With life seeming to move at a faster pace all the time, a place to get away from the computers, cell phones, social networks and the demands of work, family and friends – even just a for a short time – is becoming more appealing to many people.
While a week at a fancy spa is one way to “get away from it all,” time and budget constraints often put that option out of reach. The good news is that you can create a “spa-like” environment in your home, transforming your bathroom into a soothing oasis that’s a welcome respite from the stress of everyday life. Even better news? Turning your bathroom into a spa doesn’t have to break the bank – or require major renovation.
Clear the Clutter
One of the first things you’ll notice about spas is that they are generally serene environments, lacking anything that could overstimulate the senses. Recreate that serenity in your home bath by clearing away all but the most necessary items. That means tossing or storing the 57 bottles of cleanser and moisturizer on the counter, hiding the bathroom scale and extra rolls of toilet paper and putting away the towels properly. Only keep the most necessary items out in view and store them in attractive and simple containers. Try to remove things that cause you stress. For example, if your bathroom also serves as a laundry room, invest in a hamper with a lid to hide dirty laundry and avoid stacking folded laundry on top of the machines; they’ll just remind you of impending chores when you’re trying to relax.
Choose the Right Color Scheme
Spas often create their relaxing environment through the use of color. White is always a good choice, as it’s clean and uncluttered, but soft shades of blue, green, lavender or earth tones are also guaranteed to create a relaxing environment. Avoid bright colors or super “hot” colors like fiery red and intense yellow, as these can make you feel agitated instead of relaxed.
Incorporate Natural Elements
Study after study has proven that nature is calming and including natural elements into your spa bathroom can help you relax. Wood, straw and stone are ideal for bringing the outside in. If your time and budget allow, install tile that mimics river rocks into your shower or backsplash, or replace the dated or porcelain tile floor with hard wood (just remember to use a good sealant to prevent moisture damage) or stone in a warm shade. Use wooden or wicker containers to store towels and other bathroom necessities. A potted plant (even a fake one!) adds color and texture to the room, as well.
Make it Comfortable
Many spas are noted for the robes and slippers they provide guests. These are usually thick, soft and luxurious; guests often relax just by slipping on a sumptuous spa robe. Incorporate those soft elements into the bathroom to create your getaway. Soft, plush rugs, for example, add texture and softness, as do high quality towels that you can wrap yourself in after a relaxing bath. If you have the space, bring in a comfortable table and chair, where you can sit and relax with a cup of tea or glass of wine while you do personal care treatments or get dressed.
Perhaps the best part of designing your own bathroom spa is the opportunity to personalize the space. Hang a favorite piece of artwork, for example, where you can see it while you soak in the tub. Bring a small stereo or dock for your mp3 player so you can enjoy your favorite music while you relax. Place a small table next to the tub and add a tray with your favorite bath products (transfer them into pretty containers) so you have easy access to them and accessorize the room with your favorite scented candles.
If you have a larger budget, almost anything is possible when you’re trying to create a spa environment. Consider an elegant vanity or a new modern bathtub. Many modern tubs, for example, include everything from massaging jets to chromatherapy systems that provide relaxing or energizing light shows in the water. Even if you only have a few hundred dollars to spend, though, you can still create a calming retreat, right in your own home.
This article was written by Ryan Tupper. Ryan is a freelance consultant for DecorPlanet.com, and has over 10 years of experience as a plumber and contractor.