by Marie Bishop
Another eventful few months, good grief! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to sneak away to a quiet space, zone out on local and world affairs, and relax in the calmness of your surroundings? This oasis could be right under your nose, in your own home.
Second only to the kitchen, the bathroom is probably the most hardworking, multifunctional room in your house. Why not add spa to the list? You can turn your ordinary bathroom into a space where you surround yourself with solitude, calm your thoughts with quiet music, infuse the air with essential oils and soak in a restorative, relaxing bath wrapped in the warm glow of candlelight.
Whether you’re building a new house, planning a bathroom reno or just giving your bathroom a minor facelift, accomplishing a spa-like environment is not as difficult or expensive as you might think. If you are building or renovating, you have the advantage of choosing the fixtures and finishes, including a luxurious soaker tub, heated floors, speakers, lighting, heated towel bars etc. If that’s not in the cards, a simple coat of paint has been known to dramatically transform a space. In any case, there are a number of things you can do to create your oasis.
Let’s start with the paint. Changing the wall colour is a fairly simple, inexpensive DIY project. If you are brave enough, you could also paint the vanity. Most vanities, no matter what they are made of, can be painted as long as you apply a good prime coat first. Stix is a recommended primer and most paint companies offer a paint suitable for furniture, such as Advance from Benjamin Moore. If your space is small, you may want to keep the vanity a light colour and the walls even lighter. If your floor space is a little more generous, you could create visual interest by painting the vanity a beautiful shade of blue or grey and your walls a very pale blue/green or soft grey. Keep it calm and restful, spa-like.
Lighting is critical. Invest in a dimmer switch for your main light source. Add a small accent lamp or four to five battery-operated pillar candles. Use bulbs that are warm white, not bright white, to get that very soft, calming, low light.
A towel heater is pure luxury. If you don’t have the option to hard-wire one, you can purchase a plug-in type, or at the very least use a ladder-like towel holder propped over the existing heater. Then add a few decadent, thick, fluffy white towels to wrap yourself in. Add to that a comfortable, textured, large white bath mat. A neck roll is a great addition to get the most relaxation from your bath, available at most retailers that sell bath accessories.
Fill the bath, adding Epsom salts and essential oils - lavender and rosemary make a great calming combination. To fill the room with that soothing scent, use a diffuserwith the same oils. Or light a few scented candles, and combine them with the battery operated ones for a soft, warm glow. Keep your body wash and favourite soaps in a dish or basket close by.
To complete the visual, add a touch of nature: some greenery, a bowl of beachrocks, fresh cut flowers all add to completion of the spa experience. Don’t forget the soft, soothing, relaxing music... and the most important “Do Not Disturb” sign.