Thoughts By Natalie

relaxation station.

Today at Darling Magazine I’m sharing my ideas and tips for making your home a spa-like retreat. Although it doesn’t specifically fall under my usual beauty and body image topic area, I decided to share it for this simple reason: when I feel comfortable in my home, I feel more comfortable in my skin (Isn’t it so much more difficult to hate your body when you’re surrounded by soothing scents and wrapped in a soft robe?). Read the article in full below, or check it out—along with articles by the many other Darling contributors—over there.

The spa is a place of relaxation, serenity and peace—three things most of us probably need more of in our lives. Light fragrance, fluffy towels, pretty storage containers and soothing artwork are all signature elements used to create a tranquil atmosphere and that can be easily created at home. That’s exactly what I did after my husband and I took an anniversary trip to Las Vegas in April. Feeling so inspired by the relaxing ambiance at the hotel spa, I came home determined to redesign our bathroom to feel the same.

Want to give it a go? Try incorporating some (or all!) of these items into your bathroom to make every day feel like a soothing vacation:

Scented reed diffuser. This is remarkably effective in the fragrance department. Instead of lighting candles, which require some supervision for safety, a diffuser is a more practical way to keep a room smelling nice at all hours of the day. The scents are not usually overpowering, and the diffuser adds a nice design aesthetic.

Woven baskets. Nothing robs you of relaxation quite like clutter. Storage baskets help keep things like toilet paper and extra towels out of sight, while also acting as decoration.

Calming art. Black and white photography, nautical paintings, images of flowers, abstract art in a complementary and soothing palette—whatever makes you feel at peace is what should be on the walls. Not sure what to look for? Try something predominantly blue or green, which are known to be calming colors.

Hanging magazine rack. One of the best parts of a spa visit is sitting in the waiting room before a treatment. It’s typically well-stocked with flavored water, healthy snacks, and unlimited amounts of magazines to read while waiting. After all, who has time to read a magazine unless they are, in fact, relaxing? Keep the rack stocked with current issues of positive magazines, such as Whole Living, Real Simple and the upcoming print issue of Darling.

Eucalyptus oil. Keep it in the shower and sprinkle a few drops on the shower floor while rinsing off. The scent rises with the heat of the water, making the whole room smell like a sauna. So refreshing and energizing!

Soft robes. What’s a spa without a robe? Keep one hanging in your bathroom so it’s ready to wear when you’re getting ready or waiting for your hair to dry—and try to find one that has some weight to it. Studies show that pressure can calm the nervous system.

Cushioned bath mat. Place one right outside of the tub or shower, and another by the sink where you get ready. Letting your feet sink in to softness is soothing and cozy, not to mention good for your feet, legs, and back.

While expensive vacations are not in most of our annual travel plans—or budgets—simple home transformations can create the much-needed daily relaxation to hold us over until we can get away. Bring the spa to your home today and enjoy the simple gifts of less stress and more serenity. It’s the little things that make all the difference.

Do you agree that you feel better about your body when your surroundings are more relaxing? What makes your home feel most comfortable to you?

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  • anne.
    July 30, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Totally agree! We went to the Carneros Inn – this amazing resort and spa – in Carneros, CA last year for our honeymoon, and I’ve been wanting to bring home all the relaxation with us every since. I just redid my desk space and I feel so much better working now that it looks nice and is calming and inspiring! I’m going to reveal the redesign later this week! Keep a lookout!

    • Natalie Lynn Borton
      July 30, 2012 at 8:14 pm

      Fun! I’ll definitely keep my eyes open for that :)

  • Cristeen
    July 31, 2012 at 5:21 am

    fantastic post and Thanks for sharing this info. It’s very helpful.
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