The Sensual Bathroom: Create a Healthy, Relaxing Retreat

You don’t have to spend a fortune to create a delicious, decadent room that goes way beyond bathing.


| September/October 2002


Sometimes, in the words of William Wordsworth, “the world is too much with us.” There’s so much happening, so much to do. How do we stay sane?

Take a bath.

“Frequently people look at the bathroom as a refuge or day spa for themselves,” says Jules Lambert, a kitchen and bath designer for DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen in Bellingham, Washington. “It’s a place they can escape from the kids, the television, the phone, their work.”

Ask people what their ideal bathroom would look like, and the details are delicious. “It would have a stone tile floor and a pebble composite-type sink with lots of natural light,” says Heather Pike, owner of PikeWorks Design Studios in Walls, Mississippi. “Balance that with a deeply textured rug for crawling out of the big tub, thick Egyptian cotton towels and, of course, candles. Lots of candles. And some fantastic smell, like rosemary, and a tray of gorgeous perfumes and soaps that I would use for only me. And lace somewhere.”

Sounds yummy, doesn’t it?

The biggest difference between the closet-size bath and the Cleopatra-like opulence is cost—to your pocketbook and to the environment. A full bathroom remodel might range anywhere from $3,000 to more than $20,000, depending on architectural changes, finish materials, and fixtures, and it will involve a hefty amount of natural resources and energy. But with some minor, earth-friendly modifications that introduce inviting colors, textures, and the right accessories, even a basic bathroom can become a personal sanctuary, a sensual space that nurtures the body and soothes the spirit. The key to a sensual bathroom is to remember all the senses.





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