With clever planning and creative styling you can shine a light on washrooms without a window
Houzz Contributor with over 15 years as an interiors writer, stylist and content… More
When conjuring up thoughts of a windowless bathroom – especially common in new-build flats – what springs to mind? Dark, dingy, unwelcoming…? Banish those images! There’s a whole host of clever ways you can bring light and interest into a space that’s lacking a natural outlook. Look to contemporary finishes, modern fittings and the latest technology to illuminate your space.
Go bright white…
Keeping all surfaces, walls and finishes bright white is an obvious way of making a space feel light, but it’s one worth reiterating. Reflection and shine is your secret to success in a windowless space, as (artificial) light can be bounced around the room, making it feel immediately brighter. Mirrors also play an important role in expanding the sense of space, so go as big as you can and try fitting a made-to-measure design right across one wall for maximum impact.
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…but don’t swerve colour
While white will always be a winner for a crisp, bright feel, there’s no need to avoid colour in a windowless room if that’s more your thing. Just choose your shade very carefully: pick something that actively brightens rather than sucks in light or overwhelms; this multi-tonal turquoise scheme brings a richness and warmth, while still being luminous. Grey and white accents keep things crisp and classy.
Browse more turquoise bathrooms in the Houzz photo stream
Employ clever lighting
As well as plenty of reflective surfaces, getting your artificial lighting just right is essential as, let’s face it, this is the only illumination you have! Lighting up the mirror area with overhead spotlights is one good idea: it will create an atmospheric glow, as well as ensuring you have the ideal make-up or shaving station. Overhead spots will flood the space with light when required, and separate controls for different lighting zones mean you don’t need to go full-beam at all times.
Similarly, a pair of sleek bathroom pendants hung next to a mirror will also provide great task lighting, as well as bringing a decorative touch that diverts attention away from the lack of natural light. You’ll thank yourself for installing dimmable versions, too.
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Distract with luxurious touches
Continuing that theme, ensure your bathroom is a truly decadent haven and you’ll forget all about the absence of a window. Opt for plenty of deluxe, high-end finishes, such as elegant marble, warm metals and sleek granite, and you’ll evoke the most luxurious home-spa haven that feels totally cocooning.
Embrace the privacy
One great advantage of not having a window is the total privacy. No more drawing the blind or worrying if your silhouette can be seen by the whole street through the frosted window. The enveloping feeling of a windowless bathroom can be very welcoming and relaxing. In fact, luxury hotel bathrooms are commonly lacking in natural light but still feel utterly comforting.
Think about the best hotel bathrooms you’ve experienced and consider the features you might be able to steal for your own space – from a freestanding bath to a giant walk-in shower or some space-enhancing and brightening feature lighting.
Mimic the sunlight
If you’re still keen on bringing in a sense of the outdoors, try installing a dramatic drop-ceiling with recessed lighting at the edges that mimics sunlight streaming in from above. The light is then directed down the walls and will highlight any interesting wall textures or tiles to make this the focus of the room. Here, brass details further hint at the idea of sunshine.
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Pop out the ceiling
If you have the opportunity to install a roof light (you can just see a glimpse of the one in this room), then this could be the answer to your natural lighting issues. A wonderful overhead window fitted in the ceiling will flood your bathroom with light all day long and will also visually lift the ceiling, making the room appear more spacious. Why not have a little fun by creating a fake window like the owner of this bathroom has done. You could even change the view depending on the mood you want to capture… think relaxing beach scenes or soothing country hills.
Similarly, a solar tube fitted in the ceiling is an effective way of channelling daylight into a windowless room. Perfect for bathrooms that need to be revitalised.
Borrow light from an adjacent room
Brighten up an enclosed en suite by fitting an opaque window into an internal wall. Diffused natural and artificial light borrowed from the bedroom next door will stream into the space yet still ensure plenty of privacy.
Or, if privacy isn’t an issue, you could go one step further and create a unique touch by fitting an exterior window indoors to recreate the sense of an external opening. It will certainly add the wow factor, while allowing plenty of natural light to reach the bathroom.
How have you tackled a windowless bathroom? Share your thoughts/images in the Comments section.