6 Steps to a More Serene Bathroom


A hot shower massaging your back. Bubbles overflowing in a tub full of warm water. A bathroom should be a place of relaxation and luxury, your own private retreat. You don’t have to have a world-class bathroom to create a tranquil spa-like atmosphere in your home. The décor of the room, the organization of the room and what you bring into the room all play a role in transforming your bathroom from bland to serene.

serene bathroom

1. Set the Stage With Lighting

The curtain rises. The stage is set. And the light in the room is so blinding you can barely stand to keep your eyes open — or conversely, so dim, you can’t even see what you’re doing. Theaters light a stage to set a mood, and you should do the same in your bathroom.

When considering your bathroom’s lighting, you have several options:

  • Replace the overhead light fixture
  • Add a vanity or mirror with additional attached lighting
  • Add a dimmer switch
  • Change the light bulb color

Adjustable lighting is perfect for a spa-like bathroom because a warm, somewhat dim glow is ideal for bathing and letting the stress fade away. Still, there are times when you do need to get in and out in a hurry, and having a brighter light available for those times is convenient.

2. Use Neutral Tones

Bright, bold colors project a kind of energy that can wake you with a jolt. Spend too long staring at a brightly colored wall, and you could feel overwhelmed. If you’re aiming for a spa feeling in your bathroom, stick with neutral, soft color tones, such as:

  • All shades of white
  • Creams
  • Beiges
  • Browns
  • Light blues or greens

These colors will help you relax and won’t distract you when you step in the bathroom to relax.

3. Add Artwork

Art has the power to project a certain mood, to transport you to another place and to bring you joy. Of course, this depends on the artwork you choose; add works of art that make you feel calm and relaxed. Most bathrooms have empty wall space. If you’re taking a bath or a long shower, you’re going to need something to look at to help you unwind. Choose framed prints, art decals or three dimensional wall sculptures that give you joy. The art could be abstract, or it could be a scene you find relaxing: a beach, or the nighttime skyline of a city, for example.

4. Cut the Clutter

Without even realizing exactly what’s “off” about a room, you could be feeling stressed due to too much clutter. Small bathrooms especially look more cramped if there’s a lot of stuff in them. Meditation of all kinds stresses minimalism and de-cluttering the areas in which you wish to relax.

Clean out the bathroom thoroughly. Put most of your toiletries under the sink or in a storage cupboard; alternatively, keep them in a basket that you carry in and out of the bathroom as you need them.

5. Use Aromatic Accents

Close your eyes and imagine you’re in a sunny meadow, on the beach or deep in a forest. These types of relaxation techniques are essential to creating a spa atmosphere, and scents can help you achieve peaceful visualization and relaxation. Use a diffuser or an aromatic candle in your bathroom, or add fresh flowers to a vase. Aromas will help set the stage for your den of relaxation.

6. Include a Spa Kit

When you think of spas, you think of luxury. Lotions, massage oils, facial packs, aromatherapy and peel exfoliations are just a few of the items a spa professional might use on you if you were to visit a spa. Bring some of those treatments into your own bathroom. Pack a special “spa kit” full of these luxury soaps, lotions, oils and brushes.

The average American spends a total of two weeks of her life in the bathroom each year. A lot of that time is practical, when you just go in to do what you need to do and leave. Slow down, and enjoy the time you spend in the bathroom. If you’re going to spend so much time in one place, you might as well make it the best it can be!