December 9, 2012

Bathroom makeover? Treat it with a light touch

By LISA SCHMITZ McClatchy Newspapers

Folks, we spend a lot of time in the bathroom! A few simple steps help make this little bathroom seem light, large and clean.

home interior
click image to enlarge

A window in the shower is a nice touch, and new waterproof paints will protect woodwork from splashing and steam.

McClatchy Newspapers

Can lights or overhead lights are good for general illumination, but primping requires the proper lighting. Vanity lighting should wash over your face evenly, providing a flattering glow. Sconces on either side of the mirror at eye level are best at eliminating unsightly shadows. Incandescent and halogen lamps on dimmers allow for low-level mood lights or bright levels for makeup or shaving.

A window in the shower? Looking out at treetops while showering is a great way to start the day. Higher windows help avoid splashing, but steam and moisture are enemies to wood. Many new extremely waterproof paints are available to protect woodwork. For privacy, instead of fussy light-blocking shades or curtains, insert a textured glass panel or apply frosted privacy adhesive film (Gila brand). It will last quite a while and can be easily and cheaply replaced after a few years.

The shower space shares a standard 5-foot tub, which is much less expensive than a longer bathtub. A tiled ledge fills in the larger bathroom width while opening the shower area. The ledge leaves room for sitting, shower products, towels or propping up a leg for shaving.

The glass shower enclosure opens up the space, shares the window and exposes the accent tile. Cobalt blue penny tiles add a punch of color and texture. These tiny tiles are perfect for walls where the large amount of grout does not get as dirty as it would on the floor.

Kids can be really messy, especially little boys. Cleaning up splashes is easy with tiled walls around the toilet and shower. The adjacent vanity surfaces are protected too. By shrouding the cabinet with a solid surface (Corian), we created a seamless surface from sides to sink. Just wipe it clean.

Lisa Schmitz is an interior designer in Kansas City. She can be contacted at:


Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors

Further Discussion

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)