There’s a pretty slim chance you haven’t lived in a home with a tried-and-true, builder-grade bath bar over the bathroom mirror. You know the one—a few dusty globe bulbs atop a metal or wooden backplate:
Not quite the stuff Pinterest dreams are made of. But the thing is, these fixtures can offer great light output, and swapping it out might not be the only solution to making your bathroom the utility-meets-tranquility space it needs to be. Here are 4 fresh ideas for updating your bathroom lighting without ripping that clunky fixture off the wall:
1. Use the ceiling. Install adjustable recessed lights above for a clean look without relying on bulky fixtures to brighten the space. The concept here is to place the adjustable trim in the ceiling, slightly behind where one stands at the mirror for grooming, etc. The beam of light is directed at the mirror so it best reflects back in the subject’s face, providing direct light. This will leave the mirror area free for a decorative sconce that can add to your overall décor and provide accent light in an attractive way.
2. Make the mirror the light. A lighted mirror provides even lighting for grooming and everyday tasks, and is the perfect solution if you’re working in a small space or want minimal fixtures in the space. A favorite of mine is the Siber Mirror from Tech Lighting, which an option for Halogen, LED or Fluorescent lamping.
3. Separate decor from utility. If form and function are fighting in your space, choose a light that you love for its looks, then use a small, separate mirror for up-close tasks like grooming and make-up application. Having a separate mirror frees you to use a more decorative sconce that will provide accent lighting and align with your personal style. Then use a cosmetic mirror that can be moved to better light if you need it for grooming and make up application. We love the Primo Wall Mounted Cosmetic Mirror by Blomus or the Primo Counter Top Cosmetic Mirror. Both the wall mount and countertop version feature a 2x magnifying mirror for clear, crisp cosmetic application and grooming.
4. Try a pendant light or a chandelier. The well-chosen pendant can provide bright, even light and set your bath project apart from the ordinary. For the best diffusion of light, select a pendant with opal glass. Cylinder shapes or other elongated pendants will provide even coverage when hung on either side of your mirror at approximate even height with one’s face. Tech Lighting’s Sara Grande Pendant, above, is a versatile option. I also love LBL Lighting’s Cypree Large Pendant in the frost finish for a striking design that also delivers even illumination. Or for a softer look, Jonathan Adler’s Capri-1 Pendant in White will provide the proper light for bathroom grooming.
In bigger throne rooms where there is plenty of clearance between the ceiling and the floor, the space could benefit from a bathroom chandelier. These chandeliers are crafted with the presence of water in mind as they are UL Listed for wet and damp locations. And several of them even offer crystal accents to give your vanity a luxurious aesthetic.
These alternatives, either used alone or in combination with one another (or swapping out that basic bath bar), will ensure that your bath has an unexpected, fresh design that’s worth waking up to every day.