After a long day at work, there's nothing better than coming home, closing the door on the world and settling into the warm.  

And before you sink into the sofa with mandatory wine and the remote control, cocooning yourself in a bath that's deep enough to swim in is one of life's little pleasures. 

Toes afloat, bubbles up to your chin, the tension just melts away. 

Well, in theory anyway... 

If you're sat hunched in the tub trying to stop the mini avalanche of shampoo bottles and bath toys from tumbling into your pool of serenity, then you could just end up more tense than when you started. 

Bright lights, cluttered surfaces and lack of space can all make it impossible to relax. And although it's tempting to think of the bathroom as more of a practical space, it's just as much a part of our home as any other room and should have the same amount of care and attention paid to its overall look and feel. 

So, how do we create a space that's inviting and somewhere we actually want to spend time?  Achieving your ideal bathroom look doesn't need to mean moving to Tunisia for sunken pools, mosaic tiles and endless pistachio-based treats. There are lots of simple ways you can feel more at home in your bathroom – and they won't cost you the world either.  

Ready to get inspired? 

Here are our top 10 ways to make your bathroom more relaxing:   


Clear away clutter 

One of the most important things to do when you are making your bathroom more relaxing is to clear away clutter. Staring at piles of half-empty bottles and dental products isn't the best setting for calming the mind. The best way to do this is to get some storage for your bathroom. Think you don't have room? These Under Sink Cabinets are great for storing away all your bottles, tubs, pots and potions, so your bathroom – and mind – can stay clear.   


Find the right lighting 

Having an illuminous strip staring back at you as you try ease the stresses of the day is not really the relaxing, mood lighting you were going for. Nor is it about trying to do your make-up in the morning in the dark. Having a separate lighting option for when you want to relax is great for transforming your bathroom into somewhere you can wind down. Candles are a great option as natural light can be very soothing, however, they are a fire hazard and wafting a towel around naked flames can be a bit pulse-spiking. Instead, why not invest in some battery-powered fairy lights? Hang around the window frame or lie along the side of the bath for a gentle glow. Other options include just having the light above the mirror on so the room has a softer appearance. You might even want to invest in some underwater lights for a splash of inspiration.   


Don't let the outside in 

This doesn't mean shutting out natural light or never opening the windows. But it is about being able to close off the world and create your own safe space. If your bathroom doesn't look out over mountainous views or sun-drenched valleys and instead regularly basks in car headlights and street lamps, then having a blind is a great option to block out the bustle. Choose something relaxing that isn't too busy. Natural materials like bamboo are great or a simple grey or blue will help you calm everything down.   


Shelf help 

Shelves are great for getting a little extra storage space but they are also ideal for displaying things that look nice. Ladder shelves look lovely in bathrooms and they're perfect for little things. Plus, they only take up a small amount of space. Make sure they don't end up too full. Just choose a few select items to place on each shelf. Rolled up towels, pretty candles and lovely products are all nice to look at. Try adding in some fresh green plants or pretty orchids for dashes of colour.   


Scented oils and incense  


Subtle scents are great for relaxing the senses. Lavender, vanilla, sandalwood and jasmine are all lovely. Feeling fresh? You might even want to add in some citrus for a zesty, lemony vibe. Add some aromatherapy drops to your bath, burn incense or keep a diffuser topped up on the window sill. Avoid using air fresheners as these can often be overpowering and could even end up giving you a headache!   


Face the music 

Music is great for helping you wind down as well as giving your mind something to focus on. Choose a chilled playlist and let it drift over you as you soak. There's lots of music for meditation available online, as well as apps that play soothing sounds such as waves and rain. Worried about dropping your phone in the bath? There are lots of Bluetooth speakers available nowadays that you can take into the shower with you. They stick onto the tiles and are waterproof – a great option for helping you bring life to your bathroom.   


Your space 

If you don't have a lock on your bathroom door (and you don't live alone) get one. It's really important your relaxing space is yours to own. Somewhere you know you won't be disturbed by bright lights or the kids coming in for playtime. Bath time is me time, not everyone time, so lock that door and take a deep breath.   


Keep your bathroom squeaky clean 

By de-cluttering your surfaces, your bathroom will be a lot easier to keep clean. A quick spray here and a wipe there, and you're pretty much done. And a sparkling bathroom will work wonders for your stress levels. Toothpaste globbed in the basin and soap on the floor however...will not. So, stay clean to stay happy.   


Have a soft bath mat 

No one wants to step out of the bath into a puddle of soapy bubbles. It's much nicer to be able to dry off while ruffling your toes between a soft, bouncy mat. Choose something that's easy to wash and keep clean and enjoy endless, cushioned loveliness beneath your feet.   


Keep it simple 

Busy designs end up looking cluttered and visually noisy. Stay away from patterned tiles and printed wallpapers and stick to neutral designs. Of course, a little detail here and there is ideal for accenting your bathroom and bringing it to life. But if you've gone a little overboard with the nautical theme, rein it in a little and keep it light.   


And that's it! 

Our guide to helping you transform your bathroom from cluttered washroom to spa haven. 


Feeling inspired? Visit us on Facebook and send us an image of your Hartleys bathroom transformations @hartleysDirect.