The Bathroom Retreat

January 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Design Space

I love January. Something about saying goodbye to an old year, and welcoming a new one filled with possibilities puts me in a great mood. It’s the time of year that I take the most time for myself, reflecting, redirecting and focusing on what the future holds. I am about to set off an incredible journey, and I need my mind, and body to be clear and focused on achieving my goals. But given all the things I have to get done in a day, and the two little people who demand my attention constantly, there is very little time for my much needed contemplation.

But when the sun goes down, and eyelids start to get heavy, teeth are brushed and stories read, there is a place that I can retreat to for calm and serenity. My bath is this place. It starts from the moment I run the water, to the fragrance of handmade soaps, to nourishing my skin with overpriced lotions afterwards. Whether I get 20 minutes or 45 minutes, that time is precious.

Kara Mann

photo credit: Kara Mann

Baths today are really designed with this in mind. They are much more open, luxurious, and comfortable. They’ve become another room in the house that you can enjoy spending time in. The freestanding soaker tubs are certainly my preference; Elegant, easy to slip in and out of, they fill up quickly, and you can sit comfortably while you are surrounded by the warmth of beautifully fragrant water.

karyl pierce paxton

photo credit: Karyl Pierce Paxton

An inviting chair is a wonderful addition to the bathroom retreat. It’s a comfortable place to sit and enjoy the benefits of the steam coming off from the tub. Steaming your skin opens your pores, and allows your body to detoxify. It can relieve stress, and increase circulation. Having a comfortable chair in the bath to sit at while you unwind is both stylish and nourishing.

Paolo moschino

photo credit: Paolo Moschino

For years now we have seen sink cabinets replaced by freestanding vanities, with vessel sinks sitting delicately atop. Converting antique chests, and dressers to exquisitely showcased bathroom sinks. But a new trend is adding furniture like armoires, hutches, and even bookshelves to the bath. It’s an incredibly stylish way to store extra towels, the blow-dryer, hair rollers, flat and curling irons and all those other things that take up too much room under the sink. On top, you can create a beautiful display of soaps, creams, candles and fragrances. Of course you have to have a big bathroom to add a piece of furniture in it, but it’s easy to see how the bathroom is not just a place to tidy up in, but a personal escape from our busy days.

sarah richardson

photo credit: Sarah Richardson

Using creamy whites throughout the bath, really adds a spa like experience. Layering whites with different patterns and textures is the best way to create warmth and drama, without making it look too sterile.

point click home

photo credit: point click home

And for absolute decadence, a fountain feature. It took me a while to figure out where the water in this tub was coming from, and then I looked up. The sound of water running gently is very soothing and focusing on that subtle sound helps clear my mind.

In the end, my bathroom looks nothing like any of these. I have a corner tub, that is huge and takes forever to fill, and two minutes to cool. It is surrounded by tile making it very awkward to get in and out of. There is no water feature, and sadly the walls aren’t even white, because I haven’t had time to paint it. But truthfully, it’s not the room that makes the experience special; it’s the time I reserved for myself.

I wish you wonderful 2010. May this year be filled with endless possibilities, new opportunities, balance and serenity.


Vitania IMG_1182Vitania M Liscio is a small business owner from Toronto, Canada with over ten years experience running her family’s furniture manufacturing business. With an always apparent passion for art & design, Vitania has created a line of furnishings that is beautiful, timeless and of superior craftsmanship. A devoted blogger, she brings a fresh perspective to the world of fashion and interiors, that includes admiration of the laborious work of designers, artisans and fine artists.




17 Responses to “The Bathroom Retreat”
  1. Anne Maybus says:

    What lovely rooms. I love the idea of having space enough to have a real, comfy chair in the room, too. I wonder if I can extend our bathroom?

  2. Dee says:

    Oh how I wish my bathroom looked like any of those! Thank goodness for being able to turn the light off and soak by candlelight :)
    I think i’ll make time for a soak tonight – thanks Vitania!


  3. Stacey says:

    Wow! I feel like I enjoyed a lovely retreat after being guided through all those gorgeous photos! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  4. Hilary says:

    Hi Vitania .. beautiful pictures and ideas .. sitting in the steam filled room relaxing, letting our pores open, enjoying the wafting scent permeating around ..

    Thank you – you obviously really appreciate fine workmanship –
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

  5. Vitania says:

    Me too.. my bathroom is big enough, but the layout isn’t ideal.. Hmmm… I think I am going to have to wait for a future home !

  6. Vitania says:

    It’s true that candlelight makes everything look better…:-) My bathroom is in need of an upgrade as well, so I think i am going to have to work with some colour and maybe a pretty piece of furniture !

  7. Vitania says:

    Thanks Hilary and Stacey,
    Yes !! The pictures really do help guide your senses through the experience, but really, it’s the time you take to enjoy the process..:-)

  8. Daniella says:

    This is great Vitania! Lovely inspiration… i’m working on decorating my own place, and I totally need to spruce up the bathroom with some pretty potions and maybe an artwork or two…

  9. Vitania,
    These are all beautiful, calming dream baths. Thank you for sharing such wonderful images and reminding us all just how important it is to unwind and take time for ourselves. xo Laura

  10. Vitania says:

    Thanks Daniella – Artowrk is definitely another great option for a bathroom that we don’t really see that often.

  11. Vitania says:

    Thank you very much Laura,
    Sometimes I think if my bathroom looked like one the retreats above, I would probably up my me time to 3X a week instead of once a month.

  12. Chris Owen says:

    Vitania. They’re all gorgeous and extremely over the top indulgent. The practical me just keeps thinking of all the downsides. Like a partially used soap messin up the look, or the rumpled handtowel or … You get my drift. They’re beautiful as long as you don’t use them!
    However, I am inspired to change my bathroom and put in some new beauty once I get rid of the son and girlfriend overstaying their welcome in our house. When they go, the bathroom will get a new look without changing the basic hardware but with the soft touches that can make all the difference!
    BTW It was good to hear your bathroom wasn’t like any of those masterpieces.

  13. Vitania says:

    Chris, partially used soap is the least of my worries.. you should see the soggy towels that are draping my tub right now. I don’t think bathrooms are supposed to look like that all the time, but it’s fun to pick out just a few comforts that would make it look and feel a little more luxurious. I love the idea of the chair or little end table. A fresh coat of bright paint, new hardware… even art as Daniella said above. It doesn’t have to be a $5k tub and carerra marble.

    Until then, with our without the luxury, I cherish my bath time..;-)

  14. Lynden says:

    Hi Vitania, thank for taking me through the wonders of bathrooms & the serenity they can create. You’re right it’s not the room & the hardware that make it – it’s the time, your intentions, the “software” of candles & music that also help. Also, remember to not clean your bath with harsh chemicals, cos you’ll be soaking in it! – clean with wonderful microfibres, as they do all the work.
    Thanks xx

  15. Vitania says:

    That is such an amazing piece of advice I never even thought of mentioning. i always clean my tub and shower with natural cleaners. Especially for kids, i rinse frequently with fibrous cloth. But for deep cleaning, I usea a line called JR Watkins that is plant extract based. It is family and earth friendly.

    Thanks very much for your comment..