Freshen up your spa spaces without breaking the bank.

[Image: Beauty Cult/Industrialism Films]

Earthy scents enchant the senses, dispelling worries and weariness at the door. Sips of orange blossom and green tea give clients a taste of what’s in store. Such sensory touchstones all work together to draw guests in, setting the tone of the visit and creating a path to blissful escape. Your spa interior is equally important in this regard—and a slowdown in repeat business is often a major indicator that it’s time to reinvigorate your space. “Any time someone comes into contact with a part of your business, it’s an experience for them and affects their opinion of you,” says Alexis Ufland of Lexi Design, which offers spa consulting, coaching and marketing. “So decide on the message you’re trying to deliver, and figure out whether your interior design represents that message.”

Adina Diaz, owner of Natural Feeling Spa in Los Angeles, adds that the experience you want to provide must be devised with intention. “It’s important to create an environment that feels welcoming,” she notes. Attention to detail and a distinctive touch can go a long way toward creating a refreshing spa visit that encourages repeat business, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Whether low cost or no cost, it’s these small decor details that will keep clients coming back for more.

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Add Live Elements

Much of the beauty and comfort we enjoy every day comes straight from Mother Nature. So why not bring more of her into your spa? Educator Kim Collier, owner of Collier Concepts and consultant for Blu Spas, suggests incorporating biophilic design by working with natural light, adding plants and earth elements, and even installing a living wall. “They will always inspire,” says Collier, noting that greenery boosts an area’s aesthetic and air quality.

Diaz, who takes pride in her spa’s eco-friendly message, agrees: “I fill the space with all types of plants. You’ll find foliage in every corner, including the bathroom,” she says. Although regular care and upkeep can make plants more demanding design elements, they’re a low-cost option for those seeking simple ways to elevate their environment.

Additionally, the natural characteristics of your space should be incorporated into your brand message. “I printed and placed my own logo on our building’s pre-existing light box. Inside, I had an artist paint additional signage, keeping the aesthetic consistent and creative,” says Diaz.

If your building offers substantial natural lighting, make it your theme, using it to showcase elements of your spa or enhance the guest experience. Highlighting the unique features of your environment is not only cost-effective, it’s a simple way to add distinctive touches that help make your spa one of a kind.

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Refurbish and Reuse

As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and making use of secondhand decor can add character while preserving your budget. “My spa is filled with gems that I’ve found in all kinds of secondhand stores,” says Diaz. “I’ve furnished my space with all repurposed items, which is an eco-conscious way that I highlight my personal aesthetic.” Natural Feeling includes a repurposed light structure, antique frames and reupholstered seats that Diaz says brought new life to the interior and aligned the decor with her own values and brand message. “This is a great way to be better to the earth, save some money and create a truly unique space with personal touches,” she adds.

In the same vein, Diaz suggests supporting other local businesses. She had a nearby carpenter create shelving for the front desk and a sitting space out of reclaimed wood, and she commissioned an area artist to furnish her bare walls. “I have the work of a local feminist artist painted directly on my walls to further my message of self-love, self-care and supporting women,” says Diaz. “These are inexpensive, yet thoughtful ways to shape the spa experience.”

 

Set the Tone

There are plenty of options for adding experience-enhancing elements to your spa spaces. Battery-operated tea candles in a relaxation room will calm clients’ minds, while an Instagram wall will encourage spa-goers to share the memory. In fact, Ufland has worked with multiple spa owners to turn unused wall spaces into photo backdrops—particularly popular in retail and lounge areas. “These spots are where clients tend to take pictures for social media,” she notes. “It’s also free marketing and advertising.” Remember that the tone you set will be part of the customer’s takeaway from their experience, so make sure it connects with your brand message.

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Tidy Up

Consider how clean your spa looks to clients, too. “Let us see what the guest sees. Is it clutter-free or dusty in corners, shelves and cabinets? How organized are the storage areas? Guests will peek,” says Collier, who recommends that spa workers role play the guest experience, from arrival to departure, including the treatment table. “Furthermore, too many reception desks are used as an office, with stacks of paper and projects strewn about. This reminds clients of their to-do lists, so make use of drawers and concealed storage instead.”

Practice “facility self-care” by deep cleaning the spa with your staff. “This is excellent team building, cross training and intentional feng shui for everyone’s workspace,” says Collier. She even recommends relocating items that have occupied the same space for a long time, in addition to dusting, decluttering and ditching testers and other items that have run their course. “The spa interior is the soul expression of the spa,” says Collier. “It gives insight into the mind of the business. As for loyalty and sales, clients will return to a place where they had a positive experience—and tell their friends.”

—Manyesha Batist

This story first appeared in the August issue of DAYSPA Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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