How to transform your bathroom into a spa sanctuary

If you live in a New York City apartment, you have to get creative about where you find your sanctuary.

My bathtub is my “reading nook,” and these days, every day seems like an excellent one for a nice long soak.

Experts agree.

“People have become more mindful of how their surroundings affect their well-being,” said Rebecca Breslin, senior design manager for Wayfair Professional.

“The bathroom is one of those spaces that can promote self-care, so it should be an updated, calming space with an aesthetically pleasing and practical design.”

Sarah Fishburne, director of trend and design at the Home Depot, added that the bathroom has become top of mind for home renovations. “The bathroom is a great starting place to add a few peaceful elements to create a retreat,” she said.

We sought out these expert tips to breathe new life into your bathroom.

Splurge on a steam shower or deep bathtub

Howard Sag Harbor
This sumptuous bathroom in Sag Harbor is by ASH NYC.
Christian Harder for ASH Staging

This is, after all, the pièce de résistance.

“Start with the most important element — a large soaking tub and/or an oversized shower,” said Jan Rutgers, co-owner of JANGEORGe Interiors & Furniture in Sag Harbor.
Channel the spa experience with natural materials for towels, bath mats and other accents, said Rutgers.

The bathroom is one of those spaces that can promote self-care, so it should be an updated, calming space with an aesthetically pleasing and practical design.

Rebecca Breslin, senior design manager for Wayfair Professional

If a full renovation is a step too far, splurge on a simple upgrade.

“One of my favorite upgrades is the installation of a premium shower head with adjustable water pressure,” said Andrew Bowen, a partner at ASH NYC.

Boost mood with color

“Lately, we are seeing more blue-green tones incorporated into bathroom flooring, including porcelain or ceramic tiles, to create a peaceful space,” said Fishburne. “Combining shades of blue and leaning into green tones adds a bold color palette.”

Try matte finishes

These distribute soft light, creating a calm sensorial experience, said Breslin.

“From your faucet and shower head to towel bars and robe hooks, think about a modern matte black to unify the details,” she said.“

Add some drama

Pembrooke & Ives bathroom.
“Create visual interest by doing feature walls,” said Francis
Nicdao, design director at Pembrooke & Ives.
Stephen Kent Johnson

We try to create visual interest by doing feature walls, rather than having the whole space be visually overwhelming,” said Francis Nicdao, a design director at Pembrooke & Ives. For instance, in a bathroom for a home in Palm Beach, Fla., Nicdao added a curved wall with an ombré mosaic, setting the backdrop for a free-standing bathtub.

Update your lighting

“Focus on what makes you relaxed, especially when it comes to lighting,” said Leni Calas, president of Ward 5 Design. “Indirect or color-changing bathroom lighting can have a big effect.”

Consider these 6 touches for a Zen experience

Polished Ceramic Subway Wall Tile from Home Depot
This magical wall tile blue us away.
The Home Depot

Ivy Hill Tile in Magnitude Blue. “Tile like this promotes a sense of relaxation while adding a distinctly modern touch to any bath space,” said Fishburne.

$5.49 per square foot at Home Depot

Native Trails Nipomo sink in charcoal
Sink your teeth into this rockin’ black Nipomo.
Native Trails

Native Trails Nipomo sink in charcoal. This new finish — out in July — is made of a lightweight yet durable combination of jute and cement. Bonus: The sinks are more sustainable, require less energy and are easier to install than concrete. This black is the perfect complement to neutrals like grey and beige, but we also love a pop of metallic color.

$665 at Native Trails Home

Nebia by Moen Spa Shower
Make it rain with Nebia by Moen.

Nebia by Moen spa shower head. This elegant makes you feel pampered thanks to a tiltable “rainshower” mounted on an adjustable slider that also swivels. The eco-friendly build is available in several designs and finishes, using 45 percent less water while giving you heavenly pressure and two times the coverage of standard showers.

From $200 at Wayfair

Sweeping Azure II by Nicoletta Savod - Ash Wood Frame
Get artsy-fartsy with an abstract bathroom print.
Nicoletta Savod

“Sweeping Azure II” print by Nicoletta Savod. Outfit your washroom with an ethereal landscape or abstract print. Designed by independent artists, Minted’s Fine Art collection comes in a range of sizes, frames and formats.

From $24 at Minted

Formica Camel Elm vanity
As luck wood have it, this laminate surface soothes the soul.
Courtesy of Formica Corporation

Formica Camel Elm laminate. Gerri Chmiel, residential design lead at Formica, likes the aesthetically soothing properties of wood and said the surface instantly adds warmth to your room.

From $1.50 per square foot at Formica

A dolphin-themed soap dish.
Find a new porpoise in life with this dolphin-themed soap dish.
Sherle Wagner International

Sherle Wagner soap dish. All of Sherle Wagner International’s luxe bathroom fixtures are made in its Fall River, Mass., studio. Here, artists took inspiration from the sea for a dolphin-and-shell soap dish available in 19 finishes.

From $596 at Sherle Wagner