Once restricted to daily ablutions, the humble bathroom is increasingly seen as a place of refuge from the pressures of life.

stone-buthtub-indexThe growing number of bathroom products available at retail is evidence of a renewed interest in the bathroom as key living space, but if the array on offer is stressing you out, it might be an idea to consider a ‘Zen’ style bathroom to calm frayed nerves.

This style typically takes natural finishes as a central theme, including stone effect tiling or cladding in anything from limestone to slate or ceramic, which can be polished, varnished or embedded in resin.

Whatever your choice, it will work best integrated throughout the space, in other words across the walls, floors, and even bench tops. If this is too pricey or impractical, you can successfully meld the look by matching your paint colour to your chosen material.

Stone effect ‘bowl’ style sinks and baths form the perfect complement to the Zen bathroom; and if you’re in the mood, a sculptural vase containing found pebbles and a simple arrangement of flowers and stems will complete the look.

If your bathroom is small, floor tiles laid on the diagonal will make it appear larger, while plenty of glass will diffuse natural light. You can also maximise storage by utilising nooks and crannies for shelving or concealed cupboards.

To complete that soothing Zen feeling, bear key safety tips in mind. Power points and heated towel rails must be installed away from any water source; and use non-slip surfaces where possible.