Thursday, August 4, 2022

Handy, Dandy Buying Guide for the Bathroom Vanity

Wood vanity in a modern style in a neutural, open bathroom.

Before you fall in love with a bathroom vanity on the showroom floor (or virtual showroom) it’s best to take a step back and think things through. Like any remodel project, you need some planning before you charge ahead.

What’s your budget? Timeline? How big of a vanity will fit in your bathroom? These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself. As experts in all things bathroom design and decor, we’ve put together a buy guide for the bathroom vanity so you can have a successful vanity update project. 

Consider the following. 

Glossy, modern double vanity in a light, airy bathroom.

What’s Your Footprint?

The vanity might be the largest single item in the bathroom, taking up a good chunk of real estate in your bathroom square footage. Starting with your bathroom’s footprint or layout is a key first step. After you have the general measurements of the room, make note of any doors, drawers, or points of entry/exit where you’ll need clearance. Be mindful of the flow of traffic in the room and be sure not to put things in the way that would interfere with that pattern of traffic. 

It’s also helpful to take in the visual footprint of your bathroom. This goes beyond its actual measurements to how big or small the space feels. More open bathrooms can take larger vanities, while more enclosed feeling bathrooms are better suited to smaller vanities.

Small, white corner vanity in a white powder room.

Where’s the Plumbing?

Though you might want to adjust the location of your vanity, check out where the existing plumbing is before doing so. Moving plumbing is an expensive undertaking and adds considerable time to your remodel schedule. Keep costs to a minimum by using the plumbing you’ve already got and finding a vanity to suit that. 

On the other hand, if your current plumbing situation causes problems for the layout of the space, is too old, or is insufficient for the size of the space, you’ll need to plan on an update to the plumbing too. This will allow you to select a vanity that fits the bathroom and fix the plumbing to match. 

Single vanity in navy blue in a white bathroom.

What’s Your Style?

When it comes to style, there are lots of considerations: single, double, wall mount, floor mount, corner, pedestal, etc. It helps to know your design style before starting the vanity shopping process. 

Determine Your Design Category

Though there are numberless design styles, they can be grouped into three categories: traditional, transitional, and contemporary. Start with your design category and you’ll have plenty of options. 

Your design category will help you narrow down some of your other options too. Modern, or contemporary favors wall mounted, minimalist looks. Traditional styles tend toward floor standing cabinets. 

Think About Color

Color does a lot for style. Transitional styles often use a lot of white or gray. Traditional loves richer colors or wood tones. Contemporary tends toward high contrast, high gloss, neutral colors. Some of today’s design mashups like Modern Farmhouse, Wabi Sabi, or Hygge embrace warmer colors like off whites, beiges, and warm woods. Whatever you choose, color helps you cement the vibe in your space. 

Select Format & Size

Sometimes the format you choose is determined by the footprint of your bathroom space. A pedestal sink may be all you have space for in a powder room. A huge double vanity is just the ticket for larger owners’ suites. 

Format can also be determined by need. A child’s bathroom calls for a lower vanity while the owners’ suite needs a taller vanity. If you need wheelchair access in the bathroom, a wall mounted vanity is probably your best bet. If the plumbing is in a unique position or the bathroom is really small, a corner vanity is best. 

Then again, the format and size might be a matter of preference rather than need. A wall mounted vanity is very trend-forward and suits a contemporary styled bathroom well. Maybe instead of a vanity with a countertop you like a minimalist approach and go for two pedestal sinks instead. 

One thing that is definitely a matter of taste is the vanity top and sinks. You have lots of options here including: integrated sink/countertop, undermounted, vessel styles, and top mounted types. 

Vanity sizes range from barely 12 inches across to nearly 100 inches. Depths can be 14 inches on up past 26 inches. Heights come in 30 to 36 inches. Look back at your measurements and traffic flow patterns as well as considering more stylistic aspects when you decide on size. 

Dark wood double vanity with lots of storage.

Which Features Do You Want?

What’s more fun than picking out a vanity? Picking out the details to go with it. There are both functional and aesthetic things to consider when selecting knobs, pulls, faucets, and more. 

Choose Your Metallic

Most of the time, you’ll be looking at metallics for your faucets and cabinet pulls. There’s no wrong choice here and it’s mostly determined by your taste and your design style. Cozy styles like Hygge or Farmhouse lean toward matte metallic finishes. Contemporary favors glossy, chrome finishes. Gold is trending in all categories. Look for matte champagne gold tones for a more understated look or bright brass for a more stand out look. 

Don’t Underestimate Shape

The finishes in your bathroom are like jewelry to a well composed outfit. They give it life and complete the statement it’s making. Shape is a big player in those finishes. Curving shaped faucets and cabinet pulls have a more organic feel that’s cozy yet dignified. Something more geometric speaks to a more minimal and contemporary vibe. 

Creating Emotion

Little did you know that the finishes and features you choose can create a feeling in your bathroom. But it’s true. If you want a relaxing spa-like atmosphere, you’ll choose rain shower heads, body jets, and luxurious hardware and faucets. If you want a no nonsense space that puts function first and stays out of your way design-wise, you’ll choose simple fixtures that meet your needs and are easy to use. 

Though there are many things to think about when updating, our buy guide for the bathroom vanity will help you sort through it all and find the vanity that is perfect for you and your space. 

Want more tips for buying a vanity? Read on.

Guarantee Your Vanity Success

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Top 6 Walk In Shower Ideas

Large walk in shower with step up entry.

A walk in shower is the ultimate in good bathroom design. It suits everything from the small basic bathroom to a large opulent bathroom and everything in between. It offers straightforward functionality and the chance to create a visual centerpiece. 

Check out these walk in shower ideas to find the perfect fit for your bathroom, no matter what your bathroom layout looks like.

What Is a Walk In Shower Exactly?

A walk in shower is an independent shower space in a bathroom. It is not combined with a bathtub and can be open or enclosed with glass. Most commonly it has no curtains, screens, or doors and functions like a small shower room.

#1 Walk In Shower for Small Bathrooms

The idea of a shower room may cause you to high tail it if you have a smaller bathroom, but walk-in showers come in all shapes and sizes so don’t discount it quite yet. 

In fact, a walk in shower is ideal for a small bathroom where there may not be enough space for swinging shower doors or even a bathtub. Adjust the size of your shower to fit your bathroom. 

Though most walk-in showers are about 60 x 30 inches, you can get away with 42 x 42 inches or even smaller. Designers recommend going no smaller than 36 x 36 inches. Any smaller than that and you’ll have trouble moving around in your shower comfortably.

Large walk in shower with clear glass and pony wall.

#2 Walk In Shower with no Tub

Homeowners are getting rid of their bathtubs in droves. It’s a bit of a trend in bathroom design to ditch the shower in favor of an opulent, spacious walk in shower. 

With no tub you have room to create a walk in shower oasis complete with double shower heads, body sprays, and steam.  Even bath lovers can’t deny the luxury of a walk in shower with all the perks of a spa experience. Add additional luxuries like towel warmers, rain shower head, or a high tech shower panel.

#3 Walk In Shower with Bench

One of the benefits of the walk in shower is that it’s accessibility-friendly. Adding a bench only makes your shower even more accessible. 

Benches often become places of storage for shampoos and shower gel or places to perch while doing everyday maintenance. The purposes of your bench will help you determine size placement of your shower bench. 

Go for a larger bench if you foresee the need for seated showers, or select a smaller one for convenience. Place it closer to the shower head for seated showers and on the opposite side for things that don’t need a constant flow of water. 

Corner walk in shower with pony wall and glass door.

#4 Zero Entry Walk In Shower

Zero entry style walk in showers are another accessible perk. Essentially, they are showers that have an entry that’s level with the surrounding floor. Having no barrier or lip between the shower and the rest of the bathroom makes it easy for wheelchair users to shower. It also decreases trip risk for elderly users. 

Having zero entry might make you wonder about keeping water out of the rest of the bathroom. It’s true that water tends to get outside the shower area in a zero entry shower, however, with the right installation and slope to the drain, excess water can be minimized. 

#5 Walk In Shower with Shield

Most walk in shower designs have swinging, sliding, or even folding doors, but consider the shield as an alternative walk in shower idea.

The shield is a large piece of glass that can cover from one third to one half of the shower area and is stationary. There is no messing with curtains or doors and if you like to keep things simple, this is the way to go. It keeps water from getting out into the rest of the room and has a minimal vibe.

Choose from clear glass, window pane style, frosted, or rainwater texture for varying levels of privacy and style.

#6 Walk In Showers & Privacy

A more open format shower might also feel a little more exposed to you, but there are plenty of ways to give it the right level of privacy for your preferences. 

Adding a frosted or textured glass door or shield can provide more privacy without enclosing the walk in shower too much. Check out textured glass as an option instead of frosted glass. It looks like it has water droplets that obscure the view without blocking light.

Pony walls, or half walls, are another good option for privacy. They block the view halfway up but still allow for an openness for the other half. 

The open format walk in shower is the perfect addition to your bathroom. Whatever style suits you, these walk in shower ideas will get you started on your journey to shower bliss. 

Want more shower ideas? Check out this discussion about how to make sliding shower doors feel more up to date. 

Read "Are Shower Doors Outdated?"

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Are Sliding Shower Doors Outdated?

Light colored neutral bathroom with no shower door.

A sliding shower door has been the go-to in bathroom design for ages. But that might make you wonder whether their time is up. 

Are sliding shower doors outdated? Maybe, but their functionality is unmatched and some bathroom designs leave you with no other choice. Or do they? Let’s talk about the options and how the functionality of the sliding shower door doesn’t have to look outdated.

Light bathroom with large shower with swinging shower door.

Tub/Shower Sliding Shower Door Woes

Sliding shower doors can feel somewhat outdated, but sliding doors are also an excellent choice for many situations where other options simply don’t work, like a tub/shower combination. 

The things that make sliding doors on your tub/shower feel dated are easy to address. With the right strategy, you can have the ultimate in functionality and design that is far from outdated. 

Skip the Framed Shower Door

It might be the frame on your shower door that’s making it feel less than on trend. Opting for a semi-framed or frameless door will shape up your shower design in a jiffy. The lines created by the frame tend to make the space feel cramped visually. The trend today leans more towards a more open feel that simply doesn't jive with a framed door. 

Try a Tub Shield

A tub shield is one way to get a wet room design feel when you need to work around a tub/shower combo. It is a piece of frameless glass that covers the front third of your tub so you can keep the water from spilling out but still achieve that open feel. Opt for clear glass, frosted, or rainwater finishes. 

Go for a Swinging Door

If you have the room for a swinging door, try the tub swinging shower door. These are frameless and have varying levels of coverage. Some are a bit bigger than a shield, others are nearly fully enclosures. The swinging tub shower door gives you a more traditional functionality with a shower room type look. 

Beige bathroom with bathtub and separate shower with swinging shower door.

Small Bathroom Issues

You might feel like you have no other choice but to go with a sliding door if you have a small bathroom. You might be surprised to find that there are options available for even the smallest bathroom and still avoid a sliding shower door. 

Swing In

Instead of worrying about whether or not you have room for a swinging door, try a shower door that swings in. Do a few measurements to ensure you have enough interior clearance in your shower and you’re all set. 

Change Your Angle

If you’re doing a bit of remodeling in your bathroom, you might consider creating an angled shower that places the door in the corner instead of on a side. This allows you to gain more room for a swinging door in a smaller bathroom. It also adds some architectural interest to your space that sets it apart. 

Wet Room Extremes

If your sliding shower doors feel too outdated for you, but you are out of options, it might be time for a bathroom remodel. Decide what type of shower you want ahead of time so you can plan on a shower door that feels more on trend.

Or, you can dispense with the door completely and create a wet room. These waterproof spaces include a large portion of the bathroom and get rid of the partitions entirely for an open plan bathroom you’ll love. 

Are sliding shower doors outdated? Not really. You have plenty of options to make sliding doors work in your design, like frameless doors. Or if you want to head in a different direction, try swinging doors, shields, or a wet room. 

Learn More about Shower Doors

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Uncramped: Renovating Ideas for Small Bathrooms

Small, stylish bathroom in white and tan.

7 Tips & Tricks

As renovation challenges go, a small bathroom or powder room presents some interesting parameters. The smaller measurements limit your choices from selecting a vanity to picking out floor tile. A small bathroom can also be a blessing in disguise. Some of the most stunning bathroom designs out there are powder rooms.

When you know a few tricks, even the smallest of bathrooms can expand—both visually, and design-wise. Here are 7 renovating ideas for small bathrooms that pack a huge design punch.

1. Attention Grab

One of the reasons you dislike your small bathroom so much is probably because you’re focusing on the elements that make it feel small. Flip that on its head and use it to your advantage to expand the feel of the powder room. 

Put focus on the elements of the room that make it feel bigger. If you have high ceilings, paint them a contrasting color or wallpaper them. If your ceiling is pitched consider it a feature of the space rather than a limitation.

Add attention grabbing accents and place them higher up on the wall to draw the eye upward. A few flashy sconces, a painting, or a metallic accent all do the trick. Or, turn your attention downward and make the floor a statement piece of the space with a patterned tile or unique shape.

2. Ingenious Storage

Small bathrooms don’t have much, if any, storage. Yet the bathroom is mostly a functional space. Where on earth are you going to put the extra toilet paper and backup bars of soap?

A medicine cabinet offers the light bouncing properties of a mirror with some hidden away storage so you get the best of both worlds. Get a vanity with a few drawers or cabinets to stow necessities. Build in a few niches to create space almost out of thin air.

Light, bright, white small bathroom.

3. Light & Bright

Light makes a space feel bigger, especially natural light. Lighting is key in your small bathroom. There are lots of ways to introduce, and repurpose, light.

Plan for a skylight and as many windows as you can possibly add. Include all three types of lighting: ambient, task, and accent in the form of recessed lights in the ceiling, sconces around the mirror, and decorative lighting. 

Use mirrors and a lighter color palette to bounce light around the room. Eliminate anything that would absorb light or get in the way of light like big window treatments or shower curtains. 

Learn More About Lighting

4. Lines of Latitude & Longitude

The use of lines in a small bathroom design can be tricky. They can either make the space feel bigger or shrink it. For instance, a 12” tile grid floor tends to shrink the space. On the other hand, a larger tile with fewer grout lines can actually expand the space. 

Wood planking on the floor or walls act as lines of perspective and can make the space feel longer or taller if they all go in the same direction. Choose frameless shower doors and vanity cabinets to decrease the boxy feel these can create. 

5. Disappearing Vanity

We’ve talked about creating features in your small bathroom, but sometimes the right approach is to do what David Copperfield would do and make things disappear. The vanity or sink is likely the item in the bathroom that takes up the most space. Time to make it disappear.

Paint the wall behind the vanity the same color as the vanity. This works especially well with white. With the wall and the vanity blended together pushes back the wall and makes the space feel more expansive. 

 A clean lined, modern style vanity that doesn’t draw attention to itself is a best bet with this approach. Go for flat front cabinets in a frameless style for best results.

6. Scale Down

In a small bathroom sometimes it helps to make everything else small. Pick small tiles (3” or less), small sink, small toilet, small vanity, etc. All that small takes up less space literally and visually and enlarges the room. 

If you have patterns in your design, stick with smaller versions rather than larger than life florals. Modern or contemporary styling is often a great way to go to keep the scale small. It tends to keep things clean, simple, and minimal—all great approaches for the smaller bathroom.

7. Color Alchemy

Colors can have a huge impact on whether the space feels open and large or small and cramped. White is the obvious choice. It reflects light and makes the space appear bigger. But it’s not the only option that works.

If you want some color but still want the magic of white, go with a lighter hue with plenty of white in the mix. Pale gray, barely there mint greens, coastal blues, and light beiges all do the trick nicely. 

You can also use a bright white in combination with a bolder color. Paint half the wall white and the other half a color. Paint the ceiling a bold color and keep the white walls. If you do choose to go with a bolder color, try to keep oranges and yellows out of the equation. They tend to have an enclosing feel that’s great for a cozy design, but not so great for expanding the small bathroom.

Equipped with some renovating ideas for small bathrooms, you can start enjoying your powder room instead of lamenting about it. Want more bathroom remodeling tips? Read on. 

Read 8 Bathroom Remodeling Don’ts

Thursday, July 7, 2022

10 Top Lighting Products You Need In Your House Right Away

Loft living room with unique pendant chandelier lighting.

Lighting is one of the easiest, most affordable ways to give your home a boost. New lighting fixtures not only bring in a freshness with increased light, but they also add style that can change the entire feel of your spaces. 

Here are 10 top lighting selections you can get installed now for the refresh your house needs. 

With its steampunk vibe and satin gold finish, this vanity light is an on-trend addition to your bathroom. The unique metal shade over the light enhances its metallic nature and makes it a standout piece in your design. Available in LED or incandescent bulb options. 

Innovations Lighting - Franklin Restoration Collection - Addison

Looking for something different to hang over your dining table? This 60” reclaimed shell linear pendant light has a slight wave to the shape that adds a softened modern aesthetic to your dining room. The pearlescent white and brown tones introduce warmth to your color palette but keep things elegant. Made for use with halogen bulbs.

Varaluz -Big Collection - Reclaimed Shell Linear Pendant

This wall sconce is the chameleon of lighting. It features unique geometric shapes perfect for a midcentury modern approach and a matte black finish perfect for the soothing palettes of minimalism or hygge. The one-bulb light provides just the right amount of lighting for a hallway or stairwell.

Elan - Kordan Collection - LED Wall Sconce

Track or rail lights are champions of functional lighting. You may not always associate them with style, but these halogen rail lights feature strong metallic details in silver or rubbed bronze with a satin etched opal casement around the bulb that screams style. 

Kichler - Hendrik Collection - Halogen Rail Light

This combination pendant light and fan is unlike any fan you’ve ever seen. It’s the perfect statement maker for small spaces or more directed lighting and airflow such as over the kitchen island, in a breakfast nook, or over an office desk.

Kichler - Terna Collection - 15” Ceiling Fan

This outdoor post light is as classic as it gets. The old world aesthetic defines timeless sophistication. It features room for three incandescent bulbs with a clear seeded glass shade. The Peruvian Bronze finish over die cast aluminum completes the historic styling of this outdoor lighting classic.

Craftmade - Harper Collection - 12” Post Light

You’ll be amazed what under cabinet lighting will do for your kitchen. Not only does it add task lighting right where you need it, it adds a charm you can’t achieve any other way. This LED puck light is wifi enabled and allows you to choose from the full spectrum of colored lights, as well as fine tuning your white light.

DALS Lighting - 2 ¾” Round LED Smart Puck Light

The starburst chandelier style is back! It’s no longer just for modern designs either. The unique shape and linear style makes this a great addition to any style to blend in a little contemporary vibe. This incandescent chandelier draws on another hot trend: mixing metals. Polished chrome and satin brass combine to create an endlessly interesting lighting piece your home shouldn’t be without.

Elk Lighting - Williston Collection - 39” One Tier Chandelier

No home is complete without the ever popular pendant light and this elegant version blends geometrics, crystal, and 3D charm for lighting that draws attention. The orb and satellite design casts wide, soft lighting over a space with six halogen bulbs for excellent ambient lighting.

Elk Lighting - Saturn Collection - 24” Halogen Pendant

Combining the best of track lighting and pendant lighting, billiard/island type lighting requires the perfect blend of functionality and style. This ceiling mounted light offers just that with its bare Edison bulbs and chrome geometric shape. Available in coordinating options for a fully harmonized design. 

Thomas Lighting - Williamsport Collection - 37” Island Light

Want more top lighting products? Or maybe you want to learn more about how to adequately light every room of your home? Check out our lighting guide, which details just how much light you need throughout your house.

Shed Some Light on the Subject

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Shower Doors 101

Shield type shower door in a blue and gray bathroom.

Answering the Questions You Have About Shower Doors

 What might seem straightforward at first glance can quickly become confusing when it comes to shower doors. You’ll find there are so many options, styles, and setups that you might need a little guidance. 

You’ve come to the right place for all things shower doors. Whether you’re wondering about which is the right style for you or you’re in the middle of a framed/frameless debate, we’ll help you sort it out. Let’s talk about shower doors. 

Layout Dictates Your Shower Door Style

There are three categories of shower doors: in-line doors, tub doors, and enclosure doors. Which style you choose is more about the architectural set up of your bathroom and shower than it is about a design style.  Take a closer look at each with us. 

Shower with three walls and a inline shower door with black window pane accents.

In-Line Shower Doors

In-line shower doors have three walls enclosing the shower and a straight front where the glass shower door goes. These are by far the most popular and simple style of shower. But that doesn’t mean they are boring. 

Functionally, the in-line shower door can be a classic sliding door, a hinged swinging door, or a shield style. The shield style door isn’t really a door at all, but a piece of glass that covers a part of the open area and leaves the rest uncovered. It’s a modern style that’s popular with wet room type designs or minimalist styles. 

Best suited for wide openings, the in-line door is an excellent choice for patterned tile showers where you want to show off the shower as a key design element in the space. The wide glass fronted shower allows that tile to be seen from various angles all around the room.

Q&A: Can I get shower doors you can’t see through?

Some bathrooms have opulent tiling in the shower that calls for clear glass on the shower doors. However, you may have some misgivings about all that clear glass. After all, the shower does require some level of privacy. 

Choose a shower door that offers different types of glass so you can find the exact amount of privacy you want. Frosted glass doors are popular, but consider raindrop glass, which adds texture that obscures the view. 

If you have a beautiful tiled shower but still want some privacy, take the middle road and go with a frosted or textured glass shield. It will reveal some of the tile design without leaving you without cover where it counts.

White and gold bathroom with frameless sliding tub shower door.

Tub Shower Doors

Tub doors are for bathtub/shower combos. These multitaskers are the functionality champs but still provide plenty of style. These are available in the same three versions that we discussed with in-line doors: sliding, shield, and swinging. 

Keep in mind that tub shower doors have limited space and are often installed in smaller bathrooms. Some styles, like swinging, can be difficult in smaller spaces. Measure and consider carefully before making a decision. 

Q&A: Framed, semi-frameless, or frameless shower doors?

Good question. Framed shower doors (as you might expect) have a metal frame around the entire outside edge of the door. They aid in securing the door and help it functionally as well, depending on style. Thinner, lighter glass is often an option for framed shower door models and can be more affordable because of that. However, framed doors do tend to break up the view. If you’re going for an airy look or want to show off your shower tile, that frame may get in the way.

Semi-frameless has a frame at the top and bottom of the door but not on the sides. It’s a good middle ground with solid functionality and good affordability. It lets in more light than a framed door and has fewer lines that might block the view into your shower.

Frameless shower doors have only sturdy hinges attaching glass to the wall of your shower in leau of the frame. They sometimes look like there’s nothing at the front of your shower and designers love them because they provide an unobstructed view into the shower—a must if you have a gorgeous shower design you want to be able to see. On the flip side, frameless shower doors often need thicker glass and can be more expensive than the other options.

Enclosure shower door in a corner style shower.

Enclosure Shower Doors

The enclosure style shower has only one or two walls and the rest is glass. These come in all shapes and sizes. They are also popular for corner applications. Especially interesting are designs with rounded glass or multiple angles that make up the shower enclosure. 

Opt for sliding or hinged door functionality. You might even consider double doors if your shower is larger, as many enclosure showers are. 

Enclosure showers offer a plethora of design options that other styles of showers don’t. Shower doors that look like windows with their pane-like look are a nice detail. The shower door and enclosure itself can become the center of the design. 

Q&A: Can shower doors swing in?

Short answer: yes. Longer answer: it depends. Shower doors that swing in need a lot of clearance. Most smaller showers can’t afford that. With a door that swings in, you may find you have to carefully place yourself before opening the door so you don’t get trapped on the wrong side of the door. 

Larger showers with plenty of interior clearance can swing either way easily. Think about which way is easier to use, which way makes the most sense, which will be the least in the way. Make sure you cover all your bathroom functionality considerations. After that, it’s up to your taste and the design of your bathroom. 

Feel a little better about your shower door? When you’re ready to start shopping, head over to our website to find exactly what you need and want. 

Need more bathroom remodeling ideas and advice? Read on. 

Check out 12 Gorgeous Bathtubs that Will Make You Want to Take a Bubble Bath

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Shed Some Light on the Subject

Looking up at a bunch of pendant lights.

Just How Much Light Do I Need for Each Room?

 The amount of light in a space can make or break a room. Too much light and you’ll feel overwhelmed, too little and you won’t be able to function. How much light do you need in each room? That all depends on which room, its size, and your preferences. 

Read on to gain an understanding of what the proper amount of light is and why that changes based on the usage and size of the room.

Know Your Lumens

If you’ve been using watts as a gauge of which light bulbs to buy, you’re not alone. However, watts measure energy usage, which indirectly helps you know how bright the bulb is but isn’t very accurate. For instance, LED bulbs are lower energy consumption but produce a similar amount of light to higher watt incandescent bulbs. 

Designers’ rule of thumb for lighting is about 1000-2000 lumens per 100 square feet. Different rooms in the house may require different levels of lighting. Even specific areas within rooms will require different levels of light. 

Light Requirements

There are three types of lighting: ambient, task, and accent. Ambient lighting is the foundational light that provides for general needs. Task lighting is more specific lighting that focuses on the purposes of the room. For instance, a lamp near the comfy chair where you like to read, a bright light above the stove where you cook, etc. Accent lighting is more for decorative purposes. It creates mood, and sets the tone.

Most rooms of the house need each of these three types of lighting in differing amounts based on their purpose and design. 

Bathroom vanity with sconce lighting in gold.


The room in the house that needs the most light is the bathroom. It requires 7000-8000 lumens. If you think about it, it’s easy to understand why it needs so much light. The bathroom is a place of some pretty detailed work. Everything from putting on makeup and shaving to removing splinters and cleaning injuries needs a lot of light.

The bathroom can also be a relaxing oasis that calls for some mood lighting to make your own at-home spa. This kind of light is warmer and dimmer, the complete opposite of the light you need for many bathroom tasks. 

Even though the bathroom has smaller square footage, it has a complex lighting situation that needs plenty of planning. Sadly, too many bathrooms make do with some vanity lighting and a few recessed lights over the shower and toilet. 

Give your bathroom lighting an upgrade by starting with plenty of ambient light. Put recessed lights all over the bathroom, flooding it with ambient light. Add vanity task lighting with sconces, strip lights, lighted mirrors, etc. that deliver light right where you need it most at the vanity. 

Add some accent lighting to create mood with a chandelier over the tub with a dimmer switch. Candles are an excellent choice for mood lighting. Or splurge on a chromatherapy bathtub for the ultimate spa experience.

Kitchen with island and cage style lighting pendants.


Work areas of the kitchen need just as much light as the bathroom: about 7000-8000 lumens. Just like the bathroom, start with a hefty dose of ambient light. Because you use the whole kitchen as a work space, be generous with the lumens for your ambient lighting so you’ll be able to work just about anywhere. 

Add task lighting in areas where you know you might need a supplement regularly, like over the sink, stove, and prep area. Upper cabinets and range hoods can create shadows in spots where you’re working so task lighting in these areas is especially important. Under cabinet lighting and pendant lights are a great addition to these areas. 

Get creative with your kitchen accent lighting. LED tape lights often can be programmed with different colors or movements so you can change things up. Consider where you put your accent lighting as well. Above the cabinets is an excellent option. Under cabinet lighting can double for task and accent lighting. 

Large living room with recessed lighting all over the ceiling.

Living Room

The living room generally needs about 1000-2000 lumens. If that seems pretty dim compared to the kitchen or bathroom, consider the vastly different uses of these rooms. The living room’s tasks aren’t as work related, they are more pleasure related. Recreation doesn’t need as much light. 

While ambient light is important in the living room, task and accent lighting play the leading roles here. Use strategically placed lamps for reading, games, and other limited activities. Often what you do in the living room creates its own light, like the TV, laptop, and smart phone decreasing the need for lighting. 

Make lighting part of your design plans for the living room. Lamps and accent lighting are as much a part of the decor in the living room as the throw pillows or the furnishings. Let your lighting add to the design.

Elegant tiled hallway with bar sconces and footlights.


Foyers, hallways, and stairwells need the least amount of light of any other space in the house, requiring only 500-1000 lumens. You want enough light to ensure you can navigate safely, but that’s all. There are no tasks to plan for in a hallway so make your hallway lighting about style and mood. 

Sconces are a stand-out choice for long hallways where you need to spread a little light down the corridor. They add interest and transition the design from one space to another. Look for ceiling lights that add texture with a different shape or that create a pattern with the light. 

Smaller pendants or chandeliers can make the hallway a feature instead of something you tend to hide. Think about the spaces that the hallway connects to create harmony in the whole house design. 

Light up your home with all the right lighting. Check out DecorPlanet’s broad selection today. 

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