Let me start out by saying originally we planned to do these bathroom remodels last year but we spent what was supposed to be the bathroom budget on the geothermal system. We’re sooo glad that we did but I’ve been saving inspiration pictures and planning the bathroom design for a long time! One of the first things I started looking for was bathroom lighting because the layout of the rooms weren’t finalized but I had an idea of the general lighting scheme I wanted. No bathroom light strips above the mirror anymore! Those things are hideous. I’m also not a big fan of the fixtures with two-three lights over the mirrors either. Don’t get me wrong they are a huge improvement over the dreaded light strip and many people use them to replace that but that’s exactly what they look like someone upgraded their lighting without wanting to move the electrical. No if we were going to take the time to start from scratch I wanted sconces on either side of the mirrors.
I’ll go through the lighting I picked out for the main bathroom in a different post. This post will be all about the master bathroom because I have too many pictures.
In addition to the sconces I also wanted a small chandelier over the master bath tub because they look cool. I’ve always preferred bathrooms where when you walk in the first thing you see is the tub not the toilet, shower, or even the vanity. The tub is what screams, “Look I have a big enough bathroom to have a separate tub and shower!” And “I’m so wealthy that I spend lots of time relaxing in my deep soaker tub.” OK maybe the last one is a stretch but you get the idea. Ideally, I wanted a view of the tub from the door and a small chandelier over it. But finding a matching sconce and chandelier that I liked proved to be a challenge.
As we remodel the house we’re trying to bring in more of a vintage feel. Overall we’re going for “craftsman inspired” which basically means we’re putting in craftsman trim and doors but the furnishings and finishes aren’t necessarily from the craftsman period. I had a hard time figuring out a bathroom scheme because I was drawn to more glamorous spaces that have marble and are very white and bright. All of the craftsman bathrooms I’ve seen have bold colors and a lot of wood. I also like the spa look of frameless glass shower surrounds and big rain showerheads. So I tried to streamline the glamorous bathrooms with simple lines while having cherry cabinetry with shaker style doors (instead of a built in linen closet) and incorporated the spa shower. I guess you could call it “glamorous craftsman spa?” Ha, yeah I shouldn’t be allowed to make up style names.
The whole point of that explanation when it comes to light was that I don’t want a frilly, busy chandelier or sconces. I want something streamlined but still elegant which is apparently hard to find with such ugly lighting out there.
After a lot of searching i eventually decided on these fixtures:
These pictures are from Shades of Light but I’m going to buy them from Circa Lighting (Bryant Sconce & Small Chandelier) because the price is better. Designed by Thomas O’Brien. Man I have expensive taste in lighting.
I know they are a bit of a splurge but I really think they will make the space. When I started this search I was looking for silver colored fixtures because I want to use brushed nickel faucets. But now after seeing these fixtures in antique brass I’m in love! Yes, I’m mixing metals and I don’t really care. The brass just has such a nice warm glow to it don’t you think? Plus, the fixtures are visually very light so it’s not like you notice “whoa that’s brass!” I’m also planning to not have a metal frame around the mirrors so that they won’t clash with the sconces.
So that has been my plan for bathroom lighting for some time now. I was going to just go ahead and order them this week when I was talking to someone from my work’s lighting department and found out that you can’t hang a chandelier over a tub or jacuzzi. I was like, “What do you mean I can’t hang a chandelier over a tub? I have a million inspiration pictures showing that?!” Well after consulting the NEC Handbook I found that you can hang a chandelier over a tub but it must be a minimum of 8 feet above the rim of the bathtub or 3 feet horizontally in front of the tub. This also applies to track lighting, pendants, and ceiling fans. The idea is that anyone that slips in the tub wouldn’t be able to grab a light fixture and possibly electrocute themselves. Recessed lights, flush mounted ceiling fixtures, and “securely mounted” wall sconces are OK in this area. Ahh that explains why my inspiration pictures show tall and vaulted ceilings with chandeliers! Seeing that we are stuck with 8’ ceiling heights and 3’ in front of the tub is right where the door swings open my dream of having a chandelier won’t be happening.
Not wanting to start the search all over again I’m now looking for some brass flush mount lights that would match the Bryant Sconces. This is what I found:
Basil Flush Mount, also from Circa Lighting
Otherwise I considered putting a sconce on either side of the window over the tub or just a plain old recessed light there too. Then I got a call from the Circa Lighting rep and got some even worse news…the Bryant Sconce can’t go in the bathroom either because the natural paper shade would be ruined by the humidity and the fixture isn’t rated for a damp location.
So I need to start my search all over again! Looking through my massive collection of inspiration pictures again I’ve found what style of lighting I’m drawn to. Sconces with shades seem to be the overwhelming favorite. Uplights and downlights throw the light in one direction but shades give off light in both directions and diffuse the light you’ll use in the mirror. There were also flat bottom and curvy bottom sconces in my inspiration pictures as well as torch inspired sconces. I’ve sorted my inspiration pictures into these groups as well as some sources for similar style lighting:
Flat Bottom Sconces*
Overall these seem to be a more modern looking option.
Source: Elements of Style
Source: Apartment Therapy Chicago, From Country Living
Source: Olson Design and Construction
Source: Vaughan Online
Source: Lighting Universe, Hudson Valley, 591 Grayson, $110
Source: Lighting Direct, Hudson Valley, 361 Dillion, $140
Source: Lighting Universe, Hudson Valley, 366 Dillon 6 light chandelier, $650
Source: Lighting Universe, Minka Lavery, Glass Note bathroom light, $80
Source: Lighting Direct, Hudson Valley, 2801 Miramar, $72
Source: Lighting Direct, Hudson Valley, 2814 Miramar 4 light, $450
Curvy Bottom Sconces*
Note there are a lot more curvy sconces and chandeliers out there these are just a few of the streamlined options I’ve found. Curly cues and swirls need not apply.
Source: Cote de Texas
Source: Houzz, By Robin Muto
Source: Houzz, By Robin Muto
Source: Little Green Notebook, Fabric Shade Post
Source: Lighting Universe, Hudson Valley, 1811 Rockville, $180
Source: Lighting Universe, Hudson Valley, 171 Logan, $200
The sconce is nice but wow the matching chandelier has a big price tag!
Source: Shades of Light, Optic Crystal Chandelier, $1,700
These are my personal favorite! I don’t know if it’s the old school feel of having a light that barely resembles a torch on the wall or just the visual balance between the shade and extension below the bracket.
Source: Wild Ink Press
Source: Houzz, By BigLarkinyan Design
Source:Decorpad, By Anne Chessin
Source: Molly Frey Design
Source: La Dolce Vita, Place des Vosges
Source: Decorpad, By Artistic Designs for Living
Source: Harmony & Home
Source: VT Interiors, By Candice Olson
Source: Decorpad, By Anne Chessin
Source: A Life’s Design, From My Home Ideas
Source: A Life’s Design
Source: Efedesigns, By Barbara Berry
Source: Design Sponge
Source: Houzz, By De Humphries
Source: VT Interiors, By M. Elle Design
Source: DVI, Halifax 5 Light Chandelier
Source: Hudson Valley, 151 Spencer,
Source: Lighting Universe, Hudson Valley, 621 Aberdeen, $150
Source: Lighting Direct, Hudson Valley, 626 Aberdeen 6 Light, $650
The price of this one has doubled since I saved it!
Source: Lighting Universe, Meyda, Tiffany 4 Light Chandelier, $1000
As you can see a lot of designers get around the matching sconce and chandelier issue by not matching them at all. I like the look but for the master bathroom I think staying consistent will help tie everything together. The bathroom will already have an identity crisis with the glamorous/craftsman/spa combo!
So now I have to go research all of these fixtures that still look interesting. Anyone have any suggestions?
*Disclaimer – I’m not an interior designer and I have no idea what these sconce styles are really called but this is what I’m calling them. OK? It’s my blog and I can do what I want.