Luxury bathroom ideas: 8 Designer tricks to transform your boring bathroom into a home spa

There’s really nothing better than coming home after a long day and relaxing in your own luxurious home spa. Just the word spa makes me want to say Spa-aaaaaaaaaahhh!

So today, we’re going to talk about 8 easy things any homeowner can do to update their bathroom into a lux spa-like space. You can actually make a few easy changes that will help to make your bathroom your favorite room in the house without major construction, so I’ll start there, then add the luxury designer touches as you read on.  For those of you inspired to take a bigger leap into redesigning and construction to create a spa sanctuary, I have some great ideas for you too!

Step 1: Define what luxury means to you:

Take a moment to reflect on the most impressive and luxurious spaces you have ever seen (in person or otherwise) . I usually consider hotel spas that I’ve visited, celebrity homes that I’ve seen online or on TV, and model home tours I’ve enjoyed. If nothing immediately comes to mind for you, take a look at Pinterest, Houzz, and Instagram to help stir your creative juices!

When I think of luxury the top items that come to my mind are these

  • A large shower with multiple shower heads and spray options
  • A heated floor (yes, even in San Diego this is a wonderful touch on chilly mornings!)
  • Fantastic lighting, including lighted mirror and skylights if possible
  • A large soaking tub with gentle bubble massage
  • His & hers vanity areas with plenty of sink and counter space
  • Beautiful stone, marble and tile finishes
  • Plenty of storage space and deep drawer space for cosmetics and supplies
  • Surround sound music
  • A great space to apply makeup and treatments
  • Lovely artwork, plants and beautiful containers for displayed items

Step 2: No construction needed- easy tweaks & updates that you can make this weekend!

Organize like a pro

Adding a place for everything and making sure your most used items are close at hand is a great way to get your bathroom spa in tip top organized shape. Shop for interesting containers, vases, dispensers, and trays that will hold your everyday items.

Beautiful baskets can be a handy item to hold rolled up towels and spa tools like back massagers, scrub brushes, and extra bath mats.

Aromatherapy and soothing scents

I’m a sucker for luxurious scents in the bathroom and always have a stash of my favorite scented candles at hand. Consider organic room sprays and atomizers to keep your space smelling fresh and infused with natural aromas

Self care must haves

Consider adding a space for your weekly at home spa treatments and bath accessories. I keep sheet masks, lotions and body sprays, eye masks, neck and back massagers and items for manicures and pedicures here, ready to use when I have a few spare moments to relax and unwind.

Comfy luxuries

There are things you can order online TODAY that will make your bathroom more luxurious in a snap. One of my favorites is a heated towel warmer and washcloth warmer. This little luxury can make a big difference in our everyday luxury experience.

Add a lux robe and slippers to your collection, and you re all set!

Setting the tone

If you don’t have the budget for a surround sound system in your bathroom, consider adding a home assistant speaker like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant that can play music, keep you up to date on the news, and make sure you stay on schedule during your morning routine.

Shine & reflect

Replace your old mirrors with updated new options. If you have the budget, invest in a large mirror with integrated lighting. I have one of these in my own bathroom, and my makeup has never looked so good!

Add a magnifying mirror to your vanity area. They come in both free standing and installed hard-wired versions and both are wonderful for making sure that you don’t miss any necessary grooming tasks!

Natural light…or a true indoor-outdoor bathroom experience

I can’t say enough about the importance of natural light in a bathroom. 

I didn’t realize how much my prior bathroom was lacking light until I moved to a new space where I had lots of windows & skylights, and it changed my entire makeup and skin care routine. (to say that I could see things I hadn’t seen in a long time was an understatement!) If you have the ability to add skylights or tubular lights- do it!  If not, consider ambient light, or LED light strips under counters and toe kicks as well as plenty of warm toned canned lights.

A note about canned lights and overhead lights in your makeup area:

Ladies, you absolutely need to have some light at eye level when you are doing your makeup. I suggest mounting lighting at about 65”-70” from the floor, on either side of your vanity mirror.

Overhead lighting can cast unflattering shadows on your face and create a makeup effect that looks less than natural in daylight.

A successful bathroom lighting plan has multiple light sources, including both overhead and task, with good task lighting at the sink and mirror being key. 

Countertops, tiles & finishes

There are millions of tiles, stones and finishes to suit any taste and budget. I personally like a light and bright bathroom with accents that balance both a masuline and feminine aesthetic. Balancing dark and light tones creates a very harmonious space. The image below is a perfect example of how a blend of rich wood tones and natural stone and tile finishes can work beautifully together.

An important Designer trick is to pay close attention to the scale of your tile and stone selections. Using the image below as our reference you can see that the tile selected for the floor is a very large scale, and then the tile on the wall is a matching stone, but in smaller sizes.  The finishes in the space are very uniform, which makes it soothing and relaxing to spend time in.

If you enjoy a more energetic and uplifting space, you could select patterned tile and add unique accents to spaces that you would like to draw attention to (like backsplashes and shower details)

Sumptuous Showers  

If you haven’t looked at luxury shower fixtures lately it may be time to go shopping with your Designer to look at all of the amazing options available to make your shower experience more personalized and enjoyable. From large overhead rain showers to multi-fixture body sprays, there are a multitude of options to select from for every budget and aesthetic.

They even have digital shower controls if you are the type that likes all things ‘techy’.

I personally love the large overhead rainshower (even though I don’t get my hair wet every single time I shower) . They feel very lush and relaxing without being too intense.

Alternatively, I use the wall-mounted body spray option when I have sore or tired muscles from my workouts and that is a really welcome change of pace.

Handheld shower fixtures are always a plus, so I say plan for all three if it fits your budget and space!

Bath tubs, spa tubs, and japanese soaking tubs

Last year I went on a week-long industry tour of a luxury bath manufacturers factory and I was amazed and astounded at the difference in quality and features available in bathtubs and soaking tubs. Even the finish used in the fabrication of the bath itself makes a big difference in user-experience (did you know that some bathtubs come in a velvet texture? It’s Ahhhhh-mazing!) There are hundreds of shapes, sizes, features and finishes to select from, so I advise you to take your time and really think about the kind of bathing experience you would enjoy.

Two trends that are really hot right now are Japanese soaking tubs and gentle bubble spa tubs.

Japanese soaking tubs are similar to tall walk-in tubs, but usually lack the walk-in feature. They end up looking more like a tall jacuzzi tub (with or without bubbles) *see image below

      Japanese soaking tub (with or without air massage)

Toilets can be luxurious too!

I didn’t believe there was much difference in toilets until I installed a luxury bidet in my own home. All I can say is “Wow…I didn’t realize how wonderful a toilet could be!” The heated seat, auto-deodorizer, delicately lighted bowl, heated water spray and auto-open & close feature are amazing, and totally worth the investment.(The man in my life agrees, and says that he would never go back to a normal toilet again either!)

I would steer clear of the cheap add-on seats, and wait until you can afford the true all-in-one model made by a reputable manufacturer. You’ll be glad you waited.

Dream Closet Design

Closets come in all shapes and sizes and should be customized with places to store your valued pieces. From handbag storage to shoe racks to velvet lined jewelry valet drawers, the options are endless! Your Designer will help to assess the space you need to store the items you value most, as well as show you how to tuck away items in drawers and bins for seasonal use.

Once again, I will say that lighting is a key element of making a closet look great and function well (Afterall, you want to see the colors of your clothing as they actually will look out in the daylight!) I believe the more items that you can easily see, the more often they will be worn so there is lots of hanging space in my closet and we actually have 2 skylights in the closet as well.

Let’s talk about budget

You can invest quite a bit of money in transforming a standard bathroom into a lux spa retreat. 

A quick google search looking for the ‘average’ bathroom remodel cost in San Diego in 2021 provided a range of $15,000- $35,000, and that is for a standard bathroom remodel/refresh project.

If you decide to add luxury spa features such as steam showers, spa tubs, larger vanities, and beautiful stone and tile features, you can easily add to that budget (sometimes by leaps and bounds in large scale rooms with lots of built-in luxury features)

As always, it’s best to talk to a professional bathroom designer before you start your project to get an idea of what things cost in your local area, since costs can vary substantially for both products and installation.

I hope these Designer tips and tricks will be helpful for you as you consider how to create a more spa-like bathroom in your own home.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to ask questions or to book a consultation to discuss how we could design & build a wonderful spa bathroom for you too! 

Email me at [email protected] today!

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