Why do we wrinkle our nose up at the idea of bathrooms so much? Since I work from home, I need the non-work places in my house to be really relaxing and clean. The other day I shared about how I started a new cleaning routine that keeps my bathrooms smelling fresh and virtually germ free. Outside of being clean, there's a lot you can do to turn your bathroom into a sanctuary. Who wouldn't love a DIY spa retreat in their own home?
There's a way to get the spa look for less and create a relaxing retreat in your bathroom by using upcycled and repurposed items. I'm going to walk you through one section of my master bath that I call my relaxation corner.
I don't like baths much so this corner had started to be a place where the hampers were stacked and we hung towels to dry, washed out muddy shoes, and handwashed wool sweaters. As you can imagine, none of that mess looked “relaxing”. Every time I left my closet or bathroom, I saw that eyesore bathtub piled with things.
Step one was to remove all the things that did not serve an immediate bath tub related purpose, like the hampers. Next, I identified things around my house that could make this area more functional, like the metal bookcase. And finally, I added some “pretty things” to tie it all together and complete the serene look I was going for. Here's how that all worked out:
I bought this bookcase at PierOne when I was in the Army. It is really heavy cast iron and folds up flat. I've hung on to it for years – it kind of sucks as a bookcase but works great for towels! The shelves are slats so they are nice and airy which keeps the towels smelling fresh. I love the way folded towels in hotels are just at the ready and this shelf helps me replicate that feel in my own home. I added a handmade wreath and a basket with hand towels to the shelves as well.
I bought these two pillar candle holders on clearance from Hobby Lobby for less than $5 for the pair. They were crazy ugly colors so I painted them DecoArt Chalky Finish paint in Everlasting (white) and sanded the edges a bit to distress them. Chalky Finish paint makes anything look shabby chic and vintage and the white color is always relaxing to look at.
On the wall, I picked up the vintage “Gunnison” sign at Glitterfest for $20 a few years ago. A couple summers I vacationed in Gunnison, CO with my grandma so this sign is a nice thing to see every day, reminding me of good times with her. The girl painting is actually a print from Gritty Jane that I won at a charity auction. I like the way her is wispy and she looks deep in thought. You can add art you've made or even frame magazine pages to add unique yet meaningful wall decor to your space.
I got the wall sconces at a cute little shabby chic gift shop in my town. They are plastic and spray painted but for $10, I couldn't beat the price. I think they add a tiny touch of elegance and the taper candles for just $4 at Target help bring the stark white of the sconces in line with the creamy yellow on the wall.
Here's a little secret – you can get fancy towels at fancy stores for not-so-fancy prices. I got this bath towel plus a hand towel and face towel on clearance at Anthropologie. Someone insisted to me that they had the same towels at Target. Um, no, they are not the same, I can assure you. These towels are luxurious and thick and pretty and way too expensive. They are there for looks but in a jam, we'd use them. I am pretty sure I paid $30 for all three.
To give the area a more spa-like feel, I cleaned out a pretty glass dish that had a candle in it and spooned some store bought sugar scrub inside. The dish makes it feel fancier and it didn't cost me a thing. If you don't use sugar scrub, fill the dish with fancy soaps or epson salt.
Here are some home decor items you can get now to give your bathroom a relaxing makeover:
I hope this gives you some ideas on how to get the DIY spa retreat look in your bathroom for less. We all need a place where we can go relax and $100 spa days just aren't in the cards for many of us. What's your secret to making a relaxing retreat area in your house? Or do you need to make one?