11 Ways to Turn Your Bathroom into a Spa


De-stressing is on everyone’s minds these days, but regular spa appointments can quickly zap your budget. Which will just add to your stress.

Use the money instead to furnish your own bathroom with the same amenities, whcih you’ll enjoy more in the long run. (And no tipping required.)

“If you think about the time you spend in your bathroom, investing in that room makes sense both in terms of your finances and your happiness, as opposed to using a facility for the same amenities,” says Mia Toback, a New York-based designer. “Once you make the initial investment, you can enjoy your space with little maintenance costs, especially when you compare the time and money you can spend on weekly spa visits.”

To turn your powder room into posh, stress-free surroundings, she recommends clearing out info technology (phones, Blackberries, etc.), and removing all clutter, including work materials. Keep only books and magazines you read for pleasure.

Once finished, the tweaks and changes below can quickly turn your bathroom into the most luxurious space in your home.

Shower head. We love the dual-headed Captain’s Quarters style with four positions for each head ($194).  Looking for something less expensive, but equally luxe? Target’s 75-jet version is eight inches in diameter, so it feels like a rain shower (Stock Quote: TGT).

Stone flooring. Natural stones make ideal floors for standing showers to give you a relaxing foot massage, says Toback, not to mention they give an instant spa feel to your space. Strata Stones sells many varieties starting around $10 per square foot and they’re a cinch to install.

Whirlpool attachments.
Short of shelling out a few grand on a nice Jacuzzi, Toback suggests inexpensive tub accessories, like Conair’s Thermal Spa Bath Mat ($125), which features foot and neck massagers, plus three settings for bubble control. A cheaper option, the Turbo Spa Massager, has two speeds and fits any bath.

Glass shower doors. Switch out fabric curtains for a glass-enclosed panel to allow for steam options, advises Toback. They look more luxe and trap heat for a sauna-like experience. Home Depot offers several options, starting around $250 (Stock Quote: HD).

Radiant heated floors. Running heating through your floors is the perfect spa indulgence, but such an indulgence becomes costly when a contractor gets involved. For the recession-minded DIYer, check out Nuheat’s floor heating mats. A 25-square-foot space can be covered in less than 25 minutes and prices start at $365.

Heated towel racks. Sound too expensive? This Warmrails $50 plug-in version uses less energy than a light bulb, so you can stay cozy post-bath on just a few cents a day.

Seating. Take a load off in a standalone shower with TEAKSpa Corner Shower Seat ($60). The wood design adds a peaceful Zen vibe and the price is equally calming.

Dimmer switch. Toback says low lighting is the key to creating a spa atmosphere. Dimmers are easy to install and can cost as little as a few bucks each.

Tub caddies. Keep products, hot tea and reading material nearby with a sleek tub rack. Toback likes Pottery Barn’s stainless steel style for a cheap chic option at $59.

Speakers. Music transforms a space in seconds. If you can’t install a sound system in your home that pumps music into each room, Toback recommends using a portable speaker system. LogiTech offers a style that fits all iPods (Stock Quote: AAPL) and has a cool carrying case ($76).

Basket of spa goodies. Stock the room with your favorite soaking treatments like aromatherapy eye masks, sea salts, body masks, a neck pillow and tub bubbles, along with luxe post-bath luxuries like body lotions, foot creams and oils. They don’t have to cost a lot to make your tub time a true escape. Drugstore.com has a variety of inexpensive choices for less than $10 each.

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