Although the current client focus on budget is challenging, there are still many clients today willing to invest in a personal retreat. Colleagues have told me that while their upscale kitchen renovation leads are down, they have had a surprising number of requests for bathroom proposals: notably, extensive master bedroom/bathroom renovations. Therefore, the master bath suite can be an important part of your business offering.
When creating such a spa, bath designers should consider how the space will affect the five human senses. Additionally, it’s important to have an in-depth understanding of why certain “therapies” are considered healthy for the bather.
THE HUMAN SENSES
After creating the concept space plan, complete the layout considering how the new room will enhance the user’s five senses. Here are a series of design details and product suggestions to include in a bathroom’s final solution.
1. Identify sight lines for the bather seated in the tub or standing in the shower.
2. Simplify surface patterns/ textures used to define the space. (Simple, understated contemporary patterns can visually expand the space.)
3. Incorporate variable light levels supporting both “rest” and“grooming” activities.
4. Include chromatherapy equipment.
1. Plan access to separately controlled entertainment systems.
2. Protect the user from the“buzz” of a normal household.
3. Add access to nature’s beautiful outdoor sounds.
4. Understand the power of“feeling” a sound, as well as hearing it (vibracoustic technology).
1. Engineer the ambient temperature controls to provide a warmer environment for the nude bather, or a cooler room for a gym.
2. Specify surfaces safe for a nude bather’s entry or exit from any type of water enclosure.
3. Understand the differences in an overall, focused hydromassage vs. an aerated water bathing system.
4. Understand the differences between a steam and a sauna experience.
1. Plan space for storage and/or display for incense, candles or other aromatic accents.
2. Add an aromatherapy system.
- Taste: Include an accessible surface for a snack or drink of choice.
KEY BUYING MOTIVATORS
Different clients value a home spa experience based on different personal pleasure expectations. To help designers propose the right home spa therapy to a prospective client, consider these key buying motivators:
- Taking Care of Me. Most Americans feel overworked and time deprived. They are looking for ways to get a few moments alone, rejuvenate the exhausted body and smooth frayed emotions. A long soak in a bath is right for them.
- Connecting. Connecting is about finding, building, maintaining and deepening relationships with people who are important to us. Home is the place to connect. For this bathroom buyer, a room planned for multiple users may be key.
- Questing. Questing is about venturing into the world, gaining new experiences and pushing back personal limits. For this client, a multi-head shower experience may provide the desired adventure.
- Individual Style. This is about expressing personal tastes, differentiating oneself from others and demonstrating sophistication and success. The personal design created for the bath space can satisfy this client’s hope for a “one-of-a-kind” retreat.
Successful designers have an in-depth knowledge about the various water-based therapies offered by major bathroom product manufacturers. These include aromatherapy, chromatherapy, hydrotherapy, thermotherapy and dry heat.
Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses essential oils and other scented compounds from plants for the purpose of affecting a person’s mood or health.
Aromatherapy has roots in antiquity with the use of aromatic oils. However, as currently defined, aromatherapy involves the use of distilled plant volatiles, a twentieth century innovation.