How to create a bathroom sanctuary without blowing the budget

·5-min read
Bathroom bliss on a budget (The Bathroom Showroom/PA)
Bathroom bliss on a budget (The Bathroom Showroom/PA)

When you want to escape the world and indulge in some at-home relaxation, a dream bathroom can work wonders.

“The bathroom is increasingly seen as a place of sanctuary and self-care, a personal retreat to unwind, take time for you, and find peace away from the busyness of everyday life,” says Claire Logan, of fragrance brand ARRAN Sense of Scotland.

“With the stresses of modern living, particularly with the current cost of living crisis, creating a spa-at-home sanctuary is more important than ever, with regards to wellbeing.

“Think calming scents, luxe accessories and soothing colour tones – within the comfort of your own home,” adds Logan.

So, where should you start when it comes to bringing your own bathroom bliss to life?

“Getting the design right in the first instance is key to creating an at-home sanctuary where you can really switch off,” says Helen Ray-Dennett of Mermaid Panels. “It’s important to consider not only aesthetics, but functionality too.”

She says colour is crucial, with neutral hues such as soft beiges, creams, whites, light greys and blues helping to create a feeling of tranquillity.

“Naturally evoking feelings of calm, these neutral shades are not only easy on the eye but easy to pair with accessories too,” notes Ray-Dennett.

Clear the clutter

Think clean lines for a sense of calm and air purifying plants (Alamy/PA)
Think clean lines for a sense of calm and air purifying plants (Alamy/PA)

Atmosphere is everything, when it comes to relaxation. As Logan puts it: “Less is definitely more when creating a bathroom sanctuary. It’s much easier to fully relax in a space without clutter, so store items like make-up, hair-dryers and toiletries out of sight under the sink or in storage baskets.

“A minimalist style is key for engendering a serene and calm environment,” she adds.

Calming colourways and aromatherapy

Channel spa vibes when thinking about bathroom décor. “Neutrals, pale blues and serene greens are known to promote a soothing atmosphere,” Logan continues. “Nature-inspired colours such as earthy browns, soft greys and sage greens give off an organic and calming effect.”

Drift-off with an at-home spar experience (Alamy/PA)
Drift-off with an at-home spar experience (Alamy/PA)

And when it comes to indulging your olfactory senses, Logan recommends jasmine and lavender for their calming, de-stressing and sleep-enhancing properties, ylang-ylang for improving your mood, whilst bergamot is great for energising. And as well as being invigorating, eucalyptus is a great decongestant in winter months, she adds.

Embrace the Japandi look

“This hybrid home décor trend combines the rustic charm of Japanese minimalism with the beauty of Scandinavian functionality,” explains Parv Sangera, managing director of The Bathroom Showroom.

“Japandi brings together Eastern and Western design to create spaces that ensure every surface flows harmoniously – and encourages functionality with hidden storage solutions.”

Bamboo style accessories complete the Japandi look (The Bathroom Showroom/PA)
Bamboo style accessories complete the Japandi look (The Bathroom Showroom/PA)

This allows the natural shape and lines of the room to be the focal point, she says, balancing form and function to create one singular space.

“Clean and aesthetic is the direction of this design, making it ideal for the bathroom space in particular,” notes Sangera. “Neutral colour palettes, simple features, and natural elements such as stone, textiles, bamboo, wood, marble and hemp are key elements of the Japandi interior design fascination.”

When it comes to colour, she says homeowners looking to achieve this style should sway towards stone, oatmeal, rust, taupe and beige.

Luxurious wall effects


With a nod to the Japandi trend, Ray-Dennett says using texture on your walls creates a soft yet notable effect. “Marble and slate are popular choices, as they add interest in a gentle way. Often, these raw materials come with a high price tag, so choosing panels that mimic these materials is a great way to keep costs low, whilst achieving your desired effect,” she adds.

Wall panels, which can be easily installed across the whole bathroom, can create a retreat that’s easy to maintain and clean – ensuring all time spent in the space is enjoyable and stress-free, Ray-Dennett notes. “After all, no-one wants to notice dirty grouting when experiencing the blissful joy of a spa-style shower,” she adds.

Being eco-aware 


“When creating your perfect bathroom sanctuary, it’s important to choose a shower that not only looks good, but gives you a cleaner conscience too,” notes Tina Simpson, marketing director at Triton Showers. “An electric model is a great option for those looking to add a touch of sophistication to their relaxing retreat, without costing the earth.”

She says by heating water instantly and on demand, electric showers avoid unnecessary wastage, without compromising on performance.

“Every drop of water saved makes a difference and by switching from mixer to electric shower, an average family of four could save up to 48,000 bottles of water over a year, which is the equivalent of 0.31 tonnes of carbon.”

Vinyl flooring for the win

Olympus Milo 532 vinyl flooring, from £29.99 m2, (Carpetright/PA)
Olympus Milo 532 vinyl flooring, from £29.99 m2, (Carpetright/PA)

With the look and feel of wood, tiles and even stone, vinyl flooring can elevate your space and harmonise with your fixtures and fittings, potentially saving money too.

“Vinyl flooring is a great way of creating a stylish bathroom sanctuary without blowing the budget, and is highly water-resistant,” says As David Snazel, hard flooring buyer for Carpetright.

“In recent years, there have been many developments in design and styles that mean the effects vinyl can create – such as tile or wood – are incredibly realistic, for a fraction of the price. It’s a great choice for busy families with children too, as it’s durable whilst being softer and warmer underfoot than laminate.”