Get a luxe lavatory with these 5-star-worthy add-ons
A bathroom can be more than a place where you take a shower, “powder your nose” and do your hair. It can be a place of relaxation; a haven where you take refuge and get refreshed. Even if you’re not planning to do a major overhaul of your bathroom, you can spice up the most ignored room of the house with a few simple additions.
If you’re like us, staying at a nice hotel is a big splurge. One of the things we like best about a good hotel room is a good hotel bathroom. And good hotel bathrooms tend to have these fabulous inventions that never get old no matter how many times we encounter them: towel warmers. There’s nothing like getting out of the shower and wrapping yourself in a warm, fluffy cotton towel, especially in the winter months. The good news is that a towel warmer isn’t just something you see in high-end hotels. You can get one for your own bathroom. The Warmrails Traditional 34-Inch Towel Warmer ($179) from Home Depot comes in both chrome and satin nickel and has five horizontal bars to drape your washcloths, hand towels and body towels on. You could even hang your robe over the top. Depending on the size of your bathroom, the warmer can be used as a freestanding rack or it can be installed on your wall.
Another luxurious perk you’ll find in fine hotels is a heated floor. There are one or two ways you can achieve this in your own bathroom. The more intensive method is to install a radiant floor-warming mat underneath your bathroom tiles (or between your floor joists). Although it will require a little remodeling work, the SunTouch Floor Warming Mat ($85.96) from Home Depot ships with a detailed instruction manual and DVD to help guide the installation. The 4-foot-by-16-inch mat is electrically powered, and the heat can be controlled with a SunTouch Floor Warming LoudMouth Installation Monitor ($24.84).
If a mini-redecorating job sounds too ambitious, try a RugBuddy ($249) from Amazon. The RugBuddy is a heating mat that slips under your existing bath rug. Don’t worry. The RugBuddy is waterproof, so it’s safe to use in the bathroom. Simply slide the heating pad under your mat of choice, and when you’re ready for some warmth, plug the RugBuddy into the wall. This heater is only one-sixteenth of an inch thick, so it’s virtually unnoticeable.
What about that old lime-encrusted showerhead in your apartment’s bathroom? You are totally getting rid of it. In its place, you are going to purchase something ultra-fabulous: a tricked-out showerhead. Go big with a MOEN Waterhill Single-Spray 10-Inch Showerhead in Chrome ($160) to simulate a rainfall. Now it’ll be like you’re taking a shower in the Amazon. (Okay, not really.) Or you can spice things up with a two-pronged system. In this case, two showerheads might be better than one. The Pegasus 4-Inch Sunflower Dual Showerhead in Brushed Nickel ($117) at Home Depot gives you more coverage and can be angled to reach different parts of your body (one at your head and the other at your back).
If you’re feeling extra fancy and extra determined, you can install a body sprayer like the Kohler WaterTile Body Sprayer in Brushed Chrome ($109). This needs to be attached to the piping and will be embedded in the shower wall. The result is water spouting directly at your body the way a Jacuzzi jet stream would. The Kohler Body Sprayer comes with detailed instructions for the very brave (or for someone with an experienced and handy spouse).
Play That Music
Sing in the shower with Zadro iSing Shower Radio and Fogless Mirror in Black ($119.99), which is available at Home Depot. The best part of this device is that you don’t have to be tethered to regular AM/FM radio. iSing comes with a RF transmitter that you can connect to your iPhone, iPod or other MP3 player 100 yards away. So blare whatever your heart desires while you scrub. Pretty cool!