How to bring hotel chic to your bathroom

Bathrooms are becoming so much more than just a practical space. Inspired by luxurious hotels, more and more of us want to transform our bathrooms into beautiful and relaxing havens to soak away the day’s worries and refresh. This is certainly the objective for my family bathroom renovation, for which I have been collecting ideas lately. With bathrooms on my mind, I am delighted to be teaming up with Soho Home to bring you this guide on how to bring a 5-star hotel feel to your bathroom; from the practical and style considerations, right down to lovely bathroom accessories that finish off the space beautifully and make it a joy to use every single day.

1.  REQUIREMENTS & LAYOUT

If you are fully renovating it, the first thing to nail down is the layout, that is if you didn’t already have a layout that worked well. Play around with a scale drawing of the space and think about what you really want in the space. Many of us have to work with notoriously compact bathrooms so there has to be a balance between wants and needs: one sink vs a double vanity, a fitted bath vs a roll top bath, a shower bath vs a separate bath and shower enclosure, etc. Also consider what you’ll see first when you walk in. If you’re going for a statement bath, or having a gorgeous vanity, it’d be great to make that the first thing you see. If possible, tuck the loo away from first sight and also keep it against or close to an external wall for ease of plumbing.

Bathroom renovation tips by First Sense || Jenna Lyons Soho Loft Bathroom
What a way to enter a bathroom! This is insanely luxurious and we can only dream, but it still makes the point of wowing with a beautiful vanity. Image: Jenna Lyons’ SoHo loft apartment via Katie Considers

Bathroom renovation tips by First Sense || Bathroom design by Amber Interiors
A wall has been built to tuck away the loo here. If you’re short on space, imagine this without the wall. The concept still works, as the vanity draws your attention first. Image: Amber Interiors

Bathroom renovation tips by First Sense || Statement black clawfoot bath, white metro tiles
The clawfoot bath is the star of the show in this bathroom. Image: Design*Sponge

2.  STORAGE

Don’t let bathroom storage be an afterthought. Nothing takes away the feeling of luxury in a bathroom quicker than the clutter of toiletries. Hotel bathrooms don’t require much storage but real life family bathrooms definitely do, so plan in storage by way of a cupboard and/or a basin vanity with drawers or cupboards. A mirror cabinet above the basin is also very handy but keep it stylish. Additionally, have a little niche in the shower if you can for a neat way to store the soap and shampoo that is used daily, and a shelf or two to display some pretty stuff, because every space needs some pretty stuff (point 6 below covers more on this).

Deep burgundy marble-topped vanity || Bathroom renovation tips by First Sense
Essential practical storage can also be fabulous! Image: Decus Interiors

Combining closed and open storage || Bathroom renovation tips by First Sense
A stunning combination of closed and open storage! Image: fourteen.oh.five

3.  LIGHTING

Have you ever wondered why everyone looks better in hotel bathroom mirrors? It’s all in the lighting! Lighting mirrors evenly on either side limits shadows, perfect for makeup application or shaving. You also need good overhead lighting to create a bright well-lit room in the morning and soft low-level lighting for a relaxing evening soak in the tub. If you don’t have a separate source for ambient lighting, you can achieve the effect by having the overhead lighting on a dimmer.

Bathroom renovation tips from First Sense || Lighting a bathroom
The mirrors are flanked by chic sconces, with the opal glass softening the light. Image: Elms Interior Design

4.  STYLE

Whether your style is classic or contemporary, marble can’t be beaten for a timeless and luxe hotel look. Whether cladding your shower in marble or commissioning a marble countertop, this material in all its various forms exudes luxury. If swathing your bathroom in marble is blowing the budget, then marble-effect porcelain tiles, which I talked about in my previous post, are a more affordable and practical alternative.

Marble tiled bathroom at The Ned || Bathroom renovation tips by First Sense
This marble-tiled bathroom at The Ned London, with gorgeous Cowshed products, sets the tone for a luxurious pampering experience.

Bathroom renovation tips by First Sense || Marble tiles combined with glazed brick tiles
Carrara marble tiles are combined with glazed brick tiles and black hardware to stunning effect. Image: Elizabeth Roberts

Bathroom renovation tips by First Sense || Marble-effect porcelain
Large format marble-effect porcelain is used as a countertop and wall cladding in this gorgeous bathroom. Image: Cedar+Suede

Of course, marble isn’t the be-all and end-all for bathrooms. If you want a different look that still gives you a tranquil spa-style bathroom, glazed tiles in soothing colours are a wonderful option.

Bathroom renovation tips by First Sense || Eau de nil Zellige tiles create a soothing bathroom
Zellige tiles in eau de nil tones create a relaxing bathroom. Image: Retrouvius

Bathroom renovation tips by First Sense || Tonal white glazed tiles
White glazed tiles in subtle tones bounce light and add texture and dimension. Image: Arkee Creative

6.  THE PRETTY THINGS

When you’ve been through a renovation to create your dream bathroom, it’s only right that you treat yourself to the good stuff to really live the hotel bathroom experience at home! Engage your senses with soft fluffy bath linen, beautiful looking lotions and potions that smell just as good, and diffusers or scented candles. Have a look at all the gorgeous bathroom products at Soho Home to help you finish off your bathroom design and get you on your way to feeling pampered as you deserve to be! From hooks to hair putty, they have it all.

For any toiletries that are purchased at the supermarket, the trick is to decant them into pretty bottles and storage jars. Cotton balls, for example, look positively lovely when stored a pretty glass jar on the counter or shelf.

Finally, the tip that I use for every single space: greenery and wood are great for adding colour and life, especially so in a bathroom which may otherwise look aesthetically cold.

Bathroom renovation tips by First Sense || Soft fluffy bathlinen from Soho Home
No bathroom should be without soft fluffy towels and robes. Image: Soho Home

Bathroom renovation tips by First Sense || Pretty bathroom towels
Hotels use white towels which always look lovely, but coloured/patterned towels can be a great way to add contrast and interest to bathroom. Have matching towels but sew on different coloured hanging loops or tags for each person to avoid confusion! Image: Cedar+Suede

Bathroom renovation tips by First Sense || Beautiful bathroom accessories
Pamper with lovely products. Image: TOL’KO Interiors

Bathroom renovation tips by First Sense || Dreamy spa-like bathroom
The fiddle leaf fig tree brings life and colour to this white bathroom, contributing to the dreamy spa-inspired vibe. Image: Liljencrantz Design

So these are my tips for creating a hotel-style look and feel in your bathroom for a gloriously luxurious experience you can enjoy every day. Are you renovating a bathroom or would you like to give yours a little revamp? What is your must-have thing in a bathroom? Let me know in the comments below!

This post is in collaboration with Soho Home. As always, all ideas, opinions and words are my own.



Follow:

9 Comments

  1. September 5, 2018 / 12:44 pm

    This is a great post. We are just finishing off our bathroom renovation and I am delighted we seem to have nailed most of these pretty well even in a small space. The dimmer switch for the overhead light was the best design decision I have ever made – it means I can still read in my candlelit bath without needing a million candles!
    I can’t wait to have it completely finished, but I already love it in there, absolutely worth going the extra mile to create a calming and beautiful space since we use it daily.

    • Meera
      Author
      September 6, 2018 / 9:53 am

      Happy to hear you’ve enjoyed this post, Anna! Sounds like you’ve done a beautiful job with your bathroom xx

  2. September 7, 2018 / 10:32 am

    These bathrooms are all absolutely stunning and making me want to redo our bathroom, ha! Our bathroom is definitely lacking in the “pretty things” category, which I think is one of the reasons I don’t quite *love* it yet – It’s just a bit toooo minimal for my liking. Definitely need to add some plants, prints and a bit more style (eventually).

    Great tips 🙂

    • Meera
      Author
      September 8, 2018 / 3:28 pm

      Thank you Kezzabeth! Sounds like you know what you need to do to give your bathroom that lovely finishing touch that’ll make it a joy to use 🙂

  3. seasonsincolour
    September 8, 2018 / 8:11 am

    I am about to squeal with excitement… I have just received the products for our bathroom update and they are so good I cannot wait to give myself that boutique hotel look as well!!!!

    • Meera
      Author
      September 8, 2018 / 3:29 pm

      That IS exciting, Jenny! I can’t wait to see your bathroom come together, I know it’s going to be absolutely gorgeous!

  4. September 12, 2018 / 11:59 pm

    As always, a very inspirational post. Now I just wish my bathroom looked like one of those 🙂 Oh, and I just voted for you, good luck!

    • Meera
      Author
      September 14, 2018 / 11:31 am

      Thank you and thank you, Anne Marie! 🤗❤️️

  5. September 22, 2018 / 2:33 pm

    I’m in the process of converting my loft and looking at all the options out there. Love some of the pictures above, especially those gorgeous vanity units.
    #HomeEtc

Submit a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.