- Bathroom Lighting Guide: Shower and Vanity Lightingby Susan Arnold on January 22, 2021 at 3:35 PM
iStockHow to select the best lighting for your bathroom by considering types of lighting, fixtures, and layout. When it comes to interior lighting, bathroom lighting is probably given the least consideration of all the rooms in the house. The average client I meet doesn't think to invest there—save it for the living room or kitchen, they say. I see a lot of baths with inadequate mirror or vanity lighting. Often there's just a single ceiling light fixture that's supposed to do it all. The best lighting for your bathroom helps create a place to relax and recharge. And when it's done right, the payoff is great. After all, this is the room where you start and end your day. What Type of Lighting is Best for the Bathroom? A good lighting plan is a series of layers — placing ample light where it is needed for showers, shaving, or putting on makeup, for instance, while other light sources enhance the overall mood of the room. Task Lighting Vanity Lighting Fixtures Vanity lighting gets top consideration because these fixtures work the hardest to illuminate the head and face for grooming. The most common mistake people make is putting recessed ceiling fixtures directly over the mirror. These cast shadows on the face, making daily grooming rituals more difficult. Vertical fixtures or sconces mounted on either side of the mirror are best for casting an even light across the face. But given the size and positioning of some vanity mirrors, sidelights can be impractical (mounting them directly to the mirror is always an option, but at greater planning and cost). Only then do I suggest a fixture for over the mirror. It should be placed 75 to 80 inches above the floor and, like all vanity lighting, contain at least 150 watts — ideally spread over a fixture that's at least 24 inches long so that the light will wash evenly over the hair and face. Shower Lighting The shower is a secondary area of task lighting. In smaller bathrooms, if the stall has a clear glass door, a dedicated fixture may not be necessary. Otherwise, I recommend a recessed light with a glass lens (plastic will yellow). Similar recessed fixtures work well over a freestanding tub or the toilet. Ambient Lighting This "fill-in" light serves as a substitute for natural light. It is most often supplied by a central fixture, usually a surface-mounted ceiling light. I encourage clients to think more creatively in their choices, suggesting they consider a pendant lamp or chandelier instead. Another option is "cove lighting" — rope lights hidden behind a molding dropped several inches below ceiling height — which adds a soft glow around the perimeter of the room. Accent and Recessed Lighting A small recessed spotlight directed at a piece of decorative art or a beautiful powder room basin creates another layer of light in the bathroom. Similarly, a recessed shower fixture can be angled (most can be tilted up to 35 degrees at installation) to highlight nice tilework or fixtures and make them sparkle. Lighting the Vanity Right Ian Worpole To eliminate shadows under the chin, eyes, and cheeks, fixtures should be mounted on either side of the vanity mirror (or on the mirror's surface, if it's large), 36 to 40 inches apart. The center of each fixture should be roughly at eye level, or about 66 inches above the floor. This will guarantee even illumination across the face for grooming. How to Choose the Right Light Bulbs for the Bathroom A crisp white light tends to render skin tones most accurately. Halogen bulbs set the gold standard. Low-voltage varieties (with a built-in transformer that converts 120 volts to 12 volts) are especially compact, and the smaller bulb gives a nice sparkling effect. Halogen bulbs cost a few dollars more than standard incandescents but can last three times as long. Many feature screw-in bases; those labeled medium-base (MB) are shaped like standard incandescents, so they fit most fixtures. The newest compact fluorescent bulbs also offer good color rendering and are up to 10 times more efficient than regular incandescent bulbs. Include Dimmer Lights These are a lighting designer's best friend because they grant absolute control over the lighting, and thus the mood, of the room. In a very small space like a powder room, dimming the vanity fixtures might even provide all-in-one task, ambient, and accent lighting. Plus, dimmers conserve energy. The total savings depends on how much you dim the bulb, but one dimmed just 10 percent will last twice as long as a bulb at full brightness. Today's dimmers work for every kind of light source, though you need to know what to ask for. A 120-volt incandescent or halogen light source will need an incandescent dimmer, while low-voltage and fluorescent fixtures require their own compatible dimmers. Occasionally, dimmed bulbs will buzz as the filament vibrates. Switching to a lower-watt bulb (which has a smaller filament) should reduce or even eliminate the noise. The Best Bathroom Lighting Puts Safety First Attention to aesthetics in the bathroom doesn't diminish the importance of safety. Electricity and water are still lethal companions, and nowhere do they mingle more closely than in the bathroom. Always consult a certified electrician before tackling even the simplest lighting project. The National Electric Code requires all new outlets to have GFCIs, ground-fault circuit interrupters; the newer ones can be retrofitted to existing outlets. Even with a GFCI, freestanding plug-in lamps should never be placed near a sink or tub. Fixtures that are going to be within a certain distance of the tub or shower (usually 6 feet, though local codes vary) must be "wet" or "shower-location" rated. Don't confuse this with the less rigorous "damp-location" rating that's ascribed to most outdoor lighting. Where to Find It Eaton Single Sconces: Restoration Hardware800-762-1005www.restorationhardware.com Elongated Sconces, Metro Neo Sconce, and Wall Sconces: Cassandra Light Ginger, Fort Mill, SC803-547-5786www.gingerco.com Recessed lighting: Thomas Lighting800-825-5844www.thomaslighting.com Mirror: SiriaDesign Within Reach800-944-2233www.dwr.com Pendant light: Mt. Scott by Rejuvenation888-401-1900www.rejuvenation.com Dimmers: Lutron Electronics Co.Coppersburg, PA800-523-9466www.lutron.com Our thanks to: American Lighting AssociationDallas, TX800-274-4484www.americanlightingassoc.com
- Current Obsessions: Brighter Daysby Remodelista Team on January 23, 2021 at 9:00 AM
Among the news and finds that caught our attention this week: To celebrate the momentousness of having a woman in the White House, upstate shop Sunny’s Pop is offering 10 percent off this weekend. Just use code VPHARRIS. The 2020 Design of the Year award goes to the Teeter Totter Wall, a series of bright
- Femte Til Venstre: A Danish Couple’s Thoughtfully Appointed 1927 Townhouse in Copenhagenby Annie Quigley on January 22, 2021 at 9:00 AM
I can’t now remember how or when I first stumbled on the feed of @femte.til.venstre (translation, from Danish: “fifth to the left”), probably some early morning or late at night, scrolling through Instagram in search of a little visual serenity. But I’ve returned to the feed countless times since, taken by the snapshots of a
- Object of Desire: The New Sawkille Desk, Handmade in the Hudson Valleyby Julie Carlson on January 22, 2021 at 8:00 AM
From Sawkille Co., master furniture makers based in Rhinebeck, NY: the company’s newest, delicately detailed desk. ”I think that this time is informing everybody and every industry,” says founder and owner Jonah Meyer. “As a designer, it is the time to also understand simple things. People are spending a lot of time at home and
- Kitchen of the Week: An Artful Conversion of a Garage in Bath, Englandby Margot Guralnick on January 21, 2021 at 9:00 AM
“The customer is always right—and we like to consider the building our client, too, and respond to its character, mood, and spirit,” says Patrick Williams of Berdoulat. A specialist in lyrical and meticulous period restorations, Patrick, when we first met him in 2015, was living in a mid-19th-century East London apartment that he had entirely
- 10 Easy Pieces: Gallery-Style Picture Framesby Janet Hall on January 20, 2021 at 11:30 AM
Whether you’re building out a proper gallery wall or framing a special photo or two, here is a roundup of our favorite off-the-rack gallery frames in both wood and metal. N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on January 12, 2011. For more on frames and framing see our posts: 6 Simple
- A Loveseat For The Sitting Roomby Sherry Petersik on January 13, 2021 at 8:14 PM
A bunch of you got a sneak peek at this change thanks to Instagram Stories right after the holidays, but here’s a quick update about the new loveseat we got and what the sitting room is looking like these days. We got the loveseat on Overstock, and of course now it’s out of stock – but I did find it here and here in the darker color (ours is the “light gray” one). So far we’re loving it, and it really went a long way in making the whole area feel like a legitimate hangout space. It’s also super comfy, which is really what matters (and you know this post is going to have some John & Sherry for scale pics). ottomans / loveseat / rug / chairs / art by Teil Duncan / gold frames / coffee table / lamp / side table We mentioned in our post a month ago about the evolution of our sitting room area that we’d love to get some larger seating, like a loveseat for the wall below. Continue reading A Loveseat For The Sitting Room at Young House Love.
- Updating A Covered Porch With Floor Paint & A Hanging Tentby Sherry Petersik on January 6, 2021 at 7:38 PM
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about living here, it’s that we do a ton of living outside. Between each at-home learning break the kids are out there running around, we make s’mores at our fire pit every week or so, we sit on our front porch and watch the neighborhood dogs go by, and we often eat or hang out on the second-floor deck (we even work on our laptops up there on especially nice days – which is where I’m writing this post right now). We can really feel the house working extra hard for us thanks to the location/climate (good weather definitely encourages us to be outside a lot), but also due to having so many great outdoor areas for us to enjoy (we had no idea how awesome an upstairs deck would be, but boy do we appreciate having it!). Another pretty fortunate occurrence is that a lot of these outdoor areas just needed one or two simple updates to go from “things we used to walk by” to “a spot that gets used every day.” Like this covered porch… You last saw it in this post about our house’s exterior updates (there’s also this more recent exterior post) – and it sat pretty much unused for the last 8 months until we realized it was the perfect spot to hang a big hanging tent that we got for the kids for the holidays. Continue reading Updating A Covered Porch With Floor Paint & A Hanging Tent at Young House Love.
- How We Built An Easy Modern Fireplace Mantel… Just In Time For Stockings!by John Petersik on December 16, 2020 at 6:37 PM
We mentioned in this year’s holiday decorating post that we wanted to get some sort of fireplace mantel built this month and, well, Santa delivered! ::pats self on back:: art | frame for art | rug | ottoman |chairs | crystal fireplace logs | storage cabinets | curtains | rods | large light blue vase Yes, setting a goal to have a place for hanging our kids’ stockings is a little random, but we were happy to have the motivation to check this project off our list sooner rather than later. If you recall, our fireplace looked like this when we moved in: Here’s a wider shot of that area right after we got here, just for kicks. Ah, those packing blankets as curtains are #MEMORIES. So yeah… it feels good to be here: Sherry did some work to freshen it up over the summer, like scraping and painting the black surrounded and lightening up the interior brick with paint. Continue reading How We Built An Easy Modern Fireplace Mantel… Just In Time For Stockings! at Young House Love.
- Our Kitchen & Sitting Area, Six Months Inby Sherry Petersik on December 10, 2020 at 11:05 PM
*We updated this post to add additional pics & a video, so if you see something here that you don’t remember when you first read it, that’s why. You’re not going crazy 😉 We shared this space three weeks after we moved in and now we’re back with a six month update. Much like we said in that first post, we have some long term plans for this room, so this is just what it looks like as of this moment in time (I highly recommend photographing rooms to see how they evolve because it’s so much fun to look back on). Since that three-weeks-in post, we did a series of inexpensive updates that have really made this room so comfortable and useful for our family (first we made these 5 small changes, then we painted the cabinets, and here’s a post about how our much smaller kitchen is organized for anyone who likes to peek behind cabinet doors & drawers like me). Continue reading Our Kitchen & Sitting Area, Six Months In at Young House Love.
- How We Decorated Our New House For The Holidays*by Sherry Petersik on December 3, 2020 at 6:09 PM
*Aka, the moment I’ve been waiting for since, oh, the day we moved in. There’s something extra special to me about decorating a house for your first holiday season spent there. It’s right up there with seeing whatever pops up outside during your first spring at a new house (I basically scream out the window like I’m the announcer at a football game: “over on the left it’s A PATCH OF DAFFODILS! NOBODY SAW THAT COMING!!” But back to our holiday house tour. It’s looking very sweet & festive around here. Since this move also involved some serious downsizing & simplifying (last week John shared an update on that), it promised to be an interesting exercise in what would go where in our smaller home. As you heard on the podcast a while back, we donated our beloved Christmas tree AFTER squeezing it into the pod and getting it all the way here, because we realized that such a wide tree (it had a 5’5″ base – so it was THICK) didn’t really have a spot that it could be set up in a single room of our house that wouldn’t severely impede the flow of things. Continue reading How We Decorated Our New House For The Holidays* at Young House Love.
- 6 Regular Women Show Off The Pants They’d Buy Again In A Heartbeatby Caitlin Higgins on January 23, 2021 at 9:00 AM
Not-so-hot take: pants are HANDS DOWN the hardest piece of clothing to buy on the internet. Sizing can be (LOL read: always is) hit-or-miss and sometimes, pieces that look AMAZING on models end up falling in weird or uncomfortable ways on us regular folk. So earlier this week, to aid on my OWN quest for… Read More The post 6 Regular Women Show Off The Pants They’d Buy Again In A Heartbeat appeared first on Emily Henderson.
- Ask The Audience: How Do You Design A House For Rainy Weather?by Emily on January 22, 2021 at 9:00 AM
So I’ve ordered my ‘there is no bad weather, just bad clothes’ plaque and it should get here any day. We are all set, ready for the rain. Yes, we are still a bit nervous to leave sunny California for less-so-sunny Oregon – it’s why it took us 12 years to make this move. We… Read More The post Ask The Audience: How Do You Design A House For Rainy Weather? appeared first on Emily Henderson.
- The New Lighting Collection That Made Jess Do A SERIOUS Double Take (Plus Her 7 Favorites)by Jess Bunge on January 21, 2021 at 7:45 PM
There I was minding my own business, scrolling through (Pinterest?, Instagram? Who knows) And there, staring right into my lamp-loving eyes was this table lamp. I’ll wait for you to click and see…Now assuming you just saw it, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? First off, it’s simply a dope table lamp but then it registered that… Read More The post The New Lighting Collection That Made Jess Do A SERIOUS Double Take (Plus Her 7 Favorites) appeared first on Emily Henderson.
- Our Farmhouse – First Floor Tour And Challenges + What Original Elements We Plan On Keepingby Emily on January 21, 2021 at 9:00 AM
I feel like the nervous 16-year-old boy, picking up a girl for a first date, being confronted by her overprotective father in the TV trope we’ve seen a million times. In this scenario, YOU are the protective dad and your daughter is this house. So, ahem, I just want you to know that I have… Read More The post Our Farmhouse – First Floor Tour And Challenges + What Original Elements We Plan On Keeping appeared first on Emily Henderson.
- How Important Is It For You To Go Against The Grain In Design?by Mallory Wackerman on January 20, 2021 at 7:45 PM
You’ve seen that wallpaper billions of times, but you LOVE it…the question is: do you use it in your design project or home?? This question was prompted a few weeks ago when our EHD mentee, Key was asking Emily about using a chair in her living room project that she “had already seen everywhere.” It… Read More The post How Important Is It For You To Go Against The Grain In Design? appeared first on Emily Henderson.