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The Spa Influence

Just as homeowners draw some of their decorating and design influences from the places they visit, hotels, restaurants and other commercial spaces are working to create more inspiring, calming, spa-like retreats for their guests. Using the restroom in a restaurant used to be fairly mundane – certainly nothing to mention when you returned to your table. But today, that has changed, particularly in higher-end establishments and in bigger cities.

And hotels, too, understand that as homeowners seek greater luxury and the sense of a quiet, zen-like retreat in their home bathrooms, the hotels’ cold, clinical in-room bath designs of years past are no longer in favor with travelers. Also taking into consideration that most travelers spend the vast majority of their awake hotel-room time in the bathroom, it makes sense that the use of warmer tones, stone instead of tile, more generous counter space and other amenities like music and softer lighting, would follow. Quartz surfaces in bathrooms has increased 10 percent in recent years, with marble still in the lead.

Soft goods such as towels and bathrobes are getting thicker and softer as part of this trend, emulating the luxe, comforting styles available in spas. And transitional design in fixtures – not as dressy as traditional, but not completely clean-lined, either – is also in the ascendant. Whether these are seen as the perfect blend of traditional and contemporary, or are simply something that feels fresh right now, the spa influence is with us, and is in more and more places we stop for a moment or for the night.