Using lighting to set the mood is a tried-and-true design technique, but there's one oft-overlooked space that should always be a priority: the bathroom. Sure, you entertain guests in your living room and dining room, and we love pouring our best decorating ideas into finding the right ambiance in those areas.
But consider this: Your bathroom is a space where you spend time getting ready for the day ahead and winding down for bed, both of which require a pleasant mindset. After all, it's nice to look your best when heading to the office, out with friends, or on a date, and it's equally important to get ready for bed in a relaxed state. In all of these cases, the cardinal rule of Instagram applies: Lighting matters.
Luckily, upgrading bathroom lighting can be a relatively budget-friendly affair when compared with more intensive bathroom renovations. So whether you’re targeting a tranquil, spa-inspired bathtub vibe or a bright, glamorous getting-ready space, there's no shortage of pendants, flush mounts, sconces, and chandeliers to suit your personal style.
Below, check out 20 chic bathroom lighting ideas to keep you looking your best.
This might just be the perfect powder room. A glam metallic combination of brass sconces flanking the mirror, brass faucet fixtures, and patterned gold wallpaper create a warm glow that begs for a selfie—no vanity (and no filter) necessary. When choosing new lighting, consider the tones of your paint or wallpaper to make a bold effect with monochrome colors.
Relax in Style
The light, feminine feeling of this bathroom is enhanced by a chic chandelier over the bathtub. Because in a bathroom intended for luxuriating, teardrop crystals are always a good idea. Who wouldn't feel relaxed, refreshed, and renewed after a little time in this space?
Play up Natural Light
An all-white bathroom sets a tone that's fresh and clean no matter where you live. This bathroom is also a lesson in how to harness natural light to lessen the pressure on light fixtures: Smaller flush-mount lights will still provide plenty of light, considering the way the ample natural light illuminates the white walls, ceiling, and tub.
When choosing a white paint for your bathroom, make the space uniform and draw the eye up by painting your ceiling the same shade as the walls.
Shimmer With Chandeliers
In this glamorous space with a French twist by Interior Impressions, a copper chandelier elegantly hangs above the most inviting soaker tub. If you're looking for that wow factor when you walk in the room, don't overlook elaborate hanging fixtures. With a bathroom like this, we'd never want to leave the tub.
Swing It Out
Most light fixtures can't be moved around, so you may find yourself pulling out the makeup mirror each morning to get it just right. But what if your adjustable light source was built-in? Designer Tyler Karu added this swing-arm fixture in a black finish to complement this bathroom's walls and earthy countertops.
In a darker room with more earthy, natural décor, it makes sense to double down on the lighting in front of the mirror to ensure the right level of brightness. Pendant lights are also a great option for smaller bathrooms where wall area is limited. Save space for decorations and storage solutions without sacrificing that clean, rejuvenating feeling when you flip the switch.
Freshen Up Mid-Century Modern
With a densely-patterned wallpaper and colorful wall art, this space was almost perfect—but Brexton Cole Interiors stepped it up with the perfect fixture. This LED vanity light spreads along the length of the mirror, brightening the entire room. Who wouldn't want to show off that décor?
Mix and Match
Maybe the perfect fixture for your space isn't just one light. In this welcoming, green-tiled and chic bathroom, Leah O'Connell Design mixes a classy gold wall sconce with an industrial mounted light. By matching the sconce metal to other hardware in the room, the industrial bulb stands out among the rest for an extra boost of light.
Bring Spa Vibes Home
Soothing neutral shades and cool-to-the-touch industrial raw design materials in this bathroom remind us of our favorite spas. And when it's time to be pampered, there's no better way to treat yourself than a bath underneath this stunning chandelier made of metallic beads. This fixture sets the stage for the perfect escape with self-care vibes.
When your home is mostly traditional, it can be tough to find the right statement touches to fit your rooms. This was no feat for Interior Impressions when they styled this classy but homey bathroom, with a four-shade chandelier placed directly above the tub. Going for gold adds an eye-catching element to this space without overtaking its calmer style.
The pendant light in this bathroom is proof that finding your best light might take you on a cultural journey. In this case, the combination of Moroccan pendant lighting with colorful patterned tiles gives the room brightness, energy, and worldly flavor. Matching your tub hardware to lighting fixtures adds an even bolder level of color.
Complementary colors like blue and gold blend well together in a space when you're looking for a pop of shiny, bright metal that won't clash with tile or wall paint.
Read and Relax
Sometimes, curling up with a good book involves a bathtub as well, which makes a reading light an important element in the bathroom. In this cozy bathtub nook surrounded by clean, modern lines, a swing-arm sconce is able to provide both fashion and function. Say goodbye to those clip-on reading lights from school: This fixture will brighten every word.
Get That Warm Glow
In a bathroom that balances old and new styles for an eclectic mix, mid-century modern sconces are the perfect fit. The tones of the copper finish on these sconces bring out the warm glow of the paint color on the walls. Consider this flattering, softly-warm effect for your own personal "magic hour filter."
Glow Up Track Lights
While they may be common in many bathrooms, shining track lights are anything but basic. Paired with a bold, uniform wall paint and busily-patterned tile floors, this space by Casa Watkins Interiors blends modern with boho. The use of simple wall-mounted track lights leaves plenty of room for a large mirror, while giving off bright light that's perfect for getting ready.
A clean, fresh bathroom calls for lighting with the same vibe. Sure, bulbs and wattage play a role in keeping it cool; but in this case, it's all about the materials being illuminated. Matte and shiny finishes mixed with ceramic and wood surfaces are all juxtaposed for an effortlessly-layered texture mix.
Sometimes the best way to think outside the box is to think about the box. Using rectangular, lantern-shaped sconces above round mirrors creates visual interest with shapes. This layering of a mesh texture on top of wood, marble, brass, and shiplap gives the space texture in spades.
Don't Overlook Mirrors
Have you ever seen lighting mounted in a mirror? Whittney Parkinson Design didn't waste an inch of space with this project: Allowing the mirror to extend across the wall's open space, this designer placed vanity lighting directly on the mirror. Large mirrors have always been a design trick to maximize the light reflected in a room, and this bathroom won't lose a bit.
Keep It Simple
Sometimes, even the simplest of fixtures can make an impact. In this bathroom styled by designer Alvin Wayne, bold wallpaper and a round mirror are offset by a bright, luminescent bulb. If your space is already leaning toward "maximalist," a basic light source might be just what you need to brighten things up.
Go for Sleek
A simple wall sconce was all that this clean, sleek bathroom by Gray Space Interiors needed to pull the room together. Adding a hint of modern style to the room's warm, chevron-patterned wood floors, the hardware and lighting complement each other. With a simple white backdrop, this two-sided sconce bursts with light without being overpowering.
Make It Modern
If boho and colorful aren't your thing, maybe choosing a more modern style can create a sleeker look. In this space by Sire Design, simple metal wall sconces paired with LED ceiling lighting give just enough ambiance while keeping a clean feeling. By placing two slim sconces next to each other above the sink, the room is brightened without drawing attention away from marbled walls—opting to highlight them instead.