Paloma Contreras, an interior decorator and tastemaker based in Houston, launched her blog, La Dolce Vita, in 2007.

For Contreras, a key part of the “sweet life” she chronicles on the blog is a bathroom that feels more like a sanctuary than a purely utilitarian space. “We spend a lot of time in the bathroom each day — getting ready in the mornings and winding down in the evenings before bed,” she said in an email.

Contreras likes classic materials for bathrooms, such as marble and polished nickel, rather than trendy choices that can look dated in a few years. Here are her picks for turning your bathroom into a luxe, spa-like retreat.


(Build.com; Overstock.com)

SPLURGE: Polished-nickel Perrin & Rowe widespread bathroom faucet with pop-up drain and metal-cross handles ( build.com ), left. SAVE: Polished-nickel widespread bathroom faucet with solid-cross handles ( overstock.com ).


(Circa Lighting; Pottery Barn)

SPLURGE: Bryant sconce in polished nickel with natural paper shade and silver trim ( circalighting.com ), left. SAVE: Pearson shade sconce in polished nickel ( potterybarn.com ).


(Horchow; Bed Bath and Beyond)

SPLURGE: Santorini black-and-white shower curtain ( horchow.com ), left. SAVE: Baratta-stitch shower curtain in white and black 
( bedbathandbeyond.com )


(Kohler; Rejuvenation)

SPLURGE: Pinstripe towel ring in vibrant polished nickel ( kohler.com ), left. SAVE: Canfield towel ring
in polished nickel ( rejuvenation.com )


(Layla Grace; Ballard Designs)

SPLURGE: Eloquence Louis Philippe silver mirror ( laylagrace.com ), left. SAVE: Louis wall mirror in silver ( ballarddesigns.com )