Archive for the ‘Home Spa’ Category

Spa Night In

Friday, October 30th, 2009

In these shaky economic times, it seems everything’s been flipped upside down. Less is more, small is good, and staying home on a Saturday night is infinitely more chic than an evening at the hottest restaurant du jour. Especially when you light some candles, flip on the iPod, and make it a spa night in!

The key to your delightfully pampered evening at home involves some slight deception and a bit of trompe l’œil. Namely, that of tricking your house into believing it’s a spa! Even if you use your home spa on a regular basis, nothing feels more luxurious than adding little touches of escapism to your everyday space. Doing so really allows you to relax as fully in the environment of your home as you would when going to a spa.

Towel and candlesFirst, start by breaking out the Good Stuff. That’s right – I’m talking capital “G,” capital “S,” Good Stuff. Like towels from Restoration Hardware’s Ultimate Turkish Towel Collection. I promise, you’ll never want to leave your bathroom. And lotions and scents from the skin geniuses at Kiehl’s. The Ultra Facial Cleanser is to die for, but don’t overlook their bath products either, like the Lavender Foaming-Relaxing Bath with Sea Salts and Aloe. Just because it’s spa night in doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself! Here are some other little touches that make a big difference:
• Dazed and Infused. Try adding lemon and cucumber slices to your water pitcher for a delicious (and very spa-esque) touch to your normal H20.
cucumberwater• Eye Love You. While you’re near the fridge, don’t forget to toss your eye mask in to chill – it’s the perfect way to relax at the end of a luxurious spa evening in (and easier too, than cucumbers…which, of course, you’ve used in the water).
• Tune Out. Put together a spa-night-in playlist with songs that bring out the calm in you. And don’t worry if they’re not conventional songs-of-relaxation – Enya isn’t for everybody.
• Food for (Relaxing) Thought. Don’t spend spa night slaving over a stove! Pick up some of your favorite pre-made bites and appetizers and make a home spa spread. Goat cheese, grape leaves, fresh berries, roasted red pepper dip, edamame, and gelato are some of my favorite spa-night-in treats.
• Don’t Be Spa-ntaneous. Spa night loses some of its panache when the kids are watching cartoons upstairs or your spouse has friends over for drinks in the next room. Best to pick your spa night a few weeks in advance, mark it on the calendar, and make sure everyone has an activity to attend to that won’t interfere with your chillaxing.
• You Light Up Your Life. Nothing sets the spa mood more than little beacons of flickering light (especially when they smell like vanilla and clean linen). Dim your main house bulbs, load up on the candles, and put them all around.
• And…break! Now, all you have left to do is, well, relax!

Try A Pumpkin Facial Mask This Halloween

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

If you get a moment to yourself this weekend then you might want to take a moment for yourself and whip up a nice organic pumpkin mask. Pumpkins are filled with antioxidants, beta-carotene and are also great for exfoliating your skin. Some spas offer these treatments because they contain such valuable vitamins and nutrients. Treatments you may see in the spa include a pumpkin enzyme scrub, which is a popular treatment in the spa any time of the year. You can purchase a pumpkin facial product or even a pumpkin peel, but if you have some pumpkin guts laying around and have a minute try this recipe:

 

-2 teaspoons cooked or canned pumpkin puree

pumpkin

Pumpkin Facial Mask

-1/2 teaspoon honey

-1/4 teaspoon milk

Moisturizer for Dry Skin:

– 1/4 teaspoon heavy whipping cream

-or-

– 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

Moisturizer for Oily Skin:

– 1/4 teaspoon apple cider

-or-

– 1/4 teaspoon cranberry juice

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients together and mix gently. Apply to face and let sit for 10-15 minutes for a gental, nourishing, condishing face mask. .Rinse with warm water and apply the appropriate moisturizer for your skin type.

How to Have a Home Spa Party!

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

girls in saunaThere are plenty of reasons to have a Home Spa Party, whether it is a birthday party, bachelorette party, bridal shower or even just a great “Girls Night”.  Here are some easy tips to make sure your spa party is off the “robe” hook:

1. Invite The Right People – One sure way to have a good home spa party is to invite the right people. If you’re inviting all your caddy girlfriends, then don’t invite your grumpy old man neighbor because he might just show up. Also, remember not to invite two people that might end up in a hair pulling confrontation (although the men might like to dream about it). The best way to get the people you want to come to your spa party is to send out invitations. Everyone likes a nice, quality invitation… especially to a spa party! You can even attach little soaps or candles to the invitations if you plan on hand delivering them or if you don’t mind spending a few bucks on shipping.

2. Set Up Well Before Hand – There’s nothing worse for you or your guests to have waited to the last minute to get your home spa ready for your party. It is very uncomfortable for both the host and the hostesses to be subject to a mad dash to throw everything together while people wait, or feel obligated to help.

3. Have Door Prizes – Nothing gives a good first impression like free stuff the minute your guests walk through the door. Even if these prizes are as simple as bath salts or aromatherapy essential oils, your guests will appreciate the thought and the time it took you to go to the trouble to get something nice for them.

4. Decorate for Comfort – Make sure you’ve got the decor to please your guests. Now would be a great time to break out a dozen or so of your favorite candles, and you should also set up a few, small intimate seating areas around tables with hand creams, nail polishes and other mani and pedi tools to use while your guests relax and enjoy your hospitality.

5. Provide Spa Food – Don’t forget to surround your guests with plenty of refreshments including bottles of water (which you could print your own labels for), smoothies, small plates of chocolates and candy, fresh fruit and vegetables with delicious dips, or even some caviar or shrimp cocktail on ice if you want to make your cuisine as luxurious as a top resort spa.

6. Spa Music – You should have some soothing natural sounds or new age music playing in the background. If you need help choosing the right music we have an in depth post about spa music with plenty of top sellers here: http://talkspas.com/2009/07/07/music-for-the-spa/

7. Spa Treatments & Activities – Even though keeping company with a close group of friends will often be enough entertainment for a spa party, it never hurts to have professional treatments! You can hire an esthetician, nail technician or masseuse to come to your spa party. Other fun activities could include spa games such as spa trivia, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, or 80’s name that tune.

8. Kid Control – If you have children, or your guests want to bring their children, then make sure you have a kid friendly area set up away from your spa party. Provide the kids with fun activities that will keep them occupied, and make sure an older kid can supervise or else you should hire a sitter. Nothing will ruin a good spa party quicker then kids!  I have children and love them very much, just not at my spa party ;-)

9. Adult Drinks – It’s entirely up to you whether or not you’re going to provide alcohol, but if you do make sure your guest also have plenty of water. Some spa-friendly drinks include alcoholic smoothies, pina coladas, cosmos and pink daiquiris. We’ve compiled a list of spa cocktail recipes that are perfect for your next spa party: Spa Drinks

10. Don’t Forget About Yourself – Even the host has to take a load off and enjoy her own spa party. Make sure to have some food, chat and just have a good time. Some people need to be reminded to take care of themselves, so consider yourself reminded!

When your spa party is over, the fun doesn’t have to end. Put on a chick flick or get a game of cards going if you want to continue to have fun with your guests after the spa portion of your part has ended.

Creating an Eco-Friendly Home Spa

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

There are a number of things one can do when remodeling their bath to not only make it more luxurious and spa-like, but to also make the entire process more sustainable and friendly for the environment. Here are some tips that you can use if you are considering a partial or full renovation of your master bath.

  • stone-flooringSustainable Flooring – Let’s start from the ground up! There are all kinds of sustainable flooring options on the market today, everything from sustainable linoleum to bamboo. Bamboo, although not a conventional choice for a bathroom or spa, is a great material to use as it brings a sense of Zen to your space and is also very sustainable. Bamboo grows so fast compared to any other woods, so if you are shopping for any wood products see if they too are offered in bamboo. Other sustainable flooring materials include:
    • Recycled Glass Tiles – They look great and are recycled
    • Linseed Oil Based Linoleum – Acts as a natural antimicrobial flooring
    • Recycled Metal Tiles –  These will add a versatile and textural design element
    • Natural Stone Tiles – One of the best choices for home spas because of their durability and resistance to water. Natural stone tiles will also retain heat, which is an added plus.
  • Caroma ToiletSustainable Fixtures – Luckily, style does not need to suffer when you are picking out a sustainable bathroom sink faucet or shower head for your home spa. There are many to choose from, and you can get sustainable fixtures in many shapes in sizes.
    • Low Flow Shower Head – Pick from hundreds of high end brands of shower heads and hand showers with low flow (but still powerful) streams
    • Low Flow Sink Faucet – Another area where you can save water is with your bathroom sink. The future of your sink may even show us sinks that are piped into the toilet to reuse the greywater
    • Greywater & Low Flow Toilets – Sustainable brands of toilets have made great progress in the past five years or so and dual flush toilets are available nearly everywhere. Now you can get even get a luxury toilet with a greywater sink in the back where the water tank is.
  • Steam ShowerInstall A Steam Shower – Did you know that some steam showers only require a gallon of water for a 20 minute steam bath? The ThermaSol Pro Series Generator is one such steam shower, and was even chosen as the steam shower for the home spa of the Eco Smart home that is currently being built in Florida. (Eco Smart Home Article.)
  • Energy Efficient Lighting – Energy efficient lighting will reduce your electricity bills, while saving valuable natural resources. The most Sustainable Lighting usually relies on LED lighting, but if you don’t want to remove your lighting fixtures you can also purchase CFL lightbulbs (consumer compact fluorescent).
  • Sustainable Wall Treatments – These materials are virtually the same as the flooring, except with your walls you probably wouldn’t use lanolium, and you may also want to just paint. FRESHAIRE is a line of sustainable paints that also promote a healthy life with zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds) being released into the air, providing you with better air quality. You can also use these paints for your vanities or other wood spa decor.
  • Shower curtain – Vinyl shower curtains can also contain VOCs and release them into your indoor air. For a healthy alternative, choose a shower curtain made from hemp, which is not only more healthy, but also sustainable, fungus resistant, and easily washable.
  • Essential OilsBathing Soaps and Products  – Personal bathing products should contain certified organic ingredients. This is particularly critical for all products containing essential oils, as some methods of extraction can include toxic solvents. Not all natural products are created equal and some that are not certified organic can still contain synthetic ingredients, as well as extractions from plants that are heavily contaminated with bacteria, pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
    • Certified Organic Soaps- They smell excellent and are good for you and the environment
    • Certified Organic Bath Gels – Don’t give up soaking in a bubble bath, just find a sustainable bubble bath or bathing gel to enjoy
    • Certified Organic Shampoo – There are many different kinds for all different types of hair, so try a few and find one you like. Organic baby shampoo is also much preferred.
    • Certified Organic Essential Oils – If it’s not a certified organic essential oil then it could potentially harm you. Make sure you don’t sacrifice your health for price.

Adding a Steam Shower to Your Home Spa

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

One of the best things to incorporate into your home spa is a steam shower. A steam shower will allow you to steam away your stress and anxiety.  Even though the Home Spa has become increasingly luxurious and exclusive, they don’t always have to be. Even back in Roman times, people relied on steam baths as a way to relax, unwind and escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Now, nearly everyone can have their own steam shower added to their home spa as they are becoming much more affordable. One such steam shower is the SteamSuite Series by Thermasol. (Visit the SteamSuite website at www.SteamSuite.com or ThermaSol at www.ThermaSol.com).

Steam showers have always been the must have amenity of the luxury bathroom and price points have kept many homeowners from incorporating a steam element into their own shower, despite their track record of promoting wellness, relaxation, rejuvenation and removing toxins from the body.  Now you can purchase a ThermaSol SteamSuite Basic Package for as little as $894. These new and affordable steam shower systems will surely appeal to homeowners who are looking to improve their master bath or home spa.

To install a steam shower system all you have to do is put your generator somewhere, whether it be under the vanity, in a closet, or even in the basement; then run your lines to the shower where you will install the steam shower controls and steam head. Here is a basic diagram that shows the basics of the installation. (More installation information here: Installing a Steam Shower).

steam-shower-installation

A steam shower is very easy to use and only requires you push a simple button to activate the steam. Once you push the steam shower button you will have steam in seconds, and there are even additional features and products you can get for your steam shower such as a music and light chromatherapy system or aromatherapy scents designed specifically for your steam shower head.  It’s no wonder why steam showers are becoming so popular in the home bathroom.

Spa Basics – How to get the most from your Spa Experience

Monday, October 5th, 2009

In today’s hustle and bustle world some people feel the need to rush through their spa treatment. Unfortunately, this happens at all types of spas from the home spa to the day spa to the spa at your gym. Here are a few basic tips that will help you to enjoy your next spa treatment to the fullest:

  1. Make an appointment – If you are going to a day spa or resort, you should book your appointment in advance to avoid unnecessary stress. If you don’t book ahead of time, you might end up waiting hours for an appointment to open up or end up wasting your time because the appointment book is full. In addition, make sure you know where you’re going if you’re visiting a new spa. You don’t  want to miss your appointment because you got lost on your way there. If you are planning on giving yourself a treatment at home, the same can be said. Make sure that you have blocked out a good amount of time to fully enjoy yourself.
  2. Relax – It sounds like common sense, but with all the stress in the world – people can still be tense and anxious when they really should be relaxing. One relaxation technique I personally do is to close my eyes and begin relaxing every muscle in my body, starting at my toes and going all the way up to the top of my head. You can use this technique at any spa.
  3. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind – I recently went for a Thai massage and almost ruined my own experience because I was too shy to ask the masseuse to be gentler or even to avoid my knees all together. When the masseuse was pulling my legs while sitting on my knees I was experiencing a very uncomfortable pain, but didn’t speak up. If I had spoken up the experience would have been a 100% better, but because I didn’t ask the masseuse beforehand, or during the massage to avoid my knees, a portion of the massage was unpleasant. Don’t be afraid to tell the one providing your services what you like or dislike, just do so in a respectful and kind manner.
  4. Drink water – Make sure to drink water before, during and after your spa treatments. Drinking water is especially important when getting a massage, using a steam room or getting a facial. If your spa doesn’t provide water, then bring your own as you will have a much better and healthier experience.
  5. Ask questions – If you are unfamiliar with something or have a question about a treatment just ask. This will help you with tip #3 by speaking up if something makes you uncomfortable or if there’s another technique you would prefer.

How To Transform the Average Bathroom into a Luxurious Spa Retreat

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Looking to take your master bath to the next level of luxury? Want to know how to transform your dull bathroom into a peaceful oasis? Below, we list a few ways to take your bathroom from drab to fab.

  • Install a Steam Shower- This might sound like a big project, but you’d be surprised at how much of a transformation your bathroom will go through if you rip out your old, dated shower stall and install a new, luxurious shower enclosure complete with your favorite tile and of course the added luxury of a steam shower generator. Visit www.ThermaSol.com for more information and for all your steam shower needs.

steam-shower

  • Update your Fixtures – Just updating your showerhead and faucet can take your bathroom from a 5 or a 6 to a 9 or a 10. Choose whatever fixtures fit your style from contemporary to traditional to Old English Country. If you really want to take your bath to the next level you can even invest in a faucet complete with Lalique Cristal as seen in the Lalique Collection by THG: View Lalique Collection Here. Be forewarned, however, as these faucets can cost as much as $15,000 a piece (no one said luxury was cheap!)

thg-lalique

  • Install a Sauna – As with a steam shower, installing a sauna may be a major project depending on what you’re looking for, but just imagine having your own indoor sauna. Those with a good amount of square footage can build their sauna into the bathroom itself or they can install a modular sauna room. Below are some ThermaSol saunas. Find more information about installing a new sauna on their website www.ThermaSol.com

sauna

modular-sauna

  • Replace your Toilet – It may sound silly to think that something as simple as a new toilet could make your bathroom feel more luxurious, but it can. The great thing about new toilets is that they are much more water efficient and eco-friendly than older models. The Caroma dual flush toilet (pictured below) saves the average U.S. household about 25 gallons of water per day. The Brisbane toilet is also pictured below: www.CaromaUSA.com

caroma-toilet

  • Add a Bidet – Although the bidet is not a common thing to see in an American bathroom, just the fact that you have one will bring your bathroom up a notch in the luxury department. The ILBAGNOALESSI One Bidet by Laufen is guaranteed to bring a new sense of style to your bathroom.

toilet-bidet

  • Use Decorative Hardware – Consider purchasing decorative accessories in a fun new finish like oil-rubbed bronze or antique copper. A stylized soap dispenser, cabinet pull, towel rack, robe hook, and even a toilet flush lever can make a big difference.

towel-rack

Master Bath Recoup

Monday, August 31st, 2009

 

Whirlpool Tub

Whirlpool Tub & Steam Shower

According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2008 – 2009 Cost. Vs. Value Report, a bathroom remodel will still recoup up to 75 percent of the cost upon resale – making it a wise renovation investment. So for those who have dreamed of soothing jetted bathtubs, vertical spa showers and a complete steam shower environment it might be wise to implement these amenities into the home and save on repeated trips to the spa.

Another interesting piece of information that Remodeling Magazine cited is that bathrooms are among the easiest remodels to achieve using “green” practices and products, from eco-friendly materials like ceramic tile to luxurious, water-conserving fixtures and low energy-consumption lighting. However, what are some of the most important fixtures to choose for your bathroom remodel? And which ones will prove to be the most attractive to potential buyers in the long run?

According to a recent story in The Orlando Sentinel, features that increase a bathroom’s appeal include larger showers with rain showerheads, steam showers, body sprays, heated floors and hinged glass doors or partial shower walls. Also, soaking tubs instead of Jacuzzis, more windows and skylights to let in sunlight, and more efficient, quieter ventilation. Disappearing is the elaborate decking that raised tubs several steps above the floor, making access difficult and even dangerous. So even if you are waiting to sell until the market improves, a luxury bathroom renovation is something you can enjoy both now and when you get the money back when you sell the home in years to come.

The Benefits of Cold Spa Therapy

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Arctic Ice RoomAfter looking at some of the amenities spas offer, I noticed that cold spa treatments are on the rise. When I think of a spa I think of warmth and heat, being a native of Southern California I find anything below 60° F unbearable. Although it sends chills down my spine just thinking about it, cold spa therapies are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. The health benefits of these therapies range from alertness to increased circulation to a stronger immune system. Going from hot to cold is a shock to the nervous system. The initial shock causes blood vessels to constrict and then expand once the body reaches its normal temperature. The process helps to increase circulation, rid the body of toxins, and boost the immune system, which can help fight off colds and allergies. This type of treatment has also been used by athletes for some time now to help reduce swelling and ease aches and pains. Want to try it out for yourself? The Qua Spa in Las Vegas has a room that snows. It’s called the Arctic Ice Room (pictured left) and the temperature is set to a chilly 55° F and the air is infused with the scent of mint, which also has a cooling effect.

The Standard Spa is another spa that offers cold spa threapy. This spa is located in Miami offers Hot + Cold Stone Massage treatments, which helps bring balance to the body and relieve stress. If none of these treatments appeal to you, you can always take a cold shower at home to see if you will like it.

Basics of Designing A Home Spa

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Today’s bathrooms are becoming a place that homeowners are using as their own private retreat, where the only rules are the rules of relaxation. The days of the utilitarian bathroom are in the past, and now bathrooms are being transformed into a destination spot where one can go to treat themselves to the home spa.

Many of the features that are being included in the home spa have been inspired from day spas and spa resorts, as explained in the article: New Bathrooms take Cues From the Spa, but in this segment we will look more closely at some of the intricate details that go into designing a home spa.

Steam Shower

Steam Shower

One of the main things that home owners are using to create a home spa is of course the Steam Shower. The steam shower is such a beautiful luxury to have in the home. Homeowners are justifying this purchase by equating how much each steam bath would cost if they were to use one in a paid spa. By using your own steam shower just once a week, it would pay for itself in a matter of a few months if you are an avid spa enthusiast.

Another hot item that has really become popular in the past few years is the rain shower. This JACLO shower head produces both a rain shower and waterfall shower for double the pleasure. The sensation you get from a beautiful rain shower is unlike any other shower experience, and this is why it has become so popular as of late.

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