This Is How to Really Make Your Bathroom Beautiful

Written by | Art & Design, Lifestyle, Wellness

Man Bathing with Aqua Pouf

Photo by Just dance / Shutterstock

In the most private room of the house, function is obviously important. But it should definitely go hand-in-hand with form if you want to bathe in beauty. Think Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman or Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra. Enjoy your “me time” in the lap of luxury.

Bathing — in an actual tub full of sudsy, decadently scented bubbles — is trendy all over again after decades of make-it-snappy showering. Search the hashtag #bathart on Instagram to see everyone from Rihanna to your favorite influencer du jour lounging around in tubs full of psychedelic-colored water. They’re invariably accompanied by a glass of sparkling rosé, beautiful apothecary-style toiletries and stacks of towels in all the hues of the rainbow. Don’t forget the rubber ducky!

Luxurious Nostalgia

Claw-footed tubs evoke luxurious nostalgia. For those who want go full-Victorian, there are plenty of places around the country that specialize in rescuing such beautiful bits from bygone eras. In New York, Urban Archaeology is one of the primary sources for an authentic claw-foot or pedestal tub, likely salvaged from the estate of a titan of industry.

If restoration is not in the cards, many manufacturers are designing tubs that evoke the beautiful designs of the past. But their feet are firmly planted in the present. Kohler’s Artifacts collection offers ways to add classic touches to your daily ablutions. Their tubs, sinks, toilets and hardware come in vintage shapes and interesting finishes, including the very modern black plum. The Artifacts tub can also be used with a base, for a more contemporary but still-elegant look. The Memoirs collection  is also a retro-contemporary Kohler option that has tall gently sloping sides. Inside, bathers will find full lumbar support, which makes a deep long soak both therapeutic and comfortable.

Courtesy Kohler’s Artifacts Collection

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Post-Industrial Elegance

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Viu and XViu collections from Duravit in collaboration with Sieger design exude beauty and glamour via geometric shapes and post-industrial elegance. Their strict geometry contrasts with the more organic shapes of the sinks in the line and is complemented by the ornate finishes and colors of the tubs, basins and such furniture as consoles, storage cabinets and vanities. For those whose tastes tilt minimalist, the collection includes glass cabinets and shelves.

Christian Sieger says, “The perfection of a product is contained in the many aspects that you only notice on the second look: for example, the pretty inner lining of a suit jacket, the open engine compartment of a vehicle. We made that our motto with Viu/XViu. When I lie in the bathtub, I have a completely different perspective, for instance of the underside of the washbasin, and we wanted to take that into account, too. It was at the front of our minds for every last detail of the series.”

From the viu/xviu collections courtesy Duravit

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Soft and Gentle Lighting

When it comes to creating moods, lighting is always key. Harsh lights are not conducive to relaxation. However, some task lighting is also necessary, since you don’t want to shave or do your hair by candlelight. But lighting overall should be soft and gentle. Mixing decorative elements and periods — like pairing a claw foot tub and minimalist lighting —will keep your space from looking like the master bath in Norma Desmond’s manse.

The Ray sconce from Stickbulb is a beautifully designed new offering, introduced this year at ICFF. Stickbulb’s co-founder, Russell Greenberg says, “Ray is simple, clean, and quiet. The design is so minimal that it draws your attention closer to the subtle details of the wood grain and the machined precision of the sconce construction.” As with all of the company’s collections, the line comes in five carefully-curated wood types: sustainably-sourced Maple, Walnut and Ebonized Oak, as well as reclaimed Heart Pine and Water Tower Redwood. All of Stickbulb’s wood is sourced from demolished buildings, decommissioned water towers, fallen trees and sustainably-grown forests. It’s time for conscious elegance.

From the Memoirs Collection courtesy Kohler

Even if you don’t have time or resources for a complete remodel, you can still remake your bathroom into the calming private oasis you deserve. The most important factor in creating a comfortable room is a sense of harmony and subtle contrast. Then sinking into a warm bubble bath in a room that soothes the senses becomes its own reward.

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Last modified: September 13, 2019