Warm up to Cozy Ideas for Your Bathroom

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the bathroom is sooooo delightful. That’s right, we said bathroom.

There might be more than a few folks out there who find it hard to describe the lavatory as a warm and cozy place to hang out. Who can blame them? With the abundance of tile, metal and porcelain surfaces, a bathroom can feel downright chilly during colder months. In fact, we’re getting goose bumps just writing about it.

But there are plenty of things you can do to transform your bathroom from a dash-in, dash-out icebox to a warm, inviting retreat.

First, properly winterize the space. Take the chill out of your bathroom by sealing around any leaky windows with silicone caulk or weather stripping. Lined curtains and heavy blinds also add another layer of insulation between you, your window and the elements.

Next, add some heat. This time last year we wrote a column showcasing the growing popularity of oversized walk-in showers with all the bells and whistles, including multiple shower heads, rain bars, thermostatic temperature controls and steam features. A steam shower wraps you in warmth by capturing heat and steam for a true sauna or spa-like effect. Just remember that steam units require floor-to-ceiling water-proof walls, a ceiling finished with impervious material and a good fan to exhaust all the steam once you’re done showering.

To avoid the arctic chill that hits most of us as we step out of the shower and onto a freezing floor, consider installing a heated floor system. In-floor heating types include radiant, water-heated and electric pad systems installed directly under flooring materials like tile or stone. Take comfort and relaxation a step further by adding a fire feature such as a natural gas fireplace or biofuel element.

New infra-red heat lamp technology uses smaller, longer-lasting bulbs, which produce instant heat with the flick of a switch. Last, but certainly not least, install heated towel bars, which include wall-mounted, free standing, hard-wired or plug-in models. We recommend hard-wired wall-mounted versions for increased safety.

Finally, consider adding more textural and visual warmth to your bathroom. Thick, plush rugs add a warm, comfortable layer between toes and cold flooring. Although they obviously won’t affect the actual temperature, rich wood tones and warm paint colors make spaces appear warmer.

The same visual trick applies to ambient lighting and candles, which produce a warm, yellow glow. Candle scents like vanilla and spice often trigger kitchen associations in our mind. When we think kitchen, we often think of the warmth associated with cooking, baking and the hearth.

Bottom line, if your bathroom is pegged as the coldest room in the house, then warm up to the idea of making a few simple changes to make it more comfortable and inviting.

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