Get a Breezy, Island-Inspired Bath

Create your own little bathroom paradise with decorator touches inspired by the islands.
By: Jennifer O'Neil and Kitty O'Neil

Dabble in Watercolors

The island bath gets its inspiration from the white-sand beaches and clear blue waters of the sunny tropics. To achieve this breezy palette, combine tropical colors and sun-bleached neutrals. Start with a light-colored room and add color with towels in ocean hues like turquoise and teal. 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.

Weave in Baskets

Go for wicker furnishings and handwoven 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. Stock up on baskets — they're perfect for housing all kinds of bathroom sundries. Mini baskets make terrific catchalls, while a large bowl-shaped basket can turn towel storage into a playful display. For larger items, a woven dresser is a tasteful hideaway.

Discover Underwater Treasures

Beachy accessories are so abundant, you could outfit a bathroom with seashells on everything from the soap dish to the tissue-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, like a pearlescent shell-encrusted mirror, makes a bold and beautiful statement. A capiz shell curtain 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 the bouquet of the islands is a blend of refreshing citrus, luscious fruits and alluring botanicals. While vanilla, coconut and coffee are common exports of the Caribbean, it's 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.

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 room, 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.

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