Spa Bathroom

  • By RaeJean Hasenoehrl For the Herald
  • Thursday, April 2, 2009 3:40pm

A spa-like retreat under your own roof? It can be entirely yours through careful planning and an eye for comfortable design.

Janet Lucek, a designer with Emerald Design in Everett, suggests that before you begin enhancing your bathroom, you “reach into your personal spa mind first and decide what makes you feel tranquil — then utilize those things in your remodel.”

According to Lucek, you don’t need to trick out your bathroom with a lot of expensive plumbing fixtures such as steam showers or whirlpool baths. “You can achieve the look and feel using other spa-like materials,” she said.

Organic items provide a soothing basis for your room. “If you enjoy the glazed look of water, look for surfaces with a slightly iridescent look,” Lucek said. To bring in the feel of the mountains, add elements of slate to your surfaces.

The colors of nature provide a restful presence in your bathroom. Sterile white walls can be softened by a soft palette of color. The room can receive additional color through the use of professionally framed art, soft towels hung on decorative robe hooks, and unexpected pieces of furniture, such as an upholstered settee.

Luxuriant lighting also plays a role in creating a soothing space. “To add accent lighting, bring in things that aren’t so bathroomy,” Lucek said. “A floor lamp or table lamp can really toast up the room.”

One thing that can ruin your spa experience: a noisy exhaust fan. A quiet, efficient system can save your sanity as it clears steam from the room.

Another thing to avoid: cluttered surfaces.

“You want to create optimum storage capabilities in your room,” Lucek said. One option to house your toiletries is a custom-made medicine cabinet. At Emerald Design, a mirror can be custom-framed and built into a medicine cabinet, then set into your wall for an old-world look that is both attractive and functional.

Additional cabinetry can also be built into your walls. Companies such as Emerald Design and Lambert Gray of Marysville have specially trained representatives who can measure your space, design and order cabinetry to meet your needs, then install the product to complete your spa design.

Chad Lambert, a certified kitchen designer with Lambert Gray, noted that homeowners often begin their bathroom upgrade by collecting pictures from magazines that demonstrate the look they want to achieve.

An in-home consultation furthers the design process. “As a designer, I’ll look at the space, discuss storage needs, share ideas and give a rough estimate of project costs,” Lambert said. As the design process progresses, a computer rendering of the room can be created to help the homeowner visualize the space.

The quality of cabinetry is especially important in a bathroom. Because a bathroom consists of so many wet surfaces, it is important to use plywood case construction and plywood shelving that will not warp or swell over time. Interior surfaces coated with vinyl provide additional protection.

Your choice of finishes can be coordinated with the color palette of your room. “It’s wise to choose a cabinetry finish you know you will be able to live with for a long time,” Lambert said. “If you want to do something bold, do it in the wall paint or with the accents you can change out, not in the cabinetry.”

A number of specialty items can be built into your bathroom. A lowered makeup area provides optimal storage and a place for comfortable seating. A jetted tub surround built from an exotic wood creates a touch of the tropics. A laundry chute can be concealed as an architectural element in the room.

It is possible to change the layout of your bathroom. “You shouldn’t be restricted by walls or plumbing,” Lambert said. By meeting with a designer, you may learn additional ways to improve your space. “During an initial meeting, we can give an idea of how the layout can be changed,” he said.

The same attention to detail should also be put into the surfaces of your room. Bob Hackler, owner of B &J Tile in Everett, encourages customers to create layers of design through the use of tile and stone.

A custom spa look evolves around subtle variations in texture, color and design. “A lot of people are using smaller tiles as accents, creating mosaics in walls or tub surrounds,” Hackler said.

Within a wall of diagonally set tile, a mosaic of glass tiles creates luster and depth, and a dynamic flooring pattern can set the stage for repeated patterns of tile within a shower surround.

For the timeless look of stone at an economical price, Hackler suggests installing a man-made product that emulates the look of stone. “The possibilities are endless,” he said.

Layer by layer, your spa-like haven will come to fruition, providing years of comfort and luxury. With the added details of soft music, scented candles and luxurious spa products, your busy world will be transformed into a tranquil escape.

Emerald Design

2920 Hewitt Ave.

Everett, WA 98201

(425) 258-2600

Lambert Gray

1520 Third Street

Marysville, WA 98270

(360) 659-7482

B &J Tile

9801 19th Ave. SE,

Unit A

Everett, WA

(425) 338-1139

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