I like to think of home as a sanctuary, and when it comes to sanctuary, many of us doing our best thinking and have our best ideas in the bathroom. So then why do so many bathrooms… stink? (Apologies for the bad pun.)
Today, I’d like to share some easy upgrades you can make to transform your bathroom into a zen-like spa experience. I know that a $10k bathroom upgrade isn’t in everyone’s budget – and if you’re like me, you can’t do that anyway, because you’re renting! So skip all the construction hassle, and let’s make some bathroom tweaks that will have a real impact.
Freshen Up Your Shower Head
Replacing a shower is expensive, and sometimes just not possible, but the one thing that can improve the experience immensely is just getting a nicer shower head. Two options for you here, depending on your personal showering preferences. There’s the dual shower head combo that if you’ve stayed in a Westin, you’re familiar with – you can even buy their shower heads online. The other option is a “rain” shower from companies like Waterpik. I like both, though perhaps on a daily basis I’d rather have the dual shower head as it has a bit more pressure.
A fresh coat of paint does wonders for any room, and the bathroom is certainly no exception. My friend and color psychology expert Vanessa Van Edwards suggests yellow for bathrooms, because a bright color makes small bathrooms look bigger, and it’s also a good color to see first thing in the morning – it’s a bit of sunshine! The Chinese also say yellow helps promote good digestion and flow – never a bad thing in this room. Throw in some complimentary tiles and some of your favorite art pieces, and you’re all set.
The way I work is that I have my “old standby” products and then like to throw something fun/special into the mix now and then. I have sensitive skin, so I pretty much only use olive oil soaps on a regular basis. (I get mine from the Pasadena Soap Kitchen.)
But getting those little extra “treats” is easy, and fun. Your local drugstore probably has lots of masks and small lotions you can try out for less than $5. However, lately I’ve been finding some really nice bath products on Etsy for a great price, and many Etsy providers offer “sample” packs for $1 or $2! I like to have lots of things to try, so I can decide what I like and what’s not for me.
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You can’t get any bathroom zen if you’re tripping over stuff everywhere you turn – and let’s face it, these days its easy to get overstocked on all the bathroom beauty necessities. (Especially since I just told you to get some fresh new products. Whoops.)
Organization can also be fun, but I’m a neat freak, so I like things to be neat and tidy. Here are some excellent ideas for making your bath feel upgraded:
- Flower Pots: Can make for a great trash can, but also you can use smaller, painted pots, for storage.
- Mason Jars: Is there anything that mason jars are not good for? Make use of them. They look great and are clean, simple, inexpensive.
- Desk Organizers: When you’re plotting your reorganization, look in the desk section instead of the bath section. Especially if you have lots of drawer space – I think the desk stuff is better! I also think the kitchen section is also good for inspiration (think jars and baskets).
- Vases and Candle Holders: Using short, small vases or wide candle holders (the ones you’d put a votive candle in) can be well suited to lots of your smaller knick-nacks that are causing clutter.
IKEA is pretty good for inspiration, and so are antique stories and vintage shops.
Upgrade Your Towels
There are some things in life where it’s worth spending the money. Nice luggage comes to mind. But towels too – is there anything worse than a soggy towel that’s shedding its skin all over you? Not fun. However, you don’t always get what you pay for – there are cheap, nice towels and expensive, bad towels. My suggestion is to always buy a smaller tea towel as a test before you dive in all the way. One of my fave towel brands is Macy’s Hotel Collection. Speaking of hotels, many resorts use towel warmers which is definitely something that I’d love to have at home.
Plants and Candles Seal the Deal
Candles are an absolute must for your bathroom upgrade, but I encourage you to think about unique arrangements and placement. An easy idea is to get an interestingly shaped/colored dish, put the candles in, and fill it with glass or stone pebbles. Instant spa decor for very little cost.
Also, if your bathroom has room, a live plant can make the room feel much more livable and less sterile. The problem is low light levels in most bathrooms, so think about choosing a plants that are well-suited for those environments, like orchids, bamboo, or aloe vera — all plants that also will give you that oh-so-lovely spa feeling.
Yellow bathroom photo by Mason Bryant