frugal

5 simple home luxuries for less

Spa shower
Spa shower © Andrey tiyk/Shutterstock.com

The bathroom is the place where we like to pamper ourselves. Without remodeling the room, there are plenty of luxurious changes that won't cost a fortune, says Annette Denham, a kitchen and bath designer and general remodel contractor with Ultimate Kitchens and Baths in Gilbert, Ariz. One idea, she says, is to switch out the regular shower head for a "rain" shower head. These are typically installed from the ceiling, but you can also install a rain shower head that attaches to the wall via an extension arm.

Another way to upgrade the shower head without re-plumbing is to install a sliding vertical bar with a hand-held shower head, says Denham. "You can raise and lower it based on the height of the family member," she says. "The advantage of a handheld is that it's easier to clean the shower or tub. With a shower head only, it makes it difficult to clean. Plus, there are so many different options for shower heads. You've got soft flow, massaging, different strengths, body sprays."

Love stepping out of the shower into a cozy towel? Install a heated towel bar. "I'm a really huge fan of heated towel bars because in most areas, towels don't necessarily dry as quickly as we'd like them to. It's nice to have a warm towel," Denham says. For those who don't want to hardwire the towel bar into their wall, there are plug-in models for both the floor and wall that run $125 to $2,000, she says.

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