Adding a soaking tub to your bathroom can transform it into a relaxing, zen-like retreat. With the right design elements, a soaking tub can help create a spa-like atmosphere that promotes tranquility and wellbeing. Here are some tips for designing a zen bathroom around a soaking tub.

Choose the Right Tub

The centerpiece of your zen bathroom should be the soaking tub. Opt for a freestanding tub with clean, simple lines that will blend seamlessly into your overall design. Materials like stone, copper, or wood can add natural, zen-like qualities. Go for a tub that is deep enough to immerse yourself in, allowing for a true soaking experience. Oval, round, and rectangular shapes work well to promote relaxation.

Complement with Calming Colors

Use calm, tranquil colors like light green, blue, gray, and tan when designing your zen bathroom. Neutral shades are ideal for creating a soothing vibe. Add pops of color with natural elements like bamboo, rattan, live plants, or flowers. Painting one wall in a slightly deeper hue can give the space peaceful dimension. Always opt for matte finishes over high-gloss.

Select Natural Materials

Natural materials cultivate an organic, zen environment. Incorporate stone, wood, wicker, bamboo, or cloth textiles throughout the space. Use stone or wood surfaces for the tub deck or vanity. Add a wood bench, shelf, or wall decor. Use bamboo or natural fiber mats on the floor. Limit metal and plastic fixtures which can feel cold and clinical.

Let in Natural Light

Abundant natural light fosters a zen-like atmosphere. Install windows, skylights, or solariums throughout the bathroom to let in plenty of sunshine. You can also add a window in the shower or above the tub. Candles and dimmable lights provide ambiance when natural light isn’t available.

Minimalist Style is Key

Take a minimalist approach when designing your zen bathroom. Limit clutter and accessories so the room has an airy, tranquil vibe. Keep counters and ledges mostly clear of toiletries and knickknacks. Add just a few meaningful, serene decor elements like a vase of bamboo, a bonsai tree, or a Buddha statue.

Add Greenery

Plants intrinsically boost the zen quality of a bathroom. Hang air plants in the shower or add a potted bamboo in the corner. Arrange a tranquil rock garden with bonsai or succulents. Place a wooden bench or shelf under a window to hold flowering plants. Greenery brings life and freshness to the space.

Use Natural Aromatherapy

Light aromatic candles, diffusers, or incense to truly set the mood. Citrus, floral, herbal, and woodsy essential oils evoke tranquility. Place diffusers near the tub and shower. You can also add drops of calming essential oils right into your bath water.

Prioritize Comfort

Plush towels, robes, slippers, and bath mats turn your bathroom into a spa sanctuary. Keep stacks of soft towels within arm’s reach. Have a tray or hamper ready to use for tossing towels into after bathing. Include hooks, benches, and baskets to allow for organization.

Install a Sound System

Installing speakers in your zen bathroom allows you to listen to calming music, nature sounds, or meditative melodies as you soak and relax. Make sure the system is Bluetooth compatible so you can stream spa playlists right from your phone or tablet. Conceal wires for a clean look.

Designing your bathroom with a soaking tub as the centerpiece and following these tips will help you create a truly zen atmosphere. A tranquil, spa-like environment promotes relaxation and wellbeing. With calming elements like neutral colors, natural materials, greenery, aromatherapy, and a minimalist style, you can turn your bathroom into a soothing sanctuary. The addition of a soaking tub transforms the space into one that inspires peace and harmony.

Frequently Asked Questions About Zen Bathrooms

What is a zen bathroom?

A zen bathroom is designed to promote tranquility, simplicity, and harmony through natural elements, neutral colors, and minimalist styles. The goal is to create a calm, spa-like environment. Key features include a soaking tub, greenery, natural materials, soft lighting, and aromatherapy.

What colors work best in a zen bathroom?

Neutral, earthy tones like white, tan, gray, light blue, and pale green work best. Avoid bright colors. Instead add pops of color with plants, candles, artwork, and textiles. Paint one wall in a slightly deeper neutral hue.

What kind of lighting works well in a zen bathroom?

Natural lighting is ideal. Skylights and windows help bring in sunshine to light the space during the day. Candles, dimmers, and accent lighting create a warm, tranquil ambiance at night.

What architectural elements contribute to a zen look?

Freestanding soaking tubs, stone and wood finishes, greenery, uncluttered spaces, spa-like amenities like towel warmers and aromatherapy diffusers, and minimalist, clean-lined designs all lend to a zen vibe.

Should you add technology like TVs or speakers?

You can include speakers to play spa music or nature sounds during baths. TVs tend to clutter the space so it’s best to omit them. Focus instead on creating a tech-free sanctuary.

How can you incorporate feng shui principles into your design?

Feng shui emphasizes natural materials, proper lighting, clutter-free spaces, and correct placement. Position the tub diagonal from the door. Have window placements allow for proper energy flow. Add feng shui elements like plants, mirrors, and essential oils.

What are some quick ways to zen out an existing bathroom?

Add atray with candles, hang indoor plants, use calming aromatherapy, install dimmable lighting, declutter counters and ledges, put up neutral art, replace shower curtains with glass doors, and coordinate textiles and accessories for a cohesive look.


Creating a bathroom sanctuary with a zen-like ambiance is an inviting way to design a soothing, tranquil space in your home. By integrating elements like a indulgent soaking tub, natural finishes and textures, greenery, soft colors, and dim lighting, you can cultivate an atmosphere ideal for relaxation and rejuvenation. Keep the space minimal and uncluttered, letting calming accessories and architectural features shine. Following feng shui principles also promotes harmony and wellbeing. When designed properly, a contemporary bathroom with a spa-like environment can become your home’s oasis, allowing you to relax and find your inner peace.