Ambiance and Mood: Tips for Designing a Romantic Bathroom

Thanks to a surge in mindfulness and self-care at home, the bathroom is becoming a more indulgent space than ever before.

One of the best ways to create a bathroom that promotes self-care and relaxation is to add a touch of romance. From glowing, oversized candles to elegant love-inspired textiles, here’s how to design a bathroom where anyone can sit back, relax and feel great.

Setting the Mood

Before indulging in romantic essentials like scented candles and bath bombs, it’s important to create a space that’s calm, clean and soothing. According to the bath products company Bathorium, cofounded by Gregory MacDonald, the best way to do this is to eliminate clutter. That means organization should be at the top of the list for someone creating a more romantic bathroom.


Removing bath products and other clutter from the bathtub and counter surfaces provides a clean slate to start decorating with. Jars can be used to keep things organized and accessible without adding to a feeling of clutter. This is especially true with mason jars, Manuela Williams at A Cultivated Nest writes. These could also be used to store bath salts or other items that look elegant and romantic in the bathroom.

Another way to eliminate clutter and add sophistication is to replace plastic with glass soap dispensers. Mason jars can again come in handy for making soap dispensers that have a vintage look about them. Blogger Jill Nystul at One Good Thing with Jill showcases a variety of ways to keep soap, tissues, cotton swabs and other everyday elements tucked away neatly in glass vessels.

Having a bathroom tray can also keep things organized and feeling romantic, even when the bathtub isn’t being used. Julie at Redhead can Decorate stocks her bathroom tray with magazines and candles when it’s not in use. During a romantic bubble bath, however, the tray is transformed into a elegant spot for wine glasses, small votives and sprinkled rose petals.

Texture and Color

Certain textures can elevate the feeling of sophistication in a bathroom. Blogger Shannon Coleman at Of the Hearth suggests taking extra time to choose textures and fabrics that inspire the feeling of romance. Whether it’s curtains, rugs or wall hangings, every piece of fabric plays a powerful role in how the space looks and feels.

Plush towels and bathmats can be inviting, and amp up the romantic factor. In particular, towel and washcloth displays can make a bathroom feel cozy, lifestyle writer Lindsey Lindquist says. Rolling or stacking towels on shelves adds to cleanly organized feel, and allows them to still be easily accessible. Hooks and other hardware with a vintage vibe will bring small touches of character into the space.

Textures aside, color also impacts the mood of the space. Freelance consultant Alexis Jonnson explains that blush tones are a stylish alternative to the neutrals typically used to induce calm in interior design. While this tip is intended for the bedroom, it can certainly work for a bathroom space. That’s because blush tones also evoke feelings of love and romance without going overboard with a more intense color like red.


Signage is another great way to add mood and romance to a bathroom. In particular, hand-painted signs with romantic script just radiate romance and love. Kathy Woodard at The Budget Decorator points to a hand-painted bathroom sign that can be hung outside the door to set the mood before entering.

This shabby-chic sign is painted on an oval piece of wood and hung from a wrought iron bracket. It could also be placed inside the bathroom, featuring different words or phrases to further personalize a bathroom. For someone aiming to promote self-care, mindful messages could have a great effect on someone every time they enter the space.

Similarly, the Vintage Romance Style blog showcases a sign with handwritten text. Its large rectangular shape occupies much more wall space, and can be a focal point. With more surface area, this romantic sign idea can be a platform for writing longer song lyrics or famous love quotes.

It can also feature the words to a couple’s wedding song, as it does in this case. The best part about these sign ideas is that they can be entirely customizable according to the homeowners tastes and preferences.


Romantic lighting is key to creating the right ambiance in a spa-like bathroom, there are many ways to achieve a lighting mood that fits.

One idea is to add multiple options for overhead lighting and wall lighting. Architect and designer Anne Rogers Sneed says that having various lighting sources can make a space both pretty and functional. For example, a dim light adds a calming effect more than a bright overhead light does. However, a bathroom needs overhead lights for everyday functionality and tasks. Therefore, having both options allows for flexibility in the room.

Designer Monet Masters, owner of the studio Forbes + Masters in Atlanta, explains that simple lighting changes can go a long way. For example, a variety of lighting fixtures can be found at most retailers, with options for adding a glam, rustic, modern or even classic-inspired touch to the romantic space. Putting a lamp on an accent table in the bathroom can also add an elegant touch, the designers say.

Candles are another essential lighting element in romantic bathrooms. Adorable Home founder Lynn Filkova highlights a number of inspirational romantic bathrooms that feature oversized candles. These large candles, often clustered into groups on the floor or set into elegant lanterns, have much bolder effect than small candles. Plus, they’re the perfect addition when you’re wondering how to style a clawfoot tub.

On that note, safety should always come first when using candles. This is especially true when using oversized candles. You can always get flameless candles, which can be operated remotely. But if it’s old school flicker you’re after, Margaret Schindel at Holidappy suggests always having a candle snuffer nearby. This is actually an opportunity to add to the romantic ambiance of your space, as many candle snuffers have lovely vintage designs.

Images by: Jozef Polc/©123RF Stock Photo, 139904, Nicole De Khors