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How to Achieve a Bright and Airy HDB Bathroom

Besides being limited in square footage, HDB bathrooms also have really small windows, which can make the entire space feel cramped and dingy if not done right. But there are ways to work around these issues. Read our tips on how to achieve a bright and airy HDB bathroom that you would love to get ready in every morning:


Colour Scheme

YES TO ALL-WHITE: A white on white scheme for your bathroom is not only classic, it’s also a great way to create a much brighter and airier environment since white tends to recede into the walls. Besides, most bathroom fixtures already come in white, so it’s really only down to opting for white surface tiles.

Design: The Local Inn.terior

TEXTURES ARE KEY: The key to doing an all-white scheme is to go for texture. You can pair glossy tiles with honed tiles or juxtapose them alongside subtle prints like the veins of marble. You can even play around with the colour of your grout to add interest.

Design: DB Studio

Design: Ju Design

LIGHT, BRIGHT NEUTRALS: If white isn’t your thing, light neutrals are your best bet for achieving the bright and airy look. Or you can always throw in a bit of bright colour in one wall like how this bathroom did up the shower area in a sea blue, which adds interest and depth.

Design: The Makers Design Studio

GLOSS IS BOSS: When opting for tiles, glossy surfaces are always a good choice to add in more sheen and light to your bathroom as they help to bounce light around. Plus, they are a lot easier to clean than honed or matte tiles thanks to the additional glaze on top.

Design: 13th Design Studio


Vanity Area

MAKE IT FLOAT: When it comes to choosing a vanity, go for a unit that is off the floor. The ‘floating’ design lets you see the floor and will help in reducing the visual bulk of your bathroom.

Design: Free Space Intent

GIVE IT ROOM TO BREATHE: Consider a smaller vanity if you don’t require too much storage space. Adding negative space to both sides of your vanity can help to make your bathroom feel less cramped.

Design: MINK Design

OPEN VANITY: Swap out closed cabinets for open units instead, which can help to create a roomier look. Or do away with the vanity entirely and opt for a wall-mounted sink.

Design: Fifth Avenue Interior

Design: LS2 Design & Construction

TALL AND MIGHTY: If you are really in need of storage, tall cabinets are a good option since they can lend a sense of height, making your bathroom’s ceiling taller than it really is.

Design: iPoise Design


Shower/Bathtub Area

GO FRAMELESS: Whether you’re opting for a shower or bathtub—the former would create an airier space naturally—opt for a frameless, clear glass panel as a splashguard. This would also help light reach to all corners of your bathroom, brightening up your space.

Design: DB Studio

RECESSED NICHES: Consider recessed niches to display your bathroom amenities. Instead of going for a contrasting tile which can break up the visual continuity and be somewhat jarring, opt for the same pattern for added visual depth. Make sure the lines in the niche match up to the rest of your tiles so that the entire thing looks clean and neat.

Design: The Scientist



MULTI-LAYERED LIGHTING: In an ideal situation, we would be relying on natural light to illuminate our bathroom. However, in HDB bathrooms where that can be a challenge, you will have to rely on artificial light sources. As with any space, lighting in your bathroom should be multi-layered rather than relying on a single source.

OVERALL LIGHTING: Overhead recessed lights are great for lighting up your bathroom properly and they don’t interfere too much with your overall design. Make sure there’s a few so that both your vanity area and showers are well-lit.

BTO homeowners can also choose to turn their mesh box, which hides the bathroom pipes, into a lightbox. Convert the mesh into frosted acrylic panels to diffuse light gently throughout the bathroom.

Design: Ju Design

TASK LIGHTING: Task lighting is also necessary for your bathroom. They are the ones that can help you do your tasks e.g. shaving, putting on makeup, etc. Task lighting should be placed at the side of your vanity mirror and should light your face rather than the vanity area itself. Go for a pair of sconces at the eye level—or just one of them if there’s not enough space. This position lends a more flattering light cast and won’t create shadows on your face. LED strips placed behind your mirror is also another way to evenly light up your face while creating a beautiful ambient glow in the bathroom.

Design: Team Interior Design

Design: Three-D Conceptwerke

LIGHTING ABOVE THE MIRROR: If placing a task light right above your mirror is your only solution, in cases where there’s a lack of space, make sure the light fixture is casting the light source downwards so that it reaches your face.

Design: Adroit Interior Design

This article was done in response to a reader request placed through our Instagram Story. Send us your renovation queries via our social media channels or the comments below!


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