and practically. But those with dark and windowless bathrooms are often left wondering how they can incorporate the trend.
Shade-loving plants are a great option since they don’t need a lot of light and can thrive in darker conditions. Make sure to use a white or neutral vase to allow the green hues of your plants to really stand out.
Install open storage shelves
Fitting some additional wall storage will free clutter from floors and countertops. By removing these physical obstacles and burdens the bathroom will gain a sense of lift, even if the darkness is weighing it down.
When your bathroom feels dark and cramped, the last thing you want is bulky cabinets taking up precious wall space. Instead, opt for open storage shelves. These handy alternatives to cabinets can provide you with additional storage for things like plants and candles; all without blocking any light.
Open shelves can really sing with tiles mounted between shelves. This is a practical option as well, as it will help to protect the wall, ideal if you store toiletries on the shelves. Experiment with the colours of our Metro range - Sage, Teal, Light Grey, Duck Egg Blue, or Black - as the shelf backdrop. You’ll be surprised by the impact of both the colours and the subtle chamfers.
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 fittings will enhance the sense of light and space in your bathroom while bringing in white elements such as plant pots and accessories can take it to the next level.
Switch your bathroom flooring
Dark flooring, whether tiled or laminated, will nearly always make a dark room feel darker and smaller. Switching your dark bathroom flooring with a contrasting black and white patterned tile will instantly draw light into the dull room. The bold patterning can also give the illusion of space. Combine both colours for massively on-trend bathroom tiles.
There are so many suitable floor tile options in the Porcelain Superstore portfolio. Look at the rich impressionism of Arlo Dark, the monochrome impact of Swoon Mix; the distressed decadence of Metropolitan Mix; or the 3D dynamism of Diamond Twist. Give your new tiled bathroom floor a key role in the overall design, and it will keep on repaying you for years to come.