Updating your bathroom lighting can make it more relaxing

One of the most startling improvements you can make to your bathroom is also one of the least well known. While everybody recognises the huge difference a new bath or shower can make, lighting is still regarded as an unnecessary and largely irrelevant modification. However, with a little guidance, it will become clear that choosing your lighting carefully will greatly increase the beauty of your bathroom.

For the majority of bathrooms, a mixture of different lighting methods is crucial. Fluorescent lighting is all well and good, but it fails to provide much of an ambience, while soft illumination makes practical tasks, such as shaving or putting on make-up, difficult.

So called ‘task lighting’ placed over a bathroom mirror makes shaving quick and easy and need not be unattractive. Light bars provide an ideal combination of looks and functionality and do not cost the earth.

Similarly, a centrally positioned light can offer superb ambient effects, vital when enjoying a long, relaxing soak in the bath. Chandeliers are an innovative way to provide such an atmosphere and are cheaper than you might expect. However, it is worthwhile giving some thought to exactly how often you bathe. Too much exposure to steam may damage the fixture after even a short period of time. 

A dimmer switch may offer the perfect solution for those on a limited budget, providing strong light when performing more functional tasks and a softer, intimate illumination for those quieter moments. The trick is to shop around and choose carefully.


Going Green – renovating your bathroom

Climate change is the single most discussed topic in political and environmental circles at the moment. From cars to computers, aeroplanes to aerosols, it seems that virtually every product we use is having a harmful impact on the planet.

Renovating your bathroom in as eco-friendly way as possible is a good way to help do your bit to prolong the life of the planet.

Of course, this does not mean to say that you have to resort to boiling your bathwater over an open fire or washing your bath towels once a month. There are plenty of ways to conserve energy without a drop in living standards.

For example, consider your toilet. Chances are it will be of the traditional lever flush or chain variety. Gallons of water are wasted each day by these conventional devices. Try installing a dual flush button on your cistern. This will help reduce the amount of water you use, when flushing, by up to a third. Low flush lavatories are becoming very popular and there is no need to cut back on quality, because both systems are stylish and modern.

Another useful tip is to incorporate water savers. These can be easily fitted into your showerhead and drastically reduce the amount of water used without compromising on cleanliness or enjoyment.

Insulating your bathroom walls is another good idea that you should seriously consider.

Finally, have a look at your lighting. Most appliances now run on low energy light bulbs.

So do your wallet, as well as the planet, a favour.


Transforming a dingy bathroom

A dingy bathroom is likely to be uncomfortable, so adding a few items here and there to brighten up the room is a good idea. If you do not have much money to spare, then there are a variety of affordable interesting accessories that can make your bathroom look much better.

Going for light colours, such as white, can make a dingy bathroom look much brighter and more modern. Paint is the best option, as it is easy to apply and a quick way of brightening up your bathroom. There are many types of paint that have a film that is mould and mildew resistant to protect your bathroom walls.

If your bathroom has a cracked bath, toilet or sink, then it will need repairing as soon as possible to prevent leaks. Cracked items can make a bathroom look dingy, and there are some types of surfaces, such as porcelain, which can be repainted, leaving your bathroom free of cracks and looking much brighter and appealing.

Mould and mildew can also make a bathroom look dingy. There are a variety of cleaning products that easily remove mould and mildew to make your bathroom look much cleaner and make it a safer environment you, your family and any visitors.

If your bathroom does not have much natural light, then this will make it look dingy. Be sure to keep your curtains open to let in more light. Privacy windows will allow you to let in lots of light whilst keeping your bathroom private. If you have blinds, pull them up to let in more light. Open your windows to let in more air and install an extractor fan to keep your bathroom well ventilated.


Having an eco-friendly bathroom

If you wish to help the environment, then there are a variety of steps that you can take to make your bathroom eco-friendly. Using taps that save water is one step to take. Using taps that shut themselves off automatically after a number of seconds or low-flow showerheads can save water and energy. Low flush toilets also help you to save water.

Using recycled items will help you to have an eco-friendly bathroom. There are a variety of eco-friendly products to choose from, such as recycled soap cases and make up bags. Many shampoos and other bath products contain chemicals that are harmful, so it is better to stick to organic products. Avoid artificial fragrances.

To save energy, it is a good idea to swap all the light bulbs in your bathroom for energy saving light bulbs. There are bright energy saving bulbs available, so that your bathroom has enough light. Try to stick to just one main light for the bathroom rather than having lots of lights scattered around to reduce the amount of energy that you use.

Have your central heating on a timer so that it switches itself off automatically after a certain amount of time. Try to avoid using too much hot water. There are water heaters available that help to reduce the amount of heat that you use. If you simply reduce the amount of hot water and light that you use in the bathroom then you do not have to go to great lengths to be environmentally friendly.


Making your bathroom safe

Many accidents happen in the bathroom due to the proximity of water and electricity. If you have elderly family members or children, then you need to ensure that your bathroom is as safe as possible. Using bathmats will prevent people from slipping when stepping out of the bath and grab-rails should be installed to assist disabled or elderly people.

If there are electric appliances in the bathroom, they should be kept well away from water. If you enjoy listening to music whilst taking a bath, be sure to place the radio as far away from the bath as possible, so that it does not come into contact with water. If you have a plug just outside the bathroom door, use that for your radio rather than one inside the bathroom, in order to avoid getting the plug wet.

If you are not experienced at installing lights or heaters, have the job done professionally, so that everything will be wired-up safely. It may also be a good idea to avoid having electric heaters in the bathroom at all. Use pull cords for lights as opposed to light switches, so if you have any light switches in the room, remove them and have a pull cord fitted instead.

Whilst glass objects, such as shelves or screens look good, they may not be safe, especially if you have small children running around. Medicine cabinets should also be locked or placed high up, to prevent easy access to bottles or tablets.

Water can get very hot, so it is important that adults should be in charge of running baths for children and should remain with them at all times.


Selecting the right lighting for your bathroom

The lighting is perhaps one of the most important parts of a new bathroom. There are many different types of lighting that you can choose from and it is a good idea to choose a light that compliments your bathroom. If you are more concerned with making your bathroom look good using natural light, then you may wish to just buy a simple ceiling light for the evening. There are many simple ceiling lights that look attractive, such as the ones provided by the company HIB, who produce lights that contain circular frosted glass.

Using small lights for particular accessories, such as mirrors, will make your bathroom look more luxurious and also provide you with a softer light when using the mirror. HIB do a selection of lights that are ideal for both mirrors and bathroom cabinets and can be operated by a push button or a pull cord. Their Razorlite mirror light, which is priced at £76.00, is particularly ideal as it comes with a shaver socket.

If you wish to achieve a designer look, then you may wish to use mini chandeliers, which look great placed above the bathtub. You can also use dimmers, which enable you to choose the right kind of lighting for your bathroom, such as a relaxing low light when bathing and a brighter light for bathroom activities such as applying makeup. Spotlights can also give your bathroom a luxurious designer feel.

For lights that use more than one bulb, such as chandeliers or spotlights, you may wish to purchase low energy lights. There are a variety of stores that provide low energy spotlights and chandeliers.


Designing Sensual Bathrooms

The bathroom is a place where people often unwind and relax, or even prepare themselves in anticipation of a night of passion. It can be viewed as a room where the senses can either be soothed, calmed or even stimulated and as such it can be a very sensual place.

Traditionally the concept of sensual bathrooms has involved sweetly fragranced candles, rose petals and some soft music. This can be great for the woman, but the man may often find that sharing a bath, whilst being bombarded with sweet fragrances, is not quite so sensual for him.

Why not think about installing some mood lighting in your bathroom, so that you can both relax with the lights turned down low? Non-scented candles can then be used, along with aromatherapy oils to stimulate the sense of smell.

Next, try to have things that appeal to both men and women, such as candles, which are not overly sweet, like ylang ylang. Oil burners with aromatherapy oils, such as bergamot and cedar-wood, are often regarded as aphrodisiacs, but their scent is not too feminine, so they are pleasing to both sexes.

Wooden massagers can often be used to help each other relax, with the wood version being more masculine than a feminine or girlie massager.

Rose petals are fine in moderation, but they can dominate if they are used too liberally. So limit their use, in recognition of the bathroom being for both of you.  All that remains now is for you to simply enjoy your sensual bathroom and each other.


Bathroom Fittings: Light-pulls

A careful choice of light-pull can look very stylish and help your bathroom co-ordinate perfectly. Light-pulls used to be available in only a very limited number of fairly horrendous styles, usually taking the form of a plastic plug at the end of a piece of string. However, they now come in all shapes, colours and sizes, including rectangular, oval, skittle or egg shaped and even spiral. Given that the range is now so extensive, it makes perfect sense to tie together the whole look of your bathroom by finishing it off with an eye-catching light-pull.

If you have an ultra modern bathroom, with bisque style radiators, angular wash hand basins, bath and very bold taps, then why not finish off the effect by having a really chunky light-pull? 

Light-pulls are also available in a variety of materials, including chrome or chrome effect, glass, ceramic or even wood. The ceramic and wooden light-pulls are more suited to traditional or even period bathrooms, whereas the chrome models are an excellent choice for contemporary and modern ones.

Try to pick out at least one item in the bathroom and then choose a light-pull that is designed in the same style. This will draw the eye from the pull to other items in the room, thus offering a look that is complete and shows a real artistic and co-ordinated flair. For obvious reasons, don’t fit chintzy light-pulls in modern bathrooms, or very modern ones in period bathrooms, or they will simply look incongruous.