Setting up your own Home Spa: Five simple tips

A fluffy towel and a few components for my at home spa day

Each year for my birthday I treat myself to a visit to my local day spa. This year, not only was my local day spa closed, but the level of anxiety I would have going to a spa at this point in time would pretty much negate the relaxation aspect of the trip.

So I decided to have an at home spa day.

I knew I wasn’t going to have exactly the same experience, but I was determined to have a fun relaxation event. Let’s face it; we can all use a little less stress at the moment, birthday or not.  So, if you are looking to create your own home spa for the day, here are some lessons I learned.

The first step is proper planning. Figure out what you want to include and then take a good look at the space you are working with. Perhaps you have a spacious bathroom that can be taken over completely for the day for a self-contained spa.

Personally, I live in a house that was built in the 1940s and the bathrooms, while updated, suit the age of the house. Because of this, I knew there was no way I was going to have a self-contained spa.  It was just not physically possible. So I seperated my spa into sections. Part was set up in the bathroom and part was set up in the sunroom. They were spa stations, if you will. By breaking it into stations, I wasn’t trying to pack too much into one room and stressing myself out about making it all fit. I could spread out and make it feel more luxurious.

A part of the planning process is to decide what products you are going to use and if you need equipment or not. I had a small foot spa with a built in foot massager. It was a gift that spent years seeing the light of day once or twice a year. Then I began walking for my main exercise and pampering my feet became a more frequent occurrence to make up for the effort they were putting in. So my planning involved taking it out and making sure it was ready for use. I decided to add a facial steamer to open my pores prior to masking, but alas I did not order it in time and so it did not arrive in time for my spa day. (I made do with a large ceramic mixing bowl filled with hot water and herbs and a towel as an impromptu steamer but hope next time to use the simplicity of the facial steamer.)

Whatever you decide, whether dusting off or purchasing new, make sure to gather your items early. Make sure anything with batteries has them and that anything needing to be plugged in can reach the wall socket. Order any new purchase items early so you aren’t stressing about packages arriving on time or the store running out of stock. This leads us to Step two, product selection.

I’ve found that one way to make your at home spa feel more luxurious is to coordinate the scents of the products.  They don’t have to be identical, but they should be in the same family or at least friendly neighbors. For example, even though I was showering and washing my hair the night before, my spa day included soaking in a bath and before I soak in a bath, I like to make sure I am clean.

For my pre bath shower I used Molton Brown’s Coastal Cypress and Sea Fennel Shower Gel.  It actually came in this month’s Look Fantastic Box.

Because of the scent of the shower gel, I chose Kneipp’s Ancient Sea Mineral Bath soak. 

Well, technically speaking, it was the other way around.  I picked up the Kneipp’s and then decided to use the Molton Brown since it went so well.  It was more of a happy accident than anything else, but I was still in planning mode when it arrived so I’m calling it a planning victory. After I got out of the tub I used the m. greengrass Dry oil Spray in the scent Beach Air.

Now, while all three of those items have differing scents, they all play well together and created a unified oceanic themed feel. And because I had different zones, I could create a scent profile for each of the sections and still have it feel like a singular experience.

I tend to go to my local day spa only a couple of times a year.  While setting it up at home was fun, I don’t anticipate on doing it every week.  Because of this I found that I didn’t need a whole lot of product.  In many instances I used travel sized products rather than picking up a full sized version.

This allowed me to tailor the scents to the occasion, without a lot of left over products, and it also means I am not committed to a scent profile every time I want to do an at home spa day.  I like the thought of changing out the scents based my mood.  I know Molton Brown offers a sampler pack with travel sized bottles of their various scents (both for shower gel and shampoo I believe). I ordered the shower gel one to have on hand and to allow me to try out different scents. By occasionally using travel sized versions instead of full sized ones, I was able to get more luxurious elements without breaking my self-imposed budget which I also appreciated.

I’m big on budgeting by the way. If I am going to treat myself, then knowing how much I can splurge on without interfering with any upcoming bills is a key element to my relaxation process. I know that sounds strange but having the budget and knowing I haven’t over spent keeps me from stressing. I didn’t make this one of my five points, but it is more of a 2.5 point. In addition, somehow I can spend money on other people with no problem, but when it comes to myself I tend to waffle and talk myself out of it. Especially if it is extra. By making my spa day an actual item in my budget and doing the math around it, I feel better able to justify spending the extra on myself. If you have similar issues, perhaps this can help.

And with that little aside, we get back to the main points.

So now that you know what you want and have selected your products, we reach step three, the preliminaries.  A few days before I planned to have my spa day, I went into the spaces I planned to use (the bathroom and sun room) and gave them each a thorough cleaning.  Every tile was scrubbed and every window washed.  Random piles of empty boxes and assorted junk mail (we use the sunroom to remove outer packaging before washing hands and taking items into the house) were sorted and disposed of so that the rooms both sparkled.

I did this a few days in advance because I didn’t want my spa day to smell like disinfectant.  So doing the deep clean a few days earlier, allowed the scent of the cleaners to dissipate. 

The night before my scheduled spa day, I did a second quick clean to deal with anything that accumulated in two days and then I set up everything I planned to use. I set up a chair with my foot soaker and foot massager placed in readiness.  I arranged a table with my manicure kit, polishes and lotions. I washed and dried the fluffy towels, placing them where they were needed and I made a pitcher of cucumber and lemon water to put in the fridge. I arranged everything the night before so that all was in readiness. That way the day I planned to have my spa day I had nothing to think about except enjoying myself.

Step four may or may not be a necessity depending on your living arrangements, but it is explaining to those you live with what you are doing and when you plan to do it. A clear time line is a good idea, especially if those you love are prone to causing interruptions.  In my house notification meant explaining why the space I just cleared of empty boxes and junk mail needed to stay clear for a few days and not be looked at as a place to move things into.

At least until after my spa day. 

I also had to explain that the fancy pitcher of water was not for general use. It turns out my darling dearest really likes infused waters.

Which I did not know until this weekend and really didn’t expect. Mostly because he tends to think of water as the extra ingredient in coffee. A mixer, if you will.

It is also why I had to make up a second pitcher for my spa day.

Which I don’t mind because I now know how to get him to drink more water.

Finally, this leads us to step five and that is embracing the experience.  Chances are, you will not be able to replicate every aspect of the spa in your home. It is even possible that mid masking you will be asked where the thing is. You know the thing with the thing that goes inside that other thing?

That’s okay don’t let it stress you out. Just stare at him until he realizes the clay mask on your face isn’t going to let you answer him and then he’ll look at the candles, the foot bath and remember why the sunroom is temporarily off limits. Possibly.

This isn’t a replication of a spa, it is creating your own unique spa like experience.

Think of it as something special just for you.  Don’t dwell in the impossible perfection, but embrace the fact that each aspect is tailored specifically for you.  You chose everything from the scent of your bath salts to the candles placed just so. The products also were chosen just for you. They are items you find luxurious and that you know you like. In the end, you are enjoying the most exclusive spa experience and it is all tailored just for you. Enjoy it because you are worth it.

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