Modern Bathroom Lighting Ideas: 8 Sleek Styles to Inspire Your Contemporary Design
Modern lighting fixtures range from understated to bold, streamlined to sculptural. They can be the center of attention or simply provide a spotlight for the other show-stopping design features you want to highlight. Best of all, they work well with other décor styles, so you can go all-modern or mix it up. Read on for 8 modern bathroom lighting styles, along with two chic ideas to help you bring the look home.
1. Art Deco-Inspired Vanity Lights and Sconces
Also known as ‘style moderne,’ the Art Deco design and architecture movement developed in the 1920s. The chic style delivers modern elegance and a dash of vintage savoir faire. Art Deco design is characterized by clean lines, simplicity, symmetry, and artful repetition. Achieve the look with:
- Vanity lights featuring long smoked glass tubes with simple and sophisticated accents in antiqued bronze or gold
- Sconces featuring exposed bulbs and an elegant elongated symmetrical design
2. Recessed Lights and Colorful Pendants
Recessed lights provide ambient light for your entire bathroom and possess an understated modern look in their own right. The only visible parts of the fixture are the metallic trim that sits against the ceiling, and the bulb within the housing. In addition to lighting your way, recessed lights illuminate colorful pendant lights from overhead so they really pop. Achieve the look with:
- Recessed lights showcasing polished chrome or matte black trim
- Steel pendants painted a standout color, such as red or powder blue
3. Minimalist Track Lighting
For modern simplicity and versatility, nothing beats track lighting. You can direct the light beams directly down or angle them exactly where you need them, whether that’s toward a piece of wall art or to the bathroom vanity. The number of track light fixtures and bulbs you need will vary depending on the square footage of your bathroom. You can install two tracks evenly spaced across the ceiling, or one track down the center of the ceiling. Achieve the look with:
- Two curved track light fixtures with brushed nickel, white, or matte black finishes
- One straight track light down the center of the room with lights angled down to either side, to provide ambient light. Combine with sophisticated wall sconces featuring clear glass globes.
4. Steampunk Sconces or Flush-Mount Fixtures
Steampunk interior design embraces contemporary and vintage style at once while highlighting the elegance of modern machinery. The color palette of steampunk is similar to Craftsman-style décor, showcasing brown, black, dark metallics, forest green, and ivory. To capture the trendy style with your bathroom lighting, focus on exposed Edison-style bulbs, glass, dark finishes, and industrial-style fixtures. Achieve the look with:
- Wall sconces with an Edison-style bulb, clear glass cover. and an oil-rubbed bronze finish. You can install two sconces on either side of the bathroom mirror, or install four sconces above the mirror as vanity lights.
- Factory-style flush-mount light fixtures with wire cage bulb protectors. Align four or five fixtures above the mirror for a unique spin on steampunk vanity lighting.
5. Futuristic Chandeliers
Bring a touch of space-age futurism down to earth with chandeliers resembling modern art. Look for fixtures with angular elements or geometric shapes with metallic or earthy finishes. Or, select angular fixtures in a bold color that complements your overall bathroom décor. Finally, explore linear chandeliers with long, streamlined lights at varying heights. Achieve the look with:
- A playful starburst chandelier featuring chrome and acrylic arms extending from a chrome core.
- A chandelier with roped interlocking circles surrounding bulbs in the center.
6. Illuminated Mirrors for Small Bathrooms
Illuminated mirrors are an excellent way to provide modern style and abundant light in small bathrooms. These mirrors have bulbs incorporated into the design, either as a frame around the entire mirror or along two sides. Sometimes the illuminated mirror is the front of a medicine cabinet, for even more space savings. Use the fixture as the sole source of light in your bathroom, or add another layer of light and style with a pendant or flush-mount ceiling light. Achieve the look with:
- A square mirror with an illuminated LED frame of light all the way around. Add a red or blue glass pendant for a bold pop of color that reflects in the mirror.
- A medicine cabinet with two illuminated mirrored doors. Complement with a flush mount light in a minimalist design with chrome accents.
7. Mid-Century Modern Pendants and Sconces
Another modern look with a dash of retro panache—mid-century modern design is known for simple lines and shapes, organic inspiration, and functionality. The prominent materials include dark-stained wood, glass, metal, and Lucite. The style was widespread from the 1940s through the mid-1960s, and has undergone a renaissance in recent years. Mid-century modern lighting fixtures lend refinement to your bathroom. Achieve the look with:
- A large pendant showcasing a drum shade with repeating geometric shapes in dark-stained wood.
- Vertical wall sconces with a smoked glass tube and understated rectangular backplate.
8. Industrial-Chic Chandeliers
Industrial chandeliers call to mind urban loft living, but they add a hip edge to any home. These fixtures look as though they’d be at home in a warehouse or a factory—if those locations had a touch of pizzazz. Look for features such as metal pipes, exposed bulbs, painted steel shades, thick glass, and galvanized tin. Achieve the look with:
- A twelve-light chandelier with pipes bending upwards, downwards, and to the sides, each pipe terminating in a globe light.
- A three-light linear chandelier showcasing seeded glass globes and polished nickel housing.
Whether your bathroom is fully contemporary or features another décor style, modern lighting fixtures make a beautiful finishing touch.