Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's gotta be bath-worthy.

I am really missing the classic roll-top, clawfoot tub I used to have in one of my old apartments. There's nothing like a bath and a good book to help you get through the rest of the week. It's relaxing. It's mind-clearing. It's one of the few moments of solitude in an otherwise stress-filled life.

That is, if your bathroom is up to par.

One of the most unused spaces (for living not... using) in the home is the bathroom. If done right, it can be a vital area used to regain balance, strength and peace of mind. Naturally, when thinking of a bathroom makeover, you immediately start heading down the road of heated flooring, dressing rooms and jacuzzis. Here are some tips that are a lot less expensive (and labor intensive) that still provide that same relaxing, comfortable effect.

1. Keep it clean. This is one of the easiest ways to make a bathroom more inviting and less of a chore. After getting ready in the morning take a few seconds to tidy up. Put the toothpaste away, wipe the countertop and close the shower curtain. You can thank yourself later.

2. Pump up the textiles. Coming from a girl with an endless supply of stolen hotel towels, it's really important to invest in some textiles that scream comfort. Purchase some fluffy towels, a thick robe and a super soft rug. It instantly increases the cozy factor and makes it easier to peel yourself out of the tub and back into reality. Take it a step further, throw out the vinyl shower curtain and opt for a fabric one. It looks richer is easier on the eyes. If you have glass shower doors, try hanging some fabric on either side of the tub to soften the space.

3. Fill glass jars with the essentials. The easier it is for you to see things, the more of a reminder it is to use them. Pour some epsom salts (add 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oil to add to the experience) or a homemade skin scrub (sugar with olive oil to moisten - LOVE) and place by your tub. Gathering 3 or 5 different sized jars containing different pampering products make a beautiful yet functional signal to take a break.

4. Treat it like any other room. Like the kitchen, bathroom accessories tend to be very specific to the space. Forget the terry cloth cushions, waterproof everything and bathtub framed photos. Unless you use the space as an in-home water park or forget what the purpose of the room is, you don't need the constant reminders. Instead,  choose accessories and artwork that you would display in any other part of your home you normally relax in. Furnish (where possible) with pieces that feel more inviting and less sterile.

5. Add a lamp (if possible). Get rid of the overhead lighting (after putting on your makeup) and, depending on how large your countertop is, add 1-2 taller lamps. Choose ones that have a lot of character to help balance out the sleek finishes and connect with the rest of your accessories and textiles. Experiment with different types to find the one that sets the tone you're looking for!

All photos courtesy of housetohome.

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