Spalike Serenity

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Spike Moss-331-Edit deep color bathroom_Shade Degges
According to Huma Sulaiman, you can find spalike serenity with dark-colored bathrooms as well. | Photo by Shade Degges

Design a bathroom that will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

By Ashley Ryan

 

When creating cozy areas in the home, you’ll likely want to incorporate warm throw blankets, plush pillows and furniture that you sink into. However, those soothing pieces don’t translate well to the bathroom. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t create a comfortable space in which to clean up and unwind.

“[The] bathroom is such an important space in our daily lives. That is the first space we use once we wake up and the last place [we visit] … before we end our day,” says Huma Sulaiman, creative director of the eponymous Huma Sulaiman Design. “It is a sanctuary and a private space that is very important to our clients’ lives.”

Sulaiman’s award-winning company, which has an office in Los Angeles as well here in Laguna, is a boutique interior architecture and design studio that launched more than a decade ago and specializes in high-end residential and hospitality properties. One of the biggest trends she’s noticing for 2024 is the popularity of creating a spa-like atmosphere in the bathroom.

Huma_Kips_Bay_09182022-176-Edit-2_credit Joe Kramm
Bathrooms designed by Sulaiman often feature soft rugs. | Photo by Joe Kramm

According to Sulaiman, there are two big ways to really bring this dream to life. “[A] stand-alone [bath]tub always makes a space feel … luxurious, and adding heated flooring takes the space to an extra notch of luxury,” she says, noting that, while showers are more practical, a soaking tub is often the star of the room. “So if you have space for a tub, always incorporate one,” Sulaiman adds.

The heated flooring, too, can make all the difference: Starting the morning off with radiant warmth instead of cold tile will help you ease into the day in a relaxing way instead of experiencing a shock to the system.

As far as the color palette goes, Sulaiman says that you don’t have to stick to lights or whites to achieve a spalike feel. A dark color tone can work equally well—just try to embrace either light or dark rather than mixing the two.

Texture is having a moment in the bathroom, too, with plaster and marble proving popular for walls, countertops and even flooring. “[The bathroom is] a space that you can play with color and texture, as it is an enclosed area,” she notes. “Your imagination can go wild without disrupting the rest of the home decor.”

SaddlerMBT1_credit Chad Mellon for Huma Sulaiman
Sulaiman also likes to include standalone bathtubs and artwork. | Photo by Chad Mellon

But there are a number of other ways to incorporate that tranquil, spalike ambiance at home. Introduce scented candles or diffusers, add potted plants for a touch of greenery, place trays on the counter for storage of beauty products or jewelry, and place soft towels throughout for a touch of luxury. Mirrors can be added as well, to make the room appear bigger. “Rugs and art also add an unexpected … touch to the space,” Sulaiman says.

Although bathrooms are not the only type of spaces that Sulaiman designs, she says that they are often some of the most enjoyable projects to tackle, noting, “It makes me happy to work on something so special, knowing how it can impact one’s day-to-day activities.”


Beauty in the Bathroom

Embrace spalike trends with these products from local businesses.

AegeanCharcoal towels from Nuance
Dry off with ultrasoft AEGEAN COTTON TOWELS, which are made in Turkey using a textured pebble fabric; the shop offers a whole collection of washcloths, hand and bath towels, offered in neutral linen or gray hues, from $13, at Nuance. (949-494-8833; nuance-home.com)
tuilleries-rose candle
Organic and sustainable, the 100% soy/coconut VOYAGE ET CIE CANDLES will transport you to a calmer mindset with botanical fragrances such as rose, fig tree or lime-basil, $60, at Good Together House. (949-549-4264; goodtogetherhouse.com)
HY709 NOUH LUXURY FREESTANDING bathtub
Make a statement with the NOUH LUXURY FREESTANDING BATHTUB, which seamlessly blends comfort and contemporary design with its deep basin and is built to last, ensuring that it is the centerpiece of your bathroom for years to come, $4,985, with advance order at MaestroBath, Laguna Hills. (800-350-1120; maestrobath.com) | Photo by MaestroBath
Red Agate LARGE Recherché Rugs
Foster a feeling of serenity with the AGATE RED sculpture, which brings together natural elements and modern elegance plus creates a sense of tranquility in the bathroom, thanks to the grounding properties of red agate, $3,880, at Recherché Rugs & Décor. (949-397-4425; recherchedecor.com)
IMG_0301_1800x trays
Decorate your counters with practical items, like these white opal MARBLE TANK TRAYS, which come in three different sizes and will allow you to stay organized as you place bath items, beauty products and more atop the rectangular plates, from $95, at Arrow & Branch. (949-464-4353; arrowandbranchhome.com)

 

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