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Mirror, mirror on the (bathroom) wall…tips for creating light
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Mirror, mirror on the (bathroom) wall…tips for creating light

Posted by Adam Chard in Inspiration | 2 months ago 8 min read

Is your current bathroom a little on the dark and dingy side? We’ve come up with some simple tips and tricks to make it feel lighter and brighter.

Light can completely change the feeling of any room. Your bathroom is no exception, but it is often the space that suffers from a lack of daylight the most.

Luckily, even if your bathroom is tiny, there are many clever tricks you can employ to make it feel bigger. We have compiled some of our top tips for elevating your bathroom from dingy to dreamy.

If you aren't prepared for a full makeover, don't worry. Even just one of these tips can make a big difference. Let there be light with these tips!


Make the most of windows with strategic mirror placement

If your bathroom is blessed with a window or two, then you need to make the most of them. The bigger the windows, the better. If you are planning a full-scale renovation, expanding your windows is the best way to introduce some much-needed light.

However, you don't need to start knocking down walls to improve your lighting situation. Placing a big mirror on the wall opposite or adjacent to your window can dramatically increase the amount of light in the room. This is because the natural light will bounce from the reflective surface and fill the rest of the room. It is an incredibly easy fix with some pretty impressive results.

Mode Cass LED illuminated mirror 500 x 390mm with demister


Make sure your mirror is large enough

If you opt for a mirror opposite your window, make sure you choose a size that suits the space. We aren't talking about circular facial mirrors (although, as we’ll get on to, they have their purpose). A large rectangular or square-shaped mirror is your best bet. The more wall it covers, the more effective it will be.

This works for 2 key reasons:

  1. The greater the surface area of the mirror, the more light it will reflect throughout your bathroom
  2. A reflective surface can give the illusion of a much larger room

Your bathroom will immediately feel brighter because it will also feel larger. It's a real win-win.

Mode Morris bathroom mirror 600 x 1200mm


No room for windows? Fake it ‘til you make it

Unfortunately, not all bathrooms come with large windows. In fact, in some properties, the bathroom will have no window at all. In this instance, a mirror (no matter how large) won't affect the brightness of your room. Unless, of course, you are using it to make your room feel bigger.

The brightness of your bathroom isn't just about how much light you get in it. It can also relate to how space is used. A packed bathroom that feels claustrophobic will always feel darker and dingier. By strategically placing a mirror in an alcove or where a window could be, you can create the illusion of more space.

This tip is especially effective if you place the mirror opposite the doorway, as it will then reflect light from the hallway.

Orchard Winchester graphite grey bathroom mirror 750 x 600mm


Add little mirrors or additional reflective surfaces

Large mirrors are your best bet for reflecting daylight. However, reflection comes in all shapes and sizes. Introducing smaller mirrors and other reflective surfaces throughout your bathroom can greatly enhance the light quality. This could take the form of reflective handles, cabinets or even towel racks. Get creative!

One of the best ways to bring in more mirrors is to use chrome detailing. Chrome is highly reflective and can significantly brighten up any room while still retaining a clean and modern look.

Orchard Derwent waterfall basin mixer tap


Add plants and similar decor

A great way to introduce a bright and fresh feeling to your bathroom is through plants. Granted, they won't give off any brightness, but they'll bring some life and vibrancy to your space.

If you’re slightly intimidated by the notion of real, living plants, then fake ones can work just as well. Whether you use them to bring a simple pop of colour or as the main feature, plants add character to any room and help show off your personality.

Plant ideas for a small bathroom


Paint your bathroom a brighter colour

This one might sound obvious, but it is actually a delicate art. You can't just choose the brightest colour you can think of and slap it on your bathroom walls. If it isn't the right shade, it can actually make your room feel smaller.

Try to avoid garish colours like a solid red. To get the best results from this tactic, you need to choose a softer, lighter colour.

Think pastels or cooler shades such as mint. Sometimes, contrasting shades can significantly improve the brightness of a room too. This all comes back to the same reason mirrors help brighten up a room so much: reflection. Light will reflect off lighter colours rather than be absorbed by it.


Make the most of patterns and prints

If solid colours aren't to your tastes, but you still want to make your bathroom feel brighter, consider patterns. This is a risk, as you’ll need to be even more careful than when choosing the right shade. A busy pattern can actually make your room feel smaller.

However, a bright, neat and repetitive pattern can drastically improve the overall appearance of your bathroom. This is especially true if you utilise a metallic pattern, such as gold or silver, to further reflect light.

If you choose to go for a pattern, make sure you don't select one with numerous shapes and colours—they’ll likely make your bathroom feel smaller, not bigger.

Bathroom trends—patterns and prints


Add lamps or extra light fittings

An obvious solution but so often overlooked. If your bathroom is too dark, add more lights! This can go hand in hand with some nice décor changes too. You can really upgrade the appearance of a bathroom by adding a wall lamp or two. Just make sure your lamp is suitable for use in a bathroom.

Additionally, new overhead lighting could be the answer to your troubles. If your fixtures haven't been replaced in years or a previous homeowner left an unsightly lighting situation, it might be time to change it up. Cleaner, brighter lighting will immediately improve your surroundings.

Forum Helios bathroom wall light


Make the most of white fixtures

When it comes to brightening your bathroom, white is your new best friend. White cabinets, sinks, mirrors, bathtubs—there are so many options to choose from! This is because white reflects all colour rather than absorbing it. The only thing better than using white is to use chrome or a similar reflective surface. If you use both, you're on your way to a seriously light bathroom.

Generally, you should avoid dark colours in your bathroom as much as possible. The only time this rule doesn't apply is if you are making use of subtle contrast. Otherwise, it's a big no-no.

This even applies to any mirrors you buy. A large mirror with a thick, dark frame will hinder the brightness you're trying to achieve. Keep it light!

Dulwich white bathroom furniture


Consider a skylight

This is a costly option, but if you are looking to introduce some light, there's no better way than bringing the sky into your bathroom. Skylights immediately bathe a room in light throughout the entire day. And nothing impresses guests more than a ceiling that opens up to reveal the sky.

If you use this in tandem with our other tips, like mirrors and brighter colours, then you will never have to worry about your bathroom feeling dark again.


Use frosted glass in your doorway

If a skylight isn't remotely possible, or your bathroom has no windows to make use of, then look to your doorway for answers. The installation of a frosted glass pane in your door allows the room to “borrow” light from the hallway. It won't bathe your room in the light like a skylight, however, it's still going to bring in light and make the space feel brighter.

Placing a mirror opposite the new door will also heighten the efficiency of this tactic. There are options available to you, even with the smallest of bathrooms. It just requires some innovative thinking!


Brighter flooring, lighter room

If you want a brighter bathroom, white tiles are a good way to go. Understandably, some people hesitate to have white bathroom flooring due to how easily it can stain.

We recommend choosing a bold pattern instead. You get all the benefits of a shiny, white floor without having to worry about every little mark showing up. The pattern will take care of all of that.

Lucena Tia traditional matt wall and floor tile 450mm x 450mm


Need some more bathroom design inspiration and advice?

Bathrooms are usually one of the smallest rooms in your house, and they don't always get the love and attention they deserve. However, you can elevate this space and bring in extra light with some small redesigns and by adding a stunning mirror.

Mirrors add so much to any room, but they do absolute wonders for bathrooms. Why not check out our mirror and cabinet buying guide for further information. You can also find out how to fit a bathroom mirror and find further ideas on choosing the right mirror for you.

Have you considered the benefits of an illuminated mirror? And what about anti-fog mirrors—could these be a good option for your bathroom?


Shop mirrors

Why not browse our full selection of bathroom mirrors, including illuminated designs, traditional styles and much, much more. Simply click on the image below.

Shop mirrors

Author, Adam Chard

Posted by Adam Chard in Inspiration | 2 months ago

A born & raised West Countryman, now living on the Yorkshire Coast, for over 8 years Adam has been bringing home interior ideas to life at Victoria Plum. Adam’s favourite interior styles have been shaped by both urban and natural influences.

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