They say natural light has the power to make or break a room, but what do you do when you have no windows to speak of?
Lean Into the Dark Side
It might feel counter intuitive to make a dark space feel even dimmer, but dark does not necessarily equal gloomy. Caitlin Murray, the founder and designer of Black Lacquer Design, remodeled a small bathroom without any windows last year and made it into a moody, dark, and sexy retreat. This made the lack of windows feel almost intentional.
The trick was to focus on metallic accents, which helped to both grab the small amount of light and amp up the glamour. After all, there’s a difference between a bat cave and slinky room. “
Wow With White
For those who don’t want to go dark and sultry, another option is tricking the space into feeling airy with a lot of white.
“If you’re open to painting the bathroom, pick a great white paint and prepare for transformation.” Larson Folkerts, a design assistant at Moore House Interiors says. “I recommend avoiding bright colors, as they can make dark spaces feel even darker and smaller without natural light.”
It also helps if you choose a paint with a glossy sheen, which helps to reflect the little light you do have.
Focus on Your Lighting Fixtures
Since you don’t have a window, picking out the correct lighting fixtures will make or break your space.
“A centered ceiling fixture or can lights are great for lighting the whole space, while a pair of wall-mounted sconces on either side of a vanity mirror are both practical and pretty,” says Maggie Griffin, the founder and principal designer at Maggie Griffin Design.
Another tip: in order to make the room feel more appealing, consider having fun with your fixtures. Believe it or not, you can beat back the drab feeling with unique sconces that pack personality.
Folkerts suggests looking for fixtures with clear or seeded glass to maximize the light. But she does warn to avoid certain designs:
If you already have great light fixtures but are still feeling boxed in, try swapping out the bulbs to ones with more wattage to see if that will make a difference.
Double Down on Wall Decor
Carefully selecting your wall decor can instantly brighten your bathroom—no windows needed.
“We love using a wall mirror to help make the space feel bigger and brighter, or artwork that has a bright, white matte frame,” Folkerts explains.
Sometimes the problem isn’t so much that the bathroom feels dark, but it feels too uninviting. Adding in mirrors, wall art that makes you smile, or decor accents that are extra playful makes the room feel more welcoming and cheerful, nixing the drab feeling a windowless room usually creates.