Create your own little paradise with decorator touches inspired by the islands.
The island bath gets its inspiration from the white sand beaches and clear blue waters of the sunny tropics. To get this breezy look, combine natural basics with blue and green accents. Add seashells from your strolls on the sand and your favorite beach photo in a weathered wood frame, and your bathroom will take you back to the islands the moment you walk in the door.
Dabble In Water Colors
The island palette is a combination of tropical colors and sun-bleached neutrals. Start with a light colored room for that sun kissed, beachy look. Then add color with towels in ocean hues like turquoise and teal. An azure shower curtain and World Market’s Green Bamboo Rug go well together without competing for attention. Once you establish an overall palette of blues and greens, bring in a designer touch with a punch of complementary color. A piece of red coral, a tangerine glass tray, or a sunny yellow perfume decanter will add a splash of style.
Show Off Your Seashells
Adding personal flair to your island bath is as simple as taking a sunset stroll down the beach. Decorating with seashells, sea glass, and snapshots from your trip not only enhances the décor, but also reminds you of those relaxing walks by the seashore. For a delicate jewelry display, arrange your rings and things in a scallop shell filled with sea glass. Tie a piece of twine around glass canisters and hang a seashell from each end of the knot. And place a gorgeous conch shell on the floor next to the tub as if it just washed up on the sand. You can almost hear the ocean.
Weave In Baskets
Go for wicker furnishings and hand woven baskets for storage in your island bath. Stick with a light straw color—painted white says Nantucket and dark rattan says Out of Africa. A woven flatware caddy sets just the right tone and makes a handy carryall for shampoo, shower gel, and a scrubby. And the next time you visit the Bahamas, head straight for the Straw Market and stock up on baskets. They are perfect for housing all kinds of bathroom sundries. Mini baskets make terrific catch-alls and a large bowl-shaped basket turns towel storage into a playful display. For larger items, a woven dresser is a tasteful hide-away.
Discover Underwater Treasures
Beachy accessories are so abundant, you could outfit a bathroom with seashells on everything from the soap dish to the Kleenex box cover. But the trick to creating a stylish retreat is to go easy on the matching accessories. To create a room that reminds you more of a relaxing visit to the Caymans than a display at a department store, seek out one-of-a-kind items that are more art than kitsch. One amazing shell art piece, such as a pearlescent shell-encrusted mirror designed by Heather Kendall of Elegant Shells, makes a bold and beautiful statement. A Capiz Shell Curtain from GAIAM draped over a turquoise shower sheer is another elegant seaside detail. Plus, it’s jewelry for your shower curtain!
Bask In Candlelight
Candles are wonderful by the tub and with today’s larger scale spaces you can bring in larger scale accents like Z Gallerie’s Seahorse Candle Holders. The seahorses lend a little whimsy, and the weathered finish is modern and subdued. Bring in some color with aquamarine Island Flowers Pillar Candles from Illuminations, scented with mandarin, orchid, and coconut milk. The aroma alone will send you to the tropics.
Savor Citrus Scents
The scents of the islands are a blend of refreshing citrus, luscious fruits, and alluring botanicals. While vanilla, coconut, and coffee are common exports of the Caribbean, it is fragrances like orange blossom and gardenia that truly transport you to paradise. For your own island oasis, infuse the bath with tangerine-lime salts. Or treat yourself to kiwi-mango bubble bath and pink grapefruit body splash. Then celebrate your new tropical retreat with magnolia bath confetti.
Splash In The Falls
There’s nothing quite as invigorating as a dip in a tropical stream. You can create that same unforgettable feeling by turning that ordinary shower into a cascading waterfall. Try the Cascadia showerhead by Waterpik, featuring an over-sized head and one hundred spray channels. Place Organize-It’s clear plastic Pebble Bath Tub Mat under your feet, and you’ll feel like you’re bathing under the falls of a secluded rainforest.
Elegant Shells, www.elegantshells.com
World Market, www.worldmarket.com
Z Gallerie, www.zgallerie.com