The bath should be a sanctuary. It is the place where you start and shed your day, and like any other room in your home, it needs the right decor to do its job properly. Sometimes a few quick fixes, like a new colour scheme and luxurious towels, are all you need to make this space into an elegant retreat.
These rooms are often small with not much natural light. In these cases, you can get an airier feeling by using the same pale colour for walls and floors, in a high-gloss, mildew-resistant paint. On a dark or unattractive linoleum floor, go for the biggest bathroom rug that will fit and try to match it closely to the walls. To bring the eye upward or take the focus off the floor, try walls that are painted one colour on the bottom half and white or wallpapered in a whimsical pattern on the top.
Let's face it: no one's skin tone looks good in fluorescent light. And, ironically, lights are often installed over the mirror, where they are also the least flattering and least useful for tasks such as shaving and makeup application. Wall sconces, outfitted with LED bulbs, on the sides of mirrors are preferable for task lighting. In a powder room, go for relatively dim lighting to lend a cosy, relaxed feel.
Accessorise by repurposing interesting containers for a touch of the unusual. Glass jars or bowls in stainless steel, ceramic, or wood can elevate a look from the usual matched set. The bath is often filled with tile and other hard surfaces, so another nice touch is to add something with an organic feel, such as a shelving unit in wood or bamboo. Hooks and more hooks are key for keeping a bath tidy. The back of the door is best, so you keep your wall space free for colour and shelving if necessary.
Above all, what will truly communicate the feeling of a sanctuary is your linens. You can forgo almost everything else but these. Towel thickness is measured in grams per square metre (gsm). A medium weight is between 400gsm and 500gsm; luxury weight is over 600gsm, which is what you will want to wrap yourself in. In the powder room, go for the plushest hand towels. They're an easy way to make your guests feel special.
You can change a look just by adding luxury towels. In a white bath or shower room, you can take this opportunity to add a pop of colour with turquoise or plum. White or vanilla will lend the room that spa feeling, while silvery grey or chocolate will give a sleek look. Towels can also be used as accessories: try creating a colourful stack on a shelf or roll and store them in an interesting bowl.
With the right lighting, palette, and linens, you can create a beautiful bath in just a day.