When thinking about chandeliers for the bathroom, images of grand spaces with freestanding tubs and double vanities often come to mind. However, these stunning light fixtures can also elevate smaller washrooms—especially powder rooms and guest bathrooms. And while they’re mainly used as accent lighting, the right design can add just the glimmer of glamour your washroom needs to shine.
The first step in using a chandelier in the bathroom is to make sure it’s safe. To do this, you’ll need to check local and national electrical codes. “Generally, you need to have the fixture at least 36 inches above any tabletop or seven feet above any seating area,” says Gorsini. He suggests checking with a licensed electrician to confirm that your plan will meet safety regulations before getting started.
Once you’ve determined the height of your ceiling, it’s time to select a chandelier design. A chandelier’s scale should be appropriate to the room size and the space’s décor, says Lewis Giannoulias. A small fixture might be suitable for a powder room or guest bathroom, while a larger option would look great in a master suite bath or an open-plan en-suite.
In this glam powder room by HAM Interiors, an ornate brass chandelier brings a bit of drama to the small space and works well with the patterned wallpaper and metal finishes in the rest of the room. If you’re worried about the chandelier looking too busy, try a minimal sputnik style or one with an antiqued finish that will keep it from feeling too modern.
A chandelier can make a big impact when it’s the first thing you see when entering your bathroom. For this swanky en-suite bath, Lewis and Giannoulias positioned it over the roll-top bathtub, creating a focal point that’s also reflected in the ornate mirror ideas on either side.
To create a similar effect in a more compact space, designers suggest positioning the chandelier just outside the entrance to the room. This creates an elegant glow and gives the impression that the fixture is hanging over a grand foyer rather than a compact powder room.
If your bathroom is long and narrow like this contemporary design, you can still achieve a dramatic effect by placing the chandelier a few feet in front of the tub. This helps keep the fixture from overtaking the small space and creates a similar look to the bath’s ornate mirror frames either side of the vanity.
A recessed lighting fixture or flush mount wouldn’t work in a shower, because it would need to be waterproof to protect against steam. Instead, opt for a chandelier that’s labeled as water resistant to ensure it can stand up to moisture and humidity. Also, be sure to connect it to a dimmer switch, as per NEC regulations. This allows you to dim the lights when taking a relaxing soak or enjoying an intimate moment alone.