In the hustle and bustle of today's busy lifestyles, weekend health spas have become a welcome retreat, but are often too extravagant and costly for frequent visits. With a little creativity and imagination, you can create the therapeutic and rewarding effects of a spa in the privacy of your own home -- with a sunroom.
A sunroom is an ideal space to create a relaxing, in-home spa. Typically surrounded by the beauty and serenity of the outdoors, sunrooms often provide a dramatic yet private setting. Moreover, the natural light that they provide has the power to change your mood, according to doctors, who believe that sunlight has positive effects on a person's overall well being. Combined with other spa-like features, such as aromatherapy, the practice of using plant-derived fragrances to change your mood, you can have your own private retreat in no time.
"People are discovering all the added benefits a sunroom can have," explains Rick Jones, president of Patio Enclosures, Inc., North America's largest designer and installer of sunrooms. "From their therapeutic sunlight, to their versatility and beauty, sunrooms are perfect places for personal relaxation," he said.
With some creative planning -- and planting -- you can treat yourself to a restorative herbal mask or an aromatherapy message. Here are a few basics for starting your own home spa. You might even try growing some of the ingredients on your own, possibly in your sunroom.
Roses are for more than smelling.
Roses are for more than smelling. Tea with rose hips offers more vitamin C than oranges. In a coffee grinder, grind the hips and add to a cup of very hot water. Add one-quarter cup of fresh leaves to one cup of boiling water. For a lemon-flavored tea, add lemon balm. This tea is ideal for soothing nerves and aids in digestion.
Marigolds act as a natural antiseptic when picked as they begin to bloom. Mixed with oil, they help relieve cuts, burns, itchy skin and chapped lips.
Homemade Oil with Lavender
For soft skin, try a homemade oil with lavender. Fill a jar with lavender flowers. Gently crush the flowers and add enough olive oil to cover the herbs.
Cover the jar and place it in the sun, shaking every day. Strain the oil after a few weeks. Massage the oil into your skin or add to your bath.
For a refreshing facemask, mix the following ingredients in a blender: 1-cup mint leaves, 2 tablespoons oatmeal and 2 tablespoons water. Keep on your face for 15 minutes.
Lettuce is for more than salads. To soothe sunburned skin, boil lettuce with water and after it has cooled, add the liquid to your bath.
Grow Your Own Loofah
Grow your own loofah. This relative of the cucumber works great as an exfoliator.
Follow the growing instructions on the loofah packet, which can be purchased at most nurseries. After harvesting, soak them in water. Peel the brown skin and remove the seeds. Place them in the sun to dry.
For a refreshing foot soak, mix 3 drops tee tree, crushed lavender petals and a fresh squeezed lemon to warm water.
For the added spa-esque feeling, try arranging scented candles throughout your sunroom. You can also play soothing music or purchase a miniature running fountain, available at most home stores. To really go all out, the investment of a Jacuzzi is sure to offer years of enjoyment and relaxation. In addition, your new sunroom spa is an ideal setting to practice yoga. Earth-tones pillows and rugs add an element of relaxation and there are many casual furniture and window treatment options available to you for your sunroom spa.
"The great thing about your sunroom spa is that it can transform into a romantic dinner setting or a planetarium on a starry night," adds Jones. "A sunroom is the one room in the house that can be used for almost anything."
Courtesy of ARA Content