Healthy Abode: Spa Bath – Part 1 by Melanie Holden

Are you too busy for a regular spa trip, but in desperate need of a little pampering? Join the club! It seems like we’ve all been required to do more with less over the past few years, which makes for much busier, more stressful lifestyles. Needless to say, all this work and worry is not good for your health or frame of mind. Excessive exposure to stress can lead to or exacerbate serious health problems like sleeping disorders, heart disease, depression, obesity, and high blood pressure just to name a few. It is time to take relaxation into our own hands! Many overworked, underpaid, stressed-out people are turning to the bathroom as a soothing sanctuary for rejuvenation and retreat to supplement or even replace those few spa trips they have the time and money for.


But wait, your bathroom just doesn’t exude the stress-free spa oasis atmosphere you’re dreaming of? Well, I have some thoughts to help you transform it in a way that will entice each and every sense. It turns out that I have a lot of thoughts on this subject, because once I started putting those thoughts on paper, I couldn’t stop! There are so many ways to “spa your bathroom” that to do this subject justice, I decided to break this one up into a blog series.

So, part one, here we go! The spectacular thing about spa’ing your bathroom is that you can go all out or just add a few personal touches to what you already have. If you’re not in the market for a gut rehab of your entire bathroom, you can do plenty of little things to create a calming spa-like ambience. Ultimately, trust your senses and choose soothing colors, textures, sounds, scents, and soaps to nurture your body and soul.

But first, you must de-clutter! Clutter creates a sense of unease and chaos, making true relaxation virtually unachievable. Get organized and get rid of anything that you don’t love or is not functional. Make sure that everything has a place and that things are stored neat and organized.


Once your de-cluttering mission is complete, its time for the fun part: finishes! Whether working with an existing bathroom or starting from scratch, think natural. Natural colors, textures, and materials add a fresh, organic feel to any space. Incorporate natural stone, actual stones, or recycled glass for an organic, earthy feel in your bathroom.

Deep, rich wood tones and bamboo elements add warmth and elegance to a room. Wood elements will also promote personal growth, inspiration, creativity, and passion.

Incorporating a few metal elements into your bathroom will create harmony and can balance a space. Various types of metals are even associated with good health. Just don’t overdo it; too much metal can cause anxiety. Keep in mind that the goals are harmony and balance. Are you starting to feel a little Zen yet? Many of these spa strategies align effortlessly with Feng Shui principals; hmmm, sounds like a great subject for a future blog, don’t you think!

Plants are another way to enhance your bathroom atmosphere.

Not only a natural accent, live plants clean the air and bring the outdoors inside, adding color and texture. Tropical plants thrive from the bathroom humidity and herbs provide naturally fresh scents. Your bathroom should emanate fresh, clean air, not a chemical jumble of artificial fragrances, air fresheners and cleaning products. Display small pots of lavender, rosemary, sage, or peppermint. Potted fresh herbs will not only enhance your bathroom atmosphere, they can be used for your very own custom aromatherapy bath! Pick a few stems from your favorite herb du jour, wrap them in cheesecloth and tie them to the tub faucet so the water flows through them as the tub is filled.

Check back soon for part 2 of Spa Your Bathroom where I’ll elaborate on the colors you may want to consider for your spa bathroom, what effects particular colors can have on your mood and what chromatherapy is all about. Until then, happy bathing!


Inspiration to Design: Hibiscus Flower by Victoria Dreste

Bountiful color is all around us. I have a new favorite color at least once a week. Taking these glorious colors and using them in your home can be a bit tricky.

I have put together inspirations and designs to show how to take the wonderful color you see in the world around you and bring it into your home.

Inspiration Photo

The combination of white hydrangeas and intense pink hibiscus is bright, lively and lovely.

Color Scheme Design

The selections I have made take those colors and use them to create a well designed balance home.

The design includes (left to right): a floral printed linen, strie stripe silk, plush velvet, woven plaid, flat-braided trim, wool carpet and quilted cotton fabric.

The Sherwin Williams paint colors can be used in various combinations throughout the home to create schemes from bright and lively to soft and quiet.

Listed in order (top to bottom, left to right):

SW6575 Priscilla

SW6385 Dover Grey

SW7029 Agreeable Grey

SW6431 Leapfrog

SW6577 Jaipur Pink


high & low: gourd lamps by paige gilbertson

A decorator staple, the gourd lamp can blend seamlessly with most any style interior. Their simple, fluid, strong silhouette is graceful, but commands a presence.  Additionally, the gourd is most commonly recognized as a symbol of longevity and good fortune, stemming from ancient eastern traditions where the gourd was once used as a drinking vessel.

Pricing: Spitzmiller lamps go for around $1,500 to $2,000 per larger table lamp (the pair shown)  vs. Robert Abbey lamps for around $270.


luxe trend: faux turtle shells by paige gilbertson

This is Kelly Wearstler’s Design for La Marea in The Tides South Beach

The goods: Karen Roberts Collection

The application:


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