Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Top 10 ways to give your bathroom the spa treatment

Not all bathrooms were originally designed to cater to spa-like amenities such as heated towel racks, bidets, stereo systems and soft, flattering lighting. If your bathroom was made with a more utilitarian mindset, there's no reason to fret - it's easy to transform your strictly functional space into a bit of paradise. Here are 10 ways you can amp up the spa factor in your bathroom.

1. Get rid of clutter. Bathroom accessories are all well and good, but there might be a lot of other items that don't need to be in your bathroom. Throw out old cosmetics and skincare products and pare down your towel and linen collection.

2. Invest in storage solutions. Whether you choose baskets, cabinets, vanities or shelves, extra storage is always necessary in a spa bathroom. That way, you can place everything you don't need out of sight.

3. Pick colors that make you happy. Many spas stick to warm, neutral tones or fresh white shades when decorating their spaces, but you can get the same comforting, relaxing effects from colors that suit your fancy.

4. Bring in natural elements. From wooden blinds to houseplants to rocks, natural materials can give you a sense of serenity and stability. Don't be shy when it comes to placing these items in your space.

5. Rely on aromatherapy. Essential oils and candles that emanate refreshing scents are wonderful for a spa-like experience in the bathroom. Do a bit of research to figure out which scents are best for your purposes, then stock up.

6. Soften the lighting. Harsh overhead lights can be stressful and unflattering, so invest in a few new light fixtures with dimmer switches that can adjust to your preferences. Natural light is also important, so use sheer curtains or blinds if you don't already have them.

7. Heated elements. For comfort on chilly mornings or nights, have a few heating elements installed, whether it's a steam shower, radiant heated floors or maybe even a fireplace.

8. Get luxurious with your toiletries. A few standbys (toothpaste, deodorant, mouthwash) are okay, but for a more satisfying bathing experience, get products with natural ingredients, soothing scents and rich lathers.

9. Get a nice robe and a pair of slippers. You'll feel like a million bucks stepping out of the bath and into these fuzzy items.

10. Bring in a comfortable chair or couch. That way, you can be comfortable while you're putting on makeup or waiting for the bath.