For many homeowners, maximizing natural light is an integral part of a bathroom remodeling project. Not only does a bathroom filled with plenty of natural light enhance visibility and contribute to a warm and welcoming space as well as improve a home’s overall energy efficiency, but it can also supply ample ventilation to the space in the form of windows, specifically, casement or awning windows. Glass shower doors, a light color palette, and a streamlined design also work well together to magnify the amount of natural light a bathroom receives.
An effective way to enhance light in a bathroom is by adding windows. One of the first elements to consider is size, as the size and number of windows chosen should primarily be dependent on the bathroom’s dimensions and layout. Although smaller bathroom windows have been the historic standard and are still widely used, including the use of transom windows in a shower stall, this doesn’t mean it is not possible to go against the grain. If the window-to-wall ratio falls within the desired range, incorporating larger windows is also encouraged, even in smaller bathrooms, as they significantly increase the amount of natural light filtering into the space.
If there are privacy concerns over large windows, but a desire to increase light exposure in the bathroom remains, there are several types of privacy glass specially designed for bathroom windows to choose from. Popular examples include frosted glass, patterned glass, stained glass, fluted glass, and obscure glass. Another option is to use window treatments, such as adjustable window blinds, curtains, or shades. A skylight is another solution, as it fills the room with plenty of unobstructed light from above, while its convenient placement in the ceiling/roof ensures maximum privacy.
It is important to keep in mind that bathroom windows, and windows in general, are strategically positioned to take full advantage of natural light. For instance, windows work well when they are situated directly across from a mirror, as a mirror helps amplify the light in the space while reflecting it back towards the source. Additionally, a mirror that sits across from a window will also help the space feel larger. Another popular location for a bathroom window is a shower wall, especially if there’s a bathtub, because this generally means there is a large blank wall that would benefit from the light and ventilation a window provides. For those that value their privacy, windows can be purposely placed higher in a bathroom, above head height for example, to maximize privacy.
Glass shower doors are another beneficial feature to consider as they help create an unobstructed view of the bathroom, which encourages the flow of natural light throughout the space. This makes the entire room feel bright, open, and larger than it is.
The color palette is crucial when it comes to keeping the bathroom light and airy. It is recommended to opt for a bright or neutral color scheme throughout the space because lighter tones are highly reflective, while darker tones absorb light. More specifically, homeowners should pay special attention to the color of the bathroom walls, flooring, and ceilings because they’re responsible for reflecting most of the existing natural light in this space out of all other elements. It is always possible to add pops of color to other features, such as fixtures, towels, bath rugs, and other accessories.
In terms of design, it’s also important to keep the bathroom as streamlined as possible. Try to avoid obstructing any of the natural light that filters into the space, which will help minimize the formation of shadows and dark areas in the space.
For more information on maximizing natural light or to arrange an initial Design Center consultation to discuss renovating your bathroom, call Callen at 414-529-5509 or complete our online submission form.