5 ways to bring nature into bathroom design

With hotel bathroom design steering away from convention and moving towards more personal spaces, Plumb It believes wellness spaces should move towards embracing nature…

Hotel Designs biophilic design bathroom

When you think of a calming environment in the bathroom, you may automatically jump to images of spa-like rooms, flooded in ambient light, pale colours and a touch of greenery. While the average person spends more than 90 per cent of their time indoors, healthcare professionals, scientific researchers and architects alike have realised that there is an innate benefit in fostering a connection to nature for humans, even if it means creating this within your built environment.

Incorporating indoor plants is just one factor of this wide-ranging theory of design, which should also include light, the types and colours of materials used and even the shape of the products. Studies have found a stronger connection to nature can provide the human body a source of stress relief, boost in creativity and enhanced ability to focus, turning biophilic design into a sought-after trend. It’s a well-known fact that incorporating elements from nature into the built environment reduces stress, blood pressure levels and heart rate. However, this also increases productivity, creativity, and wellbeing. Where better to bring this idea to life than in the bathroom? After all, this is the room that we most often associate with relaxation, self-care, calm, and escape.

Here are five ways designers could considering bringing the outdoors in.

Amplify natural light

Whether it’s enlarging windows or adding skylights, more access to natural light is a proven method for improving your mood and boosting an overall sense of wellbeing. Natural light also has the power to completely transform rooms from a design perspective – enhancing the way we perceive colour and texture. Natural light is also dynamic, changing the tone of the room throughout the day and by season, creating a more connected, fluid experience from inside the home.

If natural light simply is not an option, then perhaps consider adding natural-light mimicking lightbulbs, which offer softer, colour spectrum-balanced light that has shown many of the same benefits for boosting mood and relieving depression. Using mirrors also a beautiful and natural way to reflect light.

A plant in modern bathroom that has contemporary design

Image credit: Unsplash / Jared Rice

Bring on the botanicals

Plants are nature’s healer and incorporating plenty of them into your bathroom may have far-reaching positive effects. Researchers in the mental health field are studying the positive affects natural environments have on psychological well-being. Greenery, whether wild or cultivated gardens, may offer relief from stress, depression, ADHD and may even increase intellectual performance, from creativity to productivity. If your hotel environment has proximity to natural landscapes, you may emphasise the view from your bathroom. If you have access to natural light, consider bringing the greenery indoors by adding houseplants.

Steam baths

From pouring water over heated rocks to produce steam in sweat lodges to taking advantage of the steam from volcanic hot springs, nearly every civilisation has a steam tradition. And it’s no wonder: the soothing and wellness-bolstering capabilities of this natural wonder from soothing irritated airways to skin care.

A freestanding white bath in the middle of a forest

Image credit: Ashton and Bently

Incorporating this natural element into your bathroom routine is not only luxurious, but good for the environment, too. While it takes 100 gallons of water to fill a large jet-spa tub and 17 gallons just to take an eight-minute shower, 20-minutes of immersion in an aromatically infused steam bath requires only about 1.5 gallons of water. A good way to perform this bath time ritual is through the Ashton and Bentley Biome Range (BioLux 100 per cent recycled natural stone alternative).

Making scents in bathroom design

Another way to bring nature in is aromatherapy. Extracted from sources such as flowers, fruits or leaves, essential oils are thought to tap into the human nervous system through smell. Research is limited, but major medical institutions are investigating the power of plants and smell for reducing pain, relieving indigestion, and promoting better sleep. From electronic diffusers to roll-on oils, there are many ways to incorporate aromatherapy into your routine.

Let there be colour!

Bathroom brands such as Bette, Hansgrohe, +39 natural tiles and Bathroom Living have realised the value of colour in the bathroom. While sandy beige and sage greens are great biophilic colours, consider tapping into favourite landscapes, such as deep blue skies or the blush pink of a summer sunset, for your colour story.

To create your own colour palette, start with a landscape reference photo you love and collect other interior design images, materials and colour swatches that channel the same essence of your chosen photo. The resulting mood board, whether you make it physically or digitally, will make choosing décor easier and make the connection to nature both intentional and memorable. Do this through Accessories or natural products.

Bringing the natural world into the bathroom helps create a relaxing, healing space for respite from a busy life.

> Since you’re here, why not read about smart bathrooms and wellness tech?

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Main image credit: Plumb It