Design a Zen Bathroom at Home


Do you dream of having your very own little slice of tranquillity at home, away from the stress and pressures of everyday life? Creating a Zen bathroom space is the perfect way to transform your home into a peaceful haven that oozes a naturally peaceful ambience, similar to what you would experience in a spa.

We hear it everywhere, but what exactly does Zen mean?

Zen refers to a Japanese term relating to a form of meditation but in recent times, the word is widely used in the interior design industry as it reflects a feeling of harmony, balance and relaxation.

A Zen bathroom can be created from the use of a mixture of the following:

  • Soft lighting
  • Neutral colours
  • Natural scents
  • Organic materials
  • Minimalist décor
  • Delicate details
  • Green plants

To design the ultimate spa style bathroom in your home, you will need to create a harmonious balance utilising all of the above techniques, so let’s look into each of them in more detail:

Natural Light & Soft Illumination 

Large panes of glass that run from the ceiling to the floor and allow the natural light to pour in work fabulously in a Zen bathroom, while skylights are another effective addition. Any artificial light should work to softly illuminate the room to create a peaceful glow, so avoid harsh lighting, fluorescent strip lights and bright bulbs with a high wattage to create that perfect spa bathroom lighting effect. 

Subtly scented candles in mellow colours will also complement a Zen bathroom and can be an additional source of gentle lighting that add to the relaxing mood, even when they are not lit. Small spotlights with dim bulbs in the ceiling and floor help to create a chilled ambience and dimmer controls allow you to alter the intensity of the lighting, depending on what you want to do. 

Use Neutral Hues for a Peaceful Ambience 

Earthy colours are ideal for a Zen bathroom and we advise you to use the following hues in a Zen inspired room:

  • Soft tones, as they induce a feeling of relaxation
  • Natural shades including white, grey and beige work perfectly
  • Light pastel pink can add a splash of delicate blush colour

If you are concerned that a monochrome room might lack personality, you can add more depth by using textured textiles and tiles, as well as a few decorative ornaments to add some colour. Creating a bathroom with chromatic harmony using neutral shades is key to making your own Zen bathroom at home. The key is to make sure everything works together with visible synchronisation, by creating continuity between the floors, the walls and the furniture.

The Importance of Au Naturel 

The reason why we use a neutral palate in a Zen bathroom is that bright colours distract, alert and rouse the mind, making it harder for you to find a peaceful inner calm.

Top Tip: Avoid anything with bright colours, such as toothbrushes, decorative features and flannels to ensure an au naturel look. 


Spritz with Natural Scents 

Avoid using synthetic air fresheners and cleaners, as you can make your own home spa treatments, sprays, cleaning fluids and scents using essential oils; each of which have their own unique purpose:

  • Lavender: Relaxes the mind and reduces anxiety
  • Peppermint: Refreshes and awakens your senses in the morning  
  • Bergamot: Relaxes sore muscles
  • Orange: Creates a sense of happiness and peace
  • Rosemary: Sharpens the mind
  • Eucalyptus: Provides pain relief from aches
  • Jasmine: Soothing and uplifting qualities to improve self-confidence
  • Lemon: Delightfully refreshing and clean
  • Thyme: Has a sense of warmth and power
  • Ginger: A natural painkiller that promotes mental clarity
  • Lemongrass: Rejuvenating and stimulating
  • Clary Sage: Elevates your mood and soothes tense muscles
  • Vanilla: Comforting and sedating

Spa treatments at home using essential oils include aromatherapy facials and massage therapy, and are typically a blend of one of the above oils plus a carrier oil, which can be one of the following five options:

Carrier Oils:

  1. Jojoba
  2. Olive
  3. Sweet almond
  4. Coconut
  5. Grapeseed

A spa style bathroom isn’t complete without a cupboard full of homemade spa treatments that you can use to indulge yourself.

Home spa treatments using pure essential oils can be put into a diffuser or an oil burner and putting a few drops of your favourite fragrance into a warm bath can also work wonders for pampering your wellbeing.

Air Freshener: Create a mist spray using some drops of tea tree oil, thyme oil, eucalyptus oil and water, then mix in a fine mist spray bottle.

Grout Cleaner: Mix baking soda, table salt, Borax, a few drops of lavender oil and tea tree oil and use it with a bristle brush to clean tiles and grout.

Mirror Cleaner: Put white vinegar, water and 10 drops of any citrus oil of your choice into a spray bottle and spritz it onto the mirror before wiping off with a dry cloth for a natural shine.

Disinfectant: You can even make your own natural disinfectant - Add a few drops of tea tree oil and lemon oil to warm water and spray onto the bath, sink and toilet to get rid of bacteria.

Stubborn bathroom marks on bathroom surfaces can be cleaned by putting half a cup of baking soda and six drops of lime or lemon oil onto the surface, followed by a quarter cup measure of vinegar which will make the ingredients fizz. When the fizzing stops, use a sponge to scrub the area, then rinse clean. 




Organic Materials, Simple Furniture & Light Fabrics 

All materials, fabrics and furniture used should be organic, light and simple to bring a palpable Zen-like atmosphere to the room. Lines should be clear cut, so always avoid complicated details on the floors and walls as well as too much ornamentation, which will clutter the space.

Find a balance between the following four natural elements and ensure they are each reflected in an evenly balanced way when deciding which materials to utilise in your Zen bathroom:

  • Fire
  • Wind
  • Earth
  • Water

Metal in its purest forms can also be used effectively with the addition of copper faucets and everything from wood and plants to pebbles and sand are valuable spa bathroom décor. Materials such as granite and marble are perfect to use, along with glass and sandstone, and remember that a minimalistic approach is key. 

Pure cotton towels in light colours, bamboo countertops and screens made from delicate rice paper should feature throughout and other items such as a teak wood stool and a wicker laundry basket will provide grounding balances between all of the elements.

Décor to Satisfy the Senses 

Any bathroom will need certain elements to perform as a bathroom should, such as a toilet, a shower or bath tub and a sink. And to create a Zen atmosphere any additional décor should be kept to a minimum. Furniture and ornaments should be kept simple and scarce, and large pieces of artwork or sculptures work well to add character to a Zen bathroom without cluttering it, while walls should be smooth and floors clutter-free.

It’s All in the Delicate Details …

As the colour scheme in a Zen bathroom should be natural, it is important to include a few delicate details that will ensure the room comes together to create the ultimate relaxing space.

Minimal use of ornaments will add to the aura and these should always have a connotation to nature, so items such as stones and water features work perfectly.

  • Stones and pebbles are an authentic symbol of the natural world and can be placed around a bath tub, on the rim of a sink or on the back of the toilet to add to the relaxed environment.
  • Small green plants will add a raw sense of nature to your bathroom that immediately creates a serene ambience.
  • Wood is another organic material that injects a Zen-like element into a bathroom and you can create your own wooden decorations from driftwood and twigs placed in bowls of sand.

Using natural decorative features will provide your bathroom with a connection to Mother Nature that lends itself perfectly to a luxury spa style bathroom designed for rejuvenation. 

Green Leafy Plants to Add Calm 

Plants have a naturally calming influence on a room and their ability to pump oxygen into the air provides a Zen bathroom with an organic energy. Hanging terrariums and bonsai trees are the perfect Zen bathroom décor, as are big leafy green plants and all of these are easier to maintain than delicate flowers that can be messy and require more intense care and regular clearing up.  

Your home should be a place where you can completely relax and creating your own sanctuary in a chaotic world is essential when it comes to nurturing your wellbeing. From making your own home spa treatments to designing a spa style bathroom; creating a Zen bathroom is a wonderful way to transform any house into a real home. 

About the author

'Since 1989, SpaSeekers has been helping customers find their perfect spa experience. All packages come with a best price guarantee at over 500 of the UK's leading spas.'

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