Aquatica Bath UK Store
Aquatica Bath UK Store +44 20 3287 6671 Floor 5, Smithson Tower Smithson Plaza, St. James's Street
These ideas focus on judicious space utilization, ensuring the ultimate luxurious bathroom experience while keeping bathroom costs, whether a new bathroom cost or bathroom renovation costs, in mind.

Japanese Bathroom Ideas and Designs for Small Space

February 14, 2024

Japanese Bathroom Ideas Fotolia 35548892 720 L

In small spaces, a cluttered or inconvenient layout can hinder a satisfying bathroom experience. As housing costs continue to rise, many find themselves working with limited spaces due to budget constraints. To optimize your small bathroom space without overwhelming it, consider Japanese bathroom ideas and designs. These ideas focus on judicious space utilization, ensuring the ultimate luxurious bathroom experience while keeping bathroom costs, whether a new bathroom cost or bathroom renovation costs, in mind. 

Japanese Bathroom Design Philosophy

The Japanese bathroom design is more than aesthetics; it's a thoughtful philosophy. Do you want to learn the secrets of serene and functional spaces? Step into the world where simplicity meets elegance.

Minimalistic Design Principles 

Minimalistic design, often referred to as minimalism, is a design approach characterized by simplicity, clarity, and a focus on essential elements. It emphasizes stripping away unnecessary ornamentation, decoration, and complexity to achieve a clean and uncluttered aesthetic. This design philosophy often involves the use of simple geometric shapes, clean lines, neutral colors, and an emphasis on open space. 

Japanese Bathroom Ideas shutterstock 306371675 720

Clean Lines and Simple Shapes

A core theme of Japanese bathroom design philosophy is the use of clean lines and simple shapes to create a serene and harmonious space. This idea finds its roots in Zen aesthetics, whose purpose is to facilitate a calming ambiance that allows for peaceful meditation and relaxation. 

This can be achieved by the adoption of compact fixtures and bathroom furniture with clean outlines and simple shapes. Simplistic designs of fixtures such as sinks, tubs, and toilets, when used, confer a sense of coherence and tidiness that make periodic decluttering a simple, stress-free endeavor in the short and long term. 

Limited Use of Decorative Elements

Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese aesthetic that appreciates imperfections, the beauty of simplicity, and transience. It particularly focuses on Japanese bathroom ideas. With a “less is more” approach, decorative elements are sparingly integrated. This allows each chosen element to carry significance in itself, and harmonious appeal in relation with other features. 

Ultimately, the restrained application of decorative elements in Japanese small bathroom design creates spaces that are both visually appealing and deeply harmonious. In addition, when you consider the average cost of a new bathroom, the average cost of bathroom renovation, or bathroom refit costs, minimalism and simplicity do indeed help trim out undue excesses.

Aquatica Karolina Oak Wood Vessel Sink (6 01) (web)

Importance of Decluttering for Small Spaces

Entrenched in the minimalistic, serene ambiance of Japanese style bathroom designs in the UK is the importance of decluttering, particularly for small spaces. In compact, small spaces, every integrated element should serve a clear-cut essential purpose. When unnecessary clutter creeps into the picture, it disrupts the harmony and serenity of your bathroom environment — and will ultimately get in the way of peaceful relaxation.

Decluttering has its advantages. A clutter-free environment confers a feeling of spaciousness and tranquility, no matter how much your space may seem to be. In Japanese bathroom ideas in small settings, every square inch is a big deal. It has to be diligently and thoughtfully used to maximize functionality. Furthermore, simplifying the space and removing unwanted elements allows individuals to meditate or revel in the present and achieve a more profound connection with their surroundings. 

Aquatica TrueOfuro Black Freestanding Stone Bathtub 3 1(web)

Natural Materials and Elements

Japanese-style bathtubs often incorporate natural materials such as wood, stone, and bamboo, reflecting a connection to nature and a sense of tranquility. Traditional tubs like the Ofuro are crafted from cedar or hinoki wood, prized for their durability and aromatic properties. Modern interpretations may also utilize ceramic for its versatility and smooth finish.

Incorporating Wood and Bamboo for a Warm Feel

While considering how much it costs to remodel a bathroom, you should also factor in greenery and wooden elements in your small Japanese bathroom. Bamboo is a plant known for its flexibility and durability. It is often used in various elements such as mats, and blinds, and as a material for bathroom accessories . The greenish hue and subtle texture of bamboo greenery add a touch of natural elegance, enhancing the overall aesthetic while maintaining a sense of simplicity in your bathroom. When strategically complemented by impeccable lighting, it spurs an organic feel that is as close to nature as you can get.

Wood is also another staple in Japanese design. It contributes significantly to creating a warm feel in bathrooms as well. The use of wooden elements, whether in flooring, countertops, or cabinetry, adds a comforting and organic touch and augments the natural outlook of your room. The grains and tones of wood bring a timeless quality to the space, promoting a sense of balance and calmness.

Together, bamboo and wooden elements play an important role in complementing the often clean lines and minimalistic approach of Japanese design - especially in small Japanese bathroom ideas. Their introduction softens the visual aesthetic and boosts the allure of your bathroom environment. 

Aquatica Karolina Blck Oval Stone Bathroom Vessel Sink (6) (720)

Use of Natural Lighting and Ventilation

Lighting is an important part of many interior decoration ideas and designs. In the same vein, Japanese bathroom ideas, renowned for their organic feel and a connection to the natural, make the most of natural lighting and optimum ventilation to create a seamless blend of minimalism, utility, luxury, and functionality while maintaining privacy.

Ventilation is equally crucial in Japanese bathrooms, where the aim is to maintain a fresh and comfortable atmosphere. Well-placed windows or ventilation systems ensure efficient air circulation, preventing humidity buildup and mold growth. This emphasis on ventilation reflects the practicality inherent in Japanese design. This ensures that the space remains not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional and hygienic. 

The adoption of large windows or translucent screens allows abundant daylight to shine into your bathroom space. In addition to lighting up your room, it also promotes visual appeal and airiness — key components for a nice relaxation. Shoji-style panels for sliding doors are a great feature in this regard. Shoji screens are traditional Japanese room dividers made with wooden frames and translucent paper. This allows diffused natural light to pass through the space — while maintaining a sense of privacy. This delicate blend is a timeless design that still finds use today. Shoji-style sliding doors also contribute to the overall ambiance. 

Aquatica True Ofuro Mini Freestanding Stone Japanese Soaking Bathtub web (3 720)

Introduction of Indoor Plants For A Touch of Nature

The right touch of greenery can elevate your bathroom from a bland-looking spot to an aesthetically appealing work of art. You can opt for low-maintenance plants like bamboo, ferns, or bonsai trees to infuse a touch of nature without overwhelming the limited space. Bonsai are also living art forms able to add wonderful harmonious detail to your small bathroom space. Lucky bamboo plants may only need very little light to grow. Hence, they work well for bathrooms with small windows. You could consider placing small potted plants on windowsills or hanging them from the ceiling to maximize vertical space. Japanese moss balls, known as kokedama, can add a unique and compact green element to the scenery as well when you suspend them with thin strings near the bathing area.

Greenery not only enhances aesthetics but also promotes a sense of balance and well-being, aligning with the Japanese concept of "Komorebi," which refers to the interplay of light and leaves. In addition, you could integrate natural materials like wood and stone in your bathroom decoration to complement the greenery. Adding some pebbles around the base of the plants in your bathroom can create a mini zen garden effect. Small indoor water features like a bamboo fountain can add soothing sounds and amplify the connection to nature.

Aquatica True Ofuro Freestanding Stone Bathtub (26 4) (web)

Efficient Storage Solutions

The use of hidden storage options, vertical space, and multifunctional furniture is essential in creating a space-efficient Japanese bathroom. Hidden storage options include built-in cabinets or drawers that are cleverly concealed behind sliding doors or panels. This allows for the bathroom to remain visually uncluttered, while still providing plenty of storage space. Using vertical space is another key element of efficient design. This can include tall cabinets, shelving, or even a ladder for accessing high-up storage.

Multifunctional furniture, such as a sink/countertop combo or a toilet/sink combo, allows for two functions too. This type of furniture is especially useful in small bathrooms, as it combines two functions into one compact unit. It is also common for the bathroom door to serve as a storage space for towels or other small items. Overall, Japanese bathroom designs of this sort tend to have minimal furnishings, with a focus on efficient use of space and natural materials. 

Japanese Ofuro For Small Spaces

Bathroom designs with Japanese soaking tubs have been in the limelight for quite a while and it is safe to say they are here to stay! These tubs are one of the latest concepts to grace the repository of universal interior decoration and bathroom furniture ideas. Japanese soaking tubs are deep baths in which the user sits - on a bench seat, enabling the bather to soak themselves while maintaining a sitting posture - rather than lie down. These tubs are designed to allow the user to soak in warm water up to the level of their chests. The design of these tubs is inspired by the ‘Ofuro’, a Japanese bath that is generally deep and square-sided, and traditionally made of wood. 

Adaptation For Smaller Spaces

Japanese soaking tubs are bathroom furniture renowned for occupying little space. In the process, they help save space for other bathroom fixtures. They owe a great deal of this to their compactness. This ensures that they fit nicely into any spot in the bathroom you want them to be. Whether it be sitting pretty in the middle of the room as the main element of attraction, or next to the walls and its corners, partly obscure from view. They are an ingenious adaptation for Japanese bathroom designs for small spaces and a key element of Japanese-style bathroom design.

True Ofuro Nano is a slim version of the True Ofuro soaking tub, particularly efficient in small spaces. True Ofuro Nano is easy to transport and install. Also, despite its size, it provides ultimate comfort with a built-in seat and an integrated backrest with neck support. Some designs also come with extra features for a better user experience. Our True Ofuro Tranquility Heated Japanese Bathtub is designed with an ozone disinfection and a recirculation system just like the traditional Japanese oidaiki.

Aquatica True Ofuro Nano White Freestanding Solid Surface Bathtub 01 720

What Are Some Benefits of Japanese Soaking Tubs?

One noteworthy benefit is the comfort they offer. Most baths in use and the market require you to lay on your back as you savor your bathing experience - legs stretched out and your neck and upper trunk slightly inclined and resting against the support of the bath. They offer their fair share of comfort, undoubtedly. However, the sitting posture offered by Japanese soaking tubs kicks comfort up a notch as it rids you of the pressure you might feel around your neck and shoulder areas when you lay back if you were using your regular bath.

Japanese soaking tubs are also very versatile bathroom furniture. Because of their ingenious designs, they can be adapted for use by more than one person at a time. This comes in handy if you would fancy a soak with a friend or a member of your family in your home. The True Ofuro Duo is specially built for this, designed with seats for two bathers. 

True Ofuro Duo Bathtub gree wall 720

Japanese soaking tubs are therapeutic as well. The original design of the soaking tub, the Ofuro, was often used for detoxification and other therapeutic benefits. In ancient times, ceremonial baths in these tubs were regarded as a means to purify the body and the soul. A good soak in your small bathroom with Japanese soaking tubs can work holistic therapeutic wonders anytime, any day. It improves circulation, unknots your muscles, and causes all that pent-up stress to seep out of your body!

These tubs are available in a variety of materials like wood, stone, and acrylic. Wooden soaking tubs like our Aquatica True Ofuro Wooden Freestanding Japanese Soaking Bathtub offer the most natural, Oriental feel of the lot, combining beautiful deep styling, seamless, sensuous dovetailed curves, and warm, honeyed tones and exuding renowned Japanese craftsmanship and aesthetics. Tubs from composite materials, which offer the best of two (or more) worlds also exist. The True Ofuro Tranquility Heated Japanese Bathtub, made of AquateX™ . AquateX™ is a composite, high-quality solid composed of a high percentage of aluminum derived from bauxite and acrylic resins. In addition, it is hypoallergenic, inert, non-toxic, and 100% recyclable.

Aquatica TrueOfuro American Walnut Freestanding Wood Bathtub 7 (720)

Use of Neutral Tones for a Calming Atmosphere

In interior decoration, the right blend of hues can supplement furniture designs and layouts for the best aesthetic appeal. For your Japanese-style bathroom design, this holds particularly true. Colors can strike the right undertones that accentuate the feel of your bathroom.

Striking the right balance between neutral tones, subtle accents, and natural elements can transform a bathroom into a soothing retreat that reflects the essence of Japanese design philosophy. Opt for a neutral palette with earthy tones, such as muted browns, warm beige, and soft greens. You can also consider incorporating light, and natural wood elements to enhance the warmth and balance the color scheme of your Japanese-style bathroom decor.

White recurs very often in Japanese aesthetics and is one of the most used colors. Use white tiles for walls or flooring to create an open atmosphere with a wispy aura of cleanliness. A good blend with another color works wonders too — and not many colors do it better than black. Accents of black, often found in traditional Japanese lacquerware, can be introduced into your bathroom through the use of accessories like soap dispensers or towel hooks . This adds some sophistication to your bathroom's design.

Indigo is a deep blue hue reminiscent of traditional Japanese textiles and fabrics. You might want to consider incorporating this cool color in small details such as towels or some other decorative elements to evoke a sense of depth, richness, and variety in the space. Softer blue hues can also be employed for a serene and refreshing ambiance. To infuse vibrancy, subtle pops of green can be introduced through potted plants or bamboo accessories.

High-Tech Innovations

The minimalism that defines Japanese bathroom designs can be exemplified and brought to life by high-tech innovations that seamlessly integrate modern technology with traditional principles. Some innovations like automated toilets with heated seats, bidet functions, and personalized settings are a testament to a commitment to enhancing user experience. These are additions that can significantly increase new bathroom prices and average cost of a bathroom remodel.

This concept also extends to smart mirrors, sensor-based faucets, and efficient water heating systems, showcasing a blend of functionality and environmental consciousness. Other features such as voice-controlled lighting and temperature form the ultimate crisscross between ancient philosophy and modern technology. 

Feng Shui Influences

Feng Shui is a Chinese practice that aims to harmonize individuals with their environment. It involves arranging elements in a space to enhance energy flow, balance, and overall well-being. Feng Shui is coined from the Chinese words “Feng” which means wind and “Shui” which means water. Feng Shui is a versatile practice that influences various aspects of physical and mental well-being in different environments, one of which is home layout and interior decoration.

In the realm of bathroom designs, Feng Shui inspires practices such as regular cleaning and decluttering; the adoption of indoor plants as key elements of your bathroom ornamentation; the right intensity of lighting to balance out energies; adequate ventilation; exquisite wall art; and the use of woody and earthy elements for a pure, organic aura. 

True Ofuro Duo Freestanding Stone Japanese Soaking Bathtub 02 (720)

Showcasing Small Japanese Bathrooms with Innovative Designs

In recent years, small Japanese bathrooms often feature innovative designs that maximize functionality in limited spaces. Common elements include compact fixtures like space-saving, innovative tubs, or showers with built-in storage. Integrating smart storage solutions such as hidden cabinets and floating shelves also optimizes organization. Japanese designers frequently employ neutral colors and minimalistic aesthetics to create an illusion of spaciousness.

High-tech additions like sensor-activated faucets, efficient water heaters, and smart mirrors contribute to the modern feel. With an emphasis on simplicity and practicality, these innovative designs showcase the Japanese commitment to harmonizing tradition and contemporary living, proving that even in confined spaces, thoughtful design can elevate the bathroom experience. 


In Japanese-style bathrooms, the synergy of compact soaking tubs, serene colors, purposeful accessories, and subtle greenery forms a tranquil retreat. From the focal point of the soaking tubs to the functionality of purposeful accessories like multipurpose storage solutions and foldable furniture, and the calming palette of earthy tones, each element contributes to a harmonious ambiance. 

To enhance your small bathroom without overwhelming it, explore Japanese-inspired ideas and designs.

We hope you have found this article helpful to make your bathroom your own little haven
Send us an email if you have more questions


Drag and Drop file here or click to select
File too large. Max size 10MB
You can't upload more then 10 files