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10 min read

How to Easily Design a Zen Bathroom


10 min read

How to Easily Design a Zen Bathroom

BathroomHow to Easily Design a Zen Bathroom

Somewhere between luxury and nature, your bathroom serves as a real peace haven. It’s a minimalist, organized, and well-thought-out space that fosters relaxation and emotional release. Consider a less-is-more approach with natural materials and a completely redesigned lighting scheme. 

Beyond its utilitarian aspect, it’s the perfect place to unwind and recharge. Whether a cozy haven or home spa, a Zen bathroom is, first and foremost, where serenity meets well-being. It’s easy to recreate, and it takes on a myriad of visions that allows you to travel from the serene forests of Northern Quebec to the hammams of the Middle East. 

Here’s a guide to creating a Zen-like design in your bathroom. Take a deep breath… And allow yourself to be inspired…

How to Design Your Own Zen Bathroom

Source: Canva

The minimalist trend is largely inspired by the traditional values of the Japanese art of living and is based on the pursuit of balance and bliss.

The Zen bathroom is, first and foremost, a feel-good space, where everything has its place. 

This style favours clean lines and smooth surfaces. Here, a subdued setting equals refinement. It’s simple, the key is to focus on the essentials in order to achieve a perfect balance.

Zen tradition fosters a respectful relationship with nature, hence the use of materials with seemingly opposite properties. The result is rich contrasts between the meeting of fragile beauty and imperfect raw materials. Rooted in Japanese culture, humans don’t dominate nature, they live a harmonious coexistence, respectful of external forces.

Angular shapes are avoided to instead focus on curves. Soft and voluptuous textures artfully oppose that of raw materials. The look of wicker, jute, rattan, and stone is especially aesthetically pleasing.

While contrasts do differentiate, never to the point of disrupting the overall harmony. Hence, the mingling of different materials. Whether supple or rigid, plush or rough.

The materials that are symbolic of Japan are bamboo, wood, stone, and ceramic. Plants are also featured given the importance of connecting with nature. Just as soft colours and natural materials achieve a much sought-after balance in any Zen concept, mineral and plant elements come together to create a poetically charming setting.

And, for a meditative approach, lighting takes centre stage. Whether natural or theatrical, the important thing is that it can be both bright and dim. Blinds and curtains are removed, allowing long, wispy veils to drape across large windows. Other light sources are multiplied: chandeliers, candles, lanterns... As always, mood is everything.

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Must-Have Items

Source: Canva

Are you looking to renovate your bathroom to turn it into the ideal setting to unwind? Here are the elements that must be featured to inspire a Zen-like décor. 

Jacuzzi tub and walk-in shower

Draw attention to the bathtub. It's the ultimate symbol of a relaxed setting and is at the heart of the Zen bathroom, where well-being prevails above all else. Feel free to give it a beachy, resort look.

The walk-in shower wave is ongoing and rivals the bathtub, aesthetically speaking. Pebble-like ceramics, slate or natural stones, glass doors, multi-jet head and a rainfall showerhead.  

The walk-in shower brilliantly frames the décor and conveys undeniable comfort and aesthetics. 

Zen-inspired vanity and vessel

The furniture is also refined, devoid of any ornaments. Wood is largely favoured. For drop-in countertop sinks, the trend calls for resistant and durable materials, those that are low maintenance, smooth and soft to the touch. Corian materials are a great example. 

Tin-glazed, glass, but also stone. It’s all very Zen, the vessel blends in with a waterfall faucet to convey a very authentic and refreshing décor. Here, round and oval-shaped vessels are favoured, but also square or rectangular ones with rounded edges.   

Royal-like or sleek faucet

As for things like faucets and hardware, it’s done right. Stainless steel is all the more popular. It’s available in a soft or matte finish and in classic shades that perfectly blend into the décor. On the other hand, it can also be quite majestic, embracing champagne or bronze tints, thus echoing the charms of distant lands. 

For a few years now, faucets have become part of the décor; they’ve been entirely revamped, and are now available in stylish designs.

Waterfall faucets are everything!  

Unapparent or built-in storage

The functional aspect of the mirrored-panel medicine cabinet is a fan favourite. The larger the better to enable an effective storage solution, open up the space, and it’s just more fun to look at yourself in a wide mirror. Also, floor-to-ceiling linen cabinets are a must. A handleless, tone-on-tone model that seamlessly blends into the walls is ideal. 

However, this style calls for towels, pretty soaps, skincare, bathrobes, or any other item that should be within arm’s reach, to be exposed on raw wooden shelves, bamboo towel bars, or in a wicker basket. There are a ton of good finds out there to allow for effective storage while still conveying a mood. If you’re thinking of adopting this option, consider purchasing new a towel set!

What colours best suit a cozy, Zen-inspired bathroom?

Source: Canva

In Zen-like bathrooms, sandy, wood-inspired, and pastel colours are featured. One allows themselves to be lulled by soft, single-colour hues that are reminiscent of a sense of travelling. Colour is welcomed provided it’s soft, scarce, and cozy. The chosen hues instill relaxation not unlike delicate fibres call for cozy nesting. 

Whites and greys urge a meditative state. Natural, earthy tones are rather soothing and promote a sense of wellness. Neutral, earthy, greige, or terracotta tones complete and balance all the different shades of wood. Local, light-coloured wood or leafy and resinous trees evoke Canada’s boreal forest. One also allows themselves to include warm shades of exotic wood, while also being bold enough to include driftwood, for a clever touch of comfort.

Undeniably, colours wield the uncanny ability to influence moods and emotions, therefore, shades that are reminiscent of nature, horizons, and travels are favoured. To ensure the space isn’t overwhelmed or overdone, limit yourself to two or three complimentary colours. Light shades will also create a feeling of spaciousness, making your bathroom appear bigger. 

As for light fixtures, mirrors, and faucets, think gold and brass. Both are rich and warm precious metals and once they’re integrated into your Zen-like bathroom, they’ll effectively swoop you off into an alternate dimension.

Soft pastels and mineral colours, feel free to mix these shades, but materials too; they go hand in hand. Stone tiling perfectly matches earth tones, as well as forest- and ocean-inspired colours. 

Keep in mind, following the Zen tradition, allow yourself to be guided by two fundamental principles: tranquillity and harmony. Still unsure? Once you’ve found the right shade for the flooring, it could very well set the tone for the rest of the colours and accessories. 

What type of tiles are most suitable for a Zen bathroom? 

Source: Canva

In a Zen, minimalist bathroom, eclectic-like ceramic tiles are going to somewhat offset the balance. Whether on the walls, floor, or shower, ceramic tiles that are subtle, tone-on-tone or have exposed veining, are concrete-like, terrazzo, terracotta, or natural stone convey and slightly delve into an over-the-top look. This style calls for oversized and miniature tiles, much like a mosaic. 

For a complete change of scenery, blues and greens take centre stage. Beige, taupe, white, mineral grey and faux concrete are also among the fan favourites. Lastly, one can recreate a hammam-like setting or a sauna with wood-like tiles. 

This bathroom design reaches new heights with staggering vertically-laid wall tiles that simulate even more height. 

Much like a scene straight out of Arabian Nights, we align golden-hued marble with the knobs and handles, and faucets and light fixtures of the riches hues that exist. Lastly, mosaics are featured in all Zen-inspired décors, whether simply designed or as opulent as ever. It adorns the floors, runs on the walls, dangles over the bathtub, and shines over the shower. 

NOTE: There’s nothing like a mosaic to combine colours. These minuscule tiles were once defined by the fact that only skilled tradespersons would attempt installation. However, they’re now retailed on a mesh, which greatly facilitates installation. Mosaic tiles are now available to all, so why not make the most of this look?

Select the Ideal Zen-Like Bathroom Accessories

Source: Canva

Zen is synonymous with relaxation, nature, and tranquillity. Guided by this mindset, the décor is nurtured in such a way that it instills a sense of serenity. 

While the focus is on minimalism, special attention is still awarded to details. A few, well-chosen and specially positioned items can lead to zenitude. Nothing is taken lightly, except maybe those large, whimsical and fluffy feathers that often adorn blown glass vases positioned next to the bathtub. 

Once the ceramic tiles and colours have been selected, simply add decorative pieces that once again affirm the chosen style. From the furniture selection to that of the towels, everything must instill a sense of R&R. 

Here are a few helpful guidelines…

Full throttle on plush and cozy materials

Ever so fluffy and welcoming, bathrobes are exposed, thereby accentuating the whole “cozy” aspect of the bathroom. The towels are rolled and layered on shelving, snug in wicker baskets, or positioned beneath the vanity.

Rugs are ever-present

The bathmat is just as plush. It’s the perfect replica of those that are meant for the living room or dining room, with Berber-inspired patterns. Two is better than one, three is finer than two…and so goes luxury.

Tens, hundreds, thousands of pebbles

Largely inspired by Asian gardens, pebbles are reminiscent of a calm and serene setting. In a bathroom, they’re ever-so loved. They blend in with the flooring, are laid atop epoxy poured into the shower floor, line the bathtub, and adorn vases, pots, and lanterns. 


In a blue or aqua setting, shells are very reminiscent of coastal living and travel. They’re featured in clear vases, on shelves, in lanterns, as a mobile, and embroidered on towels like those seen on dinner napkin rings. 

Natural fibre storage baskets

Practical, versatile, but most of all, pretty! Various sizes of storage baskets are featured and multiplied to store towels, bathrobes, scented soaps, and skincare products. 

Bamboo, through and through

Bamboo, featured in its raw state is unrivalled in terms of exposing an exotic-like aspect that perfectly adds a touch of Zen to a bathroom. It can be subtly featured by way of a pedestal towel holder or light fixture, but you may be tempted to have a very Zen bamboo wall. 


These natural fibres are used to weave baskets, lampshades, and rugs. It’s a great material to tread on; its texture is slightly rough… Customizable jute baskets for the win!

Candles: A requisite

They’re definitely a must-have in any and all bathrooms but are a sure find in a Zen bathroom. Slightly scented, they delicately fuse together the inspired theme: sandalwood, eucalyptus, Japanese cherry, pine, bergamot, etc. 

Incandescent light fixtures 

Whether neutral or glittering, light fixtures are always a good look. Black metals paired with gold or copper-hued ones convey a unique, and slightly theatrical, mood. Aim for a sophisticated touch that harmoniously contrasts with natural materials like linen, cotton, and rattan, without being too overwhelming.

A nice, round mirror

Circles, a symbol of unity, evoke an alliance not unlike the yin and yang. It’s also a symbol that represents infinity, harmony, natural occurrences, perfection, and abundance. Upon closer inspection, there’s nothing more natural than featuring a round mirror in a Zen bathroom.

Plan for rattan

From its initial use in bedrooms, sunrooms, and verandas, rattan has now found its place in the bathroom. 

DIY hammam

The Middle Eastern hammam, however hard to resist, is surprisingly easy to replicate in your home and brings forth a unique setting. Light colours, wood, Mediterranean patterns, concrete-like tiles…now that’s a perfect rendition of a Zen bathroom.


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Last modified 2023-12-05

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