December 12, 2018

Design Roundup: Bathroom Sconces

This is a bathroom in Beacon Hill apartment we renovated with a client (and is actually for sale right now, if you’re looking!)

One thing we are always on the hunt for is great sconces and fixtures for bathroom lighting. It’s such an easy way to update a bathroom (be gone, terrible builder grade fixtures!)  You can spend a lot or a little, and get a great look either way.  So here is a roundup of some favorites from all price points to help you if you’re looking to pick some fixtures for your own home!

The ideal lighting in a bathroom is on the sides- this illuminates your face MUCH better than an above the light fixture which casts some nasty shadows. The general rule for placement is the center of the fixture be 60-65″ above the floor.  But if you’re super tall or short, you can fudge it a few inches higher or lower.

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This is from a fantastic beach house project we hope to shoot in early spring.  This sconce is a favorite, and paired with this super unique mirror and the roman shade fabric came out SO awesome.

There are some tubular style fixtures that can be placed either above or on the sides of the mirror. These are exceptionally good for makeup application when used on the sides of the mirror because they are longer and cast brighter, more even light.  When using above the mirror fixtures, I tend to like double fixtures instead of triple, unless the mirror is exceptionally long.

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This is a bathroom we did in the basement of a South End brownstone- with the mirror so close to the wall, we had to do an above the mirror fixture. Image by Sarah Winchester.

Some Light Bulb Advice:

  • Edison style bulbs emit much warmer and weaker light than regular bulbs, so be aware of this when considering one of these fixtures for a master bathroom where you get ready everyday. There are LED Edison bulbs available that tend to be a bit brighter. They also make Edison candelabra bulbs for exposed chandeliers!
  • Soft white bulbs are the cleanest liught- avoid “bright white”- the light is too cool and harsh.
  • LED bulbs are great for families because they don’t get hot– especially awesome for sconces that kids can reach.
  • Frosted glass fixtures allow to use a stronger, regular bulb so if you want really bright light, opt for this style!

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