How to Create a Zen Bathroom for Less

After a long stressful day, you want nothing more than to slip into a hot bath and enjoy some peace and quiet. Unfortunately, your bathroom doesn’t provide the sense of calm you want. The peace and minimalism of “Zen” is an ideal design aesthetic for any homeowner who wants a sense of serenity. If you’re ready to remodel your bathroom, learn how to affordably harness the power of Zen.Zen_Bathroom

Let the Light In

Many Zen-inspired bathrooms focus on bringing as much of the outdoors inside as possible. The best way to accomplish this is by removing your plastic blinds or heavy drapes to allow as much natural light in as possible. Hang a sheer panel or if privacy is an issue, install bamboo blinds. If you have the money, consider installing a skylight in the bathroom. This relatively inexpensive improvement can be completed by a homeowner in a weekend. If this isn’t feasible, another great way to make your bathroom feel more light and airy is by painting the walls a lighter shade of green, blue or yellow.


The concept of continuity is a large part of the Zen philosophy. When it comes to home décor or improvement, incorporate this concept into your bathroom by installing a vessel sink and seamless glass shower doors. Both elements create a sense of flow in the bathroom and are inexpensive. Because vessel sinks are a hot bathroom trend, you can find a variety of sizes and styles at a price you can fit into your renovation budget. Continue this theme by using a monochromatic color scheme in the space. White, for instance, is an ideal color that works well with this theme. Paint the walls white, and choose white accessories and accents for the space, including a shower curtain, bath mat and hand towels.

Think “Natural”

Zen is an ideal aesthetic for any homeowner who wants an organic or eco-friendly bathroom. For example, bamboo is a sustainable product widely used to create a calming feel. Bamboo flooring is a great option because it’s inexpensive and becoming more popular, which increases the product’s availability while lowering its price. Bring more elements of nature indoors by adorning your bathroom with an orchid or bamboo plant. Both options are a lovely way to bring a sense of calm to the space, but if you must choose one, choose bamboo.


Your idea of a relaxing evening might include a tall glass of wine, a bubble bath and a few scented candles. Continue with the Zen theme by choosing calming lavender scents, or if you’re feeling exotic, lotus. A bronze candle pillar also fits with the Zen theme. If you’re looking for a more understated piece, consider floating a few tea candles inside a shallow container of water, much like the peaceful water lily floats along a stream. Incense is another option, and there are many Asian-inspired scents to choose from.


Stone is an important element in the Buddhist Zen philosophy. It represents calm, peace and tranquility. For the purposes of your bathroom, there are many ways to incorporate this concept into your final design. Marble, granite, travertine and other natural stone flooring and countertops are obvious choices. However, these high-end finishes are often too expensive to be a realistic option. If this is the case, consider creating a small Zen garden in the bathroom. Fill a decorative container with a single layer of refined stones. Leave the stones as-is or use the decorative element as the base for a scented candle or your bamboo plant.

To create a Zen-inspired bathroom, not only incorporate ideal design elements, but live by a new philosophy. Start each day fresh, remain objective and allow your Zen bathroom to give you a sense of calm and peace, which is the best way to end your day.


About the Author: Shannon Michelson is a guest blogger and interior decorator. Shannon recently renovated a homeowner’s bathroom using Zen ideas and philosophies.