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Originally published Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 7:11 PM

101 Ideas: Improve the bath with new lights

Simple ways to add personality to the home.

BY e & Garden Television

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Just by swapping out old light fixtures for decorative new sconces and a dramatic chandelier, and adding some accent lighting, you can update the personality of your bath. And with prices for high-fashion light fixtures starting at around $50, you can do it all on a modest budget. Now that's a bright idea.

Chandeliers

When combined with task and accent lighting, an appropriately sized chandelier will help create a "layered"lighting effect in the bath. Wrought-iron is the natural choice for traditionally styled baths, while Tiffany-inspired models may better suit an Arts and Crafts bungalow.

THE TASK AT HAND

If your bathroom doesn't already have them, Linda Whitcomb, owner of Village Kitchen & Bath in Hyannis, Mass., recommends installing a pair of wall sconces on either side of the bathroom mirror. Not only do sconces eliminate unwanted shadows cast on the face from overhead lighting, they provide another opportunity to dress up the bath.

ACCENT ON DRAMA

"Properly placed accent lighting can produce a tremendous amount of excitement in the bathroom,"says Dan Grahl, owner of Naples Kitchen and Bath in Naples, Fla. Placed under vanities, above cabinets, even mounted beneath a translucent countertop, accent lighting introduces warmth and drama to a room. It can also make a small room appear larger.

Grahl prefers low-voltage, high-intensity xenon accent lighting to illuminate crown molding, down-light a sink or vanity, or add gentle illumination from beneath translucent countertops, such as glass, resin or stone. Xenon bulbs provide a clean, crisp white light while giving off less heat than halogen bulbs.

DIMMERS, BULBS AND CANDLES — OH MY!

"The bathroom is and always has been a retreat,"says Jennifer Wilson of Lowe's. One of the easiest ways to create that cherished spalike atmosphere, she says, is to connect a dimmer switch to the bathroom light fixtures.

In that same vein, replacing harsh white lights or unflattering fluorescents with warm-tone bulbs such as Sylvania's soft pink light bulbs will bring a warm, cozy feel to the bath.

CourtesyDouglasTrattneronhgtv.com

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