Stress Relief on a Shoestring Budget

Stress Relief on a Shoestring Budget

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A bathroom should be one of the most relaxing spots in a home (bubble bath, anyone?), but stark lighting, lack of ambiance and small pocketbooks keep most bathrooms looking lackluster.

Turn your bathroom into a spa paradise and keep your wallet intact by utilizing these do-it-yourself bathroom-fixup tips.

Candle in the Wind
An effective (and inexpensive) bathroom spa maker is aromatherapy or scented candles. Aromatherapy can set the mood of your experience, whether you want to just relax, or be rejuvenated. Lavender is a good choice for a laid back afternoon, while the smell of peppermint will energize your spa experience. Other great scents to try are lemongrass, patchouli or jasmine. Set diffusers or candles in all nooks and crannies in your bathroom, and when it comes time to unwind, the combination of subtle flickering and heavenly scents will set your firmly on your way to relaxation.

Spa Décor
Another way to simulate the spa experience in your bathroom is through the look. Any spa you visit will be impeccably decorated with soothing paintings and pretty accessories, yet there's no reason your bathroom can't be the same. Pick a theme you like, such as Asian, Thai or Moroccan, and go with it, choosing everything from rugs and bath towels to knick knacks and wall decorations to suit. Or if you're not into matching décor, a woven basket filled with prettily decorated towels could make all the difference. Rule of thumb? Decorate your bathroom with any accessories that your eye finds soothing, and you're on your way.

Light Your Way

Other than candles, another great way to create your bathroom-turned-spa without breaking the bank is through alternative lighting. Kick those fluorescent tubes and overhead lighting to the curb; instead, find a nifty paper Chinese lantern to hang in the corner or hang a teardrop-beaded chandelier from the ceiling. The lighting choices are endless.

Yanni It Up
Once you've set the smell and look of your bathroom to fit your spa tastes, the next step is sound. Every sound you'll hear coming from every spa's speaker is most likely from the new age genre, which may sound corny. But let's face it: those otherworldly stringed instruments and subtle drums are soothing. So drop by your local CD store or cruise iTunes for the latest and greatest to be found in the New Age genre. (Enya is a great choice.) That way, once the candles are lighted and that vintage rug you found at the flea market are in place, you'll have the perfect relaxation soundtrack to complement your soothing décor.

Brew Up Some Good Stuff
Now that your bathroom looks like a spa, it's time to get down to some serious spa business. In other words, draw a hot bath, throw in some salts, and soak! Or lie back while testing out a sea mud mask or body butter. Give yourself a facial, exfoliating scrub or body wrap using your favorite products. Or, if you're talented at mixing things up yourself, try a few homemade beauty recipes, such as hair oil made of lavender and rosemary or an invigorating coffee scrub. Check out, or for more recipes and ideas.