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7 Steps to Create Your Ultimate Spa Bath Design

If you are planning a bathroom remodel, this is the perfect time to create your ideal bathroom style and functionality. If your perfect bathroom provides space to relax and unwind, then why not design a spa-style bathroom that re-creates your favorite elements of a trip to the spa in your own home? Start by decluttering and creating storage to hold all your essentials, include quality materials in a soothing color scheme, and upgrade your shower and tub to provide a bathroom design that is an oasis within your own home.

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Here are our seven steps to help you get started in creating your ultimate spa bathroom design.

Step 1: Declutter

A clean, calm space is essential when creating a spa-style bathroom design. The first step in establishing this relaxing environment is to completely declutter your bathroom. If you are embarking on a bath remodel, you will need to do this anyway. Even if you are not, a full clear-out should be done regularly so you can clean shelves and drawers and re-organize your storage.

First, get rid of any items you no longer need or use. Safely dispose of old medications, dried-up makeup, and styling products that have been sitting untouched on your shelves for years. Now take a look at what you need to store in the bathroom and assess your storage. Decide if there are any items you don’t need regularly and can keep somewhere else, like a hall closet.

Utilize bathroom storage to keep everything you need available organized and easily accessible.  Then implement a regular cleaning and maintenance routine to keep your space decluttered, calm, and looking good as new for years to come.

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Step 2: Create Targeted Storage

Once you’ve decluttered it’s time to examine your available storage solutions. In a full bathroom remodel, you can plan your ideal storage from scratch. Start with a vanity cabinet that enhances your room’s design aesthetic by choosing a material, door style, and finish you love. For a spa-style bathroom design, choose a cabinet style with clean lines that fits the relaxed design vibe and ideally is easy to maintain.  A contemporary slab door in a floating vanity is a top choice or go for a classic Shaker cabinet that fits any design style. You could also choose a furniture-style cabinet that brings a one-of-a-kind charm to your space.

Inside the vanity cabinet is where the real magic happens. Include customized storage accessories such as pullouts for styling tools and rollout shelves for toiletries. Incorporate built-in electrical outlets that let you plug in hairdryers and other styling tools where you store them so you can easily access and use them. Drawers of varying sizes are ideal for everything from hair products to makeup or even jewelry, especially when paired with internal dividers to keep everything organized and neatly stowed.  One drawer can be set aside for electronic devices such as phones and tablets with built-in charging points.

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Open storage has its place in a spa-style bathroom design too, provided you maintain the room’s clean lines and carefully curate items you keep in open storage to avoid clutter and mess. Floating shelves are ideal for a spa design vibe, especially in a natural wood tone or even in a complementary metal or glass. Place decorative items that enhance your feeling of relaxation, such as scented candles or diffusers. You could include decorative items such as a framed photograph or a memento from a favorite vacation. If you keep essential items on these shelves, make sure they are stored in containers that fit your bathroom design style, such as glass jars, ceramic containers, baskets, or wooden crates.

Niche or ledge storage are also ideal options for a spa-style bathroom remodel when thoughtfully planned and carefully maintained. This could be placed anywhere but works especially well in the shower or near a freestanding tub. In the shower, it provides essential storage for shower toiletries without interfering with your shower’s footprint. Take your niche storage to the next level with an accent tile and by placing toiletries into decorative containers that enhance your design.

Step 3: Choose a Soothing Color Scheme

There’s no denying that color influences our moods, so it’s important to carefully consider your room’s color scheme when designing any space in your home. In creating a spa-style environment this is even more important as you are creating a room that should be a relaxing oasis in your home. Think about which colors fit your home’s design aesthetic and which colors make you feel relaxed. Not everyone will find the same colors relaxing, so consider which options fit your tastes. Here are a few options:

  • Neutrals: soft neutrals are a classic choice and provide a soothing backdrop for a spa-style bathroom. Layer neutral shades or add different textures to give your design depth.
  • White: this is a classic choice and can be ideal for a spa-themed bath, as it naturally gives any space a crisp, clean feel. An all-white design can feel cold, so be sure to warm it up with an accent color, natural wood accessories, plants to add greenery, or soft textiles like fluffy bathmats.
  • Wood: wood tones bring natural warmth to any space, and in a spa-style bathroom remodel they make your space feel grounded and cozy. Include high-quality wood elements like wood cabinetry, floating shelves, or a wooden bench.
  • Blues and Greens: these colors are known for having a calming influence and so are excellent choices if you want a spa theme with a bit more color. They also bring a natural influence to a bath design, depending on the shade you choose. Soft greens can make you think of a springtime meadow, while deep green is reminiscent of a deep forest. Blue can bring out colors of a brilliant summer sky or the deep blue sea.
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Step 4: Select Quality Materials

Going to your favorite spa is a real treat, where you know you will be surrounded by luxury and relaxation. When bringing this design aesthetic to your own home, make sure you focus on quality materials and products to get that same feeling.

Stick to solid wood cabinetry and shelves that will look amazing and last for years. Choose a countertop in a hard-wearing, easy-to-maintain surface like quartz or natural stone (though the latter requires more specialized maintenance so investigate this carefully before making a final decision). Choose tiles that fit your design vibe in a color, shape, pattern, and texture that promote relaxation. If your budget is more limited, stick to tiles with a higher price take for highly visible areas like the glass-enclosed shower wall or vanity backsplash. Decide which area is most prominent and focus your efforts there.

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Step 5: Set the Tone with Lighting

A layered lighting design is essential to any space in your home, but in particular to your kitchen and bathroom designs. In a spa-style bathroom, carefully planned lighting is even more important to be sure you can balance essential task lighting with ambient mood lighting.

Even in a bathroom created for relaxation, targeted task lighting is a top priority in areas where you need to see clearly to apply makeup, shave, or style hair. Your vanity and mirror are the starting point for task lighting, which could look like some combination of recessed lights, sconces, and backlit mirrors. Take care to include lighting around the vanity that does not cause glare or shadows so you can see clearly when getting ready.

Create ambiance in your relaxing bath design with softer light sources. This could be as simple as adding a dimmer switch to your bathroom lighting so you can set the tone depending on your mood. Even better include smart lighting controls that allow you to change the tone of your lighting through an app or voice controls. Don’t forget to allow natural light to shine through large windows and include candles to provide ambiance and a relaxing scent.

Another element of a complete lighting design is decorative light fixtures. This type of lighting does double duty providing illumination in key areas and serving as a style focal point. Chandeliers or bold pendants beautifully offset a neutral spa-style bathroom and add a touch of glam to your space.

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Step 6: Add a Natural Influence

Nature makes us feel grounded and more relaxed, so it makes sense that natural influences are essential to a calming spa-style bath design. There are many ways to incorporate a natural influence into your bathroom remodel, from natural materials to scents and sounds that remind us of nature.

  • Natural wood floating shelves,
  • Live edge wood shelves,
  • Bamboo accessories like soap holders or bathmats,
  • River rock for shower floors or tile features,
  • Large windows looking out onto a beautiful view and letting in natural light,
  • Plants that thrive in a moisture-prone environment and improve your bathroom’s air quality, and
  • Nature sounds with your integrated sound system, from forest to ocean sounds, rainfall, and more.
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Step 7: Shower, Tub, or Both?

The heart of any bathroom design is the shower and/or bathtub. Which you choose or whether you include both depends on your available space, budget, and personal preferences. Some find a soothing soak in the tub to be the ideal way to relax while others prefer a long shower to wash away the cares of the day. In larger bath designs, you may have space for both so you can choose depending on your mood!

If a shower is your ideal way to relax, then make sure you update your shower from functional to fabulous as part of your spa-style bath remodel. Decide on your preferred shower style, whether that is an open shower, a frameless glass enclosure, or a fully enclosed steam shower. Select a tile that fits your color scheme and design aesthetic, plus add to your relaxation with textures and patterns that promote a soothing atmosphere. A pebble tile floor, wave tiles, or natural stone textured tile are all ideal choices that stimulate the senses while giving your shower a natural appeal.  

Continue the relaxing vibe when choosing showerheads for your spa-inspired bathroom. Rainfall showerheads give the feeling of a rain shower with a large showerhead that distributes water while massaging showerheads have different settings to change the water pressure. Alternatively, go for a massaging shower panel, which includes multiple small showerheads positioned on the wall and perfectly targeted to soothe tired muscles.

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When selecting a bathtub, a freestanding tub is ideal as it complements any style, creates a distinct focal point, and is ideal for a relaxing environment. In a traditional style bathroom, you could opt for a claw-footed tub, but sleek flat-bottomed tubs are the most popular option as they are a design asset for any style bathroom. A slipper tub is a great option as one side is higher than the other making it ideal for leaning your head back and relaxing. You could give yourself privacy by placing your tub behind a half wall or enjoy natural light by placing it near a large window. Incorporate a shelf or ledge nearby or a bath caddy in complementary material to hold candles, bath salts, or even a glass of wine and a book.

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Start Planning Your Ultimate Spa Bathroom

Bathroom designs are more than purely functional spaces where you get ready at the start of the day. They are stylish rooms with a design aesthetic connected to the rest of your home, with quality materials, sophisticated color schemes, customized storage, and integrated technology that creates a space where you will love to spend time. Choose a layout, style, and products for your bathroom that promote relaxation and you will love spending time in your spa-style bathroom. The only problem is, you may not want to leave!

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