How to Create a Home Spa Retreat in the Comfort of Your Own Bathroom

Clean whites. Natural light. Herbal scents and oils. These are just a few images that come to mind when imaging a spa. The point of these elements is to calm our minds and bodies, so we leave feeling refreshed and relaxed.

But what if we could re-create this effect from the comfort of our own homes? With these tips on decorating and decluttering, your own in-home spa is closer than ever.

Use Soothing Colors

Spas are equally beneficial for the mind and the body. Creating a fresh, soothing atmosphere in the bathroom is important for calming worries and anxieties.

One of the easiest ways to effect this in the bathroom is opting for a simple color scheme. Whites and off-whites are a simple and effective way to create this look. You might also choose to incorporate elements from the natural world that inspire and calm you.

“Many spas use natural stone walls, deep wood coloring and other relaxing, zen-like elements such as potted plants to create a feeling of natural serenity,” says Michelle Honeyager at Freshome.

If natural elements feel like the right fit, you might choose to focus on just one at a time. If you like wood or stone, for example, you could use it to inspire a color scheme in your bathroom. Honeyager recommends choosing colors, textures and themes that relax you to add a personal touch to the space. A few examples of how to use natural elements to inform a space can be found in a roundup by Tabitha Sukhai at ThisOldHouse. One features a riverbed of inlaid stone tiles, adding a touch of nature in a soothing spa-like manner, while another uses dark grey basalt tile to create a cozy feel.

Madison Dahlstrom at Martha Stewart agrees that neutral colors, like beige and blue, create a calming atmosphere in the bathroom. She also warns against using bright pops of color: “Bold accents and colorful shower curtains will take away from the calming spa-like atmosphere you are trying to create.”

Home spa bathrooms can be colorful, but it’s important to use muted, natural tones rather than bright, bold hues.

home spa

Opt for Linen Luxury

Have you ever been to a spa that wasn’t overflowing with cozy towels, soft rugs and luxurious linens? Neither have we.

That’s why it’s so important to have an ample amount of towels available when stocking your spa bathroom, says the team at Veranda Magazine. Plush towels in a range of creamy hues and light shades are an essential element of a dreamy, spa-like bathroom atmosphere in your home.

Linens, including rugs and mats, can echo this effect. Best Products senior editor Melanie Yates points out a number of bathroom linens that ooze tranquility. One of her suggestions is a Turkish-made, quick-drying towel. She also points to an absorbent, non-skid bath mat that keeps feet warm and dry — especially cozy during the colder months.

If you’re stuck on which color linens to choose, white is always a solid choice. White linens amp up the spa-like factor of a bathroom in an effortless way that makes a big impact, home design writer Arlyn Hernandez explains. White looks fresh and bright and creates an instantly calming effect on the mind. Plus, it’s also easy to clean and can be bleached if stained.

Blue towels also create a calming effect, especially in beach themed bathrooms. Interior designer Sarah Sherman Samuel shows how this effect plays out in her white master bathroom. The muted blue and white striped towels contrast against the white walls, floors and fixtures. Plus, designated hooks make sure there’s always a clean spot to keep towels neatly hung and ready for the next use.

Keep Things Simple

Nothing is more stressful in the home than clutter and disorganization. That’s why it’s so important to make your spa-like retreat organized and minimalist. Prioritizing essential toiletries and keeping them accessible in the bathroom ensures that your space isn’t filled with bottles that you aren’t using.

Kate Pawlowski, cofounder of NYC organizing company Done & Done, offers a suggestion as to how to minimize clutter: “When organizing the bathroom, the easiest way is to spread a towel on the floor and then empty the contents of the medicine cabinet and drawers onto the towel.”

Then group like items into categories so that you can see how many of each item you have. She says this makes it easy to choose one item from each category so that you can decide which ones to keep out and which to toss (or hide in a closet).

home spa

Creating an organizational system is the best way to keep things organized once they’re sorted. Specifically, arranging toiletries helps make the most your medicine cabinet, says professional organizer and designer Amelia Meena.

She suggests only putting those items you use every day in your medicine cabinet: toiletries, hair products and accessories should live here, while medicine and first aid products can be stored in another cabinet or closet nearby.

You might also consider choosing toiletries that have simple, minimalist packaging. Shampoos and conditioners in brown, blue and clear bottles add a touch of freshness and luxury. Eliminating labels altogether also minimizes visual clutter, says designer Faith Provencher. To achieve this look, you might decide to transfer toiletry items to unlabeled glass bottles. Cotton balls and cotton swabs work well in apothecary jars, for example.

Minimalist toiletries and glass storage jars are best if you’d like to add open shelving to your bathroom. Open shelving is great for small bathrooms, as it doesn’t take up as much space as medicine cabinets. Open-shelving solutions can hold jars and bottles, as well as baskets, notes interior design writer Kelly Weimert. Baskets can store towels and soaps, keeping your home spa looking clean and organized.

Soak, Relax and Get Ready Separately

A relaxing soaking tub is key to creating a spa-like atmosphere. When choosing how to design and arrange your clawfoot tub, you might consider separating the tub and the shower. The team at LaMantia Design and Remodeling explains that having separate shower and tub spaces helps make each experience more relaxing and intimate.

The idea of separating spaces in a spa-like bathroom is echoed by Design Studio West, a San Diego-based design and remodeling studio. They suggest creating clear divisions between separate areas, so you can walk between spaces that have a designated purpose. Another way to delineate spaces, aside from keeping the tub and shower separate, would be to keep a well-lit vanity space separate from the bathing space.

Once you do have a clearly-defined bathing space, you’ll want to make this area as luxurious as possible. Think about lighting candles, and keeping body scrubs and face masks ready for use. Lifestyle site Social Moms explains that these accessories are key to having a relaxing home spa and bath experience.

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