Get ideas to create a luxurious and timeless spa bath design in your own home! Learn how to choose classic finishes to create the feel of a spa bathroom, as well as tips for increasing your bathroom storage and functionality during a remodel.
This is a detailed breakdown of sources and information for creating this spa-inspired bathroom look in your own home. Anyone can get the look of a relaxing spa bath with a few thoughtful choices!
Oh my friends, this bathroom remodel was such a long time coming. We lived in this home for five years before we took this on! And while I never anticipated that it would take this long to finish our upstairs bathrooms, I am certainly so proud of all that we’ve accomplished in that time.
It’s a great reminder that creating a home takes time, and we can indeed live a beautiful life with spaces that are less than perfect. (See our ongoing before and after!) Also, don’t miss our tile paint makeover in our primary bathroom.
I love a good bathroom makeover. There’s just something about taking a dark, dated space (often with very little natural light) and turning it into something clean, bright and updated.
This modern guest bath at our lake cottage was a hit as well!
Today, we are chatting about how to create your own spa bath at home. I hope this gives you the inspiration you need for a little self care and relaxation, no matter your budget!
This is a long post, broken down into categories that I hope you’ll find helpful. I wanted to cover everything and show you how it can be done. Use the handy Table of Contents drop down feature to navigate!
How to Create a Spa Bath at Home
When we began this process, we made a list of priorities for this shared bathroom. First of all, it needed to serve our three little girls well by adding more functionality, storage and space. Secondly, this bathroom also serves as our guest bath.
I spent years feeling pretty embarrassed about the dingy, dark and dated reality of this bathroom. I wanted to create a space that would give guests the impression of a luxurious hotel spa getaway!
While I knew that it was possible to do it all, it took some time and thoughtful planning to put it all together. I’m so proud of the way it turned out and so thrilled to share the results with you!
But first…you have to see the BEFORE images. Was it the worst bathroom ever? Certainly not. But it was well past time for a major upgrade!
Spa Bath Inspiration
Now that our shared guest bath is complete, I think I’ll go soak in the new air tub while I contemplate how long it will take to ever start our primary bathroom remodel!
You can create the spa-inspired bathroom of your dreams, and it’s not as intimidating (or expensive) as you might think.
Some of these ideas require a full renovation, but many can be accomplished with simple, affordable changes.
You can see the full before and after in my latest YouTube video – don’t forget to subscribe!
My approach to choosing the finishes in this bathroom was quite simple. I wanted it to be as timeless as possible for our traditional-style home, while still functioning beautifully with modern spa-like conveniences. So the word of the day became timeless.
Keep it Neutral
With that little mantra in mind, I kept asking myself the same question: would this tile / faucet / mirror / etc have worked in a one hundred year old home?
We don’t know if we will stay in this house for two years or 20. However, if we do decide to move on, I want to be able to sell this home down the road with finishes that I don’t regret! We knew we needed a soft, white background to capture the feeling of a true spa bathroom.
When looking back at bathroom inspiration from older homes (like this historic show home that I featured in Kansas City, Missouri), you’ll notice many of the finishes are what we’re still craving today!
There’s a reason for that. Subway tile? Timeless. Hexagon or any mosaic-inspired floor tile? Also timeless. Brass hardware and faucets? Recessed medicine cabinets? I know you see the pattern in my choices here!
I love how easy it made our decisions…almost as much as I love the pattern on this honeycomb tile!
Classic Tile and Marble
At one point in the planning process, I considered using a larger rectangular shape marble tile on the floor. I had to remind myself that it might be dated in ten years, and that’s definitely not what we were going for.
Instead we opted for a surprisingly affordable marble topped vanity. A marble countertop is timeless, where the flooring choice might have been a little trendy. Bonus: the legs on this vanity offer a little break between the floor and deceive the eye, creating the illusion of more space.
I love that we chose tiles that don’t belong to any particular decade. Plus, they’re often quite affordable, which makes them an even better choice for your spa bath!
White tile is always the best choice for bathroom makeovers in my eyes. It’s timeless and not trendy, but always relaxing and calming to the eye. It immediately creates the perfectly zen feeling we were going for in this bathroom renovation.
Another important tip: Draw the eye to the ceiling by using tile all the way to the ceiling. We removed the soffit above the bathtub and used tile to the ceiling which allows the eye to continue.
Ask yourself: “Would this tile have been used in a vintage home? Will I still love it in ten or 20 years?”– Julie Blanner –
Brass Bathroom Fixtures
We chose Kohler’s Devonshire brass collection because of its clean lines and traditional feel. They feel so elegant and fit right in with our relaxed, yet upscale style goals for this space!
I am in love with the look of these pieces – they coordinate beautifully and create the luxurious spa bath feel we were after! It’s a curated collection that is so timeless and fit perfectly within our budget.
Instead of harsher overhead lighting, I decided to incorporate three gold sconces into the space surrounding the two mirrored medicine cabinets. It adds an immediate feeling of charm and warmth – they are traditional and create both lighting and ambiance for the room.
I was shocked at how affordable these sconces are, and they blend beautifully with the other finishes throughout this spa bath.
I also incorporated a traditional brass shower curtain bar that extends out, which adds a little detail and visual interest as well as interior space. Shower doors can tend to make you feel confined and also detract from a spa bath.
Add a Spa Tub
This was a big priority for me! Two reasons – we haven’t remodeled our own primary bathroom yet, so this was an opportunity to create a relaxing spa escape for me as well as the girls.
I can admit it – I was craving a beautiful spa tub experience in our own home after waiting so long to remodel.
We are so excited to create our own spa treatments right here at home! I considered a traditional whirpool tub or a soaking tub, but the air tub experience won out.
Beyond my own air tub dreams, I knew that adding a spa tub would give our guests that experience as well! When we have guests stay in our home, I want them to feel relaxed. Giving them a luxurious spa-quality bathroom escape accomplishes just that.
Who wouldn’t want to soak in an air tub after a day touring a city that’s not their own? Get all my favorite tips for creating a tranquil guest room experience right here.
What is an Air Tub?
An air tub is simply a variation on the traditional whirlpool jetted spa tub. However, instead of a few powerful water jets, an air tub is filled with tiny holes that shoot air through the water.
It creates an effervescent effect in your spa bath that is beyond relaxing! I fell in love with this style of spa bath while visiting one of our favorite spa hotels.
Both a whirlpool tub and an air tub can create the spa tub effect that we desired. However, an air tub is a little gentler, and it creates the ultimate feeling of soaking in relaxation.
Add Practical Storage
The truth is, a bathroom isn’t relaxing without functionality. You’ve got to find places to stash all those spa bath treatments, right?
Just above the new vanity, the recessed medicine cabinets offer even more storage! I knew that with three young girls, we would need a multitude of storage options for the years ahead.
I love that they can store so much in these beautiful frameless mirrored medicine cabinets. Between the vanity, medicine cabinets, and a new shower niche, we finally have some storage space for bottles!
Instead of a traditional towel rack, we opted for three of these beautiful robe hooks. I find that my girls are more likely to actually hang their towel on an individual hook, versus crowding them onto a traditional rack.
These are working beautifully so far and help to visually break up the space.
Add Soft Textiles
This means softening all the hard lines of a functional bathroom with items like luxurious bath towels, new bath mats, hand towels, and even window treatments.
A linen shower curtain filters the light, softening it as it flows in. A little bit of a romantic touch can never be wrong in a spa, right?
Of course, don’t forget a robe! It’s not a true spa experience without one.
Finally, we had a blackout shade made which replaced the makeshift curtain to provide more privacy. I love the seamless, tailored look of this shade and it’s so nice to find such a custom look at an affordable price!
More Affordable Spa Bath Ideas
Even if you can’t renovate and create your own dream spa bath, you can incorporate some of these wonderful ideas!
- Give the illusion of additional space by using a paint with a high LRV. We used Soft Chamois on the walls and White Dove for trim.
- Add fresh Eucalyptus hanging over your shower head or in a vase on the counter. It’s the ultimate spa fragrance.
- Candles are a must! Find my favorite fragrances in my Amazon Storefront, and learn more tips for How to Make your House Smell Great!
- Use homemade bath recipes to create your favorite spa fragrances, like this lavender bath milk recipe.
- Add a bathtub tray to corral all your spa bath supplies while you’re in the tub.
Come over and see how we finally organized this vanity in my Bathroom Organization post.
Luxury Spa Bath For Less: Sources and Cost
- Wall color – Soft Chamois
- Trim color – White Dove
- Kohler Archer Air Bath
- Kohler Devonshire Bath Faucet Set (beauty kit)
- Overflow Drain (required for tub)
- Kohler Devonshire Toilet Paper Holder
- Gold Transitional Wall Sconces
- Audrey 60-in White Double Sink Bathroom Vanity
- Polished Brass Faucets
- Kohler Devonshire Robe Hooks
- Toilet (This toilet is discontinued so the price keeps going up. We also love this Kohler toilet! The lever is discontinued, too.
- Round Cabinet Knobs
- Medicine Cabinets
- Allen + Roth Roman Shade Cut to Size
- Brass Curved Shower Curtain Rod
- Honeycomb Floor Tile (Our original tiles are discontinued, but these are very similar)
- Ceramic Subway Tile (Again, the original is discontinued but these are exact same size and finish.)
- Grout Color is 00 White
Frequently Asked Questions
Add fresh greenery like houseplants or fresh flowers. Eucalyptus is a favorite! A romantic shower curtain, luxurious towels, scented candles and a bathtub tray to hold your favorite bath goodies while you’re soaking.
Create a steam room with your shower. Try shower melts and of course, light your favorite candles. Hang fresh eucalyptus over your shower head, too.
Technically they are not the same. As we covered above, an air tub is a bit different from a traditional jetted jacuzzi. Not all spa bathtubs, hot tubs and jetted tubs are the same type of product.
The answer to this question depends on many factors. You’ll need to consider the cost of labor in your area (this is the most expensive part – so consider doing some work yourself to save). Evaluate the cost of materials like tile, tub and shower fixtures, vanity or other cabinetry and much more.
A standard bathroom renovation can range anywhere from $10,000 up to $30,00 and much more.
Our Spa Bath Expenses
Below is a cost breakdown of our little luxury spa bath renovation for your own planning purposes! I know how helpful that’s been to me in the past.
The big ticket items for us were the air tub and marble top vanity.
- Materials: $8,000
- Labor: $9,200
I’d love to hear from you! What do you think of our new spa-inspired bathroom? Have you ever tackled a bathroom remodel like this one? (And if you lived to tell the tale, would you do it again?)
More Home Design Resources
- Brass Door Knobs
- Board and Batten
- Choosing Grout Colors
- Basement Bathroom
- Cabinet Knob Placement
- Shaker Doors