Soul Cleansing

I've always been a bath girl. As a child I had a large and wonderfully deep tub in our Fifth Avenue apartment. The walls were partially lined with white subway tile and the floor was tiled with smaller hexagonal ones. I had lovely pastel striped paper lining the upper half of my walls and assorted pastel colored towels to match. The bathroom, directly off my bedroom (what a lucky girl I was!) was not terribly large or fancy. But it was mine. It was my retreat and my oasis and a spot I relished from a very young age... first with assorted bath toys and then, as I grew, with assorted bath gels and soaps. In the South of France, my bathroom was also off my bedroom. My bamboo inspired bathroom often smelled of lemon verbena or lavender, scents that still sooth and relax my soul today -- scents that bring me back to a time without worries... times of endless days on the beach on the Cote d'Azur.

I find that even after the most stressful of days, a long soak in a large, hot tub filled with bubbles of lavender, citrus or verbena instantly melts away worry, stress and sorrow. I have a bath-time ritual these days. My baths are always at the end of the day. (Though not taken every day.) My children all know that when I am in the bath, that I mustn't be interrupted. Lucky for me they respect this, even the youngest one. My bath is not necessarily a cleansing session of the body, but of the soul. As the water runs I pour myself a glass of iced tea or a chilled glass of wine. In wintertime when I cannot get rid of the chill in the air sometimes a warm cup of tea or a nice foamy cappuccino will accompany me. I have a collection of reading materials I save for the tub. Sometimes I bring decorating magazines and sometimes I'll bring the book I'm currently reading. My towels are important. They are not expensive. In fact they are from Target and can be replaced when necessary, but they are thick and lush and warm. There is nothing like getting out of a nice warm, bath and wrapping yourself up in a thick, plush towel. Nothing like it. My dry skin also cherishes Neutrogena Sesame Oil. It's not lavish and it's not expensive, but it makes my skin feel like liquid gold after I've applied it to my warm, damp skin.

I have a large window next to the tub and a skylight above... I love bathing when the skies are bright and sunny overhead... I love bathing in the pouring rain and listening to the raindrops hit the glass and slide off up above... I feel safe, sheltered from the storm... I love a hot bath with a warm beverage in a blizzard... I love a restful bath beneath the twinkling stars above...As I write this, at 6:00 on a Sunday morning, I eagerly await my time in the tub tonight.

I like my bathrooms to be simple, fresh, airy and romantic. I do not like overly fussy or stylized bathrooms. I do not like busy or cluttered bathrooms. In fact, the bathroom is the only room in my house I don't mind being white. Pastel and neutral colors do well by me as well. I'm all for bright and vibrant, just not in my bathroom.

Along the edge of my tub I have several candles, mason jars that are filled with sand from Newport, shells from Maine and a small votive, a large Clam shell that I have painted gold and shellacked as my soap dish, and two wonderful pictures made by my two boys that sit at the foot of my tub that I admire daily.

This bathroom, inspired by Nate Berkus boasts a chandelier...
How divine! I must have one in my bathroom now!

Crisp, clean and architecturally simple yet glamorous, I love the simplicity of this bathroom

My current bathroom in Newport has an old claw-footed tub...
There's nothing fancy about this bathroom, yet the simplicity evokes a feeling of rest and romance

Another chandelier... how dreamy... understated elegance

I love the mosquito netting over the tub,
the candles and the use of mirrors to add light and space to a small room

The claw footed tub and large mirror return...  I love the touch of color provided by the blue chair

A simple table in the corner makes up for lack of storage while adding a relaxing country feel
I love the brightness from the windows by the tub. I must have lots of natural sunlight in my bathrooms!

Bettina Bachmann, Elle Decor Home

And then there's a part of me who remains in love with this whimsical orange sherbet and pink lemonade bathroom I found while searching the internet this morning. The fireplace was a working fireplace... the tub was placed in the center of the bathroom and there was plenty of sunlight throughout the day. This bathroom belonged to and was designed by La Jolie Grandmere and was her bathroom in her home, The Manor House, Great Haseley, Oxfordshire. (More blog posts about that lovely home to follow shortly.)
My grandfather had his own bathroom on the other side of the bedroom.
It was masculine and all greys and stones. It was lovely to come across this this morning.
It was just what I needed! The photo appears in the Girl Meets Glamour blog.