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4 Easy Steps to Pull Off a Zen Bathroom Style

Need a respite from your busy life? A Zen bathroom style can help. Are you longing to begin your day in a more relaxed state of mind? Or to end your day with some pampering in a serene environment? Then consider creating a peaceful haven in your home with a Zen bathroom style.

Blog | Bathroom
Zen bathroom style idea
Susan Johnson

What is a Zen Bathroom Style?

When used to describe interior design, Zen refers to bringing peace, relaxation, and harmony.

A bathroom is a natural choice for Zen style as it is a room in which it’s important to be comfortable and relaxed. That’s likely why many top destination spas use Zen-inspired style to pamper their clients.

Zen bathroom style with plants

Here are four steps to help you create an authentic Zen-inspired experience in your home.

Now, let’s take an in-depth look at these four steps.

#1 – Add Wood Accents

One of the iconic features of a Zen bathroom style is the use of nature-inspired elements. One excellent way to achieve this is by incorporating wood accents into your bathroom. Wood connects you with the outdoors and evokes feelings of calm while keeping your space neutral yet modern.

Zen bathroom with double sinks and wooden details

Here are a few excellent ways to add wood accents into your bathroom:

As you can see, the options are many when it comes to using wooden accents in your bathroom.

Look for finished wood or water-resistant simulated wood items. Unfinished wood is a risky choice in a bathroom as it will soak up the moisture and potentially grow unsightly mold or mildew.

#2 Use Calming Zen Colors

When it comes to choosing a Zen color scheme, think about the colors that are the calmest or the most peaceful for you. Here are a few color palettes that come to mind when we think of the Zen bathroom style.

Muted and natural

The calming features of nature often inspire Zen designs. Imagine the sound of water bubbling over rocks in a small stream. Picture a walk on the beach or sitting in a peaceful spot in a meadow.

To bring those feelings into your bathroom, designers opt for muted sand, blue-gray, taupe, and green shades.

Zen bathroom interior with light colors

Neutral cream, beige, and brown

The neutral look is trendy right now. To turn your bathroom into a spa-like tranquil retreat, dress it in shades of brown, beige, and cream.

Apply cream or beige paint to the walls, and use similar shades for floor and shower tiles. Choose a wood or stone vanity. Then layer in textural accents in brown for fixtures and accessories to add dimension and interest.

Zen bathroom design wood vanity

Shades of grey

Grey is another top nature-inspired choice for a zen bathroom. Imagine the grey shades of beach rocks, wet beach sand, or a peaceful and quiet foggy morning.

For a more masculine Zen bathroom look, go for moody shades of grey. Perhaps large format grey tiles in a stacked format for the floor and walls. Then add a white or black vanity top, a white freestanding tub, wood shelves or accessories, and a green plant for a touch of color. Black or silver fixtures could work in this scheme.

Zen bathroom with freestanding bathroom

For a more feminine look, choose lighter shades of grey for the tile. You could add a marble vanity countertop, softer chrome fixtures, fluffy towels, and finish with an orchid or other flower.

#3 Install a Centerpiece Bathtub

A freestanding bathtub is a common element in a Zen bathroom and is often a centerpiece of the room. As such, it’s often large, with simple, minimalist curves, and is effectively an art piece for the room.

If possible, place the tub near a window so that you can contemplate nature while soaking – sure to give you a Zen sense of peace and calm. If you don’t have a suitable window, add a tall floor-standing plant next to the tub to achieve a similar nature-inspired effect.

Zen bathroom design with outdoor shower

Here are a few elements you might want to consider adding around your bathtub:

Instead of a full-length bathtub, you can also install a traditional Japanese soaking tub. This type of tub is often made of wood, is typically shorter and deeper than a standard tub, has a built-in seat, and allows the bather to get completely under the water.

Zen bathroom design with Japanese soaking tub

Since this type of tub is deep, it is sometimes installed partially submerged to make it easier to enter and exit the tub.

#4 Embrace Nature

The final step to successfully pull off a Zen bathroom style is to bring nature into the room. There are a lot of ways to achieve this.

Windows. Zen bathrooms often have large windows showcasing a view of nature, whether it be a patio planted with bamboo or a beautiful backyard. If such a view is possible based on your bathroom location, consider adding a large window.

Zen bathroom style with tropical vibe

River rock, pebbles, and stone. Large format rough-hewn stone tiles add a natural feel installed on the bathroom floor or walls. Pebble floor tiles add a nice touch of nature to a shower floor or in a space around the bathtub.

Bathroom design with freestanding bathtub

Plants and flowers. Bring nature in with potted plants. If you have space, a tall, floor-standing plant, such as bamboo or a palm, adds an Asian feel. With less space, you can add smaller plants or succulents on a shelf or counter. An orchid or other flower can add a subtle hint of color.

A great way to transform an ordinary bathroom into a Zen one is to opt for tiles with a matte finish. Matte tiles are ideal for bathrooms as they make a space appear larger, unlike small gloss tiles that can make a room feel smaller. Additionally, matte tiles offer a softer and natural feel, ideal for a Zen bathroom design.

Design Your Zen Bathroom

The best thing about designing a zen bathroom is that you can create the style even when on a budget.

The first step, which is completely free, is to declutter your bathroom. Remove anything you don’t use, and hide everything else behind closed cabinet doors. Then pick a few inexpensive tips from the steps mentioned above. The rule of thumb is to keep everything clean and straightforward.

Note that high-end zen designs rely on architectural elements, such as the walls, bathtub, vanity, and fixtures. If you are completely renovating your bathroom, consider using a tool like RoomSketcher to draw up floor plans and pre-visualize the interior, to ensure you achieve the look you want.

Try creating your own Zen bathroom today, browse our Bathroom Floor Plan Examples for more inspiration!

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