Posts Tagged ‘Home Spa’

Fall Detox

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

Poor fall. It gets so shafted. Winter has twinkly lights and presents, the other two seasons have actual things named after them (hello, Spring Cleaning and Summer Vacation), but fall…it doesn’t even have its own identity. It has to share. With “autumn.” A word that exemplifies why the English language is so hard to master.

All of that’s about to change.

This is your official fall detox. Finally – an event that can be 100% claimed by the most leaf-crunching, pencil-sharpening season. We’re arming you with some simple, achievable steps to reinvigorate your mind and body as the year winds down. Who said resolutions are January’s turf?

apple-cinnamon2The first step in our fall detox is to do a quick inventory of autumn’s most abundant flavors. We’ve become so aware of the benefits gleaned from eating seasonally (think tomatoes in June or pears in December) that it’s only befitting to let nature dictate our detox. So cast those berries aside and load your diet up with apples (great baked or raw), root veggies (such as parsnips and sweet potatoes), squash (ever tried delicata, kabocha, or acorn? ‘Tis the season to get squashy…), pomegranate, and grapefruit. And while spices aren’t seasonal per se, our fall detox comes with very strict instructions* (*and by “strict instructions” we mean “super duper casual ideas”) to embrace the health perks of autumnal flavors in every form. Sprinkle cinnamon in your yogurt, for a nice antioxidant boost. A dash of nutmeg in your tea can brighten up your skin. And if you just can’t resist the PSL (that’s, Pumpkin Spice Latte), try adding some pumpkin pie spice to your cup of joe (don’t worry, it’s sugar free), pouring in some foamed skim milk, and voila – your fall detox beverage is ready: a Pumpkin Spice Not-te.

thermasol-steam-shower

There’s a word we love to use when talking about a detox, and that’s “reset.” (And both of them sound way better than “cleanse,” in our opinion.) Turns out, fall is a great time to undertake a reset: the leaves are changing, the clocks turn back, and with thousands of kids returning to school, adding a few new routines doesn’t seem so difficult after all. (Hey, anything easier than chemistry.) So the next part of our fall detox is to Try One New Thing. Is it taking that Pilates class you always pass by, but haven’t signed up for? Is it nixing the snooze button for a day (which then becomes two, which then becomes two weeks, which then becomes “When did I ever need the snooze button?”)? Is it taking on a new health ritual, like trying a steam shower session, or committing to a vitamin regimen? Whatever you choose, make it something that’s manageable, that isn’t SO hard that you dread the thought of doing it, and that’s inspiring for your mind, body, or soul. One fall reset…you can totes do that.

skin2Step three in our fall detox sees a shift towards the preventative, specifically looking forward to the colder, drier, more eating-intense months ahead, and the steps we can take now to comfortably round-out the year (skin-wise, pants-wise, and otherwise). Fall is a great time to bump up your moisturizing routine – hair, face, lips, and hands. Slathering cocoa butter all over the day you wake up to a patch of dry skin isn’t nearly as effective as maintaining consistent dermal hydration. And speaking of, even though we’re no longer in the Schvitzy Season, our fall detox says this is the perfect time to bump up your water intake (which will also help as we inch towards Thanksgiving and Holiday Party Time…if drinking water regularly becomes your fall habit, those hangovers will have nowhere to camp out). Cooler temperatures also means you can take your workouts outside. Adding just one additional walking session a week can do wonders to keep those pesky December calories from becoming a January problem.

Well, fall, if you don’t feel a little self-esteem jolt from this Detoxifying Ode to Autumn, well, we really can’t help you. But even if fall’s a lost cause, we hope you’ll walk the walk (and detox the tox…hey now, see what we did there?) to make this harvest season as refreshing as can be. (Not-thinking-about-candy-corn, not-thinking-about-candy-corn…)

Steam Shower vs. Soaking Tubs

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Most of our Daily Basis Choices are pretty easy. Coffee or tea, subway or bus, sweater or jacket. You know, the “nice” decisions. And then, there are the Big Massive Home Choices. The ones we toss-and-turn over. Stainless steel or ceramic, wood or tile, EGGSHELL OR BUTTERCREAM??

(Sorry. We got a little out of control.)

Wouldn’t it be nice if some of those Big Massive Home Choices came with a little cheat sheet? Well, here you go: your insider’s guide to one of the biggest decisions about your bath – should I soak, or should I steam?

Steam showers and soaking tubs are two of the most popular bathroom upgrades, and with good reason. They both offer a luxurious spa experience from the comfort of one’s home, and can increase the value of one’s remodel. But which is the better investment? What nets you a better return? And which offers more utility?

First, what is a soaking tub, and what is a steam shower? Soaking tubs are deep bath basins – usually crafted in slightly different dimensions than traditional tubs (in addition to the greater depth, soaking tubs typically feature a narrow taper, and can come in an oval or circles shapes). Most often free-standing, so they’re rarely connected to a shower hookup. And they range from simple, basic varieties, sporting only a faucet and spigot, to more ooh-la-la versions, with tingly jets or built-in lighting. Available in a bevy of materials (from economical acrylic finishes to luxurious stone-crafted vessels), soaking tubs are beautiful, relaxing, and spa-esque, but don’t provide many more benefits (beyond that of size) than what you get out of your traditional bathtub.

 

Oh, did someone say benefits? Why yes, Steam Shower, over there, waiting to be defined, we DID say benefits. When it comes to health and wellness perks, steam showers rule. The unit itself consists of a generator (which can be housed either in your bathroom or, in certain cases, farther out for convenient installation, like ThermaSol’s generator units, which can live up to 50 feet beyond the bathroom) that delivers steam through your stall shower. Set your desired time and temperature, turn it on, and the generator delivers a luxurious stream of steam that envelops the stall, and invigorates your body. Steam showers are proven to have myriad medical benefits for your skin, your muscles, cellular recovery, and so much more.

So when it comes to a better investment for your body, steam showers have a significant edge. But let’s talk about that other kind of investment…the wallet sort. Like most things, soaking tubs and steam showers are available in a range of prices and qualities. Soaking tubs can be procured for as low as $500, and as high as $8,000, based on size and material. And while a soaking tub itself requires little maintenance, it can put a strain on two things: space and your water bill. Unlike a steam shower, which can be installed in a space as small as four feet by four feet, a soaking tub is an additional element in your bath. Which means that if you have the space, great – by all means, soak away. But if you’re lacking for room, wedging a soaking tub in a tiny bath not only limits utility (of the basin and the bathroom as a whole), it isn’t ideal for resale. And then, there’s the H20 factor. Because soaking tubs are deeper than traditional bathtub vessels, it’s very time-, energy-, and water-consuming to regularly fill a soaking tub…and your water bill will reflect this usage. (Plus, the million dollar, ahem, million gallon question…how often will you REALLY spend a half hour to fill and use your soaking tub?)

Steam showers are a different story when it comes to the quality of their investment. With a steam shower, your initial overhead is a little higher than that of a soaking tub. If your bath already has a stall shower, any modifications needed to make it steam shower-friendly are usually pretty minor. And the steam shower components – typically a generator and a controller – are available at a mid-point of around $3,500. So while you might spend more at the outset, post-installation, there are very few lingering costs. ThermaSol’s MicroTouch and Temp Touch technology, for example, has the power to generate heat and steam within seconds; and water usage for a 20 minute steam shower consists of a pretty memorable amount: ONE GALLON. Which all boils down to this: steam showers have a significantly lower impact on your water bill and your electric bill.

The spa-nalysis: in the short term and the long run, the better bang for your buck is a steam shower. The slightly-higher initial cost is well-worth what you get back. A steam shower is an upgrade that provides unique health and wellness benefits (versus a soaking tub, which has such limited advantages over your already-existing bathtub), a space-conscious luxury add-on – proven to be a hot resale amenity – an eco- and bill-friendly installation, and a piece of equipment that can be initiated with such speed and efficiency, you’ll actually use it. Our take: join Team Steam!

Spa Diet

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

The candles are lit, the slippers are ready, the steam shower’s minutes from being activated…but, but, you’re hungry! Embracing a spa lifestyle goes far beyond knowing your exfoliants from your aromatherapies. It’s about feeding all aspects of your body, from skin to stomach, with smart, fresh, healthy resources. So back away from the bath (just for a minute, we promise!) and let’s journey into the kitchen to explore the wonders of the spa diet.

To say we’re constantly bombarded with food-centric propaganda is the understatement of the century. Every day it seems like there’s a new trend, a new diet, a new cooking technique guaranteed to make us weigh less, have more energy, and give our skin the glow of a thousand suns. Spa cuisine is, how shall we say this lightly…the polar opposite of all of that blather. In the same way that we encourage you to treat your body with pure, natural elements and health-inspiring techniques, we hold an equal standard for what we put inside it.

First of all, our spa diet, it should be noted, isn’t a “diet” in the most frequently used sense of the word, aka, “a short term plan you embark upon to instantaneously lose weight before you seen an ad for Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Bowl and all good intentions are lost.”

Or something like that.

Our spa diet is really a “spa eating lifestyle.” You won’t eat like this 100% of the time (we know…it’s called “Sunday brunch”). Instead, we’re laying out a set of parameters and types of food that comprise a balanced, healthy way of eating to complement the balanced, healthy way you use other spa elements (like a steam shower) in your life. Taking cues from the Mediterranean diet, consistently deemed one of the smartest, most heart-healthy eating plans on the planet, our spa diet relies on real food and fresh choices.

And we’re starting, with water. Water is the hands-down key to fueling a smart spa lifestyle. It’s necessary before or after a massage or a steam shower. It’s vital to rejuvenate skin and keep cells hydrated, inside and out. Hate it from the tap? Infuse a pitcher, a bottle, heck, even a glassful with cucumber slices, orange wedges, strawberries, mint leaves – anything to get you to drink more. Prefer tea? As long as it’s caffeine-free and herbal, down it! Just promise us you’ll skip the pre-packaged, pre-sugared water options because they are, in fact, not water.

So we’re hydrating, we’re hydrating…time to eat! Our spa diet mentality works like this: in any given meal or snack, are you getting Protein, Fruits/Vegetables, and Grains (and are you doing so without extraneous Fat and Sugar, or relying on Processed Foods)? If so, ding ding we have a winner! From this formula, it’s easy to form any meal or munchie.

Let’s start with breakfast. Protein could come from fat-free plain Greek yogurt (sprinkled with pomegranate seeds!), egg whites, turkey, or tofu. Happy morning fruits and veggies include everything from melons to mango, and grains taste great in the form of a whole wheat English muffin or a bowl of overnight amaranth (sweetened with a handful of blueberries). So if a menu along the lines of an “egg white omelette with spinach and tomatoes cooked in a touch of olive oil and a whole wheat English muffin next to a glass of caffeine-free green tea” sounds good to you, you’re ready to spa diet.

Lunch and dinner are just as easy. Proteins mean tuna (canned = cannot be easier. Just mix it with mustard or Greek yogurt instead of mayo!), grilled chicken or shrimp, and chickpeas or black beans. Veg it up with leafy greens (kale overload? Try chard or purple spinach!), portabella mushrooms, eggplant, bok choy, spaghetti squash, Brussels sprouts – more of these, less of the corn and potatoes (youknowwhatwemean?). Then, bulk it up with grains – brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, even polenta (aka cornmeal). And before you know it, you’re sitting down to a plate of grilled shrimp over polenta (made with chicken stock instead of butter, natch) with a side of roasted Brussels sprouts dotted with diced persimmons.

Snacking is also a breeze, because of course you’re going to keep an easy-to-access supply of cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, and baby carrots on hand for those munchable moments. And you’re going to be happy as a clam dipping them in salsa (homemade is best, but when time is of the essence, grab one that doesn’t have any added sugar) or Greek yogurt mixed with cucumber, garlic and lemon (hello, you just made tzatziki). Really on the go? A handful of almonds is perfect (yay for good fats!) as are a few apple slices sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon.

Pure inside, pure outside. Our spa diet that truly reflects the tenets of the spa lifestyle – a healthy, smart, clean approach to living. And much like any spa device or technique that promises a too-good-to-be-true-quick-fix-to-all-your-problems solution, the same is true for an eating plan. So take in what you want to project, and fill yourself with real foods for a real rejuvenated you, inside and out. Cheers! (With water. Rosemary cantaloupe water!)

Pet Friendly Spas

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

As you can tell from our previous post, spas have gone to the dogs. Literally. We’re talking gourmet pet menus, custom canine walking trails, and puppy massages.

Enter the latest trend in the world of relaxation – pet-friendly spas. And why the woof not! If a dog is a man’s best friend, doesn’t it make sense that you’d want to share all the comforts and Zen of a spa experience with your BFF? We definitely think so. And we’re not alone.

Spas and hotels around the country are quickly becoming havens for both two- and four-footed creatures. And we’re not just talking about resorts that allow pets to stay in their owners’ rooms. These spots have our tails positively wagging with pet perks. Vermont’s Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa is the perfect place for the active pup (and their human). Located on 60 acres of beautiful terrain, doggies go nuts for the Stowe Rec Path, a five mile trail through the property’s woods and farmland, complete with stops at swimming holes so Rover can cool off. The hotel’s rooms and townhouses are pleased to welcome canine guests, giving the furrier amongst us a spot to relax while you take in the spa and four-star dining at Stoweflake.

But if you’re looking to pause your paws and enjoy some pampering in the great indoors, La Quinta Resort & Club just outside of Palm Springs, California is the place to go. On the menu: an hour-long relaxation massage for your dog…or the opportunity to enjoy a “Pupples Massage,” where you can receive treatment at the same time as your pet, from your guest room! La Quinta’s mission isn’t just about on-the-spot relaxation; they take interested owners through the steps of the canine massage, showing you how to implement techniques they practice at the resort.

 

Back on the east coast, at the Inn by the Sea in Crescent Beach, Maine, it’s a toss up as to whether their furry guests get even better treatment their tail-less clients. The stunning property is like a coastal vision from a storybook. And with their “INNcredible Pets” package, the picture perfect scene gets even better. You get two nights in one of their gorgeous suites; Fido gets an Inn by the Sea dog bowl, a personalized LL Bean puppy bed, a 30-minute in-room doggie massage, selections from their gourmet pet menu, and nightly pet turndown service (featuring, of course, a locally made seasonal dog treat). Cue lots of slobbering.

And, if you happen to be more of a cat person (we did NOT say Cat Lady. Those were your words.), never fear…the pet-friendly spa world loves you too! Like The Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach, whose spacious rooms open their arms to dogs and cats alike, even offer massage services for both pups and kitties. (And if your little Garfield will stay on a leash, you can even walk your cat around the lobby!).

So next time you’re wondering, “To board, or not to board?”, pack up the water dishes and BYOP (that’s, Bring Your Own Pet) along to the spa. We know they’ll love it as much as you do. (Disclaimer: we cannot be held responsible for excessive amounts of purring or puppy kisses due to exposure to relaxing pet spa experiences.)

Build the Perfect Home Spa Experience

Friday, September 27th, 2013

When it comes to creating the ultimate bathroom oasis, the home spa calls for an environment that’s peaceful, luxurious and stylish. While channeling peace and luxury may be a given, style is an element that’s just as important. A space that doesn’t suit your specifications is hardly conducive to relaxation. Along with your residential steam shower, the right mix of bathroom fixtures and furniture work together to produce a personal retreat that’s truly reflective of you. For those seeking stylish inspiration, here’s a look at some of our favorite designs for a traditional or modern home spa.

Traditional

Stately and elegant, the traditional style represents luxury from a bygone era. Inspired by ancient Roman baths, Stone Forest’s Old World Bathtub is a stunningly-crafted testament to times past. Carved from a solid block of carrara marble, the bathtub features unique veining and natural coloring of the distinctive stone, which complements a rich, traditional aesthetic.

Distinguished by the sinuous, semi-circular projection of its basin, the Stone Forest Renaissance Console brings an“old world” feel to the bath. Also carved from honed carrara marble, this classic vanity sink combines the subtle detailing of the washbasin with traditional console legs in aged brass or polished nickel.

A stately sink requires a faucet just as luxe to match. With vintage styling, the Gramercy collection by Watermark Designs offers inspiration from one of Manhattan’s most historic and exclusive neighborhoods. Classic cross handles displaying timeless “hot” and “cold” labels, while the rest of the collection rounds out faucet, shower and tub filler fittings for your traditional bathroom.

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Steam Showers vs. Whirlpool Tubs

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

With home renovations on the rise, keeping up with the latest bathroom trends is more important than ever. Bathroom renovations have surged in popularity as homeowners have embraced the bathroom as a relaxation destination. Creating the ultimate home spa isn’t just great for calming your nerves — it can increase your home’s resale value as well. While whirlpool tubs were once must-have features in luxury bathrooms, homeowners are increasingly choosing steam showers to create the spa experience. Let’s take a look at these two installations and see how they match up.

Whirlpool tubs create relaxation by propelling warm water through jets to soothe tired muscles, while steam showers create a steamy, relaxing atmosphere to detoxify the body and alleviate stress. Both provide similar relaxation benefits, but steam showers take up significantly less space. Whirlpool bathtubs can occupy more than 5 to 6 feet, while a steam shower allows owners to create airier, more spacious bathrooms.

In addition, the headache of maintaining whirlpool tubs can far outweigh their relaxation benefits. Because water tends to sit in their internal network of pipes and jets, these tubs can be difficult to clean, which can result in algae growth. The steam shower company ThermaSol offers PowerFlush, a feature engineered to purge calcification build-up from the steam generator’s inner tank – making maintenance much easier.

Should mechanical problems occur, the maintenance costs that come with repairing the motors, pumps and other whirlpool tub parts can add up quickly. While whirlpool tubs usually offer limited warranties, ThermaSol offers lifetime warranties on select generators, meaning they will take care of any repairs should mechanical issues occur. This can be a huge relief and save a lot of stress in the long run.

Whirlpool tubs are often sought after for creating a calming or romantic atmosphere. However, their noisy pumps and motors don’t exactly create a quiet, meditative environment. ThermaSol’s Whisper Quiet technology prevents water hammer and noisy solenoid water valves from disturbing your steam session. With no distractions, you’re better able to relax and focus on increasing your overall well-being.

There’s also the environmental aspect. Whirlpool tubs require a lot of water, between 50 to 80 gallons worth to be exact. The amount of water needed to fill up the tub tends to drain traditional hot water tanks, which leads to higher energy costs. ThermaSol units typically use only one gallon of water to power a 20-minute steam shower session, quite a significant difference.

Because of these drawbacks, whirlpool tubs have declined in popularity and add little to a home’s resale value. Luxury bathrooms that offer increased sustainability, lower maintenance costs and technological advancements are now sought after by home buyers – making steam showers well-worth the investment.

Aromatherapy for the Mind and Body: Part 2

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Now that you’ve unlocked the healing benefits of aromatherapy and steam, it’s time for an indulgent upgrade. While Thermasol’s Essential Oils offer a wide range of therapeutic and aromatic benefits, their line of Precious Reserve Oils take aromatherapy to the next level. Like fine wines, these high grade oils are distilled in small batches and sold in very small amounts, making them more expensive to produce but more potent and concentrated. Sourced directly from rural distilleries worldwide, these reserve oils are organically certified and free of pesticides and other contaminants.

To get the rejuvenating effects of Precious Reserve Oils, you only need to add 2 to 4 drops to the steamhead reservoir before your steam session. Or you can add them directly to your bathwater for soothing and sensuous aromas.

Which oil is right for you? Check out the list below for the different properties they offer.

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Melt Away Stress: Great Ideas for Transforming Your Bath into a Day Spa

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

According to the American Medical Association, 80 percent of all human illnesses are the result of stress. Yet, taking even one small step to reduce stress can have a hugely beneficial effect. Studies have found that altering the physical environment in your home can help improve emotional health. Few rooms offer the kind of opportunities to create a relaxing space than the master bath environment. The Talk Spas editorial team has come up with a few great ideas for transforming your bath environment into your own personal day spa, to help you go from stressed-out to stress-free.

1. “Naturalize” The Space – Wood and stone are the most prominent materials used in modern spa construction. Whether you choose a vanity made of wood, a countertop made of granite, or even porcelain made to mimic marble, such as Whitestone (RWS) tile from Hastings Tile & Bath, bringing natural materials indoors creates a sense of calm for the space.

Stone Look Tile

Whitestone (RWS) tile from Hastings Tile & Bath

2. Mood Lighting – Don’t be afraid to use lighting in unexpected ways in a spa bathroom. “Lighted wall panels built into the drywall, fiber optic lighting placed in the ceiling or flooring that gives the look of sparkling stars, and lighting that highlights or washes the wall are all great options,” says interior designer Jamie Beckwith. “Lighting can go from clean to sexy by the click of a switch, or preferably a dimmer.” CSL® (Creative Systems Lighting) offers several options for bath mood lighting: the concealed linear lighting of Invisizite Generation 2, LED Eco-Downlight, and Disc, with a double-LED lamp and wall/flush mount. (more…)

Design & Technology Trends: Home Shower & Bath

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Home shower and bath design has certainly come a long way since the good old days of bathing with a bucket in the backyard, or for the truly privileged, soaking in a tin tub stuffed into a closet with a door – you know, for privacy. Today’s stunning bathrooms have built on decades of innovation in the fields of design and technology; perhaps nowhere is this more evident than the shower and the bath. Homeowners today have a plethora of shower and bath options that they never could have dreamed of a decade ago, or in some instance, even a few short years ago. Among the top manufacturers, design has gotten so modern and sophisticated, and technology so advanced, that shower and bath options for the home can be of a quality that’s as high as those found in world class spas. So what specifically are some of the current trends in the world of home shower and bath?

 

 

 

Themasol is the king of Steam Showers

Themasol is the king of Steam Showers

 

 

Steam Showers

More than ever before, steam showers are being installed in the bath environments of discerning homeowners throughout the world. Why? Because steam showers offer a plethora of health benefits including: alleviation of stress, improved blood circulation, cleansing of pores and relief of sinus congestion. Just as importantly, steam showers for the home are being designed and manufactured to a standard of quality that has never been seen before. Take a look at the steam showers manufactured by a company like Thermasol – the only company in the world manufacturing 100% digital networked steam systems. With cutting edge innovations like FastStart™, which engulfs you with steam in less than 60 seconds, and SmartSteam™, which produces the precise volume of steam required to maintain your desired room temperature while conserving energy, Thermasol has revolutionized the daily experience of showering in the home. (more…)

Quick Tip: Maintaining a Home Spa

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
ThermaSol Steam Shower

Steam Shower

A home spa can be a joy to experience, but in order to keep it “running” a maximum relaxation and efficiency there are a number of steps that need to be taken to maintain the cleanliness, functionality and safety of your home spa space.

Cleaning

When cleaning your home steam shower or steam shower it is important to use a cleaner that is recommended for the type of materials that your room is lined with. For cleaning the tile used a tile-manufacturer recommended cleaner. Make sure that it has an antibacterial component and clean the room thoroughly at least once a week. The moist environment of a steam shower is perfect for the spread of bacteria and constant cleaning is necessary to avoid this bacteria taking hold. Nothing can ruin a spa experience like an unclean spa environment. Don’t forget to use a nonabrasive cleanser as to avoid damaging your fixtures. If you’re using a steam shower generator remember to drain it often. We recommend once every sixty steam showers.

Maintenance

Steam showers and steam rooms can undergo some wear and tear over time – including crack in the walls, floors and ceiling. Moisture can seep into the cracks and allow bacteria to grow and spread. Any cracks should be sealed up as soon as possible with sealant once the steam room has dried.

A steam room should be a leak-free environment. Monitor the steam room doors and make sure that no steam is escaping because over time this moisture can ruin your bathroom and lead to costly repairs down the road.

Follow these tips in your home spa and the little bit of extra time spent on cleaning and maintenance will pay off in the long run-both for your pocket book and for your overall spa experience.


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