Two Zen Bathroom Tours

To create a truly relaxing, peaceful place to soak, consider creating a Zen-like atmosphere with natural products and clean design.

Modern Feng Shui Bathroom Design

Inspired by yoga and feng shui, a Dallas homeowner clears out 1970s kitsch to reveal her bathroom's enlightened potential. An 8-inch-thick wall, built in front of the original wall to hold two heavy vanities, is covered by mirrors to increase the feeling of spaciousness in this 10-foot-wide bathroom. Opposite the sinks, slate envelops a deep whirlpool tub.

Relaxing Bathtub

Grass cloth at the tub's head and marble along the side offset the rugged slate surround. The ceiling alcove housing the tub filler is lined with slate tiles that match the tub surround. Unobtrusive lights in the ceiling supply extra illumination.

Multiple-Jet Shower

The slate-tile ceiling alcove repeats above the shower for balance and harmony. The monolithic slate tower, hiding plumbing and providing privacy for the toilet area, contrasts with the subdued travertine.

Shoji Screen

Shoji screens, such as these used for doors to the master bath, became fashionable in the West after they were displayed at the 1867 International Exhibition for Industry and Art in Paris. While beautiful, the traditional rice paper tears easily. To avoid this problem, use paper laminated with PVC resin or made of acrylic. Available in stores and online, these varieties look genuine but are vastly more durable.

Ceiling Tub Filler

A ceiling-mount bathtub filler creates a spa feel. The sophisticated faucets add a finishing touch to a luxurious bathroom. This is a great solution for a freestanding tub where you can't put the faucet on a wall.

Organic Materials

Various organic materials in neutral tones play off one another in this master bathroom:

* Light-color marble, which extends across the entire back wall, contrasts with dark slate and river rock.
* Grass-cloth wallpaper adds texture and complements the honey-hue maple of the vanities, door frames, and window frames.
* Smooth concrete on the countertops and etched concrete on the floor pick up on the deep shades of slate in the tub surround.
* Laminated shoji paper retains its Asian edge but is strong enough to withstand moisture.
* Mirrors and glass reflects both natural and artificial light, making the room appear larger.

Bathroom Floor Plans

The Change: A long and narrow master bathroom designed with lifeless colors, imitation marble, and antiquated hardware is transformed into a feng shui-inspired retreat. What it took:

* Gutting the entire space to allow a fresh start.
* Using room-expanding design tricks such as pocket doors, a floor-to-ceiling mirror, a frameless shower, and "floating" vanities.
* Incorporating natural materials such as stone and grass cloth to add texture and soft color.
* Installing shoji-style door and window coverings to filter harsh light and inject a meditative Eastern touch.
* Choosing fixtures with spare, clean lines and accessories such as the ceiling-mount tub filler and graceful porcelain vessel sinks to create the sophisticated mood of an elegant spa.

Zen Design Master Bath

A corner tub helps break up a too-symmetrical bath for California homeowners seeking a serene retreat. Installed in the middle of the room instead of the corner, it creates a unique visual line through the space. Natural light, a glass shower enclosure and high ceilings give the room an open, airy feel.

Double Bathroom Vanities

The colors in the backsplash tile and bamboo blend with the travertine countertop for a serene palette. The structural wall dividing the vanity sinks holds dual medicine cabinets.

Mosaic Glass Tile

The glass tile installed vertically mimics the striation of the bamboo cabinetry. It adds visual interest while keeping the colors muted for a peaceful design.

Walk-In Shower

Travertine tile from floor to ceiling keeps color and pattern to a minimum for a tranquil shower under the modern rain showerhead. The backs of built-in niches are tiled with the same glass mosaic as the vanity wall for a unified look and visual interest.

Modern Tub Fixture

The modern design of the bath fixtures keeps the look simple and clean for a spa feel. To allow for the open feel, a travertine block conceals plumbing for the wall-mount tub filler.

Bathroom Layout

A bathroom suffering from proportion issues -- the tub was too large and the vanities too small -- gets a Zen transformation resulting in a balanced, harmonious space. What it took:

*To create asymmetrical interest in an almost square room, designers used a corner tub to break up the right angles.
*Cabinetry and the vanity countertop are angled to create access to the room. The angles mimic that of the tub and add to the unique lines of the room, creating visual interest.
*A minimalist design was achieved through limiting materials to a few -- bamboo, travertine, and glass. Together they create a serene color palette.
*Sleek fixtures, natural materials, and ample natural light create a spa ambience.

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