Five steps to the perfect spa-style bathroom

From your budget to your expectations, understand exactly what you want to achieve before you take the plunge

bathroom with white marble

(Image credit: Future PLC/Alicia Taylor)

These days, size and budget are no obstacle in turning a regular bathroom into a sanctuary. Scaled-down steam rooms and a deluge of luxe showering ideas, clever ways with tiling and spa-inspired solutions – there are lots of ingenious ideas to make a style statement. Follow our must-read advice before you embark on your project.

1. Assess your needs

Are you seeking a haven to escape to, or are you more of an invigorate and energise kind of person? This will affect the fixtures, fittings and colour scheme you choose. ‘The key to planning a spa space is to forget about how you currently use the space, and instead imagine how you would like to use it,' says designer Hayley Tarrington. ‘Draw on your experiences when you've visited great spas, for example, and visualize how you would like your new scheme to function.'

bathroom with wooden side trolley table and bathtub and wooden flooring

(Image credit: TBC)

2. Identify your style

Flick through interiors magazines to gather tear sheets and try to bring together a visual checklist of what appeals to you, whether that's an Eastern-Zen look, or something more Scandi-inspired. ‘This will really help formulate your ideas for the look,' says Hayley Tarrington. ‘It's easier to show someone a mood board to express your vision.'

3. Make a wish list

Do you want a huge shower? A double vanity unit? Or have you always dreamed of your own freestanding bath? Identify your starting point and plan around it.
Although the design and the products you include need to be quite practical, for a family bathroom, say, it is still possible to create a spa feel with core fittings, such as an overhead rainshower or body jets. For an en suite, you have license to go all-out with more indulgent elements, such as a deep soak bath.

bathroom with grey wall and bathtub

(Image credit: TBC)

4. Set a budget

Deciding on a budget in advance means you can prioritise where to spend and where to save. And the good news is that it doesn't have to cost thousands to create a spa feel. Invest in just one beautiful piece, such as a freestanding bath
(which you can pick up for under £500) and show it off against a more budget-conscious backdrop. Bear in mind you also need to allocate some money to practical elements. You might need a larger water tank if you are planning a drench shower, and a water softener can be a smart idea to prevent the build-up of limescale.

5. Consult a professional bathroom designer

There is no question that an expert will help you to get the most out of your budget.
They can suggest small and inexpensive details that you may have not considered, such as recesses for candles or oils. This will make the difference between a functional bathroom and a relaxing, spa-like space.

bathroom with white tub and cabinets

(Image credit: TBC)