Soothe and Soak

Spa elements make a home bath an oasis of relaxation

Q&A with Clodagh, CEO and principal designer of Clodagh Design NYC, (212) 780-5300,

Q. What is the best way to create a relaxing bathroom space?

Soothing Steam | Wood paneling gives natural texture to this sauna

A. The bathroom is a center for wellness in the home; sometimes it is the only place we can find to be alone with our thoughts. It is a place to indulge in self-caring and healing. Consider each of the senses and address them specifically to create an environment where you can let down your guard. Include contrasting textured and smooth surfaces to awaken you, acoustical absorption to envelope you and pleasant aromatics that appeal to you. Find a place for everything so surfaces are neat and uncluttered. Throw away those old near-empty tubes of bath products you no longer use! For color, build a palette that compliments your skin tone. It can make a vast difference between your looking sickly or in the pink of health when you see yourself in the mirror each day.

Q. How can someone incorporate spa elements into their home bathroom?

A. I consider all the senses and how I can extract pleasure from every ordinary experience. I believe we have a deep instinctive connection with plants, and I often try to incorporate greenery or herbs into the bathroom, which can provide wonderful scent in the moist air. Radiant heat mats under the floor or heated towel bars also add a sense of luxury and indulgent comfort. Of course, if you like to soak, a good tub is a must and it should always be positioned with thought to what you will be looking at while you wile away bath time.

Q. How can homeowners make their bathrooms more eco-friendly?

A. If you don’t have low-flow plumbing fixtures, get them now! Even a brick in the toilet tank can save a good deal of water over time. The technology for lighting is always improving, and there are compact fluorescent and LED substitutes for halogen and incandescent bulbs. We use only non-toxic and biodegradable cleaning products in the studio, which is good for the environment and for you.

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