If you've ever walked into a room flooded with light and felt instantly uplifted, then you know that lighting, be it natural or artificial, is transformative and directly influences the overall look and feel of a space. Achieving a comprehensive lighting plan is always a challenge and never more so than in a bathroom — each fixture not only needs to look good, but be functional.
The good news: Bathroom lighting options are seemingly endless — whether you're trying to achieve a contemporary look or going for boho vibes. Currently on our minds are elegant bathroom lighting ideas. These fixtures tend to have a slimmer silhouette, and incorporate sophisticated materials like brass, marble, and crystal that we never tire of. Check out the following lighting ideas for your personal sanctuary.
1. Infuse original charm.
If your home is new and lacks the original character associated with older homes, you can infuse charm and a sense of history with thoughtful details like an elegant bathroom lighting idea that references the past. All of Jessica Helgerson's projects display her mastery of period details and architecture, and this Victorian-inspired bath with a trio of slender brass and frosted glass wall sconces is no exception.
Get the look: Kelly Wearstler Rousseau Medium Vanity Sconce, $695
2. Embrace organic shapes.
For the ultimate elegant bathroom lighting idea, look to nature. This delicate gold branch-inspired chandelier is an eye-catching focal point in this spacious salle de bain by Jean Stoffer Design, and is the crowning glory on a window-adjacent tub.
3. Take your lighting horizontal.
Shea of Studio McGee anchored this petite WC with an elongated overhead bathroom light (which can be oriented vertically or horizontally depending on your needs) for maximum downlight. A batik-inspired wallpaper adds pattern and interest to the neutral space.
Get the look: McGee & Co. Selecta Sconce, $680
4. Say "yes" to a two-tone beauty.
Elevate the look and feel of a traditional all-white bath with a show-stopping pendant. Martha Mulholland installed one in a combination of gold and oil-rubbed bronze finishes for a look that's equal parts moody and luxe. A flat weave rug, patterned curtains, and wood accents ground the space and add warmth.
Get the look: Apparatus Studio Triad 6 Pendant, $5,700 - $6,800
5. Opt for vintage.
Jewel-box sized powder rooms are the perfect backdrop for elegant bathroom lighting ideas. Elizabeth Roberts Architecture adorns this beauty with nature-inspired wallpaper, a marble counter, and vintage aged-brass fixtures. A gold frame makes a welcome surprise stand-in for a mirror.
Get the look: Aerin Iveala Single Sconce, $695
6. Go minimal.
If you aren't convinced that elegance and minimalism can play nice, check out this soothing bath by This Wooden House. It features reflective floor-to-ceiling zellige tile, a classic pedestal sink, and simple sconces that take a decidedly glamorous bent due to their amber-hued bulbs and gold sockets.
Get the look: Triple Seven Home Topsy Flush Mount, $60
7. Opt for simplicity.
There's always beauty in simplicity. A singular light can exude elegance when it's made of uncompromising materials like milk glass, oil rubbed bronze, and a shape that harkens to the pre-war period. This traditional bathroom by Workstead gets a dose of character and dimension with old school millwork, polished nickel finishes, and a marble pedestal sink for a high-brow yet approachable design.
Get the look: Workstead Park I, $1,650
8. Mini pendants for the win.
If you're looking for an elegant bathroom lighting idea that's eye-catching without taking up much visual real estate, look no further than mini pendant lights. Canada-based Le Claire Decor uses a trio of them to add interest and a whimsical touch to this handsome bath. The marble socket is a unique detail that takes them up a notch.
Get the look: Alora Lighting Rocco Mini Pendant Light, $224.40
9. Choose sconces with glass shades.
Balance the masculine vibe of a floating vanity, a black countertop, and corrugated drawer fronts with an elegant bathroom lighting idea in the form of a pair of barely-there bell-shaped glass sconces. Amber Lewis creates a high-contrast space by painting the walls crisp white and letting the lovely details speak for themselves.
Get the look: Restoration Hardware Machinist Glass Cloche Sconce, $521
10. Embrace high-end materials.
It's hard to beat a tiered crystal chandelier when it comes to elegant bathroom lighting ideas. Haley Weidenbaum anchored this sophisticated space with a show-stopping freestanding tub and then layered in plenty of woven textures and greenery for warmth.
Get the look: Aerin Jacqueline Chandelier, $1,605