Long before the trend of making bathrooms feel like a spa experience, my yoga teacher Gurmukh would say in her women's class that the bathroom doesn't have to be just a plain room -- it can be a beautiful sanctuary. While it's a space often used by a variety of people who would not usually travel through other parts of your home, it's also the place that suggests the most privacy.
Since we often do our best thinking in this chamber, a tight space can literally feel like it's cramping your style. The practical and feng shui remedy for this is to make the bathroom as comfortable and beautiful as possible. Add to this the amazing array of high tech products hitting the market, and the possibilities for your bathroom are unlimited!
Here are some of the newest and oldest ways under the sun to make your bathroom a luxurious environment!
Warm your heart (and towels)
The Thermique towel warmer by Engineered Glass Products was a "Best New Bath Product" according to voters at the 2005 Kitchen and Bathroom Industry Show who chose it over 125 other innovative new products on display.
Glass towel warmers incorporate an electrically heated pane of glass that radiates warmth. The glass is elegant and transparent, and it can be colored to match any decor or even etched with a company logo. Towels and linens lay over the glass frame so they are luxuriously warm when used. Thermique technology is not only more attractive but also more efficient than traditional radiator-style towel warmers. For more information, go to egpglass.com.
Never shiver in the morning again
It's summer and keeping your toes toasty may be the last thing on your mind, but this is actually a good time to get your floors ready for fall and winter. Pre-built like an electric blanket, the Nuheat electric under floor heat mat system provides warm floors and soothing comfort that keeps tile, stone, laminate, and engineered wood surfaces at a "just-right" temperature.
The choice of many home improvement professionals, Nuheat is simple to install and radiates even heat with no cold spots. A 30 square foot heated area of Nuheat will only use the same amount of electricity as three 100-watt light bulbs, so it can actually help reduce energy costs. The Nuheat floor warmer system is widely available throughout North America. More details are available at nuheat.com or call customer service team at 1-800-778-WARM (9276).
Wear fabulous spa slippers
If adding a floor heating system isn't in your immediate plans, you can do the next best thing and slip into a pair of Amy Jo Gladstone's slippers. You'll feel like you're at a five star spa every time you pad into the bathroom. Shag platform slipper $75 at amyjogladstone.com
Luxury bath towels go high-tech
Now luxurious bath sheets and towel sets by Martex are available with Microban, the latest cutting edge technology.
Microban protection fights the growth of odor causing bacteria, mold and mildew to keep fabrics cleaner and fresher for longer than ever before. Built-in during the manufacturing process, Microban protection is engineered to provide continuous antimicrobial protection for the useful life of the fabric, giving you peace of mind that lasts. Luxurious and affordable Grand Patrician Ultra Touch Towels with Microban come in a wide range of colors and will be available soon at Bed, Bath & Beyond, WestPoint Stevens Company stores, and Amazon.com. For more information go to www.martex.com
Cleanliness is next to Godliness
Here are two amazing little products that I just had to include because they're practical, high tech, and make life much nicer. The VIOlight sanitizes up to four toothbrushes at a time and eliminates 99.9% of all bacteria on your toothbrush which can cause flus and other illness. It takes 10 minutes and automatically shuts off, leaving your brush clean and ready for the next use. VIOlight at violight.com
ToiletClean (not shown) is the first ever and only chemical-free toilet cleaner on the market that's safe for pets and kids to drink. (Hey, you never know what goes on when you're not around!) ToiletClean self-cleans the loo for 50,000 flushes. It's a bargain at just $10 at Home Depot and other retailers.
Wash up with creamy milk soapThis four-ounce bar of pure heavy dairy cream, olive oil and shea butter is a little piece of heaven. Especially made for Dolores Piscotta to go with her line of milk-spun tees (yes, these tops are knitted from yarn actually made from pure organic cow's milk), you'll feel divine every time you lather up. Get your own little block of bliss! This Creamy Milk Soap is available online for about $6 at piscottacashmere.com.
Bathing with sugar and everything nice
These wonderful sugar cubes by Archipelago create a delightfully invigorating and fragrant soak. Blended with pure coconut extract, shea butter and the finest ingredients available, these delicious exfoliating cubes add an effervescent action to water and unlock the benefits of these ancient remedies.
Bubbling raw sugar gently sloughs away dead cells, while powerful Alpha Hydroxy acids and antioxidants work together to moisturize and protect the skin. The end result: Smooth and soft skin. Sweet! Archipelago Sugar Cubes are available for about $24 at drugstore.com
Surround yourself with lavenderThese Lavender Spa Booties are the perfect ending to a slow sojourn in the shower or bathtub. Lavender is an ancient herb used by healers throughout time as a remedy for stress, anxiety, and depression.
This aromatic plant is known for its calming, soothing properties and its ability to encourage balance. Try massaging your tired feet with lavender oil while you pop the slippers into the microwave for a couple of minutes. Then slip your feet into these aromatic soothing booties.
Afterward, wrap yourself in a matching lavender spa blanket for a soft, fragrant hug. The infusion of a lavender scent and the peaceful lavender color of these products can turn a home bathroom into a blissful getaway for the body, mind and senses. Lavender Spa Booties $28; Lavender essential oil $12; Lavender Spa Blanket $42 at alteryourlife.com.
Slip into the ultimate soybean robe
If you've never experienced a soybean robe, it's high time to try one out. This ultra-yummy one by Piscotta Cashmere is soybean velour on the outside and soy terry on the inside. For those of you looking to keep your skin youthful, soybean fiber is believed to boost collagen production. It feels dreamy and much more luxurious than your average spa robe. Sturdy enough to hang on the back hook of your bathroom door, you can throw a soybean bathrobe in the wash and it comes out looking great. 100% Soybean Bath Robe in heavy cream $118 at piscottacashmere.com
There's always a way to make even the smallest of bathrooms an altar to the beauty of cleansing the body as well as the soul. Whether you use high tech products or ancient solutions, planning a luxurious environment for your bathroom will help you to feel more at ease, prosperous and relaxed in your life.
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