Bathrooms as Sanctuaries

This bathroom oozes tranquility - the view, the finishes, the monochromatic & natural aesthetic… BUT, even if this isn’t yours to call your own, there’s hope…    Courtesy of Pinterest

This bathroom oozes tranquility - the view, the finishes, the monochromatic & natural aesthetic… BUT, even if this isn’t yours to call your own, there’s hope… Courtesy of Pinterest

Believe it or not, bathrooms are spaces we often seek out for relaxation. Perhaps it’s for a soothing bubble bath or just a quick escape from a crowded restaurant or miserably long and drawn out meeting, but in any case, bathrooms offer us a momentary pause to regroup and check in with ourselves. They affect how we feel on the inside which impacts how we feel and act outside of them. Therefore, striking a certain level of tranquility is key, for residential design as well as commercial spaces.

Now, not all of us can afford marble finishes from floor to ceiling, or a $5,000 bathtub, or maybe we don’t even have a window… to say nothing of one with a great view… But let me assure you, none of those are necessary. A heightened level of serenity can be achieved fairly easily. Here are some of my top tips, which can be applied to powder rooms, personal or guest baths, restaurants, bars, hotels, offices, etc.

1) Cleanliness

There is nothing more inviting than a truly clean bathroom. I’m talking dusted, swept/vacuumed and mopped… regularly. Trash emptied frequently, with mirrors, sinks, countertops and all glass free of streaks, splashes or residue (including any framed artwork featured). Toilet bowls kept spotless. Hand and bath towels kept fresh, and floor mats laundered often.

Bathrooms are spaces people walk into with shoes on, so for the times it is occupied with bare feet, it’s important to keep it looking and feeling germ-free. And, anything displayed out in the open (ie. shelving or countertops) should be organized and nicely arranged/folded/hung up/put away, and not overly crowded. *If you want to go above and beyond, keep everything tidy behind closed doors and drawers as well!!

2) Quality Pieces & In Good Condition

These days there are a million options within every price range for bathroom accessories. Having quality towels and bath mats that don’t look like they’re 25 years old, is such an easy fix. Same goes for shower curtains and liners. Nothing is more unappealing than stepping into a shower with a liner that looks even remotely mildewy. Plungers and toilet scrubbers should always appear brand new (aka maintained in stellar condition).

3) Lighting

I can’t stress the importance of good lighting enough… for any space, but particularly for bathrooms. In this case, having variable lighting is key. They must be dimmable to achieve a soft glow, but also offer brighter levels for applying makeup or counting the number of white or grey hairs sprouting on your head… For commercial entertainment spaces (restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels, music venues, etc.), softer/more flattering lighting is always my preference, whereas office spaces can afford to go a bit brighter because they’re predominantly visited during the day.

4) Fully Stocked

Replacement hand and/or bath towels, backup toilet paper, well-maintained hand soap levels (and shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc. if applicable), feminine hygiene products and a plunger (***out of sight***) kept nearby is always key. It’s terrible leaving a bathroom feeling embarrassed for ANY reason, so having these things close by allow the occupant to be self-sufficient/have their needs served.

Travel size amenities including shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, body wash, body lotion, q-tips, deodorant, cleansing wipes, disposable razors, etc. are also fantastic to have on hand. I prefer these offerings be kept out of sight, for both residential and commercial spaces, however still easily found/accessible and of course, well organized.

It’s especially important to enhance tranquility in office bathrooms, as stress levels tend to spike in the workplace.    Courtesy of Pinterest

It’s especially important to enhance tranquility in office bathrooms, as stress levels tend to spike in the workplace. Courtesy of Pinterest

Extra towels, fresh flowers and a countertop free of clutter = heaven.    Courtesy of Pinterest

Extra towels, fresh flowers and a countertop free of clutter = heaven. Courtesy of Pinterest

Well organized open shelving is a must if you choose to display accessories.    Courtesy of Pinterest

Well organized open shelving is a must if you choose to display accessories. Courtesy of Pinterest

5) Nice Touches

  • Fresh flowers or greenery of some kind, even if it’s dried flowers

  • A candle (with matches) and/or room spray… lightly scented, not too overpowering

  • Hair dryer (and dry shampoo!) discretely tucked nearby

  • Bandaids and a first aid kit (including ibuprophen)

  • Art - a little goes a long way

  • If purposed for guests, one or two bathrobes and spa slippers make for a totally luxurious offering

  • Fine soaps and lotions, in glass bottles preferably - can often be found at discount shops like World Market or TJ Maxx

  • If needing to display items on the counter due to limited storage space, consider using trays, baskets and/or small glass jars to help keep organized

For additional inspiration, check out my bathroom Pinterest board.

And, here a few of my favorite goodies to help enhance the tranquility of your space…

Until next time,

LG