6 Ways to Open Up a Windowless Bathroom
When planning the interior architecture of a home, whether it’s a cozy house, a slick condo, or something in between, usually the bathroom is one of the last places to get precious window real estate. That leaves many of us with a windowless bathroom that feels a little boxed in. Luckily, designers have lots of tricks for brightening bathrooms. Here are five tried and true ways to open up a windowless bathroom:
1. Embrace White
White is one of the best ways ((if not the best way) to reflect light through a space. It’s even more powerful than a mirror. Keep in mind that white can also be introduced through accessories, and not strictly walls. The paint here carries a hint of color, but the room still feels fresh with all the hits of white introduced via the breezy chair, petite rug, tiles and fixtures.
2. Learn to Love Glass and Lucite
If you don’t have a window letting light in, then you won’t want something that takes light away. Polished metal, glass, mirror and Lucite are great materials for adding interest and drama without absorbing light. The space will feel uniform, even if there’s very little color. Lucite accessories are particularly useful for the functional items you need on the counter; they’ll feel like they encroach less on your space than opaque pieces, so the entire vibe is less cluttered.
3. Get a Leggy Vanity
A leggy, open vanity will admittedly provide less storage, but if you can tuck bathroom items in a closet, the longer sight lines of an open vanity will help you feel less boxed in. I use this style often in compact bathrooms. An airy vanity can also include a towel shelf (also usable for baskets of smaller items) and still feel very light. Again, white, metal and glass will help it appear to float. A front rail will provide a place for a small towel.
4. Have Multiple Mirrors
Mirrors in unexpected places really help to expand the space, especially near the ground, where they let the floor stretch out (you can also create the look by using mirror for bathroom toe kicks or closet doors). Also notice how this bath and the one in the previous photo have glass doors instead of a curtain for maximum openness. A fixed glass panel with a swing door is one of my go-tos, even with a standard tub installation. A full wall of mirror (or at least extending to the vanity) really goes the extra distance to double the space visually. Here some antique character helps to bring warmth back in. You can even layer a second mirror (or just a frame) over the large panel to create a focal point, added interest and a more intimate mood.
5. Layer Your Lighting
Windows bring in horizontal light to counter overhead lights. Without a window, all you’ve got is vertical light coming straight down — not flattering. Wall fixtures will bring back that glow to your face (and your space). Layering lighting right over the glass is a great solution in a small bathroom. You can create the look with a hanging plug-in pendant when cutting an existing mirror isn’t an option.
6. Fake It
Consider adding elements to make the room feel like it has a window. I’m sure the window in this space is real, but can you tell? Ultimately a bathroom shade is usually closed, so adding one in front of a blank wall (with a cool-running light behind it) will create the illusion of a window and a diffused glow. Of course, with a crackling fireplace nearby, who needs a window?