Get the Look: Zen Bathroom Ideas

zen bathroom design

Calming Bathroom Ideas

Your bathroom should be an oasis in your home, a place where you can go to feel refreshed, renewed, and relaxed. Does your bathroom live up to this standard? If you are looking for calming bathroom ideas, might we suggest drawing some inspiration from Japan? A Japanese-inspired bathroom incorporates a minimalist aesthetic and natural materials in the bathroom, for a soothing, tranquil environment. If this sounds like the feeling you want to capture in your home, check out these Zen bathroom ideas.

What is Zen Bathroom Design?

The concept of Zen can be easily defined. Traced back to Chinese Buddhism, which emerged over a thousand years ago, Zen developed as a philosophy in Asia during the European Dark Ages. The practise of Zen involves meditation and the pursuit of deeper insights both into oneself and into the world as whole, with a mindful, tranquil serenity. What does this have to do with bathroom design? When applying the principles of Zen to interior design, it’s about building an ambience of calm, creating space for mindfulness.

Simple Steps to Create a Zen Bathroom

Top spas incorporate Zen design into their décor, bringing a sense of flow, with natural elements that bring the peaceful feeling of nature indoors. By following a few simple tips, you can achieve this ambience in your own home, making design choices that help you feel relaxed and rejuvenated by creating the ideal conditions for achieving a state of mindfulness.

Pay attention to the flow of your design

Every element of a Zen bathroom should effortlessly blend into the next, creating a beautiful cohesion while incorporating visually compelling décor. As you are bringing together all of the individual components, make sure the overall design has that perfectly cohesive feel. Think of water flowing through a river, over rough sand and smooth rocks, past fields of tall grasses, with no one element striving to dominate, and a natural peace and harmony over all.

Bathroom Compelling Décor
Freestanding Tub

Make a soaker tub your focal point

A freestanding tub, preferably placed under a window, will immediately lend the bathroom a feeling of luxury and calm. Include a space for sitting, as well, whether a built-in or separate piece of furniture, perhaps a wooden bench. Incorporate luxurious bathing accessories, as well, like a bath shelf or an elegant stool next to the tub to hold candles, bath bombs, and a beverage, so that you will feel pampered in your tub. Your bathroom should feel like a spa, where you can relax, soak away the stress of the day, and find renewal and rejuvenation. A beautiful, freestanding soaker tub is the perfect place to do just that.

Embrace the rituals of self-care

Incorporate Zen principles into your daily hygiene, whether you are soaking in the tub, taking a quick shower, or splashing water on your face. Water is a calming element that promotes a feeling of well-being, and a Zen bathroom should be designed in a way that emphasizes the sensory pleasures inherent in water and bathing. A glass-enclosed shower with a rainfall shower head, perhaps cascading onto natural stone tile, and paired wash basins with an uncluttered shared counter can create the kind of atmosphere you want in a Zen bath. If possible, position the WC away from the bathroom, in an entirely separate space, or partitioned away from the other elements. Allow as much natural light as possible to flood the space, and use dimmable artificial lights, to allow you to control the lighting after dark.

Glass Enclosed Shower
Rituals Of Self Care

Luxuriate in cosy textiles

Plush, soft robes and towels and robes are a good place to start, but think about other ways to bring tactile elements into your bathroom. Comfortable rugs, texture on the walls, woven baskets- whatever makes you feel enveloped in luxury should be incorporated into your bathroom sanctuary. Think about the textures you want to use, the tactile sensations you want to incorporate, and do not be afraid to mix and match, as long as the end result is harmonious.

Create a neutral palette

By using neutral tones, you can create a placid, relaxed environment. You want your Zen bathroom to feel warm and welcoming, though, rather than stark, so incorporate wooden elements and subtle decorative accents that add natural warmth and depth. White, brown, and grey are typical neutral colours used in Zen design, but if these do not appeal to you, you can choose earthy neutrals like green and blue, as well. While the goal of simplicity, the use of neutral colours does not have to be monochromatic or boring, and by using patterns and textures, you can make your bathroom a welcoming, visually interesting space while still maintaining an overall sense of peace and calm.

Zen Bathroom Design
Minimalist Bathroom Décor

Store necessities out of sight

While Zen is not synonymous with minimalism, some of the principles of minimalist bathroom décor apply. For a bathroom to be truly tranquil, it needs to be free of clutter, with sleek surfaces that allow the eye to focus on the more pleasing elements of the room. Ample storage, organized with tools like shelves, baskets, and vanity organizers to keep everything in its own place, will ensure that you can keep everything you need close at hand but out of the way. When everything is organized and every item is tucked away, out of sight, your bathroom will have a clean, soothing atmosphere that allows you to relax and enjoy the luxury of spa-like serenity.

Bring in natural elements

Zen concepts embrace the natural world as a soothing, calming space. Greenery, wooden details like cabinets and panelling, natural stone, and fragrant flowers can provide a sense of peace, making your bathroom your own personal sanctuary. Plants that thrive in a humid environment, like succulents, orchids, and bamboo, are perfect for a Zen bathroom design, and flowers can brighten your palette with a pop of colour. Use natural elements that appeal to your aesthetic sensibilities, whether marble or river rock, light or dark wood, green plants or bright flowers.

Natural Elements
Incorporate Calming Scents

Incorporate calming scents

The sense of smell is powerful, and what is pleasing is different for each individual. Plants, candles, and aromatherapy can help you create the scent you want to make your bathroom inviting and peaceful. Soaps and shampoos should be chosen carefully, to complement the spa-like atmosphere of your Zen bathroom. Choose scents that appeal to you, and look for fragrances that are known to have calming, soothing properties.

What about smaller bathrooms?

The calming, decluttered feeling of a Zen bathroom works well in small spaces. Keep the palette calming, with soothing colours and plenty of light. As with a larger bathroom, you can incorporate natural elements like wood, stone, and greenery. While you obviously will not be putting a soaker tub into a powder room, a sculptural sink can make a stunning focal point. Textured wall tile, soft towels, a plush rug, stone floor tiles, wooden cabinetry, and potted plants can all be used artfully in a small bathroom, to give it a Zen feel without overwhelming it. Use a large mirror to reflect natural light, perhaps from a window or a skylight, and you will give your small bathroom a feeling of spaciousness and tranquillity.

zen bathroom style

A Zen Bathroom in an En Suite vs a Family Bathroom

An ensuite bathroom is the perfect place for an atmosphere of Zen. Making your private bath completely yours, with a soaker tub, luxurious textiles, beautifully scented candles, and elements like stone tile, wooden accents, or live plants, can create the spa bathroom of your dreams. If you share a family bathroom with children, the dream may seem a little further out of reach. The key to keeping a tranquil feeling is to use a muted palette and provide plenty of storage to encourage clear counters and uncluttered spaces. There is no reason a family bathroom cannot be as spa-like as an ensuite, with some careful planning. Cosy textures, soft towels, and wooden cabinetry can make for a soothing bathroom, without making it an “adults only” space.

Bring Your Zen Dreams to Life

Turning your bathroom into a Zen space is a good way to alleviate stress and bring a feeling of peace into your home. When you’re ready for a bathroom renovation, call the bathroom installation professionals at Bathroom Inspirations. Founded in 2004, Bathroom Inspirations is a Dorchester-based company owned and managed by Bridport-born brothers Patrick and Paul Ackerman. Today, the business has one of Dorset’s largest showrooms, presenting stunning, innovative bathroom designs in real life settings. We’ll even help you design your bathroom, with free design services that use state-of-the-art 3D design technology, for visualising the finished bathroom before committing to the work. To learn more, feel free to explore some of our work or schedule an appointment to visit our showroom in Dorchester.