By Kathryn Weber

The difference between a mere bath and the ultimate home spa is atmosphere. Like a day spa, your home spa should create instant relaxation when you enter

The difference between a mere bath and the ultimate home spa is atmosphere. Like a day spa, your home spa should create instant relaxation when you enter.

From restaurants to vacations, we're all seeking ultimate experiences. Taking macaroni and cheese to new heights by adding truffles, lump crabmeat and mascarpone elevates this simple dish to a standard that the humble blue box could never achieve. The same could be said for contemporary bathrooms. Formerly a strictly utilitarian room, the bathroom of today has been transformed. It's now the preferred retreat for luxury and pampering. And the recipe for a home spa requires only a few essential ingredients.

Water first

Spas are known for their water treatments, such as whirlpool baths, soaking tubs and steam rooms. If you have the space, a whirlpool tub is a must. There are now whirlpool tubs that can be retrofitted into standard tub openings for easy replacement.

The shower should also be a key consideration for spa-like luxury. A rainfall showerhead delivers heavy droplets that gently massage your skin. These can be combined with body sprays for a hedonistic experience. If you rent, there are many showerhead assemblies that can be attached to a standard shower to deliver an invigorating shower experience.

If money is no object, a steam shower is an indulgence that delivers bone and muscle-soothing steam, making a true spa at home. Some steam generators also come with essential oils that can deliver an aromatherapy treatment with the steam. This would definitely qualify as an ultimate steam shower.

Atmosphere counts

Without a doubt, it's the atmosphere that separates the ordinary bathroom from the ultimate home spa. Just as a day spa transports clients to an otherworldly relaxation experience, your ultimate home spa should create instant relaxation when you enter. Lighting is the first and perhaps the most important way to create the right atmosphere. Lighting should be layered. If you have overhead lighting, be sure to put it on a dimmer so you can create ambient low lighting. Sconces are another layer that can give light without being harsh or glaring, casting a romantic, relaxing glow. Lastly, add shelves or a wall accessory that holds candles. No day spa is complete without candles, and no home spa would be either. Select essential oil candles that use natural essences for a true spa-like fragrance and to further your relaxation.

Details count

When visiting your favorite day spa, be sure to note all the small touches that add up to a beautiful, soothing atmosphere. Details such as baskets to hold towels or slippers or a potted orchid tucked away on a shelf create that spa feel. Neutral colors are another spa standby and create that relaxing feeling. On the walls, mid-range beige, gold and taupe colors are a good choice for the most soothing effect. Music should also be accounted for. Purchase a quality surround-sound system or have one installed into the ceiling. For the ultimate experience, have music piped into your steam shower.

No matter whether you have an unlimited budget and space or an apartment rental, you can transform your bath into a spa-like experience. If your budget allows, go all out and create the ultimate spa-bath. But if it doesn't allow for a complete overhaul, there are ways to creatively retrofit your bathroom into a spa with small, inexpensive changes that add up to a relaxing feel.

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Copyright © Kathryn Weber, Living Space. All rights reserved.





Home & Garden - Creating the Ultimate Spa Bath