AD It Yourself

11 Designer-Approved Wellness Rooms to Incorporate Into Your Home

From dedicated spaces to small tweaks, there’s an idea for every budget and layout 
11 Wellness Room Designs for Every Space and Budget
Photo: Sarah Barnard Designs 

In-home wellness rooms are trending now more than ever. Luis Murillo of LMD Architecture Studio in California says that his firm is seeing more spas, saunas, and home gyms being included in home renovation plans. Brad Sherman, cofounder of Manhattan-based Float Studio agrees, saying that, because of the most recent global health crisis, “We learned people prefer to work out in the privacy of their own homes, where they can find peace and focus on their routine without distraction.”  

Best-selling spiritual author and founder of Vibrate Higher, Lalah Delia’s perspective is that “Wellness rooms are no longer a luxury but a restorative necessity.” And though the most ideal wellness room is a personal choice and will therefore look different for everyone, all the experts we asked agree that the room (or portion of a room) used for our routines needs to be intentionally designed for healing. “Entering this space should feel like an exhale. It should be free from distractions and seen as an unapologetic, judgment-free place to maintain or reclaim one’s sense of self, power, and well-being,” Delia tells AD

And don’t worry about costs, since your wellness oasis can be created on any budget. Using natural materials, biophilic elements, and strong pleasant scents will enhance your practice no matter what room you decide to create. “Think about whatever brings you peace of mind, whether it’s certain colors or materials, and add those to the space you’re dedicating to wellness,” Susana Simonpietri of Chango & Co says.

So, whether you have a limited or unlimited budget, or the amount of space in your home determines what you can create, here are 11 designer-approved wellness room trends that’ll maximize your time during rest and restoration. 

The room dedicated to movement 

This space doesn’t require heavy equipment or motivational posters. 

Photo: Sarah Barnard Design

A room purposely designed for movement takes your yoga or pilates corner to the next level; seeing it on a continued basis can be a potent reminder to prioritize your health in ways inconsistently attended gym or studio classes cannot. Sarah Barnard, an interior designer whose practice centers environments that uplift, says that devoting a room to well-being and motion “can help visually illustrate [wellness’s] importance and value. Incorporating space for motion, whether stretching out, yoga, or more vigorous exercise, is critical for finding a way to move and connect with our bodies.”

The home gym

The home gym is a classic at-home wellness room that remains in high demand by homeowners. “Personal fitness rooms are our most requested wellness spaces, especially coming out of the pandemic,” Sherman says. To encourage hitting the treadmill more often, Joanne Behrens, VP of design and project services for Rosewood Hotel Group suggests properly sectioning the room from other distracting areas of the home and using easy-on-the-eye color schemes and textures to make the space more inviting. 

The spa room

Above, London-based Studio Indigo created a multipurpose spa room for their client in one of their Chelsea House projects. 

Photo: Julian Abrams

“I am all for having a massage table and a hot tub or soak pool,” declares Brooklyn-based AD 100 interior designer Leyden Lewis. “It is critical to have wellness spaces within our homes that focus on self-care and the care of the body…[especially] things to help us with circulation and the release of stress,” he says. If you’re able to combine these features into one room, even better. Lewis is a firm believer in creating “isolation and separation from other parts of the home through sensory shifts” when it comes to self-care. He notes: “The senses should know that you’ve entered a space of sanctuary for the body.” The shifts help better embody feelings of escapism and relaxation, which encourage a deeper wellness experience. The use of moody lighting and materials that are starkly different from the rest of the home will help create the atmosphere needed.

The hammam

This hammam created by Studio Indigo for their Kensington House project took advantage of a basement with high ceilings and recreated the typical dome ceiling found in a traditional Turkish hammam. Waterproof tadelakt plaster covers the ceilings, marble is used on the walls and benches, and water pours from the tiger-head spout into a basin and spills over into drainage below.

Photo: Luke White

The healing effects on the body are pretty similar whether you use the dry heat of a sauna or the humidity of steam. So, if you can, why not steam yourself to health by building a therapeutic hammam in your home? “In addition to an incredibly relaxing atmosphere, [a hammam] encourages a deep, invigorating cleanse that’s great for the skin,” says James Kandutsch, CEO of UK-based Studio Indigo, whose firm was able to build a hammam in one of their clients’ homes in London. Hammams were traditional public bathhouses found throughout the ancient Arabic world, a place where you could take a steam bath and have your body scrubbed and massaged. Hammams are still prevalent today (although now are a bit more private) and, with the right designer, they can certainly be replicated within the home. 

The steam room

If a lack of space restricts a full-on sauna installation or the building of a hammam, with the right showerhead and equipment, you can convert your bathroom into a steam room. “It truly improves your life to be able to sit in your shower and have a long steam session,” Simonpietri says. “It’s great for your circulation, skin and hair.” Creating a steam shower is a simple conversion; however, Murillo suggests leaving the installation to a professional, as drainage and vapor barriers need to be carefully considered before converting.

The soundproof room

“I regularly hear requests for soundproof rooms; they offer opportunities to escape auditory stimulation or provide increased privacy,” Barnard says. Since isolation and quiet are a necessity for any wellness room, soundproofing the walls is a great way to block out unnerving sounds. Lewis even advises introducing your own sounds into the space: “Choose a music or sound with a vibration that helps center you,” he says. Once soundproofed, your wellness room becomes your little den of peace and, whether fine-tuning your mood with a sound bath, blasting the latest Lizzo anthem, or simply screaming out in anger, your padded room will offer a space to be yourself while never disturbing other members of your household.

The chill corner

Carve out a calming corner with a mix of textures, soothing colors, and organic materials. 

Photo: Aaron Thompson for Float Studio

When you don’t have much space for a complete room overhaul, purposely designing a quiet corner of a room can be a great alternative. Nina Etnier, Float Studio cofounder and interior designer, believes that, not only should your space block out distracting noises, but the design should also be kept minimal and “shouldn’t be too complicated or overly stimulating visually.” She adds that adding biophilic elements like plants or organic textures aid in connecting to nature and establishing an overall calming atmosphere.  

The jet lag room

If you’re a jet-setter and find it difficult to recalibrate your circadian rhythm upon returning from a whirlwind trip, you may want to follow in the footsteps of another Studio Indigo client and create a room exclusively for jet lag recovery. “The jet lag room was dark, isolated, and soundproofed, designed specifically to induce better sleep,” Kandutsch says. To go the extra mile, they added fabric-lined walls, a starry-sky lighting design on the ceiling, and set the room’s temperature at a consistent 60 degrees.

The hobby room

Designating a room or space in your home just for crafting, painting, knitting, or any activity that takes you away from everyday routines and grounds you in the present is always a good idea. “Devoting an entire room to the pursuit of creative work can contribute to wellness,” Bernard says. “We once created a Lego room for a Lego-building aficionado,” Kandutsch says. “[It] turned out to be a fantastic place for our client to go and completely disconnect, which in turn helped a lot with his mental health.”

The bathroom oasis

Fill your space with items that bring a sense of calm and peace. A nice color scheme doesn’t hurt either. 

Photo: Bliss Katherine/ Jenni Kayne Home

When the budget is a concern, simply adding objects that invite comfort to the bathroom and encourage a slow-down is always a great option. “If you’re wanting to create a spa-like escape, invest in nice towels, a beautiful bathrobe, and products that you love,” suggests Jenni Kayne, a lifestyle expert who has mastered the art of easy California living. “Add in a candle…. It’s all about mindfully making room for whatever self-care means to you.”