Our bathrooms are often the first and last places we spend significant functional time each day, an average of thirty minutes daily for most of us. Other than the kitchen, the bathroom is the most functional room in most homes, and it is by far the most visually oriented. Mirrors and lighting, water and plumbing, sink, toilet and tub all define the bathroom environment. A place of cleansing, elimination and detoxification, it's where we brush our teeth, wash our hands and face, care for our skin, shave, put on makeup, refine and double check our appearance, and prepare to meet the outside world. It is also where we scrub and wash the last remnants of the world down the drain before going to sleep at night.

bathroom design

Our bathrooms ought to help us make the most out of these minutes. But more than just serving these functional purposes, the bathroom can also be a healing environment, delightful to the eye and the senses that begins and completes our restoration each day. Whether you design your bathroom from scratch by putting in new cabinets, lighting, hardware, wallpaper or paint, or you design it around the essential items and elements already in place, the suggestions below will help you enhance your bathroom and make it a healing and restorative environment.

The first step to creating a conscious bathroom is a thorough cleansing and organizing. Clean out all the clutter and dirt from countertops, cabinets and drawers, and throw away everything you don't really use or need. Then you can create a new healing and sensuous environment on a foundation of cleanliness and order.

bathroom design ideas

Also pay special attention to the lighting, in the morning and at night, when you’re doing your usual routines. The lighting shouldn’t be so dim that you can’t see, or so bright that you feel overstimulated or bombarded. You can tell when the lighting works because you’ll fell even more refreshed and energized than usual after doing your bathroom routines.

Such basic functional elements as lighting, cabinets, fixtures, mirrors, wallpaper or paint, toilet and tub are the foundation of a bathroom design. The secondary elements are the softer, more personal items where the practical and the sensual meet. These include soft hand and bath towels (preferably organic cotton); rugs; loofahs or scrub brushes; natural scented (or unscented) soaps, shampoos and conditioners; body oils; makeup and more. When it comes to direct contact with your body, natural healthy products promote comfort and health, and enhance your bathroom experience.

bathroom renovations

Other sensual and visual elements can help turn your bathroom into a temple. Scented candles, incense, essential oils and potpourri can invigorate and revitalize, or soothe and calm, the senses. Potted plants and fresh flowers tend to flourish in a humid bathroom environment, adding beauty and life. Whether small statues or framed pictures, art is always good. A CD player enhances the bathroom ambiance, allowing you to set the mood and tone with your favorite music.

So let your bathroom time be serenity time; let it truly be an altared space that pampers your senses and soothes your soul.