Interior designer Cat Dal tells Tempus how to achieve spa-level luxury in your home
Transform your bathroom into an oasis of tranquillity full of five-star features
When visiting a five-star hotel or spa, often the most luxurious feature is the bathroom. With wellness a priority in this hectic day and age, bathrooms should not only be functional, they should transport us to a place of relaxation and tranquillity. To help you achieve this in your own home, we spoke to interior designer Cat Dal, founder of Cat Dal Interiors, who has shared her top tips for turning your home bathroom into a spa-worthy sanctuary.
There is nothing more elegant than a standalone bath, and what is great is they don’t take up too much space, but do create drama and add an architectural, sculptural element to the room. Position it in front of your windows, or in the middle of your room for maximum impact. For a recent project I designed in Marylebone, we installed a retractable glass ceiling above the bath. This is such a special touch as it allows you to bath ‘outside’ when desired. If you don’t have room for both a shower and a freestanding tub, you can install a giant rain shower overhead. And don’t forget a hand shower for those days you might not want to wash your hair - these are also great for washing the kids.
Create space for your beauty products with a bespoke vanity and medicine cabinets. When CDI take our clients’ brief, we always ask about their favourite products, so we know exactly what height to design the shelves. We include sockets for electric toothbrushes inside the cupboards, and can also line the drawers with beautiful textures such as leather or suede for their jewellery/make-up. Bespoke joinery also allows you to decide which products you want to hide, and which you want to display - from luxurious perfume bottles to vases, or even picture frames. You can even make space for some secret compartments to conceal personal items when guests are visiting.
To achieve a truly luxurious bathroom is to feel completely and utterly relaxed, so don’t be afraid to bring in elements such as industrial lighting, bold artwork, ceiling integrated speakers or an array of plants to create a 'living room' bathroom. If you have the space, even a fireplace can be a worthwhile investment to make the space become your ultimate cosy retreat. These items really help to personalise your bathroom, which is key as interior design should reflect your personality. Luxury doesn’t necessarily mean white marble everywhere, this can sometimes look too sterile or cold, but pairing a stunning stone with warmer materials, such as wooden joinery, unique lighting, or shelving featuring objects and greenery, creates a welcoming contrast against the reflective stone surface. Take inspiration from your favourite Mediterranean hotel and use rattan baskets, Tadelakt plaster and patterned towels to bring your favourite travel memories home with you. >>
If you are short on space, mirrors are a great way to enlarge the room, and help bounce light around. Bevelled mirrors create a sense of glamour, but also don’t be afraid to try floor to ceiling mirrors to really create an impact. For one client in Belgravia we created a very simple but sexy mirror-covered 'hallway’ between their bathroom and the dressing area, which doubled the size of the area and looked oh so chic.
Space permitting, you can build a double shower with a steam function and seating, for your own private steam shower. Steam showers are extremely relaxing and are a great way soothe away the mental and physical stresses of the day, helping you to sleep more soundly. The other benefits of steam range from clearing your airways, opening the capillaries and blood vessels increasing blood flow and circulation, to clearing the skin by opening up the pores clearing out impurities. They are also be a great pre-shave treatment as the warmth and moisture can soften hair follicles and reduce the chance of razor burn. More and more, homebuyers are looking for high-end touches in the homes that they are purchasing. Spa bathrooms are particularly popular, which means the addition of a steam shower increases the home’s overall value.
Good lighting in a bathroom is vital (particularly one without natural light from windows). Small little details can make a huge impact, for example installing a motion-sensor soft night-light or led strips around your mirror to give the illusion that it is floating - this also great for makeup application. A fabulous chandelier positioned over a bath is a great way to add a sense of grandeur to your bathroom (just make sure your designer checks the IP rating).