Creating an Oriental-Inspired Bathroom

The first thing that springs to mind when thinking of Oriental bathroom spaces is a spa-like feel: peaceful, tranquil and ultimately very relaxing – the bathroom should become something of a haven where stresses and strains can simply be washed away.

Be it a full bathroom makeover or a few Feng Shui tweaks, whatever the budget, an Oriental bathroom IS within reach.

Zen and the Art of Bathing

The Oriental bathroom is all about relaxation and calm.  Often the bath’s primary function is to soak rather than cleanse – indeed the toilet and other hygiene functions are kept apart, perhaps with a Japanese style shoji-paper screen if an entirely separate room is out of the question.

The space should be clear, uncluttered and minimalistic – everything should have a clear purpose.  Ideally, the bathtub should be freestanding and decorative touches should be kept to an absolute minimum – consider beautiful, natural toiletries in sleek, plain jars and bottles; plain white towels rolled and neatly stacked; a bamboo plant in a sleek vase.

Natural light is highly desirable – keep the window free of clutter, with no fussy dressing (perhaps a simple blind or plantation shutter if necessary) and really let the light flood in.

Be careful with colour in the Oriental bathroom – it’s all about natural and neutral as bright or deep colours can be jarring to the senses and distract from the serene atmosphere.

Walls, Floors and Finishing Touches

Sticking with the natural materials so beloved in Zen culture, wooden or stone flooring is ideal and in fact, given that bamboo plays a big part in this style, why not bamboo flooring and blinds?  If those are a little out of reach, there are many bamboo effect vinyls and laminates available to suit every budget.  If a new floor is out of the question then a couple of wooden duck boards will instantly give the look, especially if teamed with artfully placed smooth, round pebbles around the tub.

Knowing that for true tranquillity, everything must have a place and a purpose, a few details could still be added which complement the scheme:

  • Water features or waterfall style taps
  • Buddha heads
  • Silky, kimono-like robes
  • Plain, white candles
  • Luxurious essential oils and bath salts
  • Simple Japanese garden or cherry blossom artwork

What is left to do once the bathroom is transformed into an oasis of calm?  Just breathe and… relax.