Escape Room: Home Spa

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By Sarah Ruppenthal

home spa ideas
Recreate the healing serenity of the thermal bath experience at the Spa Montage Kapalua Bay in your own home — no matter what your budget. COURTESY OF SPA MONTAGE KAPALUA BAY

Whether you’re drafting blueprints for a new home or are planning a remodel, replicating the soothing atmosphere of a day spa can be a simple endeavor, says award-winning spa designer Sylvia Sepielli, the visionary behind the serenely sensual Spa Montage Kapalua Bay.

According to Sepielli, residential spas are an increasingly popular trend. “So many people are on sensory overload these days,” she says.

The idea of creating a spa in your home may sound as far-fetched as installing a helipad on the roof, but Sepielli asserts that you can reproduce a near-professional spa experience, no matter what your budget.

And she should know. With decades of design training, Sepielli is a master at creating spaces that capture the calming, healing essence of a luxury spa. All you need are a few basic elements — the most essential of which is free.

“The spa experience really centers on one common theme — quiet,” says Sepielli. “Clear a spot within your home and make it your own.” Though the bathroom is a common favorite, any room can be transformed into a spa-like sanctuary.

Once you’ve chosen your literal comfort zone, it’s time to pick a theme. For the Spa Montage, Sepielli drew inspiration from nature.

“My design embraced mauka to makai [mountain to sea] for the visual and experiential aspects of the spa,” she says.

Sepielli suggests outfitting your space with therapeutic elements such as aromatherapy candles, bath salts, essential oils and soothing music. “Also, choosing the right bedding, pillows and towels is an easy way to make a home feel more spa-like,” she says.

For the ultimate in luxury, consider investing in your own massage table and book a regular standing appointment with a licensed massage therapist to come to your home.

For some spa treatments, just add water. If your bathroom is less than inviting, give it a few enhancements: Swap standard ceramic tile for natural stone or pebblestone tiles, and paint or furnish the room in earth tones. Natural light is best, but if windows aren’t an option, installing a dimmer switch is a practical, inexpensive way to create a calming ambience.

“If you can match your space to the surrounding environment, it will be both timeless and relaxing,” Sepielli explains.

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