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How to Light Your New Bathroom: Marrying Form and Function

BY Cook & Bathe

Whether you're looking to freshen up your current bathroom or you're tackling a major overhaul, it's important to remember that the right bathroom lighting can mean the difference between a bathroom that just looks good, and a bathroom that looks good and functions well.

Know What You Need

It goes without saying that you'll want to light the vanity/sink area so that your face is illuminated without any shadows. Beyond that, you'll definitely want to consider lighting the shower for safety's sake, and then you'll be free to take care of creating a little spa-like or relaxing atmosphere for those "take me away from it all" moments spent soaking in the tub.

Ambient Lighting

This can be a pretty light fixture (or more, if your bathroom is large) in the middle of the bathroom ceiling, or recessed spotlights scattered throughout the room. (If you opt for recessed lighting, just be sure not to position any of the fixtures over the bathroom sink, for reasons explained below.) Of course, in a large bathroom, you can always opt for both an eye-catching overhead fixture and recessed lighting.

Task Lighting

Applying makeup, shaving, brushing and flossing your teeth. These are all activities -- or tasks -- that you perform at the bathroom mirror over the sink. That's where the light's got to be really good, bright and even. To avoid casting any shadows on your face, most designers recommend a pair of sconces (one on each side of the mirror) or a pair of hanging mirror-side. A lighted mirror will work too, if you'd rather not have any fixtures at all. Avoid adding an overhead light in this area, since this tends to cast shadows that show up under the eyes and chin, which not only makes applying makeup more difficult, but also makes you look older -- something nobody wants or needs!

Task Lighting Remer Backlit Mirrors available in the Cook & Bathe showrooms. Photo: remer.com.au

Accent Lighting

These days, it's not at all unusual to find a beautiful piece of art hanging in the bathroom. And why not? It's a room we spend a lot of time in, so why not hang something that makes us feel happy or peaceful? If you do hang a piece of art, or create an alcove for a sculptural piece or to house some beautiful bath accessories, it makes sense to highlight the area with some accent lighting.

You'll also want to highlight a beautiful bathroom feature, like a free-standing tub or a spectacular sink, and some strategically placed accent lighting can do that as well.

Creating a Mood

The bathroom is the one room in the house that can provide privacy and refuge from the rest of the world. Adding dimmers to overhead (ambient) lighting will allow your eyes time to adjust in the morning, and will also help create a serene atmosphere for a relaxing soak in the tub after a long hard day at work.

Candles and bathtubs are a match made in heaven. (What's more romantic and luxurious than a candle-lit bubble bath?) If you do opt to use candles in the bathroom, just be sure to position them well away from flammable items like towels, and never leave them unattended.

Creating a MoodPhoto: Caroma

Don't Forget Practicality

When installing switches, think about keeping the bathroom fan switch separate from the lighting switches. It can be annoying to have the bathroom fan come on every time you flip the switch, especially if you're just coming in to brush your teeth or wash your hands and it's not really needed.

Gone are the days when bathroom lighting meant a glaring overhead fixture and a light over the bathroom mirror. Today's bathroom lighting is sophisticated, mood-enhancing and functional all at the same time. In fact, the right lighting is so important to the overall look of a bathroom that it can literally make or break its impact and comfort. Do it right, and you might just find that your bathroom ends up being one of your favourite rooms to spend time in!

Accompany your new bathroom lighting with our beautiful range of bathroom products including sleek bathtubs, contemporary vanity units, stylish basins and luxury showers to create a serene bathing space for ultimate relaxation.

Visit our showrooms in Flemington or Fawkner to explore our full range of Remer backlit mirrored to compliment your vanity.