With all due respect to the kitchen, we could make a strong case for the bathroom being the heart of the home. It’s the spot where you begin each morning and wind down at the end of every evening. And when you’re in need of a full recharge, there’s nothing quite like a long bath to wash away the stress of the day.
The bathroom is vital to health and happiness, which is why it’s so important to create a space that goes beyond merely functional. A few thoughtful design choices—and some pieces from Duravit’s Zen-channeling Zencha collection—can take yours from the place where you shower and brush your teeth to a full-on sanctuary. Stock up on the face masks and bath bombs and soak in these expert tips; follow them, and your new favorite all-hours spa awaits.
Set the stage for the ultimate bubble bath.
Go ahead, take the plunge. At more than 49 inches long and nearly 17 inches deep, the square Zencha tub is meant to recreate an onsen bath, the centuries-old Japanese ritual of soaking in a hot spring. The big difference in this tub is the considerable depth and the gently sloping backrests available on either side, both designed to invite lingering. Just add water—plus your latest book club read and a lavender candle or two.
Keep your seat warm.
Hey, everyone does it. But the savviest have been known to take care of business on a smart toilet, which does way more than simply flush. Duravit’s options come with a gentle washing toilet-bidet combo, a warm air dryer, heated seat, and an odor extraction function to ensure your you-know-what actually doesn’t stink. Los Angeles interior designer Hema Persad says it’s a must in any bathroom she creates because, “Every client is like, ‘wow, this has changed my life.’”
Consider clutter solutions.
If you’re an everything-in-its-place type, you’ll appreciate bathroom furniture with sizable storage options, like the compartments and drawers (all with soft-close technology) in Duravit’s vanity units. The cabinetry’s clean, straight lines and natural hues add to its tranquil vibe; Persad points out, “Anything you can do to bring your bathroom closer to nature is going to give you that Zen feeling.”
And for items that can’t be stashed away, like shampoo or hand soap, she advises clients to be mindful of packaging. “I look for pretty bottles or products that I can actually keep out,” she says, but you don’t have to get fancy about it. Even drugstore favorites look elegant when decanted inside a sleek glass bottle; opt for larger refill sizes of the product to pour into yours, and you’ll be making an eco-friendly choice as well as a chic one.
Cut down on cleaning.
Inspired by Japanese tea bowls, designer Sebastian Herkner’s wash basins—available with and without a faucet deck—have a streamlined, rounded shape that makes them works of art. But the best feature might be the WonderGliss coating baked into the ceramic. Designed to repel dirt and limestone, it wipes away hours of cleaning time.
Find your light.
With a glare-free LED strip encircling Duravit’s contoured mirrors you can skip harsh overhead lighting and feel like the fairest of them all. And this mirror is always ready for your close-up; you can control your ideal settings—plus a de-fogging system—through a sensor switch at the bottom of the frame or an app on your phone.
Get a little bit wild.
Along with using natural elements like wood cabinetry and stone countertops in a bathroom’s décor, Persad likes to bring in plants to cultivate a relaxing, spa-like atmosphere. (After all, studies have touted greenery’s ability to reduce stress.) “If you’re putting plants in the shower, I would go with a trailing pothos or a fern because they like shade and water,” she suggests. “If it’s a countertop, succulents are good because they’re small and you don’t need to water them too much.”
See to the fine details.
Some may like it hot, but pretty much all of us appreciate a toasty towel. Which is why a warming rack is another must-have in the spaces Persad designs. As the pro points out, “It’s just so nice to get out of a shower or bath and have a nice, hot towel.”
Another trick to brighten up your bathing routine: Installing a skylight whenever possible to create the effect of, as Persad says “Being able to shower under the sun.” Not only does a skylight look great but she’s found, “there’s something about it that really just helps with people’s mental health.”