By Michael French
Are you desperately needing an in-home retreat?
Did you ever dream of being able to go to a spa whenever the mood hit you? It sounds like it’s about time to transform your blah bathroom into a serene spa.
Luxurious spas abound in Florida. One visit could cost a week’s pay and/or only be used exclusively by members of the country clubs where they are often found. Instead, invest the money you’d plunk down at a spa and create your very own at home. Not only will you have a haven you’ll be able to relax in anytime your heart desires, you’ll increase the value of your home. These days who doesn’t want to feel their home has more value?
Create your own spa? Yes, a spa!
A clean-lined, clutter-free, completely calming atmosphere that acts as your own personal sanctuary and getaway can be yours!
For materials, look to E-Bay, Craig’s List, E-Gravy.com, Habitat for Humanity stores and thrift shops for great bargains. You can save hundreds, maybe thousands.
The key to creating a soothing space is to ensure a full body experience
versus just getting clean in an aesthetically pleasing space, but still extremely functional.
First, clear out the clutter. You’ll never see a spa with countless bottles and products scattered on the surfaces. Making and keeping spaces organized and having a place for everything lessens anxiety and creates an instantly calming atmosphere. Look for high-quality countertop containers that will enhance and compliment your overall design. Glass, of most any color, tends to add an airy, elegant and clean feeling.
Enhance that “escape” feeling with calming colors. Most spas choose warm neutrals because these colors are very restful. Earthy tones make people feel safe. Whites lend a clean, fresh and pure tone. Pastels of soft greens, blues or yellows can be very soothing. Avoid primary colors. They are exciting, but this isn’t the effect you want in a calming retreat. You’ll want a paint with a yellow, pink or blue undertone because they will flatter your skin, depending on its tone. Dark walls look better with lighter flooring, lighter walls with darker flooring.
Bringing nature into your bathroom will help restore your sense of serenity and bring that “Zen” feel to your spa. Flooring, furniture, fixtures and decor reminiscent of nature, such as deep, rich woods, natural stones and bamboo, all add color and texture. Incorporate a variety of textures. Combine exotic woods, tumbled marble and limestone.
Include plants. Besides brightening any room, plants add to making a space healthier with their oxygen-releasing function. Spider, snake plants and the bamboo palm actually decrease the level of some airborne volatile organic toxins (VOC). The right plants will thrive in the humidity of the space. Have a less than green thumb? Choose pathos, Boston ferns or the cast iron plant. Orchids are great for a spa, but just make sure there’s enough light.
Lighting is everything! Strive for soft lighting. Use dimmers and as much natural light as possible. Skylights are great. Don’t forget candles – no spa should be without them. A light, clean scent or no scent is preferred. Candle light flatters any skin tone.
Invest in a heated towel rack. Warm towels after a bath, even in Florida, only add to that cozy spa feeling. Add a wall mounted CD player. Soothing music further enhances the experience.
In the shower, use a rain shower head and, if the budget permits, install a steam unit and put in a radiant heated bench for even more relaxation.
For finishing touches, don’t forget aromatherapy. Lavender is calming, while peppermint is invigorating. Splurge on luxurious linens that you can wrap yourself in and maybe even someone else in with you!
Voila! There you have it. The right combination of soothing colors, natural textures and materials, decadent decor , soft lighting, sensual mood music and more, all focused on creating a total spa experience in the comfort of your own home, will not only soothe your overworked body and mind, whenever your heart desires, it will – without a doubt – add a huge spark of romance!
Michael French, is Agenda’s Home from Home columnist. Contact Michael at email@example.com