Brighten Up a Windowless Bathroom

woman reclining in a bubble bath in a small, well lit bathroom with candles

Bathrooms that don’t have any natural light sources can end up feeling pretty dark and drab. Even in the absence of windows, though, there are ways to make the space feel brighter, lighter, and more airy.

Fresh Paint Job

Try lightening up with a fresh coat of paint. This is a relatively easy and inexpensive measure that can do wonders for transforming a space. Choose a light and/or muted hue with a high or semi-gloss finish. Also, don’t forget to paint the ceiling. A glossy, white ceiling can make a room feel both brighter and taller.

Add Candles

Adding shelving for a few candles, real or faux, can help turn your windowless bathroom into a cozy, romantic enclave. Scented candles can freshen up the scent, too.

minimalist bathroom with plant, candles, and a bathtub

Add Mirrors

Mirrors play a trick on the eyes, making any space seem more open and bright. Especially the use of a full-length mirror can make a room appear to be larger and more airy than it actually is, and will redirect light from other areas, amplifying this effect. Another easy way to add mirrors is through the furniture in your bathroom. If you have an accent table, make it a mirrored one.

Bright Linens

Bright or light colored linens and accents in your bathroom can help spiff it up and keep things cheery. Consider towels in bright blues, yellows, or pinks. Or, for a more neutral route, reach for some stark whites to brighten the space. You might want to switch in a white or bright colored shower curtain, too, to help your eyes pop open in the morning.

Use Lucite Accessories

A clear, modern material, lucite—aka acrylic glass—is a sound option for bathroom accessories that will help the space feel less cluttered and more bright and airy. Choose a lucite soap dish and toothbrush holder to increase transparency and light flow.

Adjust the Light Fixtures

Change up your light fixtures by making them upward facing. Bouncing light off the ceiling will make for a warmer, better lit space. Also, consider adding more fixtures or lamps of any kind to just literally increase the lumosity, and choose bulbs that generate the brightest light you find pleasant. CFL or LED bulbs that have a rating of at least 3,000K on the color temperature scale resemble sunlight more than bulbs that have a duller, yellow glow.

marble stone bathroom with large mirrors and light fixtures

Add Horizontal Light

Windows provide horizontal light, whereas light fixtures on the ceiling provide only vertical lighting. This top down lighting tends to be less flattering. To improve the light in the space and improve the feeling of checking yourself out in the bathroom mirror, add a light fixture or two on the walls. There are tons of stylish models out there, so this is an upgrade that can brighten up a space while also increasing its cool factor.

Add a Pretend Window

Even if there's no way to put in a real one, you can easily create the illusion of a window in your bathroom. Put a shade in front of a blank wall, then behind the shade, add a cool-running light that will throw a gentle splash of illumination like sunlight coming in. Since bathroom shades are usually down anyways—for privacy purposes—this will make your bathroom feel like there’s a window and will certainly might it feel brighter.

Opt for Transparent Fittings

The more glass or transparent furnishings you opt for in your bathroom, the less cluttered and more open it will feel. Glass and clear items also reflect artificial light well, creating a brighter environment. Install glass shower screens or enclosures in your bathroom as well as glass shelving. This creates a clean and desirable look, too.

If you're working with limited space, check out our design ideas for small bathrooms to help cut down clutter and maximize your room!