Bath Oasis

If a home is a man or woman’s castle, then the bathroom is probably the inner sanctuary. If a place to retreat to within the four walls of home sounds like something worthwhile, then consider turning an ordinary toilet, sink and bath area from something serviceable to spa-like.

Try these quick changes to make that transformation without spending a fortune on a complete renovation and your zen-tastic bath will be ready for relaxation.

Neutral Design

A can of paint in a neutral color can go a long way in setting the tone for the room. While a bright white can be self-defeating, look for shades that incorporate brown and beige for a warmer look or grey for a cooler palette.

Select hardware accents that continue the color scheme. For example, brushed nickel to match grey paint, or bronze if using browns. Finally, for a spa look, the shower curtain should be simple and not too busy, with hooks that match the rest of the hardware in the room.

Spa-like Shower

For a fully soothing spa experience, make sure the shower is outfitted like a spa. No one undergoes a full body treatment with oils or scrubs and then steps into a drippy, weak shower. Look for a wide shower head with a variety of settings, including the spa staple: a rainfall setting.

Add Floral Accents

Adding a living accent can give the room a little bit of flair, even if a spa-like neutral is the overall goal. Framed art, especially with a natural subject, lends a calming look.

Even better, if possible, bring the outdoors inside with a variety of houseplants. Against a beige or grey paint scheme, the green of the plants will add a bright, healthy splash of color.

For a bathroom, plants will need to be able to withstand high humidity and potentially limited direct sunlight. Spider plants, aloe or ivy are perfect under these conditions. A begonia or peace lily works to provide a slightly more feminine look with blooms.  

Contain the Clutter

Spa time is about simplicity and relaxation. Having the vanity area crowded with bottles and tubes takes away from that general ambiance of “less is more.”

Try to keep the bath area clear of not just toothbrushes, lotions, hair dryers and more on the sink, but avoid clothes dropped on the floor or towels draped over the tub. Keep bathroom essentials contained in a drawer or cupboard, or invest in small organizing boxes in a neutral color, to prevent objects from getting scattered about.

Organize & Optimize

Likewise, try to organize like a spa. For example, towels are never left squashed on a rack. Instead, spares are rolled and carefully stacked in a basket. Lotion, shampoos and other bottled liquids are on a tray.

Cotton balls stand ready in a clear glass container. Adding the same system of organization to a bathroom not only looks and feels like the spa, but it helps to keep the clutter away by providing a set place for everything to go.

Lit for Lounging

Natural lighting would generally be the most obvious choice to resemble a spa, but short of a major renovation to install a skylight or add windows, to increase natural lighting look at window fixtures first, if any. Are the blinds or curtains blocking some of the natural light?  If so, replace them with something like a valance in a lighter color and that takes up less space around the window.

The next step is to think about the lighting fixtures. Pick lights above the mirror that have three or four light sockets instead of just one or two. Use soft lightbulbs instead of harsh glaring ones to create a warmer feel in the room, instead of bulbs that appear sterile and too bright.

Finally, consider using a dimmer switch to adjust lighting for different bath-time uses. Increase light when applying makeup, but bring it down when soaking in the tub to relax.

Soothing Sounds

Spa visits are known for the peaceful recordings that often play in the background.  Sometimes it may be gentle instrumental compilations and other times white noise like ocean waves or a summer rain.

A Bluetooth speaker carefully placed in the bathroom, plus a white noise app can provide the same auditory reprieve. Another option for online music subscribers is to cue up and stream one of the many spa albums available, whether using the bathroom to get the morning energy up or to unwind after a long day.

Aromatherapy Appreciation

Spas are stimulating for all five senses, including the sense of smell. Adding aromatherapy to the bathroom is a quick fix by using scented soaps or lotions, burning candles or wax melts or diffusing essential oils. Scents such as lavender, vanilla, eucalyptus or jasmine are especially popular with spa-goers and generally known for being associated with calm and relaxation.

That Warm & Fluffy Feeling

The biggest, easiest change to make when transforming a dated bath into a spa special is to update towels. Pick a color in sync with the new neutral wall hue, maybe a shade darker or lighter, and then go big and fluffy.

Instead of storing towels in a linen closet, look for an open shelf or natural looking basket and roll and stack the new towels so they are close at hand. To cap off the spa bathroom, consider adding a towel warmer to go with the big, new luxurious towels. This might be the area to splurge as towels are an everyday use and toasty towels will feel so comforting and inviting, especially on the cold New England winter days and nights that lie ahead.