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How to: brighten up a dark and dingy bathroom

How to: brighten up a dark and dingy bathroom

Whether it’s the main family bathroom or an ensuite, a bathroom should be a place of luxury and joy, where you can relax and while away hour after hour in the tub. At least that's what it should be — if you’re bathroom is a dark and gloomy space, then the chances are that you spend very little pampering time in there and see it as a purely utilitarian area.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! There are a few solutions certain to brighten up even the dullest of bathrooms.

illuminated bathroom

Be clever with the lights 

Yes, we realise that this one seems brazenly obvious, that adding more lights to a room will make it less dark, but hear us out first. While, your first thoughts to combat the gloom in any bathroom will be to increase the artificial lighting in there, whether that’s by installing more lights or simply by upping wattage, this may not fix the problem. The real secret to getting the most from your lighting, is in the positioning. 

Awkwardly shaped bathrooms with supporting beams, nooks and sloped roofs will not be best illuminated by a single central spotlight or pendant. This will likely result in dim shadowy areas that escape the light. There are a few simple ways to fix this issue, If you have the wall space go for wall mounted pendant lighting in those darker areas to bring in more light. Recessed spotlights positioned all around the ceiling could also solve much of the issue. 


bathroom with skylights

Sky lighting 

If your bathroom is on the top floor or in an attic conversion you should definitely consider adding a skylight to solve your daytime lighting woes. As they face upwards skylights flood the rooms with natural light during daylight hours, much more efficiently than regular windows. Also, staring up at the atmosphere, watching the rain patter down upon the window pane while you lay in a hot bath is a simple joy that’s hard to beat. 

If you’re bathroom is not on the top floor of your home you may want to consider going for a ‘sun-tunnel’. These clever innovations reflect light from outside along a mirrored tube into areas of the home, which would otherwise be windowless. 


black and white tiled bathroom

Show some reflection 

Utilise mirrors to reflect the light around the room, not only will this make the space brighter, it will make it feel larger as well. This effect can be increased by using glossy materials in your bathroom — things like shiny porcelain and ceramic tiling will all help make your room feel bright and airy. 

When it comes to materials, remember that they don’t necessarily have to be white. Even dark coloured flooring, tiles and fixtures can make the room seem brighter providing they are suitably reflective of the light in the room. 


Photo by Photo_HamsterMan/iStock / Getty Images

Embrace the dark side! 

Finally, consider for a moment that in the right circumstances, dark parts of the bathroom can be an asset. For example, adding a dark hued feature wall to a dark corner, with fitted bathtub could create a cosy cocoon, to get away from it all in. 

Brighten your bathroom with Opun

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