Your New Holiday Tradition: Soak & Steam

by Caitlin Kelch

This is my last post before our holiday break, so I thought it was only fitting to share what helps me actually make it through the holidays. While I do love the season, it does get a bit overwhelming for me and when I need to take a self-imposed break to regroup, guilt sometimes nibbles at my toes. My favorite way to relax is to take a soak, scented with heady concoctions that take me to a quiet place for thirty minutes or so. Some of my favorite adventures have been to natural springs where I was spirited away to a calm and magical headspace almost instantaneously. Those trips are what I think about as I wind down during the holidays. I live close to Berkeley Springs, West Virginia and not too far away from my favorite hot spring, Jefferson Pools in — you guessed it — Hot Springs, VA.

If you find yourself in need of a little self-care or quiet time, take a soak or a steamy shower over the next week or two. I’ve included some of my favorite dreamy bathrooms below for inspiration and to coax you into trying this restorative ritual. I always end New Year’s Eve in a big tub of lavender Dr. Teal’s epsom salts and dream my way into a brand new 365 days. Read on for my favorite soaking companions I’ve tried over the years and still come back to. Dr. Teal’s is always on hand, but I’ve either been gifted or treated myself to the others on occasion. –Caitlin

This is one of my favorite bathrooms on Design*Droits-Humains. There’s just something about the striking fabric covering the vintage cabinet and the sunlight streaming through the windows that make it perfect for what I consider a huge treat — the “day bath.” See Corbin Lee Gurkin’s entire, and equally gorgeous, home here.

I love the uncluttered simplicity of this bathroom. The hanging cabinet above the toilet brings it home with curves and lines. You can see Charley Wheelock’s family home in Portland here for inspiration.

I remember when I first saw Kelly Teasely’s bathroom, I had an entire 2 – 3 minute fantasy about myself in a huge bubble bath in her clawfoot tub with curlers in my hair. The turquoise charm just made me want to have an entire evening of beauty rituals, complete with pink foam curlers. You can visit Kelly’s colorful home here.

Here are my tried and true favorites for the tub and shower, some of which are probably available at your drug store or grocery. 

$10 // I’ve used the Energy version & liked its minty/rosemary lift.

$11 // I loved these when I didn’t have a tub!

$11 // If you’re a bergamot fan, you’ll love this. It’s technically a massage bar, but I use it in the bath.

$30 // Expensive, but a little goes a long way.

Etsy’s $18 // This handmade soak is really good. There’s a little sandalwood in there too.

$8 // I’ve been a Lush fan since the 90s and this milky bubble bath is a favorite.

Aura Cacia & Bubble Bath $6 // I love both, but if I had to choose, the Geranium scent is strong and lasts well into sleep.

$12 // I would marry Dr. Teal if I could. This is an at least-once-a-week necessity for me.

Wishing you a calm and happy holiday season!



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