If you’re anything like us, you could do with a bit of self care and pampering right about now. And who doesn’t love the look and feel of a peaceful, spa-like bathroom? We usually only get that type of luxury when we’re traveling, but what if there was a way to get that same spa like feel in the comfort of your own home?
To help those staying indoors, the folks at Victorian Plumbing have put together a handy guide to help you transform your bathroom into one that’s tailor-made for relaxation.
1. Set the Mood with Lighting and Music
The first thing you’ll notice when you walk into a spa is the relaxing atmosphere and lighting. And you can create a similar experience yourself by mimicking this at home. Light helps keep us awake and alert, so go dimmer if you really want to relax. The ultimate way to do this of course, is to install a dimmer switch, but if that’s a little bit out of your budget right now, candles do a great job too.
Look for ambient music playlists on Spotify – if you’ve got a dedicated waterproof speaker put that to good use too.
Pro Tip – Dr David Lewis, the UK’s leading stress specialist, assembled a list of the 10 most relaxing tunes. Add these into a Spotify playlist for the perfect spa-day soak!
2. Clear the Clutter
We’re all guilty of hoarding our bathroom products, which means that bathrooms over time become disorganised and cluttered. And clutter – which is one of the number one causes of household stress – is the last thing you need right now. Luckily, sorting clutter is one of the quickest ways to make your bathroom feel more like a spa.
Throw away old bottles – bin whatever is nearing its use by date, or what’s rarely used. Keep any excess in a bathroom cupboard. When you think of your last real spa experience, you’re unlikely to picture a dusty, half-empty bottle of shampoo next to the tub, surrounded by rings of blue shower gel stains. So keep your bathroom clear for a more authentic spa experience.
Pro Tip – If you don’t have much storage space, invest in a shower shelf to keep the bottles in one neat place.
3. Clean Your Tub
Ok – so a deep clean doesn’t exactly scream relaxing spa day, but just think how fresher you’ll feel soaking in a tub you know is pristine clean. You can give your bath an effective DIY clean using products found in your kitchen – salt and citrus are great for removing soap scum. Dip a lemon in salt and use it to scrub at tough stains.
Pro Tip – if you’ve got an old ceramic tub that’s absolutely filthy, you can give it an incredible clean using oven cleaner. Just remember you’ll need to wear gloves and ventilate the room for a while before you go back in!
4. Add Some Plants
Bathroom plants have become a trend in 2020, and they’re a great way to bring a bit of the outdoors inside. Plants after all, purify and filter the air around us, and go some way towards promoting a relaxing and calming environment – perfect when you’re looking to craft your own private spa space.
Look to plants that thrive in humid, damp conditions – aloe vera, bamboo, boston ferns and orchids make for great green bathroom buddies. Get creative with plant hangers and you’ll be relaxing in your own private jungle spa in no time.
Pro Tip – if your bathroom has low levels of light, look for plants like African violets or Chinese evergreens, which thrive well in darker conditions.
5. Get a Tub Tray
Once you’re in the bath, the last thing you want to be doing is getting out to grab that drink, or change the background music. Plus, balancing things on the side of the tub (hello wet books) or leaning out to grab what you need (hello wet floor) is never ideal.
A tub tray lays along the length of your bath, and allows you to store drinks, books, magazines and gadgets close by. You can relax, wine balanced above you alongside that book you’ve finally got the time to read. It’s the ultimate cheat to a lavish spa day experience. You can get a decent tub tray from as little as £15 online, with high-end models costing up to £60.
Pro Tip – but if you’re feeling adventurous, and have some time on your hand, you can always make a tray yourself. You’ll need an old wooden board. Check YouTube for tutorials.
6. Keep Your Bath Cosy
A decent soak in the tub should last at least 20 minutes, but water will cool far faster than that. So preempt this by starting your bath far hotter than you’d like and wait till things cool slightly before jumping in. Always run the bath with the door shut too – this lets steam build up and you’ll need that for your DIY spa experience. And those bubbles you love? Turns out, they’ve got a practical use too. Bubbles insulate the water, helping your bath stay warmer longer.
Pro Tip – Keep an ice cold pint of water near the bath. You’ll need to stay hydrated, and cool water in a hot bath will help regulate your body temperature.
7. Soak in Soothing Homemade Elixirs
Any spa worth its salt needs some soothing elixirs to soak in. There’s a ton of bathroom products you can buy online, but have you ever considered making your own? Add two parts kosher salt, two parts Epsom salt, and one part baking soda to a few drops of your favourite essential oils for a great make-do stress-buster. Try oil combinations include 10 drops of eucalyptus and 10 drops of peppermint – perfect for blocked sinuses – or 10 drops of bergamot and 10 drops of lavender, if you’re looking for a relaxation aid.
Pro Tip – if you want something restorative for your spa experience, try adding 20 drops of eucalyptus, 10 drops of peppermint, then three ounces of almond oil into your tub with some Epsom salts.
8. Make a DIY Face Mask
The sheer act of throwing on a mask will instantly give you that spa day feeling. Whilst of course you can always buy what you need, you can make a great DIY face mask to really revitalise your skin. Mix equal parts yogurt and avocado with ¼ tbsp of honey and get in the tub with cool cucumber slices, or chilled chamomile tea bags, on your eyes. You’ll forget you’re still in your own home.
Pro-Tip – Invest in a jade roller to really bring nutrients to the skin.
9. Make a Revitalising Lavender Towel Treatment
Simply add 3 cups of water into a large bowl and add 5-10 drops of lavender oil. Submerge your towels into the water and ring out the excess. Then, whilst the towels are still wet, fold them over and put them in the freezer. Leave them for a couple of hours.
Then, either during your soak or right after, drape one of these cool towels over your face and shoulders. The contrast between hot and cold combined with the aromatherapy lavender will feel revitising – and you’ll come out of the bathroom with a fresh pampered feeling to rival any outside spa.
Pro Tip – if lavender is a bit too strong for you, try using other revitalising scents like peppermint, rosewood, and chamomile.
10. Paint your Bathroom an Earthy Colour
If your bathroom looks cold and clinical, it might be time for a change. Give your bathroom a lick of colour to create a more authentic, at home spa experience. Take inspiration from nature – natural colours like browns, greys and greens will give your bathroom an organic feel that’ll soothe you after a stressful day watching the kids.
Obviously, painting a whole bathroom is a bigger job than some on the list, but it’s great for those looking for a weekend project. Remember though – painting a bathroom is a bit different to other rooms in the house. Get yourself a special bathroom or high-gloss paint, and make sure you give the walls a good scrub before you start, as years of old soap studs can stop paint setting.
Pro Tip – if your bathroom is on the smaller side, go for paler greens and greys which will make the room feel like a more spacious spa.