It went a little like this.....
Me: So, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, tell me how much, and what types of lighting you would like to see in your bath.
Him: I like it dark. I want to come in before the sun rises, have barely enough light to see to get to the shower and I don't want to open my eyes until the water has been pounding upon my head for at least 20 minutes. I hate bright light in the mornings. Once I am ready to shave, I don't need 6 million lumens of light blaring in my face...just enough so I don't cut off my nose.
Her: I hate walking into the bathroom when he is in the shower and turning on the lights and hearing him complain. I need lots of light in the morning so I can see to put in my contacts, put on my makeup and I like several types of lighting in the space, too. We have a skylight and I also want a direct ceiling can light over my sink as well as sconces and maybe an additional bar light over the sink.
So this is usually how my questions are answered when working with clients who want to complete a project like a bath remodel on a deadline. My job is to achieve both needs while making the space aesthetically pleasing. And we want it done quickly, so please solve this dilemma for us and NOW!!!
Here's my formula and suggestions:
1. The number one invention in any lighting plan...dimmers. Put your lights on separate switches and add
dimmers to allow each person to have as much (or as little) light as they need.
2. Create multiple light sources. Just as in a family room setting, multiple sources create warmth - these
include overhead lighting, sconces, functional lighting (usually in the form of a makeup or shaving
mirror) and natural lighting.
3. Always give her the option for lighting that is directed at her face; either through sconces or with a lighted
makeup mirror that is hard wired into the wall or adjacent cabinet.
4. Switch lights separately. If he wants no light and she wants it all on at the same time, give them the
opportunity for this by switching the lighting for each area separately.
5. Paint the picture. Show concept images of each option to help everyone see what the end result will be. I
like to use hand renderings to show what the finished space will look like when we are done. I also talk
about how amazing the space will feel when we are done. Imagine taking a long bubble bath with your
sparkling chandelier, soft music, and dimmed lighting...ahhhh.