Simple Tricks to Create a Spa-Like Bathroom on a Budget

Yes, even on a budget, you can have a luxe, spa-like bathroom. Follow our tips and tricks to create your own calming oasis without breaking your bank account.

A trip to the spa leaves you feeling relaxed, pampered, and rejuvenated. The experience centers on a serene environment that's carefully designed to help you unwind and escape, and you can easily re-create that soothing atmosphere in your own bathroom. By incorporating calming elements, upgrading fixtures, and minimizing clutter, you can achieve a spa-like escape that allows you to melt away stress and relax in peace. It requires only a few simple tweaks—you don't have to take on a major bathroom remodel—just reimagine your bathroom as your own personal sanctuary, and use these tips to achieve that feeling every day.

wooden vanity plants bathroom
Kim Cornelison

1. Incorporate natural decor.

Incorporating plants is one of the easiest tricks for making your bathroom feel like a spa. Place potted houseplants on the floor, countertop, and other bathroom surfaces, or try hanging a potted plant from the ceiling. Be sure to choose plants that will thrive in a humid bathroom environment and in the light the space receives. If living plants aren't suitable for your space or skills, set a vase filled with fresh flowers on a shelf or countertop, or decorate with faux plants or flowers.

mint green bathroom
John Bessler

2. Declutter your bathroom.

Cluttered countertops and jam-packed bathroom cabinets aren't conducive to relaxation. To streamline your space, start by getting rid of any products that have expired or gone unused in the last year. As you restock, place any items you don't use on a regular basis inside cabinets, drawers, or baskets. Prioritize counter space and other open storage for the few essentials you use every day, and neatly tuck everything else away.

bathroom with blue cabinets and white shelving
Emily Followill

3. Stock plush bath towels.

Fluffy, luxuriously soft towels are key to achieving a spa-like atmosphere. Choose bath towels made from an absorbent material, such as cotton or bamboo, that over time will stand up well to washing. Display extra towels in a rolled arrangement, or create a stack with crisply folded edges. For an extra special touch, invest in a towel warmer rack ($165, Bed Bath & Beyond) so you can wrap yourself in a warm, cozy towel every time you step out of the shower.

black shower head in front of bathroom window
Laura Moss

4. Install a new showerhead.

Replacing your basic showerhead with a more luxurious model is an easy swap that can turn your daily routine into a rejuvenating experience. Look for features that suit your needs and preferences, such as massaging spray patterns, a handheld component, or a rain showerhead that sprays water from directly above. If you have room in your budget, consider upgrading other bathroom fixtures, such as the faucet or commode, to high-quality models with special features like touchless automation or heated toilet seats.

Bathroom with light blue walls and hanging white towels
Laura Moss

5. Use color to create calm.

Choose soft, muted colors to establish a tranquil environment. When selecting your bathroom color scheme, avoid high-contrast pairings, such as black and white or blue and orange, which are bold and energizing rather than calming. Pairing warm neutrals with colors inspired by nature, like seafoam green or sky blue, creates a peaceful palette that would look right at home in a fancy spa.

shower shelving bathroom tile
Stacey Brandford

6. Upgrade your toiletries.

Reinforce the spa look with extra details, like aesthetically pleasing bath products that blend with your color scheme. If your favorite products don't come in spa-worthy packaging, consider decanting your hand soap or shampoo and conditioner into pretty bottles. Clear glass jars are great for holding sponges, cotton rounds, and other small items. Organize toiletries on a tray by the sink to add a luxurious feel to your vanity area.

7. Incorporate plenty of bathroom storage.

Make it easy to maintain a clean, uncluttered look by incorporating lots of storage into your bathroom. In addition to bathroom cabinets and drawers, bring in baskets, mount hooks or shelves, and utilize furniture to boost storage and organization. Store like items together, and use smaller containers to subdivide into categories. Keeping everything together in one spot makes getting ready stress-free.

bathroom vanity wood white green rug
Brie Williams

8. Soften floors with rugs.

Create luxuriously soft spaces by covering bathroom floors with plush rugs. Not only do rugs add character and another element of coziness, but they can save you from having to step onto cold tile floors on chilly mornings. To prevent mold or bacteria in the area right outside the tub or shower, choose a mat made from quick-drying material.

white bathroom with wooden double vanity and small bench
Cameron Sadeghpour

9. Brighten your bathroom with reflective surfaces.

Create a bright, airy look by outfitting your bathroom with lots of shimmering reflective surfaces. Large-scale mirrors, chrome fixtures, and polished tile all give bathrooms a sense of lightness and brightness, which can in turn lift your mood. To further brighten a dim bathroom, install additional light fixtures or choose brighter bulbs.

10. Incorporate calming scents.

Certain scents can instantly transport you to a peaceful mental space. Incorporate aromatherapy into your bathroom with calming scents like lavender, rosemary, or ylang-ylang. Essential oil diffusers and scented candles, lotions, or soaps provide simple ways to set a tranquil mood. Or hang a bundle of eucalyptus in your shower for a fresh burst of fragrance when you turn on the water.

shower with teak bench shower seat
Michael Partenio

11. Put a bench in the shower.

Take a note from luxury spas and hotels and put a water-resistant bench in your walk-in shower. This stylish addition offers a perch where you can sit back and enjoy the shower spray, and a shower bench also provides a handy surface for items like soap and shampoo.

small bathroom blue chair
Emily Followill

12. Offer a cozy seat.

If your bathroom offers some additional square footage, a side chair or settee can make the room feel extra cozy and inviting. Position a chair near your tub or shower enclosure for a comfy spot to towel off. It should be upholstered in an indoor-outdoor fabric that can withstand a little heat and steam.

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