There’s nothing that compares to coming home to relax after a long day of running around—especially when your relaxation routine involves soaking in your tub with a nice drink, some candles, and a spa-inspired album playing softly in the background.
Wondering how to achieve that level of relaxation—even in a small or uninspired bathroom? The key is knowing what, exactly you need to add or remove in order to achieve that coveted spa-like atmosphere.
Whether you’re hoping to turn your bathroom into your own little oasis or you just want to make a couple changes to make it more welcoming, these tricks from home experts will transform your bathroom and make everyday a spa day.
Meet the Expert
- Mona Ying Reeves is Founder/Designer of Re:modern, an interior design company.
- Andre Kazimierski is CEO of Improovy, a home services website.
- Karen Lee is the Founder of Things Around the House, a website reviewing home products.
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Bring in a Bathtub Caddy
If you currently have a bathtub sans caddy, you’re missing out on some serious spa vibes. This simple addition makes a big impression and it comes in a variety of styles—from reclaimed wood to lucite—so you’ll have no trouble finding one to suit your style sensibility.Continue to 2 of 25 below.
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Make Magic With Shelving
Shelving is a small space dweller’s best friend, especially when it comes to the organizational challenge that is a small bathroom. Install a few tiers of open-shelving on your walls, add a few baskets for towels, fancy soaps, and a decorative accent or two and voila! Instant spa retreat.Continue to 3 of 25 below.
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Add Some Artwork
Just as artwork makes a living room or bedroom design more dynamic, it does the same for a bathroom. Integrating a large print or a gallery wall will add a dimensional layer of intrigue to your design while making it appear more complete and welcoming.Continue to 4 of 25 below.
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Go for All-White
“Creating a spa-like experience starts with the color scheme,” says Andre Kazimierski, CEO of Improovy. “Spas are meant to exude cleanliness, brightness and purity, so it’s best to go white.” Paint your walls white or a warm off-white, and choose tiles and cabinets that are a similar white. Even your towels should be white!Continue to 5 of 25 below.
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Dispose of Old Dispensers
If you pour your soaps, shampoos, lotions, and potions into their own set of cohesive dispensers, you’ll be amazed by just how much it transforms your look. This trick packs a major design punch and is a breeze to execute.Continue to 6 of 25 below.
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Add Gold Accents
For a luxurious feel, Kazimierski suggests trying to incorporate gold accents throughout the bathroom—cabinet handles, soap dispenser, mirror frame, towel rack, etc. This will add a touch of sophistication and luxury without giving off Hollywood Regency vibes.Continue to 7 of 25 below.
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Invest in Fancy Towels
If you’re working with a small bathroom, then chances are your towels are always visible, which essentially makes them built-in decor whether you like it or not. That’s why investing in at least one pair of nice-looking towels can upgrade your space tenfold, ensuring they look intentional rather than messy.Continue to 8 of 25 below.
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Consider Adding Some Plants
Most spas typically have an inherently earthy/natural feel—so add some plants! A hanging plant near a window can really elevate the space but if you don’t have a window in your bathroom you could opt for a spider plant or a Boston fern (both of which thrive in low light settings).Continue to 9 of 25 below.
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Don’t overlook the power of lighting when creating a relaxing ambiance in your home spa! Candles will immediately enhance the mood, allowing you to destress after a long day.Continue to 10 of 25 below.
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Reduce Visual Clutter
Bathrooms, especially small and modest-sized ones, can get cluttered with everyday products. “Create the illusion of a spacious sanctuary by corralling products behind doors and bins,” suggests Mona Ying Reeves, Founder/Designer of Re:modern. “Look for containers with a clean and simple design, and opt for materials with integrity such as glass, wood, or stone.”Continue to 11 of 25 below.
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Add a Light Dimmer
If you don’t have any scented candles or prefer a scent-free bathroom, try dimming the lights to make the space feel more relaxing. You can swap out your regular light bulbs for a lower wattage or install a dimmer to adjust the lighting as needed.Continue to 12 of 25 below.
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Transform With Towel Storage
A wooden ladder in lieu of a traditional towel bar (or in addition to one) will immediately warm up your look while providing a proper place for you to showcase the fancy towels we’re about to discuss. They also add an inviting organic touch that only elements from nature can bring.Continue to 13 of 25 below.
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Cue a Ritual
“Move past the utilitarian nature of your bathroom, by incorporating small cues that help transition your mindset in the space,” suggests Ying Reeves. “Swap mismatched old towels for plush ones that remind you of your favorite hotel.”Continue to 14 of 25 below.
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Try Neutral Tones
Decorate your bathroom in soft creams, greys or shades of beige for it to feel clean and calm. Consider layering various shades of the same tone throughout the room to give a cohesive look to the space. You can also add rich wood tones to give your space a bold look without too many bright and exciting colours which is perfect for relaxing.Continue to 15 of 25 below.
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Clean Your Bathroom Frequently
Although this may seem counterintuitive, a clean tub makes the relaxation session all that more enjoyable. “A weekly clean makes it easier to jump in the tub at any time and not worry about any grime that may be lurking,” says Karen Lee, Founder of Things Around the House.Continue to 16 of 25 below.
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Warm Up Your Floors
Rugs do more than keep your bare feet comfortable; they bring an additional layer of sophisticated luxury to a design. And bathroom rugs, in particular, are getting a trendy makeover, featuring unexpected by oh-so-stunning styles like this. Try a kilim rug in lieu of a traditional bath mat for a fresh dose of sophistication.Continue to 17 of 25 below.
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Don’t Overlook Aromatherapy
“Smell is a very important part of feeling internally calm,” says Lee. “Using essential oils in a heated towel or opting for a full aromatherapy diffuser can help make the experience more spa-like.”Continue to 18 of 25 below.
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Use Natural Wood
Natural elements and materials will create a feeling of warmth in the space and may also dampen the sound, which will further help to foster a sense of serenity and calm. Look for high quality wood that is impervious to moisture so that you don't have to worry about the steam or humidity damaging your space. Teak, cedar, and hinoki are all beautiful and durable options.Continue to 19 of 25 below.
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Add speakers to your bathroom to create a surround sound experience. This is perfect for playing zen music or sounds of nature while you relax. Make sure to look for a speaker that is totally safe to install in a humid location. Most Bluetooth speakers are water resistant and even come in more muted, natural looking tones that won't look out of place in your serene space.Continue to 20 of 25 below.
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Consider Soft Blues and Greens
The key to a spa-like bathroom involves creating the right ambience—and calming colorways are the easiest way to get it right. Consider using soft blue and green accents if you don’t want to stick to basic neutrals; they are calming and soothing but still add visual interest to the space.Continue to 21 of 25 below.
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Hide Away the Essentials
Nothing ruins the spa effect like toiletries and toilet roll being on display. Consider investing in some closed off storage to hide away anything that isn't aesthetically pleasing. Then, curate open shelves with art, candles, and other decorative items that will help you get into a zen headspace.Continue to 22 of 25 below.
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Have Amenities at the Ready
The best part about heading to the spa—well, aside from the laundry list of relaxation treatments and massages!—is the abundance of high-end products on display. Having your own selection of amenities on display is an easy way to foster the feeling of a high end spa or hotel in an instant.Continue to 23 of 25 below.
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Add Flowing Curtains
Create a sense of gentle movement and flow by adding a light, sheer curtain to your bathroom window. Don’t have a window in your bathroom? Consider swapping out your shower curtain with a more light and airy option to achieve the same effect.Continue to 24 of 25 below.
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Think About Using Various Materials
Mixing modern materials with more nature-inspired furniture and accents is a great way to foster a sense of zen and relaxation. Not only does it offer visual interest but it also creates a natural flow between the indoors and outdoors (even if you’re working with a small or dark bathroom!).Continue to 25 of 25 below.
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Consider Adding a Bidet
You might not typically think of the toilet when working toward a spa-like bathroom—but investing in a bidet or a bidet attachment will make a major difference in how you define self care. Most modern bidets come with a heated seat for added comfort and can be added to just about any type of toilet.