Setting Up a Home Spa

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Pampering Extras

While bathing is a necessity, the majority of our bathroom time is spent outside the tub or shower. To make those moments their most comfortable, start with an electric heated towel bar. The bar keeps towels warm and dry, and portable units are available for any size or style bathroom.

Stone floors are popular, but their coolness is not. To compensate, install a floor warmer underneath (especially in cold climates). Floor warmers can be used with almost any type of flooring, not just stone. Different configurations are available, so ask your bathroom designer about what would be appropriate.

For added warmth, cozy up to a fireplace. Many new master suites have two-way fireplaces, which face both the bathroom and the bedroom.

If you want to watch the news while you get ready in the morning, include a TV. Sandra Steiner, president of design for Steiner & Houck, Inc., an interior design-build firm in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, says hidden TVs are hot. For the past few years she has been mounting a two-way mirror on the wall, usually framing it, then setting a flat screen TV behind it. "It cuts down a little bit on the clarity, but it's fine for what most people want," says Steiner. When the TV is off, it just looks like a mirror.

If meditative music is preferable to watching news, then make sure your home's integrated sound system reaches the bathroom. At the very least, plan space for a boom box.

To avoid that long trek to the kitchen first thing in the morning, remember to include a bathroom coffee maker and mini fridge. Outfit bathroom cabinets like kitchen cabinets to hide these utilitarian appliances.

Continued on page 4:  The Look of Relaxation


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