Your shower is your oasis. It may be where you begin your day, waking up with the scents of your shampoo and body cleanser, but it's also where you go after a tough workout or a day of grueling yardwork to soothe your muscles and get squeaky-clean again. It's where you might sing and scrub, so make your shower a place of pure relaxation and rejuvenation with a few easy refurbishing projects that don't take a pricey remodeling project. The goal is to create a de-stressing place, not create stress with the hassle, noise and a mess of contractors, nor the scary codes and budget-killing plumbing upgrades to be sure your pipes and water heater can handle multiple shower stream jets and the addition of a steam bath.
Here are eight easy additions to spruce up your shower into a place you love to be.
A new showerhead is easy to install, using manufacturer instructions and the installation videos found on some manufacturer websites. You can change your old-fashioned spray showerhead into an indulgent waterfall showerhead, and with a twist of the wide circular disk, choose from gentle rainfall-type spray to a more massaging shiatsu-style stream. Angle the showerhead to give you the direction of spray that's right for your height, and taller homeowners can even choose a new showerhead with an extender arm to raise the showerhead up above their heads, something they might not have gotten to enjoy with a standard shower placement in an older home or apartment.
*Shower Curtain Rod
You may have experienced the airy, roomier shower in a luxury hotel, with an arched curtain rod moving that curtain liner further away from your body so that you can move freely without bumping into that liner. It's an easy installation project requiring just a screwdriver in most cases, and your new, arched rod can then be dressed up with new, easy-slide metal ball or disk curtain rings holding your new, luxe shower curtain. While you're at it, get a fluffy, curtain-matching bath rug to step onto after your relaxing shower. Choose the color that says "spa" to you. It could be white or sage green -- a soft, neutral shade that creates a natural scene.
A little bit more plumbing talent is often required for this task, or you could have a plumber come in to install your new, non-rusted shower handles or single shower pull. Plumbing experts say that older turnstile shower knobs can sometimes rust inside the connection, which can cost expensive leaks inside your wall down to the level below. So changing out your shower knob fixtures could wind up saving you hundreds or thousands of dollars down the road. A new, more modern style of fixtures adds to the luxury of your shower.
It sounds space-age, but some top shower supply companies now offer showerheads that project relaxing colors of light, such as purple, blue or green in a relaxing pattern meant to stimulate the de-stressing sensors of the brain. HGTV recently showcased this holistic feature via the Ondine Electric Light Shower, or ELS, which "pours light and water" from each of its large number of nozzles, "in a combination of fiber optics and halogen lights." Also in the holistic realm -- and pricey -- is the "healing power of crystals via Ondine's Krystal ELS, boasting Swarovski crystals around the perimeter." If you don't have the budget for crystals in your showerhead, think about colored light options in your overhead shower light fixture.
*Fix That Grout
It can be a do-it-yourself project, using the grout-eliminating attachment in your Dremel Tool and a practiced hand with fresh caulking application, or you can hire a pro to knock this job out for you in a fraction of the time. Your local Home Depot or Lowe's store might have a free grout-fixing seminar to help you perfect your caulking skills and help you avoid damaging your shower stall tiles. Whichever method you choose, fresh, white grout and caulk create the impression of a new shower and add value to your home.
Just removing that collection of 3/4-used shampoo bottles and conditioners from your shower shelf and shower organizing caddy, leaving just one shampoo and conditioner set and body wash in a soothing scent, plus your loofah, removes the stressful energy of clutter and creates a more calming atmosphere.
Freshen up the air in your bathroom with live plants chosen for their love of a steamy environment and also the amount of light you get in your shower room. Having healthy, shiny green plants in your shower space adds to the spa-like atmosphere.
As great as your shower singing voice might be, it can be immensely relaxing to set your iPod in a dock on your bathroom countertop -- safely distanced from water -- and play calming instrumental spa music or the sounds of a rainforest to create a soothing experience before, during and after your shower.
Some of these shower spruce-ups are free, some cost less than $30, and some might cost $200 or so, but the improved experience of your shower oasis will be worth it.