Spa-Like Bathrooms | Part I: Renovations

Have you ever taken a good look at the significance of your bathroom? Ever think about how much time you spend in them, and the purpose it serves you? A lot of people, I feel, tend to underestimate what a great bathroom can do for them. This is one of the first rooms you enter in the mornings to get ready for the day and a room where you unwind at the end of it. Now think about how nice it would be to enter your bathroom, and just be transformed by the atmosphere, and ambiance.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a spa-like bathroom in your home? I mean a trip to the spa is the ultimate way to relax, and de-stress, but we don’t all have the finances to go to the spa every week or even every month. So, why not invest long-term in a spa-like bathroom, which gives you the ability to access a calming sanctuary 24/7, all year round. It would be a space in your home that can melt your stresses away, every day. Imagine that! There are really two ways we can achieve this, through renovations, and/or changing décor. Therefore, I’ve split this topic into two parts, part I: renovations, and part II décor. There is just so much information I want to share, but it would all be so overwhelming at once. Since this is part I, I want to begin with steam showers.

Steam Showers

Many people probably assume a soaking tub is a must-have in a spa-like bathroom. But what are the chances of you soaking in a tub every single day? It can also make a smaller bathroom feel crowded. So, above all else, if I can only recommend one thing on this list, it would be a steam shower.  However, if you have the luxury of being able to have both, do it, you won't regret it, but I digress. Many people enjoy steam showers for several reasons; it can help improve circulation, flush out toxins, alleviate sinus problems, and reduce muscle tensions. One way to makeshift an at-home steam shower is to have a glass shower enclosure that fits all the way to the ceiling, which has a vent that can close to allow steam to gather when you’re feeling like a steam shower and opens when you just want a regular shower. However, installing a steam generator will provide you with premium results. Some steam generators even come equipped with an oil caddy and atomizer, generating in-steam aromatherapy (like this one). 

However, keep in mind that with steam showers you want to be sure the enclosure is properly water- and vapor-proof. We would use products like Wedi to achieve this (click here to read our blog post about Wedi). Wedi boards can give you the versatility to design a steam shower according to your style preference, whether you want it to be curbless or a partial barrier, the design possibilities are endless.  Just take a look at some of these amazing at home steam showers.

Image via Pebble Tile Shop
Image via Houzz - Niki Papadopoulos; Ansley Park Master Bath

Image via HouzzNiki Papadopoulos; Ansley Park Master Bath

Image via Houzz

Image via Houzz

Shower Bench/Niche

To add more luxury to your steam shower, add a bench! Why stand? Relax. Have a seat. Enjoy the heat, and melt away. You can bring in a separate waterproof bench if you would like, but you can up the ante with a custom built-in bench made to match the rest of the space. And while we’re customizing, why not add a built-in shower niche to hold your toiletries. Installing a shower caddy can disrupt the clean lines we have created, and setback the zen vibes we are trying to achieve. However, do work within your budget. We can help you find a solution to achieve the look you want!  

Image via DecorPad - Tinsley Hutson Wiley Interior Design

Image via DecorPad - Tinsley Hutson Wiley Interior Design

Image via DecorPad - Martha O'Hara Interiors 

Image via DecorPad - Martha O'Hara Interiors 

Image via DecorPad - Chicago Mag

Image via DecorPad - Chicago Mag

Heated Floors/Towels

Now...what’s worse than stepping out of a nice steam shower just to encounter a cold icy floor? No spa-like bathroom can truly feel complete without spoiling yourself to heated floors. There are two basic types of heated flooring to choose from, electric radiant heat and hydronic heating. Both have their pros and cons, so if you want to install heated floors consider each option carefully. While heated floors can be expensive to install, it is definitely worth the extra investment to some. However, if this is not an option for you, there is still warmth within reach! The feeling of warm cozy towels after a long hot bath is absolutely blissful, especially during the winter months. That’s why towel warming drawers and racks can be a wonderful addition to any bathroom.

LUXURIOUS HArDWARE

Luxury hardware may seem unnecessary, but it can make all the difference. Remember, a spa-like bathroom is all about indulgences. When it comes to shower heads, there’s just something so luxurious about a rainfall showerhead. The softer flow on the skin just feels so relaxing. It’s definitely a gentle way to wake up in the mornings, and the most spa-like experience you can achieve during a shower. You can also opt for a handheld shower, as well, for days where you need the convenience of a quick shower. Although, there is other hardware to think about too; the faucet, hooks, handles, etc. Then, it's also important to consider the finish (e.g. brushed, polished, oil-rubbed, matte), and tone (e.g. gold, silver, bronze) of them. There are so many options to choose from that it warrants a post of its own, but be sure to pick one that matches the type of spa look you want to achieve, whether it be rustic, Asian-inspired, or a contemporary looking bathroom, the finish will pull it together. It's the sum of all the details that make the big picture. 

Color Scheme

Many spas use light earthy tones to induce a spacious, airy feel. However, I do realize different colors affect people differently. So, don’t go with a color scheme spas usually choose. Pick colors that feel calming to you, as a great color scheme can set the tone and ambiance for the room. Caitlin Sole has compiled a brief, yet educational, summary of calming color schemes on Better Homes and Gardens, click here to read more. Although personally, I tend to prefer neutral and earthy tones for an authentic spa-like feel, using a mixture of brown, cream, white, and grey tones.

Accent Textures

We can also mix in some textures that engage the senses, using varying tile patterns, wood, or stone -- generally mixtures of rough, and smooth textures can bring a room from “blah” to fab. A natural stone like marble is so glossy, versatile, and elegant; it truly has a clean modern feel to it. Whereas, rough textures like wood can balance out sharpness in the room by adding in warmth and dimension. There really are so many ways to use and mix textures, and really, there are no rules on how to do it. The key is to find balance.

Image via Feedpuzzle

Image via Feedpuzzle

Image via Freshhome

Image via Freshhome

Image via Freshhome

Image via Freshhome

Image via Minimalisti

Image via Minimalisti

Lighting

Last, but not least is lighting. Lighting is an art in and of itself.  Designer Geoffrey De Sousa offers his expertise in bathroom lighting for YLighting. He covers what is important to consider, common mistakes, how to light different areas of the bathroom, and which light bulbs he prefers. Click here to read more.

As for my own personal opinion, I'd say that in spa-like bathrooms that want more of an elegant feel, opt for some pendant lighting. Pendant lighting offers a bigger pool of light, but still makes you feel comfortable because it is not harsh. There are also some fixtures can be extremely stylish and help break up the monotony of a room. Lastly, for access to ultimate mood lighting, install color-changing LED bulbs or light strips . There's a color for every mood.  Whether you want to induce calm with blues, sensuality with red, reenergize with purple, or just have regular task light, you can change it with a push of a button.

Image via Decoist - Fiorella Design

Image via Decoist - Fiorella Design

Image via Decor Zoom

Image via Decor Zoom

Image via Home Designing

Image via Home Designing

Image via Zillow

Image via Zillow

Did this post give you any ideas, or additional things to consider on your potential bathroom renovation? Stay tuned for part II, where I talk about decor ideas to further make your bathroom feel like a spa.