Why decorated home spas are all the rage right now
Above: In actress Marisa Berenson’s Marrakech home, natural light shines dramatically on a steaming indoor pool, perfect for seclusion and an emotional reset.
Remember when in the 1990s, taking a steam shower in your bathroom seemed like a big extravaganza? It was like putting a phone in your car. Those days are long gone, and now building a near-medical grade home spa is becoming a standard demand for designers. âWe used to design two or three projects a year where there would be an incredible spa in the basement or patio level of a house,â says the Atlanta-based kitchen and bathroom guru, Matthew Quinn. But now? âHe certainly doubled.
Quinn is currently working on a home spa in Los Angeles and another in Dallas, where the owner has requested a spray tanning booth. âThey want manicure and pedicure stations and hairdressing stations,â he says. Each spa is designed to accommodate a host of friends, with two to four stations plus an effervescent touch: âThere is always a champagne bar as part of it, âQuinn says.
People are really looking for âprivate sanctuary spaces,â according to Andrew Kline, design director of the New York studio / APD. âPeople are now looking for wellness in a more experiential way,â he says. Some of his clients limit their home gyms to the essentials – a peloton, a mirror, a set of dumbbells – so they can budget for the extra expense and square footage for a sauna, tub, and steam room. . âIt’s the idea that fitness is not just about working out, but also having moments of relaxation and contemplation,â he says.
Tucked into the closet of an already tranquil master bedroom Kline recently designed in Nantucket, a spiral staircase leads to an underground restorative hideaway with a personal steam room, massage room, and hydrotherapy shower. In another of his Nantucket projects, you enter the spa by descending stairs directly into a hot tub. After a bath, you move to an adjacent dry space which has a sauna and steam room. Such spa witchcraft requires a high level of technological intervention, such as HVAC systems for wet air and pool consultants to ensure that the marble you select for the walls does not fade to the water level.
In the Palm Beach home of a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, New York-based architecture and design firm StoneFox has created an entire floor devoted to health and fabulousness, complete with a gym , a hairdressing salon, manicure-pedicure stations and two treatment rooms “for body wraps or mud wraps”, explains architect David Fox. In addition to the marble-clad hammam and the client’s teak infrared sauna , a cold plunge pool waits to shake them off instantly, thanks to refrigerated piping set to 52 degrees. The client has “a larger-than-life personality, so she wanted the spot to be really daring and fun,” says Fox . “When you walk in, everything is lined with flamingo wallpaper, and there’s this sculptural Ico Parisi living room sofa in the covered corner.
in pink velvet.
Indeed, the designers say that one thing that separates the home spa from the public versions – besides not having to choose the best couch – is the lack of government regulations. âYou don’t have all the grab bars and panels needed in a commercial environment,â says Quinn, who replaced a client’s garage in Vero Beach, Fla., With a spa salon inspired by the Miami Beach’s Faena hotel, with white tile floors, cross-grain walnut and butterfly cabinetry, shiny gold fixtures, and hidden LED lights.
If this all seems too much to you, you can always find ways to do you. Patrons of west coast firm Pulp Design Studios slide beverage centers and refrigerator drawers into their vanities; these keep various face creams and jade rollers cool. Along with heated towel racks and underfloor heating, MrSteam steam showers with Kohler color therapy and aromatherapy devices are one of their most frequent bathroom upgrade requests. âThis is something that we really try to get across to our customers,â says Pulp co-founder Carolina V. Gentry, citing health benefits such as reduced stress. That is, a home spa could be exactly what the doctor ordered.
To give up
No home spa is complete without the right cloth to wick away sweat. Here’s what the experts recommend.
âThese towels are incredibly luxurious. You can personalize them with monograms or beautiful embroidery, or both. âCaroline V. Gentry
âThe quality is so good. These napkins do not lose their shape. They also have a simple detail around the perimeter. A white towel with a little trim is always nice. âDavid Renard
âThe super long threads make them incredibly soft. In the summer I use their Turkish towels because they dry much faster. âMatthew Quinn
This story originally appeared in the November 2021 issue of ELLE DECOR. SUBSCRIBE
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