Reconsidering A White Bathroom Ceiling (And A Sneak Peek Of My Bubble Light)

I’m really trying to stay focused on working on the bathroom instead of getting sidetracked with other projects around the house. It’s getting difficult, though, because I’m so tired of working on trim. So while I did make progress on trim and finishing the newly installed door yesterday (which is very close to being finished), I decided to end the day with a fun, creative project. I decided to start on the bubble light that will go over the bathtub.

A bubble light over the bathtub has been part of the plan from the beginning. Remember this image I put together showing the direction for the bathroom? I added a semi-flush mount bubble light that I found online (it’s above the bathtub and kind of blends in with the mural, so it’s a little hard to see), but after having a hard time finding exactly what I wanted, I decided to make my own.


Until yesterday, the light above where the bathtub will go looked like this…

It’s the same type of ultra thin recessed light that I have in the rest of the room, and throughout the house.

So yesterday, I got out the nine boxes of large 4-inch frosted white Christmas ornaments that I’ve had tucked away since last fall (when I found them on sale at Hobby Lobby), and started working on my bubble light. What’s funny is that all of these months, every time I saw that stack of nine boxes of ornaments, I would think to myself, “There’s NO WAY I’m going to need all of those! I’m definitely going to have some extras left over.” Well, I was wrong. Not only did I need every one of those, but I could have used about three or four more boxes.

I’ve had to order more, so my bubble light isn’t finished yet. But here’s the progress so far…

I’m not going to share a tutorial until it’s finished, and I have no idea when I’ll get the ones I ordered last night. I might not get them until next week, so for now, I’m stuck with a half finished bubble light. But it’s still fun to look at!

And this will be my view as I’m soaking in the tub…

So far, I love the light. It’s turning out better than I imagined, and was so much easier to make than I had anticipated.

But now I’m second-guessing the white bubble light against a white ceiling. I don’t need or want the light to stand out like a sore thumb, and I don’t necessarily want it to be a main focal point. But I would like it to show up, and I wonder if it’s too subtle against a white ceiling.

I have three options here:

  1. Leave the light and the ceiling as they are, and be happy with the subtle look.
  2. Paint the ceiling an actual color, but keep it very light so that it’s just enough to show a difference between the trim/bubble light and the ceiling. I could maybe try the wall color at 10% or something like that. Or,
  3. I could try something creative with the actual light, and find a way to make the “bubbles” a very light, subtle color while still keeping them translucent. Y’all know I love a good functional art project (like my pantry backsplash tiles), and this might be a fun experimental, artistic project. (You can see what color on a bubble light looks like here. I wouldn’t want that color — it’s way too dark — but it gives you an idea.)

The funny thing is that I started off writing this post leaning towards painting the ceiling. But I think I may have just talked myself into an art project, because I’d love to see what it would look like if I could add some very subtle color to those bubbles! I’ll give it some more thought. I have a few days before my new order arrives, and I can’t finish the light until then anyway. But don’t you think a very subtle (and still translucent) color on those bubbles would be pretty?



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  1. i don’t know what kind of bulbs you are using, but what about colored bulbs – pink is the most popular i know of, but that may be easier than messing with the fixture itself…

  2. Is there a paint that would just make them look iridescent like real bubbles? Just a subtle shimmer?

    1. Could a color changing LED light fixture be installed to shine through the bubbles? Some are controllable by remote and you could change your color as your mood changes.

    2. Oh, I think that would be the BEST color – no color on the ceiling, no specific color on the bubbles, but the iridescence of a bubble. Perfect! I also thought of a circle of color on the ceiling, but your idea is way better!

    3. Iridescent was my first thought too – it would subtly pick up the other colours you have in the room and the mural – warm tones of the wood, cool blues, and pinks – without a single colour being dominant.

      Barring that option, a very subtle pink would be my choice. It’s nicer on skin tones and the eyes and I don’t think a cool colour would be pleasant, especially if you read in the tub.

  3. What about painting a circle around the bubble light in a different color to draw your eye up to it?

    1. Yes! I was thinking something similar, maybe just a custom ceiling medallion. Brass would be more similar to the inspiration board. White (like the trim) with more texture would blend in more while making the light stand out just a little more.

  4. I do believe you are the most resourceful, creative, industrious and capable person I “know”. You inspire us all.

  5. My vote is to paint the ceiling a very very light tint blue to create a sky effect and continuation of the feeling of bathing in a forest against that backdrop.

  6. If it was anyone else I would say paint the ceiling but because you are such an artist, I am voting for colored bubbles because I know it will be so unique and beautiful when you get done.

  7. Yes, yes, yes! Color on the light with a soft shimmer. Just the touch of whimsy those bubbles need.

  8. I wouldn’t change them, they look like foam bubbles now and that makes them pretty – light fixtures aren’t supposed to be the focus during the day anyway. You have a day look and a night look like this, which is something I like!

    1. I also thought this too, that when they are lit, they will have a “color.” But I do think a very pale, hint of pink would go great with the mural.

  9. What about a circle, large enough that encompasses the light fixture, that was done with gold leaf? That would tie in the goldstone of the fixtures and add a bit of luxury.

  10. Well when it is turned on it won’t be blending in the same way so make sure you consider that as well when you’re mulling over option 1.

    1. I think you’ve done a wonderful job creating your own bubble light. However, I love the look of brass/gold showing when it is dropped from the ceiling. I believe that touch of color really elevates it to a richer more sophisticated look. I like how large yours is, actually everything about it, but it would be amazing if it wasn’t hugging the ceiling. Just another thought for you.

  11. Could you try a color-changing LED bulb? You wouldn’t have to alter the fixture itself, and you could have any color you want!

  12. I too would suggest a colored light bulb. Maybe one of those which can change colors or lumens upon request.

  13. So looking forward to your creation! You inspired me to paint my bedroom and bath ceilings dark navy, I love how calming the color is for me. I personally would paint the support cage white to have it disappear.
    I’m moving to a new home, excited to try more of your inspirations. Thank you so much.

  14. I like your light better than the ones I see online. Perhaps picking a couple of the colors in the mural for the ornaments. Or maybe a very pale blue.
    One thing that did disturb me visually is that I can see the chicken wire you used to attach the globes to. While I realize that it’s not nearly finished, perhaps when you remove the globes to paint them, spray the wire white to make it blend into the ceiling visually and reattach the globes. Pretty much can’t be seen while you’re in the tub.
    Are you thinking of adding the color to the inside or outside of the globe? Translucent paint I hope or perhaps alcohol ink.
    Can’t wait to see the finished product. You have inspired me so much to not only think outside the box but outside the ball and the pyramid! LOL

    1. Once it’s finished, none of the wire cage will show. I’ve ordered several boxes of little ornaments to fill in the “holes” between the big ones so that all of the support frame is covered.

      Since they’re frosted, I’ll probably add color to the outside.

  15. omg! I just LOVE the bubble light!! I think a subtle pinkish hue would be lovely to draw the eye up and distiguish that gorgey light or too bad you cant use that diamond dust on it ess it cannot be sealed or it loses its luster and you definitely dont want those splinters in your tub!

  16. I like the idea of a pearlescent finish vs iridescent. Or, the faintest blushy pink color like the flowers in your mural. Either of those with the brass base would look really sophisticated.

  17. if you paint the bubbles or make them iridescent, it might be worth doing it on the inside of the ornaments, reverse painting style

  18. I think a very barely there pink would look awesome, and be a great color for the ceiling (or the lights) Every time I see the mural, I see the pale pink in the dogwood flowers, But it sounds as though you are heading off to paint the lights, so I’m probably too late anyway,

    1. Forgot to add that you could paint the globes with a “stained glass” paint. (If they still sell it, IDK, but they used to have it by the craft paints at Michaels.)

  19. What about some frosted blue sea glass type spray paint on the balls or what about just a round “medallion” painted on the ceiling above the light fixture to highlight it.

  20. Consider that your bubbles are opaque and not clear so that could impact your choice. I’m such a fan of a pale blue ceilings ( thanks Sarah Richardson ).
    But I don’ t have your vision or grit so I say go with your gut

  21. As someone who just climbed up yesterday to clean all the glass in my bathroom fixtures, I just think that would be a nightmare to clean. Things do get dusty and each globe would have to be washed individually. Above the tub, it would be harder to even place a ladder.

  22. I like the white ceiling. I would go with either the palest pink or palest blue you can find for the bulbs. The pink would give off warm vibes while the blue is more cool. But I know it’s going to turn out fantastic whichever way you end up going. It always does 😋

  23. I was leaning toward tinting the “bubbles” before you said that you were leaning that way. It feels more like you. I do differ with the crowd in the color, I would not do a light pink but would stay with a very light translucent version of the wall color. Looking forward to seeing the final outcome. I wish I had your vision 🙂

  24. I like the idea of painting the ceiling white. Just not all of it. I would use white trim to frame in a ceiling area in a size equivalent to the mural size. Then I would use the same muted blues & whites of the sky in the mural. When you look up, you would see bubbles floating in the sky. Essentially, extending the mural onto the ceiling. I know you have CV the skills to do this from your previous projects.

  25. I, too, think a very translucent color on the bubbles would look really neat!
    If I may…as much as I am so *not* a Pink person, I think a pink color that emulates a Pink in your mural would be very fun! Pink lighting is also very complimentary to just about everyone’s skin tone.

  26. Sure Kristi, “Leave the light and the ceiling as they are, and be happy with the subtle look.”. Learning to love something you aren’t really happy with has worked so well for you in the past, hasn’t it?
    I’d try the art project first. How about making the bubbles iridescent? That would offer some contrast while leaving them transparent. I’m certain you will come up with something gorgeous.

  27. I had no clue what a bubble light even looked like and color, shudder. Omg but that blue bubble light makes me what to redo my entire house around that. Love love love it. Can’t wait to see yours.

  28. I think painting it (maybe pale pink?) could make it look like a flower and it’d be beautiful!

  29. Hi Kristi! Just wanted to throw out something for you to possibly take into consideration. How does the current fixture look when you turn the light on – both during the day and at night? What kind of shadows does it cast, or pattern does it illuminate onto the walls? My only concern is if you paint/glaze the bubbles a color, will that in turn cast a different hue onto the surrounding walls and mural? You wall color is so perfect and your mural is amazing, it would be a bummer to potentially muddy those colors. Your eye for design is impeccable though and I know you’ll create the perfect bathroom for you and Matt!

  30. Kristi,
    Go with the bubble light. I love it, and can just imagine relaxing in the bathtub with a bubble light above me, and that wall mural beside me. I would love it. You have come up with an outstanding idea on that bubble light. You have created the most serene setting for a relaxing bath I do believe I have ever seen or dreamed of.

  31. Wasn’t the original point of the bubble light fixture to look like a cloud? Or is it suppose to look like bubbles from your bubble bath have escaped to the ceiling?

    1. The point of it is just to look pretty. 🙂 It can look like whatever your mind thinks it looks like. The original bubble light I showed in my mock up doesn’t look like either one of those things. It’s just a pretty light fixture.

  32. You can buy glass paint that will dry transparent. A pink or blue matching your mural would be pretty. You can deepen the color with extra coats. You could try something like that on your door glass or frost the glass with spray frosting or you can buy a roll of frosted contact-like paper made for glass (I can’t remember what it’s actually called).

  33. Kristi, what about an iridescent sheen on the bubbles. You could put it all over, or just where the catch light would be. Not really change the color, but make them more “bubbly”.

  34. I would keep the ceiling color the same and give the bubbles a very slight hint of pink just barely there like the lightest pink in your mural.