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Almost all of Amber Lewis’s projects have a secret room. But before you go sifting through her newest book, Call It Home, looking for hidden attic crawl spaces and moving library walls, we’ll give you a hint: It’s much more obvious than that. In almost all of the bathrooms she designs, she completely encloses the shower. “There’s nothing wrong with a simple glass shower door, don’t get me wrong,” says Lewis, “but I like it when a shower feels really warm and enveloping and kind of cozy.” 

In the book, Lewis catalogs eight different homes (including her own), and while many of them are different, it’s hard not to take note of some of the details they share. A roomlike shower is one idea we’re figuratively tearing out from its pages and filing away for our dream home. “You want your bathroom to feel like a beautiful place to start the day and end the day,” explains Lewis. “I approach each one like: I want it to feel bright and good, like a nice reset.” Ahead, in her own words, the designer shares her four top tips for making your shower feel luxe every time.  

Make the Door Your Moment

I like to always have one beautiful focal point. Typically, that’s a really gorgeous shower door. We have to work with a skilled metal person who understands that you have to use materials that can’t rust (usually we do either solid brass or stainless steel). The material needs to be powder coated (sometimes we’ll opt for a color like gray or black), and then a patina is applied on top of that. It’s very labor intensive.

Enjoy a Squeaky-Clean Spa Day

With a steam shower, you always have to have some kind of ventilation so the steam doesn’t sit in there and cause problems like mildew. If you’re doing a completely closed-off shower, there has to be some kind of transom window that can be opened to vent the steam or an actual operable window.

Go Big on Marble

I typically will do really beautiful marble tile [in a shower]. I think it is super-impactful and helps to make the space really refined and chic. And I do it on all the surfaces: wall, floor, ceiling.

Stick With the Plumbing Classics

Some of my clients request rain showerheads, but I tend to like just a regular ol’ showerhead—I don’t want to feel like I’m in a river or under a waterfall. I also like a hand shower for when you just need to shave or you don’t want to wash your hair. I usually use one of two brands: Waterworks or Samuel Heath. I think sometimes you get what you pay for, and it’s nice to get the classics.


“Call It Home: The Details That Matter” by Amber Lewis, Amazon ($36)