HOW TO CREATE A LUXURY SPA BATHROOM AT HOME
The days are getting shorter and undeniably colder but I, for one, am delighted. This is largely because, dark mornings and de-icing aside, it feels the perfect time of year to truly indulge. In food, in fashion – there’s no such thing as too many coats – and in you. Who doesn’t rejoice in a little unashamed extravagance?!
Conor Round Tray in Beige and Julia Knight – Classic Tray in Toffee both Amara, Medium Resin Coral Sponge at Kelly Hoppen London
A pretty ‘staycation’ or luxury spa break is my ultimate winter indulgence.
Unfortunately, these have become a rarity. Endless emails and excitable children-in-tow do not contribute successfully to a calm idyll, so we generally stay put. Shame. A beautiful spa has enduring appeal and can genuinely soothe mind, body and soul. The good news is that you can take the essence of a luxury spa and incorporate it into your home. And, whilst this option limits access to beauty therapists and thalassotherapy pools, the core ingredients of tranquility and serenity should transfer with relative ease.
When Kohler approached me to collaborate with them on this post*, ‘creating a luxury spa bathroom retreat at home’ was something that I was keen to explore. It felt befitting – as a brand creating luxury designer bathrooms, they boast an ‘unparalleled heritage of exceptional quality and artistic craftsmanship’. And with longer, colder nights fast-approaching, exploring the luxury of a home-spa seemed entirely relevant. Ultimately, with a little know-how and a sprinkling of creativity, achieving the nirvana that is the luxury spa at home is beyond possible.
LUXURY SPA BATHROOM STYLING: THE KOHLER EXPERIENCE CENTRE AT WEST ONE BATHROOMS
A luxurious, high-end spa exudes sophistication. It looks gorgeous, with carefully considered design and quality fixtures and fittings. I do appreciate that not all existing bathrooms fully replicate this but the key is to avoid getting caught up in the minutiae. Yes, your grout may need some attention but remember that, above all, achieving a sense of ‘luxury spa’ at home is about both the look and feel. A space that appeals to, and engages, all the senses. Somewhere offering ambiance above all else- a private retreat that soothes and feels deliciously ‘zen’.
Photo-shoot styling at The Kohler Experience Centre
But how to elevate an existing space to luxe spa-status?
You may remember from my Instagram Stories in early October that I directed and styled a ‘secret’ photo-shoot. In the run-up to that day, I had designed two ‘luxury spa bathroom’ schemes at The Kohler Experience Centre, around their existing vignettes. Both looks were intended to exude elegance and opulence – a homage to the spa but also achievable at home.
Once I’ve shared the outcomes below, I will dissect the key elements required to achieve a similar look and feel.
Some last minute tweaks make all the difference
LOOK ONE: SOFT METALLIC
The first look embraces a soft, muted palette of calming neutrals with hints of green and bronze. The combination of elements evokes serenity and calm – ideal for a spa-inspired environment. Metals were mixed around the central double vanity – silver on bronze – and textures layered through the towels and accessories.
This is a really accessible look to experiment with and recreate at home. Focus on keeping the colours gently understated – in essence, nothing too ‘shouty’ or overtly ‘bling bling’. This ‘spa’ is the epitome of timeless elegance and sophistication.
Soft Metallic moodboard. Don’t be afraid to mix your metals – there are no rules anymore!
LOOK TWO: AMETHYST AND GOLD
The deep bath within this vignette, filled with bubbles, perfectly embodies the idea of a ‘spa retreat’. For this space – deeper and darker than the first – rich, punchy shades of mauve, berry and amethyst were combined with striking brass, black and gold.
It was hard not to dive straight in! Slippers at The White Company, vase at Kelly Hoppen London
This feels decidedly more opulent and indulgent – the ultimate haven for relaxation. Again, materials have been mixed – coloured glassware with agate, the stained wood of the slatted bath board alongside embossed ceramics. Fresh slippers – a spa essential – wait patiently at the base of the tub.
Amethyst and Gold moodboard. It’s no coincidence that I selected accessories and beauty products in-keeping with the scheme
Above all, in designing the schemes, it was important to ensure that neither space became too busy or cluttered. After all, a luxury spa is always beautifully maintained and and styled to perfection.
THE FIVE SENSES: DESIGNING YOUR WAY TO A LUXURY SPA BATHROOM
To meet the ‘luxury spa bathroom’ brief, a tactile, layered and multi-sensory experience is required.
Spas are neat, organised spaces, free from stress-inducing clutter. To successfully recreate a luxury spa bathroom at home, banishing all colourful, squeaky bath toys is paramount! If you’re designing from scratch, consider the optimal layout, ensuring the best use of space to maximise comfort, practicality and usability.
- Choose colours that are soft, enveloping and inviting. I generally stick to calm, natural shades that are easy on the eye – from flattering oyster, putty and sand to warm greys and stone. Alternatively ‘expensive’ hues like deep russet, plum, garnet or navy work well, especially as accents.
- Hide the clutter! If possible, explore and install storage solutions – in-built cupboards or wall-hung vanity units. Although costly, they will afford you the luxury of curating the products on display. Storage baskets or trunks can also work to great effect.
- Consider materials and finishes. If you’re at the start of the design process, opt for luxury finishes to achieve this look. From natural stone to porcelain tiles, the key is to select and mix quality materials. To update an existing space, incorporate gorgeous surfaces and textures through accessories – use slate, brass, bronze or enamel accents. For total relaxation, think ‘less is more’ and avoid clashing patterns.
Vary materials, textures and tones for an interesting mix
- Hardware is relatively easy to update and can considerably elevate the aesthetic of your space. From taps and handles to flush plates, consider the style, colour and finishes carefully. Nickel, stainless steel or pewter can look slick and contemporary whilst brass, bronze and copper are warmer options.
- If your design is in its infancy, you will have the luxury of choosing sanitaryware. To align with a luxury spa, wall hung toilets appear most streamlined and hygienic.
- Lighting makes the luxury spa bathroom. Layering is central to success (and the appropriate IP ratings). Incorporate a range of task and softly diffused ambient lighting – on different circuits – from overhead spots or pendants to wall sconces, vanity and floor lighting. Candles are also a fantastic solution.
Bathrooms – like kitchens – can feel somewhat clinical given the expanse of hard, flat surfaces. The luxury spa also faces this challenge but often succeeds in feeling softer and more inviting. This is achieved through layering a variety of textures and finishes.
Always love a bit of Chanel! Fluted Glass Tealight Holder at Amara
- Introduce accessories to diffuse the look, adding texture and interest. Choose beautiful quality towels – weighty yet delightfully fluffy. Invest in a tray and stack rolled towels – a direct nod to the luxury spa.
- If you’re starting afresh with your design, incorporate accents via unsual shaped tiles, decorative pebbles or moldings.
- Plants or flowers within your scheme offer tactility, whilst also looking and smelling great! A beautiful orchid or some eucalyptus leaves work well, whilst fresh roses are the ultimate indulgence. If maintenance is an issue then go faux!
- Use products – a face mask or body cream – which are appealing to the touch. This is all part of the spa-experience.
To ensure a relaxing and indulgent experience, don’t overlook your sense of smell. Choose carefully when designing the scent for your space, as you would when shaping the look.
Introduce some fresh flowers and scented candles into your space
- Consider the overarching scent. Will it be woody and masculine or light and floral? Personally, I like a deep, moody scent for winter which feels cosy and seasonally appropriate. Whilst you can mix scents – via beauty products, diffusers and candles – aim to streamline your options to avoid a ‘clash’.
- Embrace the scented candle. The soft and flattering light will perfectly complement a beautiful scent.
- Consider smell when selecting your bath and beauty products. Ideally, not only will the products look gorgeous – I’m all about the packaging – they will smell great too.
The gentle trickling of water, flicker of a candle or soft pan-pipe music. Commonly associated with a luxury spa, these soft, underrated sounds are central to building ambiance.
Winter is all about indulging in long, relaxing baths
- To set the scene, play some soothing music on a low level. This isn’t the time for belting out your favorite tunes – this ‘spa music’ should be quietly pleasing. If you are designing your luxury spa bathroom from scratch, installing a remotely-operated sound system could be an option. Alternatively, a bluetooth speaker works well.
- If you can summon the strength, turn off your phone. A relentless caller will quickly destroy the serenity of a long soak. The same goes for social media notifications. If you’re using your phone for the music, then ‘flight mode’ is your friend.
All this image needs is a glass of wine!
Hydration is key so bring some flavoured water with you into your ‘luxury spa bathroom’. For a total cleanse, embrace green tea. Peppermint tea – one of my favourites – almost feels half ‘detox’, half ‘delicious’. You could even take it to the next level with a chilled glass of wine, propped on the bath board for easy access! The possibilities are endless!
ABOUT THIS POST
I hope this post has inspired you to create a luxury spa bathroom of your own. I would love to hear your thoughts on the looks I created or the ideas discussed, so feel free to get in touch via the comments section below.
Girl signing off,
*Please note that this post has been sponsored by Kohler. Thanks to The Kohler Experience Centre at West One Bathrooms for use of the showroom. Both Kelly Hoppen London and Amara kindly loaned pieces for the shoot (details have been shared within). I feel it important to reiterate that I only promote brands which I truly believe in and support. As always, my content is entirely original and all views expressed are my own.*
** If you’re looking for more inspiration in luxury design and styling, the following posts may be helpful: 5 WAYS TO ACHIEVE A LUXURY BOUTIQUE HOTEL-STYLE BEDROOM | INTERIOR STYLE: PALM COURT, THE LANGHAM, LONDON5 INTERIOR DESIGN SECRETS TO ENHANCE YOUR SPACE | SOFAS & HANDBAGS – THE ULTIMATE INVESTMENT |