Exhale. After enduring winter hibernation and a back-to-busy spring, you’ve made it to kick-up-your-heels season. You’re ready to savor every minute of summer, but between all your al fresco activities and weekend getaways, you haven’t set aside much time for true R&R.
But before you try to squeeze in a pricey beach week or an upstate wellness retreat, consider this: You can turn your bathroom into a swoon-worthy summer spa with minimal effort (and maximal Zen). According to Heather Taylor, design expert and founder of Heather Taylor Home, the at-home spa of your dreams is just a few simple essentials away.
Her three-step formula for achieving this state of oasis? First, declutter your space as much as you can. “Keeping clutter to a minimum is the first step to creating a spa-like bathroom environment,” she says. “I’m constantly sorting through my products and trying to recycle empty bottles to keep [a minimalist space].” Next, focus on the ambiance. “Lighting is really important [when it comes to] creating a relaxing vibe. I have dimmers, [but] I also keep some of my favorite candles on hand.”
Last but definitely not least, Taylor relies on soft, breathable cotton (from her beloved robe and a plush rug to a collection of the coziest bath towels) to give her space the ultimate soothe factor. She sticks to the natural fabric whenever she can because it’s high-quality, durable, and absorbent. Not to mention, its sustainable benefits are a very welcome bonus: Because the fiber is plant-based, it doesn’t contribute to microplastic pollution in waterways when you wash it.
Carve out just a few minutes to put Taylor’s three-step guide into practice. Aim for minimalism, strike a match or two, and then snag one of these cotton mats or a couple bath towels to turn your bathroom into a summertime sanctuary.
If you’re following Taylor’s recommendation to keep things minimalist in the bathroom, start by refreshing—and neutralizing—your towel collection. Stick to subtle tones (can you name a more soothing shade than sage?) in fluffy, super-absorbent cotton, and lean into the vibe by pouring yourself a glass of icy cucumber water as you dry off.
If summertime has you dreaming of farmers’ market peaches and bouquets of peonies, opt for this blush-toned, mid-weight set. Wrap up in a large bath towel and set your timer for 10 minutes—plenty long enough to dip your feet into a salt soak and slather on a simple DIY facial. Complete the routine with a few deep breaths and a eucalyptus-spritzed cotton washcloth for your face.
To keep things cozy in the bathroom—and avoid any bathtub drips—roll out a plush and absorbent bath rug, made with moisture-wicking cotton. From cozy white to moody sea, choose a color palette that makes you (and your toes) feel the most at ease.
Whether you’re all about a late-night spa moment or more into early-morning self care, you can stay cool on the hottest days of the season in a wrap-up, snap-in towel. With a secure elastic back and a roomy pocket to hold your phone, your gua sha stones, or both, you might be tempted to enjoy a never-getting-dressed summer day at home.
Picture this: You’re spending a summer weekend at an indoor-outdoor spa, complete with a warm breeze and all the Mediterranean blues. Now recreate it under your own roof with lightweight, cotton towels that are perfect for any post-shower lounging or simple salt-sprayed hair routine.
Keep the Mediterranean mode going with a textured, tasseled rug that gives your bathroom an equal dose of function and comfort. If ever this woven mat gets dirty (it is barefoot season, after all), no stress—it’s machine-washable and easily releases stains because it’s made with 100-percent cotton.
Nothing says summer quite like boho print and pops of pastels. This colorful towel set is a welcome complement to a monochrome and minimalist bathroom aesthetic—and it might just bring on the kind of endorphins you feel from a deep-tissue massage and a pair of spa slippers.
This lightweight, quick-dry mat was designed with the sun-baked Arizona desert (as in, the promised land of summer spas) in mind. The modern shapes are meant to inspire humans to coexist with nature in a low-impact and sustainable way. Feel it under your feet and breathe deeply knowing that, just by choosing cotton, you’re headed in that direction.