My husband and I recently celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary by spending a long, relaxing weekend at a New Mexico spa. A six-hour drive from our home in Colorado, we opened the door to our spa suite in the crisp afternoon desert air. Inside we were delighted by a serene room with earthy finishes, a fire crackling in the kiva fireplace, soothing Native American flute music, and the scent of clean sage and cedar. The design of our suite was simple, yet elegant. Immediately we felt relaxed and comforted by the warm embrace and immersion of our senses the room offered.
The origin of the word spa is somewhat controversial. Some say spa is an acronym of various Latin phrases such as "Salus Per Aquam" or "Sanitas Per Aquam" meaning "health through water" while others claim the term originated from the springs of Spa, Belgium first popular in the 14th century. Regardless of the interpretation, the associations we make with the term 'spa' are unanimously that of serene relaxation and rejuvenation.
Spending the weekend at the spa reminded me of the fondness we all share for spa environments. I have often coached homeowners to make their bathroom or bedroom appear more 'spa-like' when staging. By making our homes simplistic, with soothing decor, music, and scents, we welcome prospective buyers into a space where they can easily imagine themselves living.
To create a spa appearance in any home, start by simplifying decor. In the biz, we call this de-cluttering. A professional stager can be hugely beneficial in the de-cluttering process. By viewing your home with fresh eyes they can help you clear away all but what is necessary to convey a simple environment. Once you've paired down, maintain a neutral color pallet. You'll observe that spas are great sources for inspiration when it comes to neutral, relaxing tones. Use light, earthy hues in varying shades for an easy-on-the-eyes environment. Linens and towels in white or pale neutral colors are essential. With a soft pallet in place you can begin adding subtle scent with an un-burnt, quality candle or a bouquet of fresh Casablanca lilies. Turn on instrumental music at a low volume. Switch on lamps and intimate lighting. Now the stage has been set and you're ready for buyers to fall in love with your home as it takes them away to the spa they always wished possible to live in permanently.