Let There Be Light: Making a Dark Bathroom Look Lighter

Sometimes, a bathroom just looks too dark. It can be because the walls are tiled or painted in shades that are too overpowering for the space, or it can be that the room itself is small, has little natural light, or is overcrowded with accessories and furniture. The trick to make any bathroom lighter and brighter is to clear out the clutter, and then give everything a thorough clean (including the windows or roof lights if it’s a loft conversion).

When you’ve done all that, have a proper think and work out what’s making it look dark. Most ‘dark’ problems can be sorted out quite simply – a coat of white (or a very pale) paint and perhaps some judicious re-tiling. Dark walls, whether tiled or painted, will nearly always make a dark or small room look darker or smaller. That’s not necessarily a problem, but personal taste dictates the overall look and feel of the bathroom. Sometimes, the simple solutions, such as new light fittings or a mirrored wall cabinet with lighting will make a huge difference.

Pale & Interesting

This neat and simple scheme would enhance the smallest bathroom space, making it feel lighter. Key design details include large format Inverno wall and floor tiles, a neat wall-hung basin, and a plain mirrored cabinet. Visually, none of these ideas are intrusive, maintaining a light, restful and uncluttered look.

Get the Gloss

If you’ve got a bathroom with dark flooring, transform the overall look with light, white, tiles. Glossy finishes make all the difference, especially if you have directional spot-lights or downlighting. The room will look like a beautiful, brightly-lit jewel box. We suggest you have a look at our Hellas design to lighten and brighten your bathroom life!

Streamlined Looks

A ‘light’ bathroom can still include some darker elements – such as the black basin cabinet featured here. It’s not all plain though, our Yosemite Split Face wall tiles add texture and colour, without taking over the colour scheme. Combined with minimalist glass shower panels, this shower room looks light and bright – ceiling spots are a vital part of this design solution.

Urbano Grey Matt Wall Tiles from Tile Mountain

Urbano Grey Matt Wall Tiles from Tile Mountain

Clear the Floor

A simple way to achieve a feeling of light and space is to use wall-hung fittings and furniture. Even if the floor is a darker shade, that element of space between the loo, basin, cabinet or whatever, all adds to a ‘lighter’ feeling. Once again, keep it simple with subtle tiles such as Urbano. Consider using frosted glass panels instead of solid walls for en-suite or master-suite bathrooms, especially if you’re carving out a bathroom space from a hallway or bedroom area. Frosted glass will let light flow through, adding a sense of space and open-ness (whilst retaining privacy, of course!).

Bathroom Blinds from Duette

Bathroom Blinds from Duette

Blinds from Bottom to Top

A bathroom with lots of windows (perhaps on the ground floor, easily overlooked) can be a problem – you don’t want to block all the light out, as a light and airy bathroom is a privilege, most of us would agree! One solution is to fit pleated bathroom blinds from Duette. These are not only moisture-resistant, which of course is invaluable in the bathroom, but are energy-saving too. There are close-from-the-top or lift-up-from-the-bottom options, which of course provide all the necessary advantages without blocking out any light. Go for it!


Additional Ideas …

It goes without saying that a nice big mirror bounces light around any room and immediately adds a feeling of light and space. We’re rather enthusiastic over this great MY-Phone illuminated mirror from MY-Furniture, with front-facing high efficiency LED light, on a white painted steel base. As far as basic and practical accessories are concerned, don’t clutter up a newly spruced up bathroom, keep colours light and subtle. We’re rather keen on the new Autumn 2018 selection from Next.

Next time …Calling all freshers!  We’ll be making some colourful, practical and cost-effective suggestions for anyone trying to kit out a soul-less and uninspiring shared bathroom in their halls of residence.

You might also enjoy these posts on the Tile Mountain blog…

How to Add Colour to Your Bathroom

Trend Watch: Black and Gold Bathroom Hardware

Decorating Your Bathroom with Mosaics: A Practical Guide

Linda has worked as a freelance interiors writer and blogger for many years; she has written for most of the major home and design magazines, including KBB Magazine, Grand Designs, Homes & Gardens, House Beautiful, Period Homes and Good Homes. She made the break and moved from London back to her home town of Shrewsbury three years ago and has just finished renovating her house. She also works in an interior design studio, produces copy for brochures and website, tries to tame her garden, aims to finish all the home furnishing projects she has on the go … and loves walking.