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Spa Design: From the Outside In, Part 2

By: Lyn Falk
Posted: June 23, 2008, from the May 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Creating a spa environment that nourishes you, your employees and your customers on psychological, emotional, physical and spiritual levels involves more than just color and lighting. Although these are two of the most important design elements, it’s about achieving synergy with multiple principles and components, as well as stimulating—without overwhelming—the five senses.

Clients come to a spa to escape the stresses of life, to calm chaotic energy and to create internal balance. They arrive in search of a grounded and healed state, and they’re looking for an experience that is quiet, gentle and safe. When establishing an eco-friendly spa, work from the outside in, focusing on every detail a client will encounter during the visit.

Basic elements

Each aspect of the space should contribute to the overall mood. When balanced together, these elements will produce an inviting and soothing environment. As you enter into the design process, keep the following considerations in mind.

Air. The air in the space should be fresh and circulated. An aroma of natural essential oils also can be introduced. Avoid synthetic air fresheners and toxic cleaning materials whose odors take hours to dissipate.

Artwork. Keep artwork simple, natural and restful. Try to find handmade pieces from local artisans in lieu of mass-produced machine-made items.