When we think of living in plush luxury, one of the first images that come to mind are probably of the last five-star hotel we visited. From the elaborately well-made beds one can immediately sink into to the swank amenities—everything in a hotel caters to and pampers guests throughout their stay. After checking out, one always wishes one could live like this every day. Yet, if we were to emulate the design of a hotel room in our own home, it would leave it soulless and with no element of personal style.
The same, however, doesn’t necessarily hold true for a bathroom. A luxury bathroom is something everyone wants, and taking cues from the luxury bathroom designs we encounter in our travels can be inspiring.
In Indian metros like Mumbai, where the average one-bedroom apartment is approximately 650 square feet in size, the bathroom may be spread across less than 100 square feet. This, paired with the chance of having a lowered ceiling that houses extra storage, might trick you into thinking you can’t recreate a luxurious bathroom.
However, one of the first perks when considering a hotel bathroom is that it is usually housed in a teeny-tiny space. Yet, it has all the elements of luxury: sometimes even a bathtub! This is especially encouraging for urban India, where the sizes of homes seem to be shrinking at a rapid pace. Even if you live in the smallest of homes, sprucing up your bathroom doesn’t require intense rework or renovation.
With the festive season upon us this month, whether you’re hosting a large number of guests or a single person for a simple dinner, your bathroom should, either way, be a comfortable and hygienic space for your visitor. And you’d be surprised how, sometimes, the simplest steps are enough for a luxurious bathroom.
You could have a vanity cloak room made especially for guests or you might need to spruce up the one toilet everyone uses in the house—here are the easiest ways to create a luxury bathroom even in the tiniest of apartments and on the lowest of budgets.
A luxury bathroom, even the smallest of bathrooms, can also be freshened up with a single stemmed flower or leaf in a simple holder. If you have floral decorations or garlands around the house for a special occasion, arrange the leftover petals or flowers in a bowl on the countertop.
Pro tip: Highlight the luxury of having a bathtub by filling it halfway through and sprinkling fragrant petals in it. A stronger glamourous element would be adding a few floating candles.
Image courtesy, Samode Haveli
Image courtesy, H&M
Feel like the not-so appealing view from your window or exposed pipes in the bathroom are coming in the way of your luxury bathroom design? A simple hack would be to add tall potted plants all around to conceal it. A couple of tall bamboo shoots (known to thrive in humid, moist conditions) should do the trick. Don’t overcrowd your bathroom with too many plants, as this would attract mosquitos and end up making your bathroom look more like a plant nursery.
You could also play with texture and add translucent drapes or shades to allow light to stream in, while hiding any flaws. However, make sure they’re water- proof or resistant, do not let them touch the floor or in any other direct contact with any source of water.
When having friends or relatives staying over, the ultimate symbol of a luxury bathroom is setting up the guest bathroom. Designate one toilet for your visitors and spruce it up with elements of luxury bathroom design.
Pro tip: Stocking the bathroom with individual towels, bath linens and robes will go a long way, along with your guest’s favourite shower supplies.
Image courtesy, Artist Residence
Image courtesy, Uma by Como Paro
Beyond what’s necessary, try to pare down or clear out as much as possible. Bath and floor mats may work well for you, but it is a one-way ticket to a messy bathroom when hosting friends. Shoes will trample over these mats leaving dirty marks on them, or kick them around till they look crumpled and not placed as neatly as they should, all which does not make for a luxury bathroom design.
A luxury bathroom is always stocked with everything needed to make a guest feel comfortable. Add a fresh roll of toilet paper in its holder and keep a roll or two (depending on the number of guests) above your pot or anywhere else in plain sight, in case of refills. It would also be helpful to have a box of tissues at hand, placed in a simple tissue box.
Use the cleared space in your empty drawers for stocking emergency supplies your friends may need, such a first-aid kit, safety pins, scissors, floss, mints, and sanitary products.
Image courtesy, George Apostolidis for Mandarin Oriental
Pro tip: If you don’t have drawers, a simple box on the countertop will work just as well.
Image courtesy, Ryad Dyor
Play up your personal style to create a luxury bathroom! If you love colour, add warmth to your bath space with a mix of interesting tiles. You could create a luxury bathroom design by breaking the rules with intricate patterns and contrasting tiles on the top skirting of your walls and ceiling.
Bonus: This is will not only look unique, but also take the focus off a seemingly ordinary bathroom.
The rule of thumb for any luxury bathroom is that the counter should be completely clear, with only a tray of liquid hand soap and a fresh set of hand towels. Go the extra mile and fill up a pump dispenser with the liquid soap for a neater look.
Pro tip: You could also compliment this with a dispenser for hand lotion.
Photography by Patricia Parinejad / Il Sereno Lago di Como
Image courtesy, The Beekman New York
A luxury bathroom is incomplete without a bathtub. While it is the quintessential element in any luxury bathroom design, the idea of installing one in your own space can sound daunting. In case you have the budget but not the space for it, you can make room for a bathtub within your designated shower area. This way your quick shower area could double as a long soak space. As a final touch, you could raise up the platform of your tub to hide away any not-so-glamorous pipework.
There’s no room for your personal beauty products and shower supplies in a luxury bathroom. These should be put away in storage in the bathroom (such as drawers and cupboards).
Easy hack: A simple trick would also be to hide things behind a room divider.
Image courtesy, The Ned
Image courtesy, Hotel Café Royal
The signature sign for any luxury bathroom is candles. Even a single fragranced candle on your countertop will leave a floating freshness around the room. And while one or two candles will add a touch of luxury and warmth to the bathroom, a collection of them can be placed in spaces your guests won’t be using.
Warning: Be sure to not make your luxury bathroom look like someone walked into a wake!
To emulate any luxury bathroom design, always have a tray or basket full of freshly laundered, ironed and neatly folded hand towels on your countertop, even if they’re not in a single colour. It’s okay to mix and match your towels in an interesting way!
Pro tip: Keep a stock of double the number of guests (and maybe a little more, just in case) and restock them at regular intervals.
Image courtesy, Hotel Café Royal
Photography by David Loftus for El Fenn
Make space for disposals in your luxury bathroom. Place a wicker basket or small bin on the floor next to your napkins for guests to dispose their used towels. To avoid confusion, place a used one in the basket so your guests may follow by example. The same goes for any other waste. Fit another bin further away, possibly closer to the pot, with a few sheets of used paper as an indicator.
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of completely drying out your bath space to create a luxury bathroom. A week before hosting, check for leakages and call your plumber to fix any long-overdue repairs. On the day of your get-together, make sure everything is bone dry, and make arrangements to routinely check it throughout the night, as guests use your bathroom.
Image courtesy, At Six
Image courtesy, Royal Lochnagar
The key to any luxury bathroom design is basic neatness and cleanliness. A couple of days before having guests over, give the entire room a deep clean from the grouting between your tiles to the fittings on your sink and pot.
Pro tip: Simple tricks, such as making a mixture of vinegar and water to wipe out stains from your taps and knobs, will leave them looking fresh and shiny.
Always be prepared
Have a plan in place to routinely check, clean and restock your luxury bathroom. While you may be engaged throughout the due attending to guests, mingling, refilling glasses and plates, the help at home or a family member or close friend should be assigned to look into the bathroom situation at regular intervals. The best time for you to sneak into the bathroom for any touch ups would be when everyone’s sat down to eat.
Last but not least, there are some friends we know better than we know ourselves. If there’s a guest, who can’t help leave a room looking like the Tasmanian Devil attacked it, be prepared for them in advance and make a beeline for the bathroom right after!
Image courtesy, Kimpton