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interiors & styling: Tips for Making a Cold Bathroom Feel Cozy

Does anyone have a bathroom that feels cold year round? My first recollection of this was at my grandmother’s house growing up- she had a bathroom that always felt cool, no matter the season. That reminiscent cold bathroom feeling came back when we moved into our current home. Our basement bath always felt too cool to me. It wasn’t a bathroom I ever wanted to use because it was cold and uninviting. This can occur when a bathroom is located in a specific area of your home- whether it’s north facing, in a dreary basement, has a bad draft, a large window, is lacking proper insulation, or is situated on an exterior wall, these can all contribute to a less than favorable temperature. Luckily, there are plenty of tricks to make those cold bathrooms feel cozy, and that’s exactly what we did when recently renovating our basement bath! Click through for my best tips for making a cold bathroom feel cozy… in terms of temperature AND design.

*This post is sponsored by Lowe’s. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow us to create unique content while featuring products we actually use & enjoy!

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#1 // Install Heated Flooring

Our basement bath previously had carpeted floors (see the before images here), which really grossed me out given this space is a functioning bathroom. Although the carpet wasn’t cold underfoot, it definitely wasn’t staying when it came time to renovate. I knew the best clean, durable, and cozy option would be to install heated floor tile. You can catch our full DIY tutorial here. Having heated flooring not only warms the floor, but the overall temperature of the room. It feels amazing underfoot and is a luxurious feature that isn’t as expensive or difficult to install as most people assume. We actually used this Schluter Systems Heated Floor Kit to make things much easier. It even came with the smart digital thermostat you see in the above image. The touchscreen thermostat has six programming periods per day and logs the energy, so you can adjust it as needed and keep track of your energy use. We keep our heated floors set at 82 degrees, at their hottest… they’re meant to be left on all the time and were designed with efficiency in mind.


#2 // Add Luxury Textiles

One of the easiest ways to add warmth and comfort to a cold bathroom is by adding textiles. Even though the floors are heated, I still love styling a wool rug in the bathroom- especially in front of the vanity. I found this 100% wool rug by Momeni at Lowe’s and knew the small, two by three foot option would slide perfectly under the vanity to complete the vignette. I also splurged for new Turkish bath towels that are incredibly soft. Think about the sensory experience and textiles that might help your bathroom feel more inviting.


#3 // Use a Towel Warmer

This is the first towel warmer we’ve ever installed, and there is no turning back! I absolutely LOVE having a towel warmer and will definitely be adding these to all of our bath renovations moving forward. If you haven’t experienced the luxury of having a hot towel after a shower or bath, believe me when I say- you’re missing out. This Warmrails Towel Warmer can be hard or soft wired and was a breeze to install. It came with very specific instructions and uses less energy than a single lightbulb. It is also a product that is designed to be left on. The warmth of the towel bar not only heats the bath towels, but it also radiates heat into the space, helping to increase the overall room temperature.


#4 // Incorporate Plumbing Fixtures with Warm Finishes

This is a design trick for making a space look warmer than it actually is… choose plumbing fixtures in a warm finish– such as nickel or brass. For our basement bath, I selected matching plumbing fixtures in polished nickel. Above, you’ll see the Moen Weymouth faucet against our marble sink. You’ll also notice the finish looks much warmer than others, such as matte black, chrome, or stainless steel… all of which have cool undertones. In addition to choosing specific finishes, there is also a reason I selected a GIANT rain head shower– it keeps you warmer while showering and covers a larger surface area. Take into account the aesthetic AND function when choosing your plumbing fixtures- especially if you’re working with a cold bathroom.


#5 // Use Warm Tones Throughout

Many of you were surprised by the paint color I selected for our basement bath (HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams Kilim Beige). Lots of you asked why I paired a warm paint color alongside the cool carrara marble. I love contrast in design and I knew the paint color needed to be a warmer hue to make this space feel more welcoming and cozy. If you have a cold bathroom, in terms of temperature… try painting the walls a light to medium warm tone. In addition to warm colored paint, I was also careful and deliberate when choosing my lightbulbs. I landed on these GE Relax soft white, dimmable bulbs because they are warmer in color temperature. Cool, blue hued lighting can really make a space feel cold- so I typically try to avoid those types of bulbs. I actually use the aforementioned GE bulbs 90% of the time. My point being… select materials and colors that evoke that “cozy” feeling. From lighting to paint swatches, it’s best to avoid cool tones if you’re trying to make a room feel warmer.

Lots of these tips apply to many rooms throughout a home… not just the bath! Do you have any other tricks for making cold spaces feel warm and inviting? Utah weather decided to get cold again this week and I’m trying to avoid my weather app because I noticed a few snow flake graphics creeping into the mix this week. It’s times like this when I’m especially thankful we went the extra mile to make this space feel nice, toasty, and super comfortable.

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