For decades the human species existed within nature, thriving and multiplying. However, through evolution, individuals gravitated indoors more and created a disconnect with their environment. This gap can be detrimental to mental health and a sense of well-being. The benefits are apparent by bringing nature inside as an influence on modern design. 

Many studies profess that immersing in nature can provide several advantages, including: 

  • Reduces anxiety and stress
  • Minimizes anger
  • Lowers blood pressure 
  • Decreases heart rate 
  • Reduces the production of stress hormones 
  • Minimizes muscle tension 
  • Increases pleasant feelings
  • Provides a sense of calm and balance

Many of these benefits are achievable by using nature indoors, such as plants and other modern design techniques. For example, natural design elements, including color, added greenery, and textures like stone, bamboo, and wood paneling, can recreate an attractive, functional space and mimic the outdoors. 

Modern Bathroom Design with Natural Influences

There are common elements to successfully reach this ambiance when exploring modern bathroom design that includes natural influences. This design scheme should incorporate four main components of proper design, which are: 

  • Earth
  • Air
  • Water
  • Fire 

These four elements are achievable with many design pieces. Some popular bathroom choices that emulate these elements include: 

  • Plants
  • Textures
  • Natural Light
  • Neutral Colors
  • Water Elements 

Adding Plants

Both authentic and artificial, plants can mimic an outdoor, natural setting. They also are proven to reduce stress, calm the mind, and can improve the air quality of a space. 

Adding soothing strands of eucalyptus to showerheads or adorning a wall with a swath of ivy is aesthetically pleasing and provides an aromatic ambiance. Indoor bathroom plants do not necessarily have to overtake the space, either. 

Miniature vignettes or small countertop planters can pull a design together in a balanced and harmonious, natural way without making the space too busy. 

Incorporating Various Textures

Incorporating natural textures into the bathroom space can easily simulate a natural environment. Some popular elements that provide a natural look include: 

  • Stone
  • Bamboo
  • Wood
  • Natural metals

Textural elements like these aid in creating a sense of balance and can successfully help with the room’s symmetry. Natural materials are beneficial for improving a sense of well-being, but they are also better for the environment. With recycling abilities, these textures provide less expensive design materials and are less harmful, boasting a lower manufacturing carbon footprint. 

Consequently, these natural textures are visually pleasing, but they can also provide exceptional surfaces that are less prone to water damage, mold, and mildew in a bathroom. In addition, many stone and wood materials are slip-resistant, and their porous nature makes them less likely to swell with high humidity. 

Including Natural Light

Natural light is one of the best ways to bring a natural feel into a bathroom. However, many bathroom spaces do not include large windows, making this task more challenging. 

For example, adding a skylight to this space is a worthwhile upgrade to let in natural light. In addition, many skylights are suitable for solar heating and better ventilation, saving money on energy costs while providing a beautifully designed space.

Alternatively, if the design allows, consider incorporating sizeable sweeping glass windows that open to let in the sights and sounds of nature. Allowing fresh air indoors is better for overall health, humidity circulation, and a better connection to nature. 

However, if natural light is a challenge, opting for adjustable light sources can help mimic an outdoor setting. Incorporating dimmers can change the mood of the space instantaneously and save energy in the process. 

Using energy-efficient bulbs will last longer than their traditional counterparts and help save money on your energy bill. Consider a warm, mellow mood in the evening for an enhanced sense of calm and bright, cool-toned lights in the afternoon for rejuvenation.  

Creative accents like miniature lights on the ceiling can mimic the beauty of the night sky in the design space. Alternatively, using candles can improve the ambiance in the evening with the addition of natural flames indoors for a soothing effect as part of the fire design element. 

Neutral Color Inspiration from the Outdoors

Natural influences within a modern bathroom design include neutral colors rather than bold accents. This palette is more calming for the mind and soul, creating a harmonious space indoors. 

Ideally, bathroom color schemes should include three colors that reflect the 60-30-10 rule. Therefore, the base color is best as calming mixes of neutral moss greens, stone beige, and off-whites. 

However, inspiration from a calming ocean scene can decorate a bathroom with light blues and creams for a space that feels calming and serene. Finally, incorporating dashes of sage and beige can complete the look.

Although, some natural color palettes are bolder. Pairing stone interiors with dark rusts, golds, and creams provide an earth-toned inspired palette that brings the great canyons of the west to mind. 

Effortlessly pull together a color palette by incorporating natural textures and rattan, made more contemporary with sleek steel elements.

Embrace Water Elements 

Naturally, a modern bathroom will use water in many areas. However, incorporating it as a natural element can provide a fresh design for the space. 

Large soaker tubs and see-through glass shower areas are terrific pieces to showcase water elements as a focal point in the modern bathroom. Sinks and countertops with low profiles or fountain-style fixtures also emulate water in the space. 

Additionally, design pieces, such as fountains, water walls, aquariums, water curtains, and indoor water gardens successfully bring nature indoors. These pieces showcase fluidity and can combine plants and fish for a natural atmosphere. 

Influential Natural Design Elements for a Modern Bathroom 

There are numerous ways to incorporate natural influence in a modern bathroom design. Open spaces, natural light, and showcasing water and earth elements are ideal factors when creating a modern bathroom design with nature as an influence. 

By following the basic principles of earth, air, fire, and water during the design process, the bathroom space will mimic the outdoors, providing a calming and balanced space.