Bathroom Tips – Modern Bathroom Blog | Modern Bathroom

From design ideas to cleaning best practices, the Modern Bathroom Blog provides tips and tricks for creating or maintaining a beautiful bathroom.

How to Create More Space in Your Bathroom

Despite its functionality and frequency of use, bathrooms are typically the smallest rooms in the home. Combine minimal square footage with limited storage space, and your bathroom can become a haven for junk. If your bathroom is feeling cramped or cluttered, it may be time for a bathroom overhaul. To maximize the space in your bathroom, consider these bathroom design and organizational tips.

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall...

Does your bathroom have a plate glass mirror that’s been attached to the wall since the 1970s? If so, you should replace it with a smarter solution designed with storage in mind. If your bathroom is lacking a vanity with available shelving, replace your plate glass mirror with a practical medicine cabinet. To create additional storage space, purchase a medicine cabinet that can be recessed into the wall. Once you’ve installed the medicine cabinet in your bathroom, fill it with prescription medication bottles, tubes of tooth paste, and other eyesores that have been cluttering your countertops.

Throw Out the Old

Most homeowners accumulate too many toiletries, towels, bathroom cleaners, and accessories than can realistically fit in their bathroom space. In order to avoid over accumulation, go through your medicine cabinet, vanity drawers, and cabinets every few months and throw out any unused or expired items. From there, assess your bathroom lifestyle needs. Do you need more counter space? Do you need extra storage? Often times, homeowners find that if they throw out old items and forego replacing them until necessary, the storage space already available in their bathroom is more than enough.

Install Under Vanity Lighting

While this design tactic doesn’t actually add more storage space to your bathroom, it’ll make your bathroom look more visually appealing and feel larger than it is. Aside from making your bathroom vanity appear more beautiful, installing under vanity lighting is also functional. Those who install under vanity lighting find that groping for things under the drawers and cabinets becomes a thing of the past. Installing lighting under your vanity isn’t difficult and, in most cases, can be done without the help of a contractor or handyman.

Utilize the Hidden Space

It might be difficult to imagine where you might find an extra inch of space in a small bathroom, but there’s one secret area that’s easy to access and can be used to your advantage. If you have access to a blank wall, the space between the studs offers a lot of potential storage space. Whether you build floating shelves directly between the studs or actually cut into the wall and install built-in bathroom cabinets, you can add a lot of extra space for things like spare toiletries or linens without having to alter the existing layout of your bathroom.

Get Wired

When it comes to charging personal care items in the bathroom the excess cords and wires are not only visually distracting, but they can be dangerous as well. By purchasing cabinets equipped with outlets (or installing your own), you can keep your electric toothbrushes and razors fully charged and completely out of sight, while minimizing the risk of electrical shock. This strategy is especially useful for families or those with young children, as children of toddler age are most susceptible to accidentally shocking themselves in the bathroom.

Bathroom Light Bulbs: An Overview

Proper lighting in the bathroom is important for a variety of reasons. Not only do we need to see ourselves clearly in the mirror, but we need to make sure the room is well-lit for safety purposes. While each type of light bulb has its own pros and cons, certain bulbs work better in different areas of the home. While high color temperature daylight bulbs are great for kitchens and bedrooms, the bathroom benefits from lower color temperatures closer to the light of incandescent light bulbs. Below is an overview of the best light bulbs for the bathroom, in addition to valuable lighting tips and tricks that will help illuminate your space.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Not only do compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs match the incandescent light we’re accustomed to in bathrooms, but they consume a quarter of the energy and last ten times as long. Unlike traditional florescent lights, CFLs are quiet, turn on instantly, and have a warmer, color-corrected tone. This warm light is perfect for bathrooms, simply because our skin appears better under it. While they’re great for bathrooms, CFLs can be used anywhere you’d use a typical incandescent bulb. Since CFLs contain trace amounts of mercury, they should be handled with care. When they burn out, they should be recycled.

LED Light Bulbs

LED, which stands for “light-emitting diode”, is a long-lasting and extremely energy-efficient lighting technology. Unfortunately, these aren’t a direct substitute for other types of bulbs, as they don’t provide general light. Instead, these types of bulbs should be used for directional light – they’re a great lighting solution for under-counter task lighting or directed at an angle above a mirror. If you have a choice, it’s best to choose lower color temperature light bulbs, as these produce the best light.

Halogen Lights

If you prefer incandescent, halogen bulbs are also an option to consider. They give off the closest light to natural daylight, and colors appear sharper as halogen bulbs can be dimmed. Although they’re more expensive and burn at a higher temperature than incandescent lights, they’re more energy efficient and tend to have a longer life span. Ideal for under cabinet and recessed lighting, halogen light bulbs cast a bright light and last twice as long as standard bulbs. Just remember to avoid using your bare hands to remove halogen bulbs – in certain situations the oil of your hands can cause the bulbs to explode.

Bathroom Lighting Tips and Tricks

Having mirrors and other reflective surfaces in your bathroom can help distribute light throughout the room. While a mirror above the sink is the best placement for this type of reflective light, side mirrors elsewhere in the room can help. Although a mirror above the sink is ideal for reflective light, it’s important to avoid adding a light directly above the mirror. It’s ineffective for putting on makeup and shaving, and can visually add ten years to your face.

Like all rooms in the home, you can save money in the bathroom by installing energy-efficient bulbs. In addition to using energy-efficient bulbs and fixtures, you can save money and energy in the bathroom by placing your various light stations on different switches – that way, you’re only using the light bulbs you need while using the bathroom.

Bathroom Lighting: A Guide

When it comes to a bathroom remodel, lighting is probably the last thing on your mind. Whether you’re remodeling an existing bathroom or building one from the ground up, natural light is at a premium – if natural light is minimal or non-existent in your bathroom, you’ll want to find lighting that suits your style, budget and bathroom space. If done poorly, lighting can produce unwanted shadows, glare, and can create an unpleasant ambiance. Explore these bathroom lighting ideas and get ready to create a welcoming, well-lit, and functional bath space in your home.

Choose a Style

Before moving a step further in exploring bathroom lighting options, you’ll want to decide on a preferred style of lighting. If you’re matching the lighting to theme or style of the rest of your home, this is as simple as choosing contemporary or traditional elements to match. Some lighting options, like classic wall sconces, can work in any style bathroom – especially as they’re now available in both contemporary and traditional styles. If you’re on the fence, a transitional style strikes the perfect balance between traditional and contemporary.

Use Daylight as Model

The true color of our face, clothing, hair, and makeup is best represented in daylight, so this is the quality of light you should try to mimic in your bathroom. This can be achieved by installing bathroom lighting fixtures with white shades, and using bulbs that render colors appropriate for the room. Although incandescent bulbs and LEDs are popular choices, compact florescent bulbs can be a good choice too – as long as their CRI is 90 or above. For more information on picking the right light bulb for the type of lithe you’d like to achieve, visit a lighting professional in your area.

Consider Dimmers

Dimmers are your best friend because they give you absolute control over the lighting and mood of the room. Whether you’d like to relax in the tub with minimal lighting or apply make-up with the lights blazing on a mirror, you can achieve both by using dimmers. An added bonus: dimmers conserve energy. The total savings depends on how much the bulb is dimmed, but one bulb dimmed just 10 percent will last twice as long as a bulb used at full brightness. Modern day dimmers can work for every kind of light source, though you’ll need to know what to ask for.

Pay Attention to Safety

Although paying attention to the aesthetics of a bathroom is important, it doesn’t diminish the importance of safety. The incorrect combination of electricity and water can be lethal, so consult a certified electrician before tackling even the smallest lighting project in the bathroom. The National Electric Code has specific requirements which must be met, including the requirement that all fixtures within a certain distance of the tub or shower must be “wet” or “shower-location” rated. An electrician who understands these codes can help ensure the lighting in your bathroom adheres to all standards.

Ambient vs. Task vs. Accent

Did you know there’s actually three types of light in the bathroom? Ambient lighting illuminates the entire bathroom with the majority of the light directed towards the floor, task lighting provides visual clarity and shadow-free light so tasks like shaving and putting on make-up are easier, and accent lighting draws attention to specific areas or decorative objects in your bathroom. Most bathrooms include all three, so all three should be kept in mind when shopping for lighting in your own bathroom.


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