Do it yourself: Designing an at-home spa

The popularity of spas has grown so incredibly in recent years because people work harder than ever before, and now we can even create luxurious spas in our own homes.

It used to be that when someone was in special need of pampering, they would go to a spa for the weekend. It was a luxurious get-away and a very rare event for most people since a one day visit can cost $200 or more. Today spas have not gone out of style, but modern life has changed people’s need for comfort. Longer hours at the office, harder commutes, and more activities of every sort crammed into a single day leave us worn out, in need of almost perpetual rejuvenation.

Do it yourself: Designing an at-home spa

Therefore, a trip to a spa just does not cut it any longer in terms of cost or convenience; we need its accommodations closer to us. That is why many people have begun devoting growing portions of their homes to serve as personal spas. With this popularity, it has never been more easy or affordable to begin creating the at-home spa of your dreams.

Before you begin shopping for the amenities you want to add to your current bathroom, it is important to consider a few things. First, determine how much space you have to devote to remodeling and how much you are willing to change about your current quarters. Things like low square footage and an aversion to tearing down walls or undertaking major construction projects will limit your options. Also, decide how much money you can comfortably spend on your spa and if you will have time to perform the various installations involved. Otherwise, research professional alternatives and how much they will cost you. You will also need to have a clear picture of the purpose of your spa, whether it will be used for relaxation, meditation, exercise, or a combination of these elements. If the spa will be used for more than one person, be sure that enough space is allocated for the area that two or more people can be there comfortably at once.

Outfitting the Spa
Once you have made your basic plan, it is time to choose the layout of the spa and what features it will contain. The most important basics to include are natural light, soothing color, relaxing sounds, luxurious fragrance, plant life, and warm comfort. It is instantly nourishing to enter a space filled with outdoor light, which can come from skylights, large windows, sliding glass doors, or translucent glass block walls. If possible, an excellent addition to a spa is a door that opens to a garden or has a picturesque view of nature. You can place tropical foliage in floor and wall planters or hanging baskets to incorporate an organic element. The best colors for a spa are neutral, soft, and watery shades. Light blues and greens, tan or beige shades, and creamy or white colors enhance a relaxing atmosphere. To add subtle texture and depth, use sandstone, translucent marble, and limestone on floors, countertops, and tubs. Wood is also an appropriate medium for trim and cabinetry.

The element of sound should certainly not be neglected when designing your spa. Whether you install a stereo system or simply keep a CD player in a shelf, playing relaxing music or sounds from nature can help set the mood. With the booming popularity of aromatherapy, fragrance is also a vital part of a luxurious spa. Candles, diffusers, and even modern steam showers can disperse delicious scents like lavender and jasmine throughout the room. To create a warm and cozy environment for your relaxing retreat, you have numerous options. Tubs and showers will probably serve as the centerpiece of your space, so choosing the most pampering will go far in making your room into a spa. A corner shower can be equipped with one or multiple shower heads with therapeutic massage settings. Steam-creating showers are also available that can cleanse the body and induce deep relaxation. Whirlpool tubs are also an ideal addition because they offer massaging water jets and ample space for two.

There are many other items that you may wish to include in your spa for the ultimate restorative experience. Large rooms may benefit from the addition of a fountain or a tank of exotic, tropical fish. Heated floors are another amenity now available and can even be set on a timer to have your marble floors toasty by the time you wake up. Dimmer switches are appropriate in a spa, where lights can be dimmed for bathing and turned up for dressing, reading, or exercising. If you intend to use your room for exercise of any sort, placing a treadmill, stationary bike, or yoga mat in a corner, perhaps behind a partial wall of glass blocks, is a good idea. In a small space, adding reflected light in the form of numerous mirrors can make a room feel substantially larger. Recessed or free standing sinks also make for an aesthetically pleasing spa and increase floor space. If you share the room with a partner, “his” and “her” sinks, each with its own mirror, will be both attractive and convenient.

Once all the major work is complete, remember to add the final touches that will make your spa unique and convenient. Provide plush terrycloth robes and towels on hooks or baskets. Stock the room with luxurious bath products that will not only cleanse your body but also leave you feeling pampered. Decorate the walls with a painting or two, or perhaps place a favorite sculpture in the room. A mini bar or coffee bar, or a small fridge containing your favorite drinks and goodies will add a special touch to your intimate, private space.

Whether you create a lavish spa or a modest get-away, you are sure to appreciate your retreat for years to come. Designed especially for you (and perhaps a loved one to share it), your spa will help you melt away the cares and chaos of daily and do something that is just for you. Take advantage of it and pamper yourself. After all, we all need to slow down and relax sometimes, and having a spa in your own home makes it easier than ever.

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