How To Get The Spa Experience At Home

Molly GraceAugust 27, 2019

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With all the stresses of daily life, it can be great to have a space in the comfort of your own home where you can relax, unwind and de-stress.

With the ever-increasing popularity of luxury bathroom remodels, it seems like everyone’s trying to create their own little spa haven at home. But how can you achieve this look without breaking the bank? Read on for some ideas on how to build your own at-home spa with tips that will fit every budget.

Elements Of A Spa-Like Space

What makes a space “spa-like”? It’s not all about dimming the lights and playing soothing music. By mimicking the decorating techniques that spas utilize you can create that same feel in your very own bathroom.

First, think about the colors, textures and styles you want to introduce into your bathroom.

“Any color that is natural and earth-based would be appropriate in the creation of a spa-like feeling. I would stay away from vibrant, hot and saturated colors and stick with soft, mostly cool neutrals – blues, pinks, greens, taupes and whites. Textures such as wood, stone, metal and glass lend themselves to a spa feeling,” Amy Miller Weinstein, of AMW Design Studio in Birmingham, Mich., said.

Spas also tend to be very minimal and clutter-free. This means that while you’ll be adding things to the space, you’ll likely be doing just as much subtracting, taking things out that distract the eye and make the room feel too messy or energetic.

“Spa bathrooms are for relaxing and unwinding from everyday stresses. Creating a soothing, minimalist decor will enhance your spa experience at home,” Tiffany Smolick, interior designer and manager at MyHome Design & Remodeling in New York, said.

Smolick also recommended a neutral palette for a calming environment.

“A white bathroom with warm wood accents will give the space a light and natural feeling,” she said.

Get matched with a bathroom remodeling company.

Getting The Look

Whether you want to do a full bathroom overhaul or just make a few simple changes, there are lots of ways to achieve this aesthetic and get your at-home spa both through big remodels and smaller, more budget-friendly additions.

Renovate Your Way To An At-Home Spa

If you have the money to spend on a larger renovation, you might consider replacing some of your bathroom’s main components with fixtures that better fit the spa style to really transform the space.

“Fresh, new cabinetry, ‘wet rooms,’ freestanding tubs and wonderful plumbing fixtures are key elements” to achieving that spa feel, Weinstein said.

A wet room is a room where everything in it is designed to get wet. Instead of the shower being sectioned off from the rest of the room, the showerhead is out in the open. Originally wet rooms were meant to save space in smaller bathrooms by removing the need for a separate shower stall, but the concept is being increasingly used in luxury bathrooms to create a more open and luxurious space. Showers and freestanding bathtubs are often paired together in the wet room and placed behind a glass door or partition to keep the area separate from the toilet, vanity and other dry areas.

On its own, a beautiful freestanding tub can be a great way to make the most relaxing feature of your bathroom the pièce de résistance. A deep soaking tub can add to the feeling of luxury and relaxation.

For the shower, consider installing an overhead rain showerhead or multiple showerheads that allow you to get sprayed from multiple sides. If your current shower is a tub combo, consider converting it to a walk-in shower.

If you’re changing some of the basic elements like tiling, cabinetry, sinks or vanities, be sure to purchase these items with your calming color palette in mind. And if you’re replacing the floor tiles, it might be worth it to look into radiant floor heating so your toes can stay toasty when you step out of the shower on cold mornings.

You should also consider whether it’s possible to play around with the layout of the room, especially if the current space feels cramped.

“Often a more modern and open layout should be explored,” Weinstein said.

If you’re working with limited space, simply replacing a shower curtain with a glass door can help give the illusion of more space and make the bathroom feel more open.

Budget-Friendly Renos

If you aren’t committed to a full overhaul, there are still plenty of simple and affordable ways to give your bathroom a new, more relaxing look.

Something as simple as a fresh coat of paint in a light, cool neutral color can give the space a whole new feel. Repainting the cabinets can have the same effect. However, a few more significant changes don’t have to break the bank.

“Updated plumbing fixtures and stone or quartz countertops can transform an ordinary bath,” Weinstein said.

Because bathrooms typically have less counter space than a full-sized kitchen, having new countertops put in can be relatively affordable depending on the material used. And instead of big fixture changes like a new shower or tub, updating your bathroom’s hardware with new faucets, knobs and towel racks can be a fairly cheap way to get a new look. Look for pieces that have a sleek, clean look.

Introduce Some Luxury

Another easy way to get the spa-inspired look is by finding affordable ways to introduce a little luxury.

Be sure to have plenty of soft and luxurious towels and robes on hand. Instead of regular-sized towels, opt for a larger bath sheet. Purchase plush or furry bath rugs to soften the space and make it feel cozy and welcoming.

“Make sure you have a designated space to store robes, slippers and towels. Beautiful baskets are a great option: roll up your robes and towels in a large basket and put slippers in a smaller, similar basket. Turkish towels are also perfect when creating a spa-like setting,” Smolick said.

Have those towels warm and ready for use with a heated towel rack. Dress up your toiletry items by keeping them in pretty glass containers. If you have the space, glam or plush seating can increase the level of comfort.

For something truly luxe, consider installing a chandelier.

Keep It Minimalist

“Art and accessories that are minimal but add graphic elements or texture can help create the spa vibe. Fresh greens or flowers will help. Keep it simple and clean!” Weinstein said.

Too much visual clutter can prevent a space from feeling truly relaxing, so your goal should be to keep it simple when you’re decorating your new at-home spa space.

Likewise, literal clutter will make the room feel messy. If you own a lot of products that you use regularly, seek out clever storage that looks nice while keeping these products out of sight.

See The Light

Good lighting is vital. You don’t want anything that’s overly harsh, but you do want it to be well-lit, especially if your bathroom is where you spend most of your time getting ready for the day.

If you want to upgrade your lighting fixtures, look for sleek, modern styles. Consider installing a dimmer switch which will allow you to control the intensity of the light depending on what you’re doing.

For window treatments, look for airy, light-friendly fixtures. Weinstein recommended “plenty of natural light” in your updated space. There are many fixture options where you let in as much natural light as possible while still allowing for privacy.

Get matched with a bathroom remodeling company.

Final Considerations

Once you’ve got your at-home spa space, keeping up with the look is important. Be sure to clean regularly, as nothing can ruin the spa illusion faster than a grimy bathtub.

Look for small items you can change up and add over time like candles, bubble baths or bath salts. If you’re able, consider splurging on a few high-end grooming products.

“Products that support relaxation are also very important. Make sure to take your time selecting shampoos and soaps that have organic and relaxing scents,” Smolick said.

Most importantly, make sure to take time to actually use the space. Even if you lead a busy life, carve out time for regular at-home spa days with bath bombs or face masks. While a great bathroom renovation (big or small) can increase your satisfaction of your home and maybe even its value, one of the most important things is that you get to actually make use of your new spa space.

Molly Grace

Molly Grace is a staff writer focusing on mortgages, personal finance and homeownership. She has a B.A. in journalism from Indiana University. You can follow her on Twitter @themollygrace.