| October 9, 2013

Having a relaxing spa date can be the perfect way to de-stress from the day and relax achy limbs — too bad it could also mean emptying your wallet.

READ: Problem-Solvers and Fresh Finds From the 2013 Kitchen and Bath Show

Everyone should give themselves a day of pampering to unwind without worrying about booking an appointment or splurging on a 15-minute treatment. Fortunately, interior designers insist on bringing this luxurious experience right to your bathroom.

“Dreaming of a spa weekend isn’t always easy or affordable, but creating a spa-like environment in your own bathroom can be achieved easily and have you wanting to take a bubble bath every chance you get,” says interior designer Abbe Fenimore.

Investing in bath salts, adding plenty of flowers, and whipping out the tunes of a tropical rainforest may seem like a quick cure, but revamping your space for the ultimate spa getaway does require plenty of creativity.

“I always ask my clients to create a Pinterest board with their favorite bathroom images as a starting point,” says Fenimore. “Including images from your favorite day spas can also be a great starting point when you are trying to decide on a color palette and aesthetic.”

For the makeover you’ll want to invest in now, here are some ideas to get your bathroom spa started:

"Clear all the clutter from the counter, floor and overflowing cabinets,” says interior design expert Jennifer Adams. “Go through your hair products, makeup drawer and shaving corner and toss everything that is more than a year old or the wrong color. You won’t use it anyway, so why keep it? Make room in the drawers or in baskets for the products you do use, such as toothbrushes, shavers and hair dryers, and store them, but out of site. Same thing goes for paper rolls and cleaning supplies.”
Install Dimmers

"Do install a dimmer switch on your lights,” advises Washington, D.C.-based interior designer Darlene Molnar. “This is an inexpensive do with major impact, allowing you to replace the low level of lights for your home spa.” Molnar recommends Home Depot’s step-by-step instructions on how to install a dimmer switch for an instant transformation.
Choose the Right Color

"Paint your bathroom a cool, refreshing color like light grey, blue or white,” says Amanda Gates, who specializes in residential interior design. “It creates a calming effect and reduces stress. A terrific example is Benjamin Moore’s Woodlawn Blue HC-147.” Don’t forget to keep your tub, sink and toilet spotless and white to give your space a bright, fresh and clean feeling.
Add Candles (Naturally)

No spa would be complete without candles, and you can safely feature them in your bathroom. It’s important to make sure they’re placed in sturdy metal, glass or ceramic holders, and positioned in an area where they cannot be easily knocked over. Once you’re done, simply extinguish. Also, look for candles that highlight comforting aromas, like blooming florals or creamy vanilla. The scent will also make your space more inviting.

Stock Up on the Essentials

Still have that decades-old dingy robe? It’s time to toss. Make sure you always have a fluffy bathrobe and slippers on hand. And that goes for towels, too. “A damp towel from two days ago isn’t luxurious,” says Adams. “Pamper yourself with a clean one for every shower. It’s amazing how lovely this feels. Save money by buying less expensive towels and making them all the same color. This will also save you time on laundry.” If you do have the money and space, Adams recommends installing a towel warmer to keep them toasty.
Cue the Music

"Soothing tunes are a staple at spas,” says Molnar. “Install an app like Songza on your phone, which allows you to pick your music according to your mood, like ‘Sleepy Indie’ or ‘Nature Sounds.’ Portable Bluetooth speakers, like the Bose Soundlink, allow you to bring speakers in from another room without any wire management or complicated hook-ups.”
Marble it Up

Whether it’s your floors or walls you wish to revamp, Gates says you should always invest in marble over granite. “It’s classic, sophisticated, and always feels more decadent,” she insists.
Install a Shower System

"Whether it’s a steam shower, large rain shower head, dual shower heads, hand held, or body sprays, a shower system is a must,” says Erin Davis of Mosaik Design. The benefit of installing a shower system is that it gives you the opportunity to get creative with your overall shower design. For example, some would prefer a handshower while others may want to surround themselves with massaging body sprays. The choice, depending on your budget and personal needs, is yours.
Invest in High Quality Bath Oil

Forget those fancy scrubbers. To really calm your body and mind from the stresses of the day, it’s important to have some high-quality bath oil to enhance your home spa experience. Simply pour several drops under hot running water and soak in.
Dip In Like an Egyptian

Cleopatra reportedly indulged in milk baths to soothe her skin and keep it supple. Today, anyone can easily enjoy the benefits of this ritual right at home. Look for a milk bath at a boutique pharmacy or beauty shop that highlights essential oils for silky features. And if you’re really want the full home-spa experience, add several white rose petals to your bath as standard red ones could potentially stain your tub.