You Know We Love a Good Midcentury Bathroom Lighting Idea (Or Five)

You don't have to be a professional interior designer to know that midcentury modernism is one style that won't go away. While it first splashed onto the scene in the 1950s and '60s, the style has made a serious resurgence over the past few years — and the hype is showing no signs of slowing down. If you want to bring the midcentury spirit into your bathroom, all it takes is switching up your light fixtures. Not only is it an easy (and affordable) way to integrate the style into a space that doesn't require furniture, but the new glow will also make any space feel extra special. (Yes, even your teeny, tiny rental).

Midcentury modernism is usually characterized by boxy sofas and credenzas, but when it comes to light fixtures, angular or round shapes reign supreme. The design style excels in pared-down glamour, so look for fixtures with matte metallic and black accents as well as minimal hardware. Want to bring the fail-safe aesthetic to your space? We're sharing five midcentury bathroom lighting ideas that are simply awe-inspiring.

1. Install Stylish Sconces

midcentury bathroom lighting idea with wall sconces on green walls and marble backsplash
credit: Old Brand New

If the mere thought of wall sconces transports you back to Grandma's stuffy digs, feast your eyes on this room from Dabito over at Old Brand New. The curvy fixture pays homage to midcentury modernism without feeling archaic_._ Bring this look into the 21st century by pairing it with dramatic green walls, a marble countertop and backsplash, and plenty of plants.

2. Hang Orb-Shaped Silhouettes

Take your bathroom to new heights with a punchy pendant. A brass orb is unapologetically midcentury — especially when paired with a floating wood vanity, like the one in this home designed by Amber Lewis. Place your fixture in the middle of the room or, for an unexpected take on the traditional wall sconce, hang it next to your bathroom mirror.

3. Incorporate Old-School Glamour

We love a glamorous design moment just as much as the next person, but we have to admit those Hollywood-inspired vanity mirrors (you know, the ones with a border of small bright lights) have had their day in the sun. Instead, take a cue from Emily Henderson by installing a light bar with fewer, but larger bulbs. This midcentury style with a hint of industrial flair makes a statement without feeling ubiquitous. We're ready for this close-up, Mr. DeMille.

4. Embrace Geometric Shapes

For a bathroom lighting idea that strikes a balance between subtle and statement, opt for clear, geometric glass pendants like the pair in this bathroom crafted by the team over at Urbanism Designs. This jewel-like shape is bursting with elegance, but it doesn't command too much attention. For the ultimate midcentury oasis, complement with retro floor tile.

5. Know Your Angles

white and black midcentury bathroom lighting idea with wall sconces on either side of vanity mirror
credit: Studio McGee

If curves aren't your thing, opt for an angular fixture. The cone-shaped shade of the wall sconces in this bathroom by Shea from Studio McGee adheres to midcentury modernism's pared-down aesthetic, but feels a touch more elevated than, say, a fabric lampshade.

Where to Buy Midcentury Bathroom Lighting:

Now that you have a few midcentury bathroom lighting ideas to consider, all that's left to do is select the right fixture for your home. Go ahead and check out these three retailers:

West Elm has been offering stand-out, midcentury inspired wares since 2001, so you can expect an illuminating selection of light fixtures. From geometric sconces to globe style chandeliers, and everything in between, you're bound to find the perfect match for your bathroom.

If you're looking to add a midcentury touch to your sanctuary, check out Amazon's signature decor line, Rivet. Not only does this retailer offer a range of affordable, midcentury goods, but these pieces are also eligible for Amazon Prime's complementary, expedited shipping.

Rejuvenation may not be a household name (yet!), but it's a great place to buy finishing touches for your bathroom such as towel rings, cabinet knobs, and, of course, beautiful lighting. While the retailer has fantastic fixtures suitable for any design style, its selection of midcentury options is seriously swoon-worthy.


Kelsey Mulvey

Kelsey Mulvey

Kelsey Mulvey is a freelance lifestyle writer and editor. Her work has been featured in Lonny, Apartment Therapy, and Wallpaper*, among others.