How to Create a Luxurious Bathroom Retreat

June 15, 2021

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Text by Danna Lorch

When traveling to five-star hotels around the world, the beautifully appointed bathrooms are always a highlight. Many travelers return home and are inspired to update their tired and disorganized space into a wonderful sanctuary.

Even though a bathroom may be one of the smaller rooms in a home, the primary bathroom is one of the most heavily used spaces. Regardless of its size, you can create a luxury bathroom that meets your needs and rivals those enjoyed in the very best hotel suites. Leslie Fine, President of Leslie Fine Interiors, Inc. in Boston, cautions clients not to underestimate the daily impact of a bespoke bathroom. “If you create the right environment, it can literally change your life,” she says. “It can provide a place to retreat and make you feel refreshed and renewed.”

So how do you achieve that luxury look for yourself? “You attain luxury by being able to make choices on materials, amenities and other items that together create an environment that makes you feel happy and pampered,” says Fine. The key to achieving luxury? Working with a seasoned designer who gets to know you and your lifestyle and then customizes your bathroom according to your needs and aesthetic preferences. The most luxurious bathroom is not only beautiful, but it also is functional and comfortable and meets your individual desires.

Fine shares her expert tips gleaned from twenty-five years in the residential design industry:

Create a Floor Plan
All bathrooms require a well-thought-out floor plan. One of Fine’s favorite bathroom renovations transformed a very large (500 square feet) and very dated bathroom into a private spa-like space for two in a suburban home outside of Boston. The original space was expansive, but the lighting was poor and the separation of the large space with many walls made the room dark and dismal. The space was opened up so that natural light filled the entire room. A custom, two-sided vanity was designed and placed in a central area. A two-sided mirror was suspended from the ceiling and a set of pendants were placed over each side of the vanity. Additional recessed lighting, decorative ceiling fixtures and sconces created both general and task lighting throughout the space.

A fabulous, three-sided shower for two with floor-to-ceiling striped marble and a contrasting mosaic tile acts as the centerpiece of this amazing space. Custom cabinetry on both ends of the room allows for ample storage of towels and toiletries.

Go Custom
In most of the bathrooms that Fine creates. the cabinetry is custom designed and fabricated. Adequate storage is important for keeping the space organized and creating convenient storage for toiletries and supplies. A popular feature when space is available is the use of built-in hampers that sort laundry and dry cleaning. Fine recommends using recessed medicine cabinets when possible. Recessed medicine cabinets and drawers with interior electrical outlets help declutter the vanity top.

Layer on the Luxury 
A luxury bathroom pulls out all of the stops – for example, a Seura vanity TV mirror, in-shower speakers for music, lighted makeup mirrors and steam-proof shaving mirrors, heated floors, and even programmable digital systems that create a customized shower experience. Toilets are no longer an afterthought either. “In the past five to ten years, clients have wanted commodes with integrative modalities such as motion-detecting heated seats, bidets, and even music,” says Fine.

If there is room in the floor plan, Fines urges clients to include a soaking tub, even if they do not consider themselves to be bathers. Fine takes a hot bath every evening, and she tries to encourage her clients to give it a try. She says, “It can be a relaxing wind-down ritual at the end of the day.” Fine also often incorporates steam showers which transform the bathroom into even more of a sanctuary and spa, an especially welcome feature during those cold New England winters.

Comfort and Function are Key 
Bathrooms don’t have to be large to feel extravagant and luxurious. The right choice of lighting, plumbing, tile, stone and the latest technology can turn a smaller space into a jewel-box oasis. “I set out to create a lighter, brighter and more functional and comfortable space, “ Fine says. In designing any bathroom, Fine takes the time to listen to her clients, truly getting to know how they live, relax and dream. By doing so and then designing these spaces to meet individual needs and desires, luxury bathroom retreats become a reality.

Leslie Fine Interiors, Boston,

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