There’s one room in most homes which has the potential to enable and enhance self care. That is, of course, the bathroom. Typically a place of privacy, where we can reasonably expect peace, quiet and alone time, for however long it may last. Not a room to be overlooked as a purely functional space, take the opportunity to improve your wellbeing and create a self-care haven with a spa-inspired bathroom.
The key is to start with working out what bathroom styles make you feel that essential sense of peace, calm and tranquillity. As with all design, exactly what evokes these feelings is completely unique to every person, however here at Hygge & Cwtch Design Studio our vibe and understanding of positive wellbeing in the home is grounded in biophilia. The concept of connecting with nature and bringing the outside in.
When we think of some of our favourite spa interiors, it’s not the grand, modern, super slick places that catch our attention. It’s the more rustic, natural aesthetic, with a clear connection to the outdoors which evoke a sense of peace in us. A literal view of the sea or the trees is a bonus. Think about the type of spa you might find on holiday somewhere hot, where you embrace the surroundings and are in your most relaxed state. Or inspired by the peace we feel spending time in the countryside or the tranquillity created when we’re near the ocean. These are the feelings that we want to recreate in our home.
So let’s take a look at where we can take inspiration from to create our own spa-like self care haven.
Aesthetically, the number one factor to consider when designing a bathroom is texture. Yes, soft fluffy towels are a must but it’s more than that. If you’ve ever thought about re-designing your bathroom and assumed your options were ceramic or porcelain furniture (sink, bath, toilet, etc), with tiles on the floor and walls, this is where a whole world of opportunities can be opened up!
Think wood (treated for moisture resistance of course), stone of varying texture, even metal and natural fibres such as rattan or bamboo. Any type of surface which is reminiscent of water, one of the most calming elements there is, can only be a strong addition. All of these textures can be brought in through the floor, the walls, even the furniture.
A stone basin can make a stunning focal point. Natural stone flooring can transport you into nature the second you step into the room. Floor to ceiling stone tiles can create a spa-inspired bathroom, wrapping you up in this natural texture like a little cocoon from the outside world.
Wood is one of the most versatile materials and can be used in a number of ways to create specific looks. Wall panelling or ceiling beams can create different moods depending on how it’s approached. A fresh coastal feel, a zen sauna vibe, a tropical hideout style… imagine you were at a spa and felt at your most relaxed, what style would it be?
The trick is to mix textures and finishes to create a real vibe. This is your opportunity to truly switch off and take advantage of the peace and privacy afforded by this space, not the time to play it safe with design.
Let nature’s colour palette influence your decisions here. Bringing in natural textures will set the tone with a palette of greys, browns and greens. Of course, a bathroom does need to be practical but don’t assume that it needs to be light, bright and white! Natural daylight and light colours are definitely what some people look to for their enhancing their wellbeing, however some people feel more relaxed in darker environments, where they feel cocooned and safe and are more able to quiet their minds.
Green is nature’s leading colour. So incorporating a shade of green through tiles or paintwork, even accessories and an abundance of real plants, is a sure-fire way of achieving biophilic design and enjoying the benefits that it brings.
Bathroom lighting needs to be functional, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be considered as part of the overall design. Ceiling spotlights are indeed essential for those more practical moments. Lighting at the mirror for functional tasks such as shaving are also a must-have. But function can meet form and these practical light fittings can still elevate a design.
Whether wall mounted fittings or pendants hung from the ceiling, you will spend a lot of time looking in the direction of the mirror so make it a sight to enjoy! There are endless options of stylish bathroom-friendly lighting available these days, meaning they’re suitable for use near water. This article by Ideal Home explains bathroom electrical zones and IP ratings to help us understand these safety measures.
Also consider how you personally use the room and what might make the relaxation process even more enjoyable. Our favourite spa-inspired bathroom designs often have mood lighting with a purpose. Perhaps you love a soak in the bath reading a book? There may be an opportunity to place a light source near the bath to create an atmosphere in the bathroom while enabling you to comfortably read from the bath. A wall light or strategically hung pendant can create a real visual moment whilst also being practical for you.
As we wrote about recently, wellbeing can be improved when our homes are designed with the five senses in mind. The bathroom is the epitome of this, being the room where we are able to close off and fully indulge our senses.
In this case we want the space to trigger feelings of calm, serenity and peacefulness. All the emotions we should feel on a spa day but in the comfort of our own home. Every decision we make should circle back to these feelings and whether it is having the right effect on at least one of our senses.
We can create a visual feast for the eyes by choosing items and finishes which look beautiful. There are an abundance of opportunities in the bathroom to ignite our sense of touch. Think of the finishes and textures, plus the calming influence of water which is central to a bathroom’s purpose.
Running water and calming music are spa-essentials, speaking to our sense of sound. While candles, diffusers and the fragrance of carefully chosen bath and body products can emulate the scent of a luxurious spa. And taste? Well, a perfectly positioned bath shelf for that glass of your favourite while you soak in the tub is just about all you need. Oh, and a place to store the toothpaste!
Keep clutter to a minimum for ultimate zen vibes. We’ve talked before about the mental benefits of decluttering to create order in the home. Well the bathroom is no exception. Don’t shy away from accessories – a carefully selected piece of artwork which enhances the overall look isn’t going to hurt! – but consider their purpose and whether they’ll contribute positively to the space.
Consider storage to hide away products, and keeping children’s toys out of sight is a must in a family home. Having towels to hand and spare loo rolls accessible and easy for guests to find creates storage opportunities which can be both practical and beautiful. A bamboo bath tray, body brush, candles and real plants are all perfect additions to a biophilic bathroom and will add to the sense of spa-like calm in your very own self care haven.
If you’re thinking of creating your own spa-inspired bathroom, check out our Bathroom Design Pinterest board for lots more inspiration. Make sure you follow us as we’re always adding new ideas and Pin-worthy images. And do get in touch if you’d like to start relaxing early and let us do the design work!
Finally, here’s a little spa-inspired bathroom design board to keep the ideas flowing.
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