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Bathrooms: Creating a Personal Retreat

by | Jan 12, 2009 | Bathrooms, Decorating Inspiration | 51 comments

Bathrooms: Creating a Personal Retreat

Do you ever feel like your life is one long “to do” list? Does it feel like people or kids expect things from you all day long until you collapse exhausted in bed each night? Are you over-committed and feeling frazzled most of the week just trying to keep the world around you from crashing into little bits?

Maybe it is just me, but I bet at least some of you feel much the same way. Or it least can relate!

In spite of how much I enjoy my busy life, I need to have some time to myself to recharge and re-inspire myself to carry on another week! In fact, the more I take on, the more I need focused time to myself.

Bathrooms: Creating a Personal Retreat

Enter: The Bathroom.

Anyone with kids has probably experienced how difficult it is to find time away by yourself. Sometimes you just want to hide away in the bathroom and hope no one finds you. So why not intentionally make your bathroom into your own personal retreat? We can’t all head off to the spa, so bring the spa home!

Bathrooms: Creating a Personal Retreat

Bathrooms: Creating a Personal Retreat

Bathrooms: Creating a Personal Retreat

I have always had very small bathrooms in the homes I’ve lived in. But that didn’t stop me from making it a comfortable and pampering room to escape to. For me what makes the room relaxing to be in isn’t the size of the space, it is some of the following attributes:

  • Sparkling Clean
  • Fresh Scent
  • Yummy Smelling Soaps
  • Fragrant Candles
  • Big Mirrors
  • Fluffy Towels
  • Personalized Accessories
  • Pretty Storage Containers
  • Warm Robe & Slippers
  • Music & Books

My new house has a nice sized master bathroom with a deep soaking tub and walk in closet right in the room. While it has some nice things to work with, I can’t wait to make it feel more like “me,” I’m still thinking about how to do that! (of course, I’ll share the ideas when they come to me!)

I’m always drawn to “white” bathrooms and yet, I have wood and warm colored tile in this house! I do love the warm colored tile floor, however, for concealing the grime in a bathroom. A white floor is very difficult to keep sparkling clean!

As I look ahead to my busy year I know I am going to take full advantage of my personal retreat. Here are some photos of the space (how it looked before we bought it complete with the required faux folliage for staging).

Bathrooms: Creating a Personal Retreat

Bathrooms: Creating a Personal Retreat

Bathrooms: Creating a Personal Retreat

Look! We even have a view of the water while we use the facilities! Too bad I can’t see the water while lounging in the tub, huh? Oh well.

All photos (except my own, of course!) were found at Coastal Living online.

For more inspiring bathrooms,
check out these posts!

Beautiful Bathrooms
More Beautiful Bathrooms


  1. Jennifer

    As a mom of 3, I rarely even get to go to the bathroom by myself! There is no closing the door and NEVER locking it! I too have a bathroom that I am struggling with. My new home purchase last summer includes an entire wall of MIRRORS! Too much of me at age 35! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Jennifers inspiring blog post..DONE!

  2. Jinx

    Personal space-5 months & almost there! I can’t wait for the bath rehab to be finished, it is turning out so much better than I planned. And, yep, already have my faux foliage (complete with glass water droplets) on the new granite counter!

    I haven’t so much had a problem with the kids…it’s the 2 CATS that insist on being my bathroom buddies!

    Love your retreat!!

    Jinxs inspiring blog post..Twinkle, twinkle, little light…

  3. SoBella Creations

    Thanks for the inspiration! My masterbath room has only a shower. So I have to use the girls bathroom for my tub soaking. I guess looking at frogs, butterflies and catapillars can be nice in its own way. :)

  4. Kristen

    It seems we have almost the exact same requirements for a lovely bathroom. And yours is just fantastic. I also love the picture of the bathroom with the old fashioned cameras lining the built-in shelves. Beautiful.

    Kristens inspiring blog post..Perfect Timing

  5. Rosie's Whimsy

    I would be so ashamed for anyone to go into my MBath right now. It is just about as opposite to a retreat as possible. In fact, it is so messy and in need of paint and storage that the words “tornado disaster” would come first to any one’s mind! LOL

    Rosie’s Whimsys inspiring blog post..A Re-Post

  6. Vee

    That’s a roomy bathroom you have there and I know that you’re so clever that it will be yours in no time. Nice view of water, too!

    I once had a bathroom large enough for a chair…loved that chair. And I love that wall of storage shelving that you’ve shared with us. I’d love to have a bathroom large enough to do that.

    Vees inspiring blog post..Love is in the Air

  7. Vee

    Funny! I just noticed that that’s a row of cameras across those top shelves.

    Vees inspiring blog post..Love is in the Air

  8. Emily

    Lovely photos, Melissa and I love your new bathroom! Since we’re about to do our master bed/bath, I’ve been searching online for inspirational bathroom photos and already had a few of these bookmarked. I am definitely doing the shelving all around the doorway from the last photo before your bathroom photos. Enjoy your relaxing! I can’t wait to have a bathtub to turn into a prune in :)

    Emily@remodelingthislifes inspiring blog post..Shopping at TJMaxx

  9. anne

    I think you do need space in a bathroom, especially if you only have one! My bathroom is small compared to the house, which is a shame, but you don’t really live in there..but it would be lovely to have a bigger one..maybe next time:-)

    I love having a bath, and relaxing in there, I normally read too!!

    annes inspiring blog post..Friends Award

  10. Christi

    Just beautiful, Melissa! My bathroom is the most neglected (not in cleanliness, mind you – just personalization) in our home. Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Liz

    I love the view from your bathroom window!

    We have one bathroom in our 1930’s house, and there is nowhere to put another, so we’re having to make the best of what we have. I love some of the ideas you’ve shown and your right accessories, fluffy towels and sparking clean make such a difference

    Liz@VioletPosys inspiring blog post..How I learnt to embrace pink

  12. Terri Steffes

    I love your shower! I am dying to know if those doors are easy to clean!

    Thank you for this post. I am going to use it for a link on one of my Frugal Luxuries posts (I do these on Saturdays).

    Terri Steffess inspiring blog post..English Cottage Meets Bob Steffes, part 2

  13. Melissa Lewis - Off The Wall

    These are all so pretty, including your new bathroom. I especially love the big window in the first blue bathroom. So pretty!

  14. Amy

    I can’t wait to see more photos of your new house. I looks gorgeous! Especially the view. Love these bathrooms.

    Amy @ Living Locurtos inspiring blog post..Sweet Face

  15. Holly

    Oh, can I relate. Eight years ago when I had just had my second child, we lived in a tiny grungy rental house, but we did have a half bath off the master bdrm. It felt like the most ‘hidden’ area of the house and I always wished there was room for a chair so I could just sit and get away from all the demands!
    I can’t wait to see the rest of your house…everything so far is beautiful!

    Hollys inspiring blog post..I Heart Pottery Barn

  16. jennykate

    Thanks for the pics of all the beautiful bathrooms!!! I ♥ fresh clean bathrooms. I’m in the process of re-decorating my bathroom and I can use all the inspiration and ideas I can get!! Great view from the potty ☺

    Happy Monday!

    jennykates inspiring blog post..Walk It Out…

  17. Pretty Organizer

    My mom told a story about how all 6 family members growing up shared 1 bathroom. She used to throw a towel over her head while using the toilet to maintain her personal space! I didn’t understand what that meant until I had kids. Now it doesn’t matter that we have 3 bathrooms! The only one EVERYONE wants to use is mine! They even get mad when I lock the door for privacy… in MY own bathroom. My retreat is definitely in the bathroom, behind a good locked door and WITH a good book. Makes me want to light a few candles and take a nice hot tubby!
    Displaying collections at my bloggy today… teaser for BD! I hope!

    Pretty Organizers inspiring blog post..Display your collections

  18. pam

    I hear you. But I had to laugh, thoughts came back to me when the kids were young, and they would slip their little fingers under the door, Mom what’s you doing in there…… and they still like to follow me around only I don’t get the fingers under the door any more.

  19. Mrs. Q

    WOW…your bathroom is gorgeous and spacious! I am slightly envious (okay more than slightly) of your lovely soaking tub…sigh…my dream home will have it…whenever we get to our dream home. For now I am grateful for my small yet functional bathroom :) Thanks for sharing the inspiration!

    Mrs. Qs inspiring blog post..Even Mondays…

  20. teresa

    Can’t wait to see what you do with your bath- {it’s lovely now}
    When I had small children at home I use to escape to the bathroom- only to have the kids slide their books or fingers under the door :}
    Love your ideas-
    Happy Day

  21. Julie Size

    Stunning – I want one!!!!

    Okay – so I probably posted the best and funniest post I have ever done on my blog…my riding lesson photographed! ..and don’t laugh so loud that I might hear you!

    Have a great week!

    Julie Sizes inspiring blog post..How Would You Handle This in a Sidesaddle??

  22. Jill

    Glad I am not the only one with toddlers that don’t believe in closing the door for the bathroom. I always seem to have a kid or two at my heels in the bathroom! And toys! Why? They have their own bathroom – but still only want to be in mine! Oh well…

    Love those white bathrooms, but they are a bear to keep clean! Your new bathroom looks so cozy with the warm tones! Love that tub!

    Jills inspiring blog post..KATE SPADE at Gilt Groupe!

  23. Connie

    Love the bathrooms ! I especially like the second one down.
    I have always wanted one with a claw tub and those extension shower heads. You can have your bath and shampoo too.

  24. Melissa

    I always love your pictures – I especially like the built ins…..maybe I’ll see them recreated in my spaces…..

    Melissas inspiring blog post..Painting Update

  25. Tanya

    We are re-doing our master bathroom this year. It will be mostly cosmetic; tile, new faucets, mirror, and lighting. I looove the picture of the blue and white bathroom with the long wooden bench. It looks so spa-like. I also love the shelves along the entire wall in another picture. Who couldn’t load those up?

    Tanyas inspiring blog post..Nifty Bargain Chair!

  26. LuLu

    Love bathrooms, so wish I could escape more often to it… I haven’t had a good soak in the tub for a long time, everytime I do I hear “Mom” we need you or the phone rings and no one answers it…which i have to know who is calling it may be important! Really like your shower!!!

    LuLus inspiring blog post..Warm Gift

  27. Tamara

    Can you believe it…….after we had our 5 kids we did away with all tubs completely. No time to soak. Maybe one day when I retire???

    Tamaras inspiring blog post..My Trip to China With My Big Sister

  28. Susan

    Lovely new bathroom…I wish I had a decent one…oh well. Someday. This summer I plan to to ‘fluff’ it some…although I am limited in that. For what it is worth…Target’s $1 section this week has cleaning stuff on sale, so a squeegee to keep in that master shower would be a good idea.

  29. Kim

    Beautiful bathrooms and I love the view of the water! I just wrote a post about the old commercial that said “Calgon, take me away!” I feel like that a lot!

    Kim@ForeverWherevers inspiring blog post..Blog Party — Tasty Tuesday — Don’t Miss It!

  30. Anna Molly

    Your post today was so wonderful! I have always had tiny bathrooms where I have lived (suare footage in LA is hard to come by) and have always used that as an excuse to not use thems as an “escape from the world.” But when you mentioned that all you need is a sort of ‘ambiance’ and can attain that with simple things like candles, fluffy pillows, etc. it really resonated with me. Thanks very much for that!! I’m off to brainstorm now. :)

  31. Susie Harris

    What a beautiful bathroom you have to work with. I cant wait to see how you make it your own space. I too love to getaway and hideout sometimes. They always seem to find me though, smile. Gotta love em’…. enjoy playing house and making this nest your best!

    Susie Harriss inspiring blog post..A small space with big ideas…

  32. Misti

    I love your bathroom! We are very much into the dark rustic colors. You will love the low maintenance factor of the darker colors. Thanks for sharing!

    Misti @ Studio M Designss inspiring blog post..Gel Stain: Everyone should have some.

  33. Lindsay

    I have the same struggle with my bathroom. I can’t wait to see what you do with yours, as mine is very similar!

  34. Maureen

    So beautiful… thanks for sharing. I wish I spent more time alone in ours…. one day. :)

    Maureens inspiring blog post..Legally Blonde

  35. Emily-Sarah Lineback

    Beautiful photos! My 1941 home has a small bathroom (and a tiny closet-sized half bath). Definitely built during a time of get-in, get-out practicality. We’re getting ready to redo the full bath, and those aspects you listed are good reminders of what we can add despite the small dimensions.

  36. Ann

    That’s me – that very first paragraph. That is my struggle every single day. That is why I don’t post on my blog more often.
    I am determined to make 2009 better – more balanced. Meanwhile, I do take long, hot baths late at night when every one else goes to bed…….so, I love seeing such beautiful retreats. Thank you, as always, for a great post.

  37. Darlene

    Oh how I wish my bathroom was a peaceful retreat! Our bathroom needs a complete remodel, but will have to wait a few years before we take on that project! I love the bathroom in the 3rd photo!

    Hey Melissa, I’m having a GIVEAWAY over at my blog…stop by and enter if you get a chance…it’s a biggie!


  38. The Scribbler

    We are just starting a bathroom reno, and it means redoing the bedroom too (afterall, everything has to go together!!). I loved the picture of the bathroom with bookshelves. I was wondering, do you know where the picture of the came from? I’m interested in the bed – I’ve been trying to hunt one down just like it (but in king) for our bedroom. If you do know, I’d appreciate finding out. thx

  39. Pinky

    When my children were very small I used to lock them in WITH me just so I could get a shower!!! I can remember them whining “MOM!!!! It’s HOT in here”!!!!:):) I still don’t have the bath of my dreams but maybe someday…. Love YOUR new bathroom, and I know you will make it YOU in no time! Pinky

  40. meghan

    Look at those double sinks!
    And that view!!!
    And don’t even get me started on the tub!
    My word, what I wouldn’t give to have something like that.
    My bathroom is literally only 2 feet of space between the toilet, sink & tub. It’s also a lovely seafoam green trimmed in black.
    I rent so I can only “make do”

    I so love your bathroom!

  41. Tracey McBride

    Thank you so much for all of these lovely bathroom pictures! I’ve been looking for ideas to redo our master bathroom and these are so inspiring.
    P.S. Love your view of the water ;) ! Now that’s luxury!!

  42. meg duerksen

    you are going to LOVE that tub!!
    be sure to make yourself use it once a week. it’s so relaxing.
    love your bathroom list and makes me feel guilty about how dirty my bathroom is right now.
    i have a few minutes…i’m going to go clean it. :)

    meg duerksens inspiring blog post..ike…one week.

  43. Eileen

    You new bathroom has great bones. I’m looking forward to seeing what you “do” with it!

    Blessings ~ Eileen @ Star’s Fault

  44. Deb

    What–no books on those big white bookshelves? No books in the bathroom?! Why, a soak is not a true soak without one soggy book!

  45. becky

    Hi! I’m trying to get a clawfoot bathtubs group going on flickr and would love it if you would contribute your wonderful images. So far, I’m the only member :)

    it’s located here:


    beckys inspiring blog post..The T.V. Cabinet.

  46. lilyhaven

    What gorgeous bathrooms! I especially love the one with the big white tub with all the windows around it, turquoise walls and the rustic bench next to the tub. What a beautiful retreat.


    lilyhavens inspiring blog post..Spring Arrivals

  47. Nay-K

    all the bathrooms are fantastic! ;-)



  1. Winter Home Tip: Create Mini-Destinations in your Home - [...] a spa-like bathroom “getaway” with fluffy white towels and bubble bath [...]

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