September 09, 2023
Good morning, Saturday!
- Today, we're talking about how bathrooms are transforming from just toilets and tubs to tranquil spaces.
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Today's newsletter is 506 words — a 2-minute read.
1 big thing: Chicago showers get more spa-like
One way a number of Chicagoans are escaping the hustle and bustle of the city is by carving out a natural escape in a room you might not expect — the bathroom.
What's happening: Many homeowners are enlarging their showers and installing therapeutic upgrades in the name of wellness.
By the numbers: When Chicago residents upgrade their bathrooms, they consider adjusting a number of features.
- Most local renovators are looking to change or add everything from plumbing fixtures and lighting to toilets and shower stalls.
- When removing a bathtub, 78% of U.S. homeowners enlarge the shower, according to a 2022 Houzz trend report.
- And "larger walk-in showers" tops the list of desired bathroom features — with 60% of respondents interested — per a national survey by The American Institute of Architects.
- Among the new offerings: Kohler introduced a "sprig" showerhead attachment that releases a variety of scents.
Three in four homeowners incorporate premium bathroom features into their showers, per Houzz.
- Among the bathroom updates: rainfall shower heads (52%), dual showers (19%), body sprayers (16%), thermostatic mixers (13%) and mood lighting (8%).
2. A swanky setup
This Chicago bathroom has taken tranquility to the next level with a walk-in shower, multiple sprayers and a bamboo wall (to the left).
What they're saying: "If the project is in a space in which we're not looking out onto nature … we're trying to bring nature into it," says Richard Blender, owner of Blender Architecture, about the bamboo wall he incorporated into the room.
- Connecting a home with nature or outside space gives clients "another level of being able to relax [and] develop their own sense of calm," he says.
3. How to shower mindfully
An aesthetically pleasing bathroom is certainly appealing, but having a mindful shower experience is more about intention.
What's important is "really deciding that that's a worry-free, gratitude-full space," said Jennifer Taitz, clinical psychologist and author of forthcoming "Stress Resets: How to Soothe Your Body and Mind in Minutes."
She recommends using your shower time to focus on yourself and your senses. For example:
- Focus on how the temperature of the shower feels on your skin.
- Take in the smell of your cleanser.
- And notice how your body is holding you up.
The bottom line: Starting or ending your day with a relaxing cleanse — instead of treating the shower experience as a continuation of your stressful day — is good for your well-being.
4. Your DIY ideas
There are plenty of quick ways to turn your shower into a wellness space that cost anywhere from about $15 to several hundred dollars, says Gold. For example:
- Light a candle.
- Add a water-resistant Bluetooth speaker.
- Change your installed showerhead to a hand-held, massaging one.
- Plug in a towel warmer.
Reply with your thoughts: How have you tried to make your bathroom more calming?
🌿 Carly hangs fresh eucalyptus from the showerhead.
🧴 Sami displays her favorite skin-care products on a ceramic tray.
💍 Bri has a framed wedding photo on her vanity that makes her smile.
Thanks to our editor Ashley May and copy editor James Gilzow.