Make your bathroom light and bright

Folks, we spend a lot of time in the bathroom! A few simple steps help make this little bathroom seem light, large and clean.

Can lights or overhead lights are good for general illumination, but primping requires the proper lighting. Vanity lighting should wash over your face evenly, providing a flattering glow. Sconces on either side of the mirror at eye level are best at eliminating unsightly shadows. Incandescent and halogen lamps on dimmers allow for low-level mood lights or bright levels for makeup or shaving.

A window in the shower? Looking out at treetops while showering is a great way to start the day. Higher windows help avoid splashing, but steam and moisture are enemies to wood. Many new extremely waterproof paints are available to protect woodwork. For privacy, instead of fussy light-blocking shades or curtains, insert a textured glass panel or apply frosted privacy adhesive film. It will last quite a while and can be easily and cheaply replaced after a few years.

Shower space usually shares a standard 5-foot tub, which is much less expensive than a longer bathtub. A tiled ledge can fill in a larger bathroom width while opening the shower area. The ledge leaves room for sitting, shower products, towels or propping up a leg for shaving.

A glass shower enclosure opens up the space, sharing light and exposing any accent tiles. Cobalt blue penny tiles add a punch of color and texture. These tiny tiles are perfect for walls where the large amount of grout does not get as dirty as it would on the floor.

Kids can be really messy, especially little boys. Cleaning up splashes is easy with tiled walls around the toilet and shower. The adjacent vanity surfaces are protected too. By shrouding the cabinet with a solid surface (Corian), you can create a seamless surface from sides to sink. Just wipe it clean.

Reach Lisa Schmitz, owner of Lisa Schmitz Interior Design in Kansas City, at


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