Give Your Bathroom the Spa Treatment

By Jim Hirschman Published 11/14/2007 | Home Improvement

Think back to the last time you treated yourself to a spa day. It's not just about the facial or the massage; depending on the facility, your experience began when you were greeted at the door and offered a glass of wine or other refreshment. Another person handed you a cushy, luxurious robe and escorted you to a private room where you soaked in a hot whirlpool tub until you indulged in your spa treatment. You left on wobbly legs, feeling complete, and totally relaxed; as though daily life as you know it had been put on pause. If only you could take this feeling with you.

More and more this spa-like experience is being recreated in decorating styles as home owners are taking their mild mannered bathrooms and giving them the spa treatment. Here are some of the more popular decorating techniques for transforming your bathroom, where your only restriction is your budget.

It's all about the tub.  For many people, this is their one escape from the demands of the day and a busy family life. A soak in a hot scented tub can do wonders to rejuvenate your body and soul. The tub should be large, with lots of relaxing whirlpool jets. Have a  storage basket handy with your favorite bath soaps and lots of candles nearby.

A shower is the next best thing. Hopefully you'll have room for a tub as well as a separate stand-up shower; and especially for shower lovers, it's worth spending the extra money on a nice one. Similar to the tub, the shower should be large, the bigger the better, all the way up to the large couple-size versions. Ditch the old shower curtains, as the new models have glass walls and either no doors or glass doors, allowing the light to spill through. Choose from a veritable buffet of shower heads ranging from multiple heads, pulsating wall jets and large overhead rain heads.

Digital shower controls are also available that include waterproof speakers for that morning wake-up experience.

Cabinetry can be a combination of the old and the new.  Furniture style cabinetry is all the rage with dark wood, ornate handles and stone or granite counter tops. However, the modern sleek contemporary cabinets are also popular.

Sink styles are reverting back to the old bowl style sink; where the basin appears to be placed on top of the cabinet. They come in a wide variety of finishes, including stone, porcelain and clear textured glass. Copper as an accent is also being widely used. Also, popular are square or rectangular basins and drop sinks.

For faucets, try the wall mounted variety, they have the advantage of being adjusted to various heights and provide  attractive accents to a bowl sink.  Crystal handles are very popular as well as chrome.

Go for the natural look.  Try using a stone countertop or slate tiles for a spa-like, grotto effect.

The heat is on! Add heat to your bathroom with heated floors, towel racks and even  fireplaces. All are widely available, with a variety of different styles to choose from. Heated floors are even popular in warmer climates; no one likes walking on a cold marble floor in the middle of the night.

Accessories complete the ensemble. Although wall colors should be neutral and calming, add splashes of color with accent pieces such as vases filled with branches, bamboo, an attractive piece of art, or a thin row of mosaic tile in contrasting shade. Place hooks near the shower and tub for that thick bathrobe you'll have hung up.

For all the comforts of home, add a  mini fridge and an espresso maker to your home spa. Use open shelves for storage, and line with large wicker  baskets filled with spa amenities.  Fold luxurious, fluffy towels and stack them on the  shelves.

Now call Sven for a personal massage; sit back and relax and enjoy your new bathroom!

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