However much you wish for a trip to the spa to count as your daily exercise, it’s not going to happen. Even so, you’d find deserted saunas, massage beds with no therapists and doors bolted shut. Darn.
But we could all do with a bit of rest and relaxation right now, and there’s nothing to say that pampering at home isn’t possible. All you need is a little knowhow and a lot of creativity. We’ve teamed up with Victorian Plumbing to give you these 10 IDEAL tips for turning your bathroom into a private spa.
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 – earthy colours like browns, greys and greens will give your bathroom an organic feel that’ll soothe you after a stressful day.
Obviously, painting a whole bathroom is a big job and not exactly the quickest route to tranquillity, but it’s great for those looking for a weekend project or something to a distraction right now. Remember that painting a bathroom is a little different to doing other rooms in your house; you’ll need 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.
Ideal 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
ADD SOME PLANTS
Bathroom plants have become a pretty massive trend in 2020, and they’re a great way to bring a bit of the outdoors inside. After all, plants 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. Or, to hide that terrible sin you’ve committed in the toilet.
Look to plants that thrive in humid, damp conditions – aloe vera, bamboo, Boston ferns and orchids all 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.
Ideal Tip: if your bathroom has low levels of light, look for plants like African violets or Chinese evergreens, which thrive well in darker conditions.
CLEAR THE CLUTTER
We’re all guilty of hoarding our bathroom products, which means that bathrooms over time became 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 ‘stuff’ is one of the quickest ways to make your bathroom feel more like a spa. The trick? Be ruthless.
Throw away old bottles and bin whatever is nearing its use by date, or what’s rarely used, keeping 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 and clean for a more authentic spa experience.
Ideal Tip: If you don’t have much storage space, invest in a shower shelf to keep the bottles in one neat place.
CLEAN YOUR TUB
A deep clean doesn’t exactly scream relaxing spa day, we get that, but just think how much fresher you’ll feel soaking in a tub you know is pristine. You can give your bath an effective DIY clean using products found in your kitchen – salt and citrus are great for removing soap scum, for instance. Dip a lemon in salt and use it to scrub at tough stains and voila; a spa-kling clean finish.
Ideal 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!
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. 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 is, of course, to install a dimmer switch, but if that’s a little bit out of your budget right now, candles do a great job, too, and there’s something really relaxing about their flicker.
As for music, simply look for ambient music playlists on Spotify – if you’ve got a dedicated waterproof speaker then you can put that to good use too.
Ideal Tip: Dr David Lewis, the UK’s leading stress specialist, assembled a list of the 10 most relaxing tunes around for meditative contemplation. Add these into a Spotify playlist for the perfect spa-day soak!
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 with 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, and the good news is that you can get a decent tub tray from as little as £15 online, with high-end models costing up to £60.
Ideal Tip: If you’re feeling adventurous and have some time on your hands, you can always make a tray yourself. You’ll need an old wooden board; check YouTube for tutorials.
KEEP YOUR BATH COSY
A decent soak in the tub should last at least 20 minutes, but water will cool 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 for longer.
Ideal 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.
SOAK IN SOOTHING HOMEMADE ELIXIRS
Any spa worth its bath salts 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?
Simply 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 of 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.
Ideal 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.
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.
Ideal Tip: Invest in a jade roller to really bring nutrients to the skin.
MAKE A REVITALISING LAVENDER TOWEL TREATMENT
Us spa day fanatics all know one of the best bits is those lovely warm towels. Well, you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s not too difficult to make your own. 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.
After that, 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 revitalising – and you’ll come out of the bathroom with a freshly pampered feeling to rival any outside spa.
Ideal Tip: If lavender is a bit too strong for you, try using other revitalising scents like peppermint, rosewood, and chamomile.
So, there you have it, your very own relaxing spa day at home. Don’t be shy in sending us some pictures of your creations, though perhaps keep the dressing gown on if you don’t mind!