This article first ran in The Charlotte Observer. You can see it in it’s original format here.
In every home there should be a place carved out specifically for retreat. A refuge. A place to collect your thoughts, relax and rejuvenate. Enter the home spa – your bathroom!
“Water has incredible healing properties,” says Chelsea Allard of Case Design/Remodeling. “Every one of us can benefit, whether it’s a long soak in a bubbly tub, an intense scalp massage from an air-injected shower head, or a deep steam.”
The master bath is generally the last place people visit before going to bed and the first place they visit upon waking. In a sense, it helps us relax for a good night’s rest and set the tone for a successful day. By creating a serene,warm, relaxing space we can put our minds at rest and ficus on the tasks ahead of us.
Changes That Will Last
Bathroom renovations are one of the most costly renovations you do to your home so you want to pick something that will last. “We have to make bathrooms very functional and beautiful for a long time for everyone in the family regardless of age or physical capabilities,” reminds David Tyson, design veteran with 34 years experience.
“Bathrooms and kitchens are what sells home down the road; however, you want to enjoy the space you created for you first,” says Tyson.
Tyson stresses the importance of creating a bathroom that is functional for the duration of your life. Adding thoughtfully placed but beautifully designed grab bar in the shower or bath is also an important feature not to overlook.
It is also important to focus on the quality of materials. Make your money count and spend it on the features that will last a lifetime. Select pieces that are transitional. Allard suggests going with a classical look when choosing large items – marble always looks exquisite in any bathroom – then use trendy items for decor, towels, hooks, and other things that are easy to swap out as your tastes change. Changing wall color is also an easy swap to create a new feel in the bathroom.
Making Space Count
Curbless, large showers are in the forefront of design dreams. Sometimes the space is not available for grandiose showers. “It used to be taboo to remove a tub from a master bath, but there are plenty of people out there who never use one. Given the choice, many prefer a larger shower with at least one or more fixed shower heads and a hand held for cleaning,” says Allard.
In rooms that provide more space, you want a standalone. These can be claw foot tubs to add a Victorian, classical feel or a modern freestanding tub.
“Freestanding tubs give people a wow factor. They become a prominent sculptural piece of art as opposed to just a hole in a deck in the corner,” says Allard.
Home Spa Ideas You Can Feel
Those are the basics. Now for the fun. There are so many extras you can add to achieve the ultimate home spa feel. The most important things to remember is what makes you the most comfortable – what will help you transcend into a peaceful, calming state of mind.
A deep tub with jets, music, and candlelight can help you slip away from the outside world. Chromotherapy is another fun trend to add to tubs. “Chromotherapy uses a wide spectrum of colored LED lights built into various tubs and shower heads to influence your mood,” says Allard. “If you turn off all the other lights or dim them down and program the lights to spa, it can feel like you’re bathing in a tropical lagoon.”
Techy Add Ons
Showers also have an almost endless array of add-ons such as deep streams, alternating shower heads, or alternating body sprays. Tyson adds that using features like LED lighting, Bluetooth shower heads, heated towel warmers, soap niches, and frame-less shower glass will help modernize your bathroom.
Warmth Beneath Your Feet
Another design feature gaining momentum in home spa bathrooms: heated tile flooring.
“The one thing I’d do regardless is add a heated floor,” Allard suggests. “I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love it.”
According to Allard, heated floors are not meant to heat the room. They just take the edge off when you’re padding around in bare feet. It it’s set at 75 degrees, you probably won’t even notice it’s warm. It just won’t be ice cold.
No matter where you find inspiration for your in-home spa, make it your own. Remember what calms you, what make you happy, and the space that’s available. “Everyone’s inspiration comes from something different,” concludes Tyson. “It does not matter where you start as long as everything fits the space properly.”