The much-coveted quest for me time can be fulfilled by simply closing the bathroom door. Even the tiniest bathroom can easily transform into a soothing spa, generating relaxation and a soul-rejuvenating experience. A big budget never hurts, but you don’t need a million bucks to create a spa atmosphere at home. A little savvy and some elbow grease is all it takes to spa your way from stressed to serene in less time than it takes to say ahh.
Deep clean and de-clutter – Mildew is not only dangerous for those with allergies or asthma, it’s also an unrelenting eyesore and relaxation killer. Eliminate mildew from your bathtub with diluted bleach or a mold and mildew stain remover. If, despite your best efforts, the grouting remains black, remove the old caulk and reseal your tub, giving it a fresh, spruced-up look. You can then revamp your entire bathroom and give it a spa sensibility by eliminating clutter, scrubbing corners, removing hard water stains and stowing stuff in elegant glass canisters or wicker baskets.
Out with the old – If your thread-bare towels feature faded cartoon characters, but your children are already in college, it’s time to replace them. Bath towels range in price from affordable to are-you-kidding-me. But any towel cozies up to spa-level splendor when pulled fresh out of the dryer. If you’ve got extra floor space, you can also invest in a stand-alone towel warmer for less than $100 and use it to gently warm your bathrobe as well as your bath sheets.
Create sensory appeal – Scent can immediately transform you into a calmer, more relaxed state of being. Light scent-releasing tea candles before your bath to perfume the air and create a restful, glowing atmosphere. If you prefer electric light to candles, install dimmers and dab a few drops of essential oil onto light bulbs to gently scent the room. You can also fill a pretty bowl with cotton balls soaked in lavender or eucalyptus oil to envelope yourself in aromatic bliss.
Add ear candy – The gentle sounds of spa music support even, deep breathing and a spontaneous relaxation response. Spa CDs can create a calming backdrop and range from soft piano to Tibetan bells. You can also use a spa sounds machine featuring gentle rain and other natural sounds to block out the world and all of its background noise for about $50.
Warm your tootsies – If you are up for a splurge, consider installing radiant-heat floors to your bathroom. Whether you are up for a DIY project or plan on bringing in a contractor, heated floors are a sumptuous feature that adds value to your home and generates cost savings on future energy bills. Not up for a big-ticket item but love soft warmth underfoot? Heat oversized, fluffy bathmats on the radiator or clothes dryer and indulge yourself in cozy, toe-curling warmth before you hit the water.
Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.