10 Ways to Expose a Bathroom to Light Without Sacrificing Your Privacy

by By Dominic Bagnato
Houzz Contributor


Bathrooms have evolved to such an extent that they are no longer considered utilitarian rooms just for maintaining hygiene. Many of us now aspire to have a bathroom that feels like a haven worthy of a five-star resort, and why shouldn’t we? The glamorous minimalist bathrooms we see in design photos often have large picture windows where modesty seems to have been thrown out with the bathwater, but there’s no need to compromise on privacy if you’d love to open your bathroom to the outdoors. These inspiring bathrooms provide all the amenities we seek, but also the opportunity to enjoy light and views via cleverly designed window details — all without strutting your stuff to the neighbors.

Tate Studio Architects, original photo on Houzz

Unorthodox window shapes. By rising up from the floor and continuing across the ceiling, this window manages to provide tantalizing views of the landscape and sky without putting privacy in jeopardy. Light enters different parts of the bathroom as the sun moves across the sky, creating interesting shadows as well as a light-bathed interior.

Internal courtyard. If your bathroom has plenty of space but lacks an external wall that could be turned into a wall of windows, why not design a private outdoor sanctuary that invites light to enter from above?

Tip: Don’t have space to spare in your bathroom? Consider turning that spare bedroom into a beautiful bathroom instead.

Window film. There are many types of adhesive films that can be used on different-shaped windows, giving you the chance to control how much of your window is transparent and how much is obscured. The films come in different grades and patterns to suit any bathroom style.

Film adhered to the bottom half of the windows ensures privacy without interrupting the views above.

Louvered windows. Louvered glass panels are a great way to create a large window, but are also a means of controlling airflow. If privacy is not an issue, you can flood the interior with natural light via fully transparent louvers while enjoying the cool breezes.

If privacy is an issue, the answer is white translucent glass. You can control the ventilation and also the amount of transparency by adjusting the louvers to the angle that suits you.

Tip: If you don’t have a spare wall in which you can incorporate a large floor-to-ceiling window, consider putting one of the shower cubicle walls to good use. Just be sure to choose a water-resistant material for the window frame, such as aluminium.

Contemporary Bathroom

Low-set windows. A great way to enjoy the outside but also enjoy your privacy is to incorporate a long and narrow floor window that allows the bathroom to extend to the outside world. In a long bathroom such as this, the low-set windows not only maximize the light coming in, but also serve to make the space look bigger.

Green wall. A bathroom located beside a solid outside wall can easily incorporate floor-to-ceiling windows, and turning that wall into a green wall will make bathing infinitely more relaxing. If your bathroom opens to the neighbor’s fence rather than a brick wall, consider erecting one. Just be sure it meets local regulations and your neighbors’ approval.

Desyne Developments

Internal light well. If you’re renovating or building a home from scratch, think about incorporating an internal light well to provide natural light in multiple rooms around the house. This one also allows for a large transparent — but private — window to the bathroom. Showcasing large, leafy plants against a white background creates a work of art.

Outdoor screens. Outdoor screens are a great way to filter light into your bathroom while protecting your modesty. Light and glimpses of the outside world come in without giving too much away.

Glass interlayers. There are many glazing types that allow you to have large walls of windows without the outside world seeing you in your birthday suit. One of the most common is the use of a layer between two sheets of glass. You can sandwich virtually anything between the panes, from rice paper to colored plastic. A white plastic interlayer gives the impression of a film, and different grades allow various levels of transparency.


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