Spa days don’t need to be an indulgence reserved for special occasions only. You can create the same peaceful and rejuvenating atmosphere in your own home with some surprisingly simple changes.
We spoke to designer Ola Elmaghraby about bathroom spa ideas. Here’s what she said about making your next bathroom renovation in Ottawa feel like an at-home spa.
1. Introduce Calming Colours
A quick and inexpensive way to immediately create that zen feeling is to introduce soothing colours. A neutral colour scheme of white, beige or soft gray walls will serve as the backdrop for a beautiful spa bathroom.
Don’t stop there, though. Ola also shares that “natural elements create an oasis feel.” She suggests adding pops of rustic wood around the space—think floating shelves or a stool next to your tub. And, don’t forget to incorporate potted plants. Their calming green hues help alleviate stress, plus plants create a healthy environment by freshening the air. (Imagine taking deep cleansing breaths in your new tranquil setting!)
2. Select Tasteful Tiles and Countertops
Continue with a coordinating neutral colour palette when choosing tiles and making bathroom countertop selections. Choose a material that makes you feel relaxed when you gaze at it. Ola points out that “granite can be dark and very busy, so it won’t necessarily have a spa-like feel.” Marble and quartz have subtle patterns; they’re drama-free and perfect for a home spa.
She also explains that tile size can greatly impact how a room is perceived. For floor tiles in a spa bathroom, she prefers 24″x24″ or bigger. This even applies to small spaces. Using smaller tiles or creating intricate mosaics can trick our brain into believing a room is cramped and detracts from the serene environment you’re trying to create.
3. Stick with Simple Fixtures and Mirrors
The mirror. It’s one of those bathroom essentials that we don’t think much about when, in fact, we should. Mirror style has a remarkable impact on room design. Ola cautions against choosing anything with a “big frame or furniture-type look” because it won’t evoke a spa like feeling.
Instead, when searching for the perfect bathroom mirror, she advises to “keep it simple and pick a tiny frame or go frameless entirely.” This doesn’t have to mean boring—quite the opposite; minimalist mirrors can be beautifully layered, tilted, or even backlit.
As for fixtures, although brass and gold accents are trending, Ola points out that they don’t create spa vibes. Instead, she opts to incorporate brushed nickel or matte black fixtures into a spa bathroom. Further, when you are emulating a spa, she notes that items like faucets, knobs and drawer pulls should not draw your attention. Fixtures with simple lines, on the other hand, generate a sense of calm.
4. Include Plenty of Creative Storage Solutions
Removing clutter and staying organized is essential for a spa-inspired space. Unfortunately, a classic bathroom design mistake is underestimating the amount of storage you need. Hand towels, bathroom toiletries and other items should be tucked away, so selecting the right vanity for your bathroom is important.
Ola favours floating vanities and linen towers when helping clients with spa-inspired bathrooms because they offer a visually clean design and don’t skim on storage. She admits this is a bit of a renovation upgrade but well worth the effort. “The wall requires extra packing to support the weight of the cabinet and countertop,” she says. (But once they are mounted, her clients love the sleek look!)
For smaller spaces, Ola has other design ideas. Refined accessories, like glass trays and jars, serve as the solution. “You can put hand soap, perfume and lotion on a tray; everything is still organized, just not inside a cabinet.” She adds that “wooden trays or stools placed next to a bathtub are perfect for books, a wine glass or a cup of tea.”
5. Upgrade Your Tub and Shower
When space and budget allow, install a freestanding bathtub; these tubs are visually appealing, and, let’s face it, you are much more likely to enjoy the peaceful bath you dream of in a freestanding tub vs. a built-in one. Or, to truly create a luxurious home spa, Ola proposes splurging for a steam shower.
If neither of these options is possible, don’t fret! There are plenty of other bathtub options for your bathroom renovation. First, add a rain shower head for a spa experience. This type of showerhead has a modern design, wider coverage and advanced features.
Next, evaluate your shower curtain. Can you replace it with a glass enclosure for a more spa-like feel? If not, buy a new one that is extra long. Why? Just like elegant floor-to-ceiling drapes make a room look bigger, a longer shower curtain can have the same effect.
Lastly, Ola is a fan of the wooden bath mats that you see at spas. “Placing a cedar or teak bath mat that is water-resistant next to your tub or shower adds a natural wood touch. It’s both decorative and useful.”
6. Integrate Smart Technology
There are many ways to use technology to create a spa-inspired bathroom, like a towel warmer or radiant floors. While heated towels are indeed wonderful, Ola shared that new smart home solutions can significantly elevate your space. “With today’s smart speakers, you can adjust the lighting or change your music selection.”
(Or, if you’re lucky enough to have a gas fireplace in or near your bathroom, imagine saying the word and watching a crackling fire spring to life!)
7. Let There Be Light
For spa bathroom designs, Ola tries to flood the space with natural light. Large windows and skylights are ideal, and, to maximize the light, she prefers clear glass to frosted glass. As for lighting fixtures, Ola’s design ideas include installing pot lights with dimmers as opposed to sconces or chandeliers. To maintain a spa feeling, she aims to streamline the space and avoid adding unnecessary elements.
8. Add Art and Ambiance
While keeping a minimalist approach, Ola shared a few more design details that can recreate the feeling of stepping into a spa. She suggests carefully selecting artwork with soothing colours for the walls, recommending the pieces feature images of nature for an organic feel. And, she loves the idea of using scented candles and diffusers with calming scents to set the mood.
Connect with a Designer for More Spa Bathroom Ideas
Are you ready for a spa day? Our Ottawa area designers can help guide you through any custom bathroom renovation. Visit our showroom or check out our bathroom design gallery for inspiration for your personal home spa.