How to Make Your Bathroom Feel Like a Boutique Hotel Sanctuary

How to Make Your Bathroom Feel Like a Boutique Hotel Sanctuary

A dream hotel bathroom is more than just fancy towels, gorgeous fixtures, beautiful mood lighting, bespoke soap dispensers, and lavender reed diffusers. Hotels like the Loew’s in Seattle, with its freestanding tubs that you can see from all angles of the room, to the marble details at the Viceroy in New York City, destress you from the moment you walk in the room.

Turning your own home bathroom into your personal hotel-like sanctuary is the perfect way to get some extra tranquility and wash away the stress of your day within the walls of your home—no travel needed.

Here are our top tips to make your bathroom feel like a boutique hotel:


Layout is essential + guides the eye

When done right, the layout of your bathroom is what allows your eye to flow nicely from piece to piece. The number one tip for any bathroom is don't make the toilet the focal point of the room. As with the majority of popular boutique hotels, it’s common in European homes for the toilet to be in a separate, smaller room, so this is always the preferred layout for your bathroom whenever possible.

While a three-in-a-row layout (sink, toilet, tub/shower) gets the job done, to achieve the optimal layout for both use and beauty, consider elements like pocket doors to enclose the toilet, as well as dual sinks—for both convenience and aesthetics, and place the tub and/or shower where it can be the star of the room. Changing up the layout is the difference between a drabby bathroom and a high-end, boutique-like bathroom.

Another thing to consider with your layout is how you will create storage areas without disrupting the overall flow. Since everyone using a bathroom has different needs and routines, and especially when a bathroom will be used by multiple people, it’s nice to be able to accommodate everyone's needs and routines while also offering the right amount of space while they’re in the bathroom. Therefore, storage space is a must for any bathroom. Aim to offer storage options that make it possible to conceal everything except the most frequently used and aesthetically-pleasing items. Not only will this allow your bathroom to have that uncluttered, more relaxed feeling, but it will also make your bathroom look more beautiful all around.

This project and the one below are great examples of how using great fixtures and materials can elevate a project.

Focus on Fixtures + Material Choices

Your bathroom fixtures can make or break your bathroom experience, so don’t skimp on fixtures budget-wise. And as with other home expenditures, with fixtures, you get what you pay for in both quality and longevity, so opting for higher-priced fixtures can actually save you costly repair and replacement headaches over time.

Where showerheads are concerned, having a stationary and handheld combo option is a must. Also consider your personal preferences with showerheads before purchasing: Do you like a lot of coverage? Do you like greater water pressure? Or both? You might also consider adding a steam option to your shower for a true, spa-like experience.


When it comes to materials opt for soft and natural: When choosing the materials to include in your bathroom, the key is to go for soft and natural rather than the more harsh and engineered-looking options. While your budget might not allow for floor to ceiling marble, you can include touches of materials like marble, slate, granite, quartz, and travertine, saving money while still achieving the feel you’re going for. These materials will also enhance both the look and feel of your bathroom space as well as provide the functionality and durability needed where your bathroom surfaces are concerned. Since these surfaces need to endure such things as soap buildup, toothpaste, cosmetics, and alcohol and acetone-based products, as well as offer scratch resistance, opt for the types of surfaces (like those named above) that can provide for the everyday use of this space while protecting the surface.

This bathroom features unique lighting in both the mirror and on the walls to help set the mood

Set the mood with proper lighting

Lighting is important in any space. It can help reduce eye fatigue allowing you to feel more relaxed from the start.

Choose the correct bulbs: Where your bathroom bulbs are concerned, think about light color and always make sure your bulbs match.

  • For mirror lighting, a high-temperature light (3500k or above) and high CFI (90 or above) offers a truer representation of color, which is always optimal.
  • For general mood lighting, like near a bathtub, for example, try and introduce accent lighting with a warmer light temp (around 2700k). And to set just the right mood, add a dimmer to your bathroom lighting, especially around the tub.

Use natural light: Always make optimal use of any natural lighting in this space. It is the best type of lighting. If privacy is a concern, glass treatments can offer needed privacy while still allowing that natural light to shine through. And don’t forget about including skylights if possible, which can safely add natural light without any privacy issues.

Pay close attention to mirror lighting: Have you ever noticed that you always look better in a hotel bathroom mirror? To get this same feature for the mirror in your bathroom, eliminate the traditional light bar above the sink and, instead, use front-facing diffused lighting for your mirror. This will make that image in the mirror much more flattering.


Soak in the view

Let’s be honest...soaking in the tub after a stressful day—or any time during the day—can quickly bring that spa experience within the walls of your own home. So, depending on your bathroom layout, consider placing your tub near a window where it will have a view, offering even more calm and stress relief to your soaking sessions. This has us dreaming of so many luxury hotel bathrooms.

If no view is possible, think about adding a skylight over the tub area if that option is available. If neither is an option, add some calming artwork and candles near your tub area to help accomplish the same relaxation goal. You can soak in the view while soaking in the tub. Doesn’t it sound amazing already?

bathroom interior design with natural lighting

Consider your climate

You want to consider your climate when designing your bathroom. You wouldn’t want a design that doesn’t work for your surroundings. Consider creating warmth if you live in colder climates. Depending on where you live, heated floors can be a real luxury and an option we highly recommend since no one wants to step out of a bath or shower onto cold tile flooring. A towel warmer is also a nice option to have, but not everyone needs one. No matter where you live, make sure your bathroom has adequate heating based on your climate.

Don’t forget about venting, which is key for two reasons. One, to remove steam from the room, which can encourage mold growth if not adequately ventilated. And two, to remove smells, which can be both annoying and embarrassing in your bathroom space. Unfortunately, the commonly used vents are unattractive, so our preference is a minimal seamless custom vent option. We also like switches that will automatically switch on and off depending on the humidity levels in the bathroom so you don’t even need to think about the potential for mold, condensation issues, musty odors, and paint and wallpaper damage that excessive humidity can cause in your bathroom space.

large shower with sleek white tiles designed by Stewart-Schafer

Hire a designer

Hotels hire designers to create their bathroom experiences, and so should you. As mentioned previously, matching everyone’s wants and needs and truly understanding what makes good bathroom design while matching aesthetic aspirations can be very challenging. A designer can guide you through the process from beginning to end to make sure your bathroom is everything you’ve dreamed of—from functionality to that all-important sanctuary space.

Following these top tips are a surefire way to turn your bathroom into bliss. One quick and easy fixt to create a true sanctuary feeling in your bathroom: consider bringing in nature through the use of plants. Not only can plants create added beauty, but they can also improve indoor air quality, which is important in any indoor space. If you need someone to guide you through each step of the process, we’re happy

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