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You know you need a bit of space for yourself, somewhere you can relax, where you can kick off your shoes for a while and read, or listen, or sit and stare vacantly and do exactly zero. But have you actually made that space for yourself? This month I had the pleasure of going to Champneys (thanks to winning Alex Watson’s Diamond Business Club Award) and to a number of clinics (thanks to a minor skiing injury) and I have been observing how we decorate these calm and soothing places. And while it’s unlikely you are looking to install a swimming pool or steam room in your home, you might like to decorate yourself a space where you can chill out. Let’s call it your “Champneys Space”.
Calming Colour Choices
Most clinics I find are the soothing colours of blue, green and white. They have a hint of medical about them, though, feeling as efficient as they are soothing. We know that greens and blues lower our blood pressure (literally) and are therefore highly appropriate colours for these places but they can feel a tad cold. Clinical even. And therefore it is important that warmth is added with accessories.
A pretty piece of art can do wonders – Connect to Colour created a piece for the Lotus Centre that combines their soothing colour scheme but adds a sparkle to the place as well. This can be very comforting to those who come through the door with aches and pains. As superficial as it sounds, we like a bit of sparkle in our lives. So when you are considering your bathroom or your mellow conservatory or even corner of the living room, don’t forget to add a touch of glimmer to make you smile, (as well as breathe deeply).
Textures in Neutrals
The treatment rooms in spas are a little warmer than the blues and greens we see in clinics. Where massage and relaxation is the order of the day, I find that neutral colours, dark wood and ambient lighting are the keys to a deeply soothing room décor. However, neutral colours can feel dull if they aren’t textured, so make sure you use wallpapers which hint at nature – grasses and reeds, blankets in a variety of weaves, and a display area for towels which have a distinctive texture of their own. Even using simple baskets (to hide all your lotions and bottles) can add a great texture.
Lighting is fundamental in your personal spa – be it a bijou bathroom or a room you share with your four rugby-playing sons. You need full brightness or better still natural light for the plucking, tweaking and ‘colour transformation’ jobs. However, you need the lights nice and low for relaxation. These can be hidden in shelving or at floor level for a subtle glow. Or simply use a warm bulb, even red lighting can be very soothing and warming (just don’t keep the lamp in the window!). Always bear in mind the regulations around lighting in wet areas and buy bulbs and fixtures specifically designed for the bathroom.
Relaxation is about feeling warm, safe, cocooned in a place where you can let down your barriers, where you can breathe deeply for a while and enjoy the short moments you have to yourself. Do you appreciate how important this is, not only for yourself but also for the other people in your life? A calm mind is contagious – when you are calm and patient, others will feel your calmness and will pass it on (though quite unjustly, not always back in your direction).
Some people still think the idea of pampering is purely luxurious, an indulgence and ‘being spoilt’. This way of thinking is old now though and has nothing to do with money and luxury. Treating yourself well and taking time out for recuperation is about self-esteem, recovery and, in fact, your future productivity. We are better people when we love and look after ourselves. And while we all know that already, isn’t it time that we actually practised what we have leant and truly live that way from now on?
If you would like some assistance creating a space in your home or to design your clinic or spa, then I’d be delighted to help.
Contact Niki Schafer on 07782 256 444 or firstname.lastname@example.org