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Zen Bathroom Design Ideas

Zen Bathroom Design Ideas

One of the most common home renovations is to update your bathroom. Many homeowners may seek updated features, such as a more efficient toilet, heated flooring, and a new shower, among other odds and ends.

When it comes to bathroom renovations, one particular style is becoming more popular — the zen bathroom.

A Zen-inspired bathroom can make you feel like you are getting that spa treatment each and every time you use the bathroom in your own home. While that is certainly a feeling any homeowner will likely aspire to have, many don’t know what exactly it means to have a “zen” bathroom in the first place. Luckily, that’s where this blog post comes in handy!

In this post, we’re going to give you a quick guide on how to create a more zen bathroom and different Zen bathroom ideas to get you started. This design style will give you chill vibes as you soak in the tub, or help you be in a more mindful space when you get ready for your day. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can make your bathroom more zen-like.

What Does it Mean to Have a Zen Bathroom?

Zen can mean many things, but all forms circle back to the practice of Buddhism in Japan. Zen principles involve minimalism, embracing nature, and simplicity. Zen spaces aim to create a feeling of tranquility. They are peaceful spaces in which you can become more mindful while you relax.

Think of a high-end spa. There is modern, simple yet elegant design, natural tones and materials, and an overall peaceful environment. This makes sense as you go to the spa to relax, but why not incorporate those elements into your home bathroom as well? Once you undergo a bathroom remodel to fit this design, you’ll want to incorporate this style throughout your entire home. Ever thought of creating a Zen inspired kitchen? It’s possible!

You can easily make updates to your home bathroom to achieve the calming vibes you find at the spa. Create an environment devoid of clutter and stress where you can calmly get ready for your day or find some relief. But how can one achieve a zen bathroom? Here are a few zen bathroom ideas to help you achieve a bathroom with modern luxury, comfort, and tranquility.

Embrace the Japanese Theme

Zen is entirely tied to Japanese culture, so one way to achieve a Zen bathroom is to embrace Japanese design and incorporate cultural elements into the space. You can install a traditional Japanese bathtub instead of a full-length one. Japanese tubs are square and deep, allowing the bather to completely immerse themselves, while also offering a sleek, modern, minimalist design.

You can also install a shoji screen as either a closet or entry door. Consider other elements of Japanese design in the smaller details in the room to fully commit to the aesthetic. It may seem a bit kitschy, but since they are the masters of the style, imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery.

Get Creative

Unlike a kitchen where less is most certainly more, the bathroom offers the opportunity for a bit more creative flair to set off the room and create the perfect aura. You can have fun with your tile choices and create a unique floor or wall. You should still stick to muted tones for the walls, likely pure white, but can texture them with some accents that aren’t too bold, but enhance the environment.

Create an original bathroom that isn’t too flashy, but is memorable at the same time.

Embrace Minimalism

We know, we know, it seems like a silly follow-up to getting creative, but you can truly have your cake and eat it too here. Less is still more in the zen bathroom, and despite our urges to show a little creative flair, you still want to embrace the minimalist lifestyle in your bathroom.

Why? Because minimalism encourages a sense of calm and tranquility. This style is a common bathroom remodel trend that is timeless and functional. We can all agree that a meditative state is optimal in the bathroom, regardless of our activity. So whatever creativity you decide to use in your design, be careful not to overdo it. Moderation is key, especially when it comes to a minimalist design.

How can you show minimalism in your zen bathroom? Not only by keeping things simple as far as design, but also by decluttering. Install a large vanity that can store all of your bathroom products, leaving nothing but the necessaries on the counters.

Open Up the Space

Zen encourages minimalism and detachment from objects. To embrace this aspect of zen, you should create space in your bathroom by keeping accents to a minimum and doing without items that you don’t need.

Try using in-wall storage cabinets to keep your towels and accessories out of view. If you don’t have this already, in-wall storage cabinets can be one of the best home addition ideas for this space. You can use lighting to make the room seem bigger, as well as incorporating windows and mirrors.

And since we’re following minimalism here, make sure that creating more space doesn’t lead to adding more things. Embrace the openness of the room and let the space breathe. This will create a more open, calming, decluttered bathroom.

Incorporate Elements of Nature

A big part of zen is getting in touch with nature, and you can bring that into your bathroom as well. To help quiet your mind and get in touch with the nature around you, consider adding a window that looks out into a garden or natural feature in your yard. Perhaps you are lucky enough to have a home with a view that you can incorporate into your bathroom design Zen style as well.

If you don’t have any such view, bring elements of nature into the room via bamboo or bonsai trees. You can even put a little zen garden in your bathroom if you have space, perhaps with a calming water element. This all helps to reinforce your Japanese theme and create an overall sense of calm while being in-tune with nature.

Just keep in mind how elements of nature flow together in harmony. If something feels out of place, it disrupts the natural flow of your bathroom. When you identify an item or feature that is creating this disharmony, consider replacing it with an element that would fit the room.

This is how you achieve a true, zen bathroom.

Involve Organic Elements

Just like with your zen kitchen, you should incorporate a lot of wood into your zen bathroom. This can be via a bamboo bathroom mat, a bench, cabinets, or other wood accent pieces to bring nature into the room. You can also use rocks and pebbles as decorations, and maximize the natural light that pours into the room.

Natural light is likely your greatest asset here. Consider the times the light will have its greatest impact on your bathroom and use cleverly directed windows and elements to make the best use of the sun. Use electric lighting too to maximize the features of the room and complement the design, but make sure natural light is the focal point.

Focus on Natural Tones

Keep the color palette in your bathroom simple as well. Colors that are nature-inspired are the most zen in spirit, so consider using earth tones like beige, brown, sand, white, green, and even muted blues. These work together in harmony to create a very calming effect on anyone who enters and spends time in the room.

You can also incorporate your accent colors through items like towels or smaller details. Things don’t have to be boring to be calming, just keeping your colors simple and make sure everything flows together well without becoming distracting and you’re still in the zen spirit.

Aim for Luxury

Tranquility and peace are the ultimate goals of any zen space, and you can achieve these feelings through little bits of luxury. That large, freestanding Japanese bath we mentioned earlier is a great way to give its user the feeling that they are receiving a true spa treatment.

You can harness the luxury appeal without breaking the bank. Just embrace the spirit and feeling of the spa and incorporate these elements into your home bathroom in your own way, giving you a little touch of sophistication.

Add Some Unique Features

There are some easy ways you can incorporate modern style into your bathroom without losing your zen or minimalist goals. If you have a large bathroom floor plan, you’ll have lots of freedom when it comes time for designing. An update to your sink is a simple touch that can give a feeling of zen or luxury if the sink has a unique look. Use a modern basin rather than the typical, bland square and circle to give your bathroom a more stylish look.

You can even float the vanity to remove clutter or go with some contrasting tile to give your space that extra one-of-a-kind feel.

Update the Shower

There are few things in nature that are more calming than a soothing rainfall. You can incorporate this into your bathroom by adding a rainfall showerhead. These are quite popular at the moment and will give your shower that extra bit of relaxation.  

Take things a step further with custom rain glass shower doors and you are really stepping up your bathroom’s zen and luxury appeal.

Modernize the Bathroom

You can up your zen, minimalist, and luxury game all at once by embracing modernism and installing some truly unique features that will take your bathroom to the next level. Beyond rainfall showers and modern sinks, you can try a sunken tub and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Creatively incorporate natural elements like small trees and bushes into your bathroom and use out-of-the-ordinary stone and tile choices to give your bathroom a more modern appeal. You can keep it simple while getting creative at the same time.


The bathroom is one room in your house where you can really create a zen space you can be proud of. Since bathrooms are one of the most common rooms to renovate, you should decide what features are important to you and how you can incorporate them in a zen-like fashion. It makes sense for your bathroom to be a place of calm, soothing energy, and your design should reflect that air of peace.

If a zen bathroom is important to you in your home remodel project, talk with the San Diego home renovation experts at Remodel Works to see what creative solutions you can come up with together.









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