DIY Home Spa

Wed 13th, Jun, 2012

1 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 Pin It Share 0 Buffer 1 1 Flares ×


Morning ladies, well we are very wet here on the beaches, so I thought it appropriate to do a little bath / tub post and a bit of DIY Home Spa, Beach Cottage Style.


Now I apologise that I haven’t shown you the full bathroom reveal yet, I was awaiting a few things, one of which arrived smashed to pieces and has gone back to the shop, so that won’t be happening anyway – I’ll blog the whole lot soon.

For now though a little Beach Cottage DIY Home Spa.

As you know I love me a bath, to me, it really does wash away the stresses of the day, and as you know if you’ve been here for a while, I will go to extremes to get one, including arriving at my neighbour’s front door in my dressing gown and scooting up to use theirs, and forcing the long suffering Mr Beach Cottage and my offspring to rig me up a bath in the garden to bathe under the stars (yep I blogged from the garden in the bath here, haha)

I was thinking last night if I have ever lived in a house without a bath and the answer is no, I hope I never will.

As long as you have a bathroom with a door on I think this little place can do wonders for us women with busy lives…no going out to ‘relax’, no paying exorbitant amounts of money to soak in bubbles, no having to make appointments at special times of the day to fit in with other people and other schedules, in your own bathroom there is only one person to fit in (don’t even think about extending that to two ;-) , this isn’t where we get amorous ladies)  and that would be you.

I wrote before on here how it was while I had littlies around in my life and a hubby that was away or at least, at work a LOT of the time,that I started the whole DIY Spa thing…it was a tad easier then than it is today in terms of having a quiet house and no interruptions, you see the good thing about having littlies is that after about 7 o’clock they are tucked up safely in the land of nod (at least mine always were), leaving you to pretty much do anything without that constant ‘mummy’ thing happening in the background.

Nowadays big old teenagers are not quite so accommodating to that notion but it still can be done and yesterday in the daytime, I made an appointment with myself with the bathtub and a little bit of DIY home spa.

The best bathroom I ever did this in was the last house we lived in in England, the bathroom itself in terms of its aesthetics was nothing special, indeed it was a flat-packed Nineties special, hello creamy walls, off white bath and mosaic tile borders – it was more its position tucked away off the main bedroom that added to its spa-like qualities.

This one, though aesthetically rather pleasing (to this white vintage loving girl) is not in the best of positions, being slap-bang in the middle of this old cottage, in the new part of the extension.  But, there is a lock on the door, a dimmer switch on the wall and a white-washed oar standing by ready to hit anyone over the head should they approach without warning.

Along the way though I have learnt a few things with this DIY Spa thing and if you are feeling all raggedy and over it one day and decide you might like to do the same you may like to consider these points :

1.  It doesn’t need to be fancy-schmancy – all you need for a DIY Home Spa, is essentially a room with water, yep it can be done with just a shower, though a bath is best.  I have lived in some houses, particularly the two rentals here and this old cottage before the reno that left much to the imagination.  Hello brown mosaic blech tiles.  Hello cleaning products and a bottle of bleach.  The great thing about baths is that they are one of the few things in a house that you may have inherited with ahem, less than wonderful predecessors, that they can be cleaned to within an inch of their lives.

2. Set it up earlier in the day – ok we are not talking mega amounts of time here, we are talking putting in a bit of effort to get this room straight before you start.  I have found the best way to do this is to do it before you head there ready to de-compress.  There is nothing worse when one is all revved up for a soak to walk into the bathroom, tipple in hand, lotions and potions at the ready, to find any or all of the following :  clothes strewn on the floor (and not your own), any random amount of bath toys, damp towels and cough cough a tide mark – these bathroom ‘accessories’ does not a spa-like experience make.

So a quick whizz around beforehand works to set the scene.  Scoop up all the crapola should it be there (if you have 3 kiddos like me that is a given), give the bath a quick swish and swipe, open up the window for some fresh air and say hello to nice.

3. Stacks of towels – takes seconds but works for that spa like feel….nice dry towels, stacked up all neatly just as you would find in a high-end spa – fluffy, tumble-dried or crisp from under an Australian sun… the choice is yours.

4. Flowers and candles.  No matter your bathroom decor, no matter its previous owners, a bunch of drugstore flowers and a dollar shop candle is all it takes to enter the world of Zen.  These days I can, thankfully, put my flowers right on the bathtub but anywhere nearby will brighten it up.  Add a candle of choice, I like Ecoya candles, not the most budget, but cost per wear is super-low on these babies and they do exactly as they should.  Light one of these in your DIY Spa, lay back and think of England.

5. Lotions, potions and treatments – ok I have learnt here by bitter experience to keep this streamlined and simple.  In the early days of these Beach Cottage appointments with the bathroom I would endeavour to do all these treatments to myself – I would fluff and lather up and scrub and soak and what resulted was mess and just too much to, you know, actually do.  I mean the whole idea here is to relax right?


Now, a bit more long in the tooth, a bit more experienced I have learnt something along the lines of these for the beauty part – don’t even think about de-fuzzing anything, this is not the most relaxing of beauty treatments, nor is a manicure in the bath


Hair treatment – super easy to do and how often do you make the time to do it?  I like Argan oil, shove it on and hope for the best, little effort, big results.  And boy you can even go a head massage too.

Face mask – too easy to pop one of these on – I stock up on these and often ask for a special ones for my birthday, but of course it’s even easier to use home ones from the kitchen.


Bath Oil, Salts, Milk or Bubbles – pouring something in the bath is easy and it kills two birds with one stone, giving you some nice scent to relax and treating your skin at the same time too…some of the things I like to use Epsom salts, milk, bath oil, essential oils, dried and fresh lavender mix, honey, sea salt…. (experiment with what you like, but remember if you use something like fresh flowers or lavender you will have clean up – if you are a busy mum this might be the last thing you want to do after you leave the bath!)



Body Scrub – after trying many different things as part of the old home spa routine a scrub is the best, I make my own copycat Origins sugar scrub (recipe coming soon), it’s a double whammy – exfoliate and moisturise in one quick go and it really is not hard to do this one Winking smile  …best thing about the humble body scrub is the super quick and obvious results


That’s it from me from the bathtub of this old cottage today – if you have any ideas, home spa recipes, beauty treatments you like that are easy or any other tips, please leave them in the comments and I will add them in here…nothing better than sharing Smile

20120613-07-IMG_9868 20120613-08-IMG_9895_thumb


[nggallery id=48]



To say I am pleased with this bath is a bit of an understatement but oh boy thank goodness I didn’t go for the white floor

What do you think of the bathroom so far?




towels  c/o Adairs (great quality & good value + 40% off right now! )  bath & fittings :  Recollections  candle : Ecoya


1 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 Pin It Share 0 Buffer 1 1 Flares ×

31 Responses to “DIY Home Spa”

  1. Alice says:

    I love those Iris! So gorgeous… Your bathroom looks divine!. I am horrible when it comes to do such wonderful things for one self… ummm… I just checked and my xmas gift voucher for a swanky spa treatment – expired last week… whopps!!! Like I said when it comes to pampering my self I am no good at it… Well at least not in the spa kind of way… Don’t get me started on message… It could be because I can’t handle being touched (it has been one steep learning curve with the hubby and the kids, actually it continues to be)… Weird I know… But looking at your bathroom… Beautiful… Wonderful taste Sarah, I would rather realx in your bathroom any day than one of those day spa places (for me personally)…

    • sarah says:

      Alice that is crazy! I would love a swanky spa treatment right now!

    • Susan says:

      Check with the spa…maybe they’ll honor it!

      • Alice says:

        I wish! The conditions state that if you don’t use it you loose it, so there goes 65 dollars… I feel really bad but my friend… she should have known better… She and her husband love this kind of stuff… Me not so much… I actually considered returning it to her so she and her hubby could enjoy it but in my (parents)culture it is a huge insult to do that so I was too afraid to give it back for them to enjoy(in case it was the same for them in their culture – which is very similar to mine)!

  2. Julie says:

    Your bathroom looks gorgeous! Of course now I have bath envy. Still without a bath (and a main bathroom for that matter) while ours is being reno’d. The tiler comes in two weeks so not too much longer. May I ask how you like your marble vanity top? I have planned for the same thing but now others are trying to talk me out of it. Not sure why as it’s such a classic look I know I will love forever…

    • sarah says:

      hmm well I actually love the marble top, I didn’t even question it and it wasn’t until after that everyone started giving me their opinions that I would hate it….so far I have found it super easy to clean and look after but I suppose it is early days still…

      good luck the tiling bit is when it starts to look better x

  3. Debbie Panton says:

    I love your bathroom… never really had a nice bathroom… anywhere we’ve ever lived. The one we have now is barely big enough to turn around in…can’t stand in front of the sink and still be able to close the bathroom door. We have 1 bathroom.. 4 people ( 2 boys, 9 and 2) and a dog . I mention the dog… because he follows me everywhere … even stick his nose in the bathroom if I don’t shut the door tight. Can’t put a lock on it or my 2 year old locks himself in every time he has a tantrum ( every day). Hope to renovate soon and turn one of the bedrooms into a nice bathroom…. we DIY everything…so we’ll be doing ourselves. Well, you enjoy yours. I saw something pretty on Pinterest the other day..well hundreds of pretty things really… hard to leave. Anyway, it was lavender and bath salts ( I think) layered in a nice glass jar. So it was a layer of lavender, than bath salts, than the lavender again..repeated over and over till the jar was filled. It looked very pretty.

    • sarah says:

      hmmm that sounds nice

      Debbie, you can still do the spa thing, believe me I have done it in a very very small and grotty bathroom with 3 kiddos in the house…

  4. Whitney says:

    Love love love this bathroom! Makes me so ready to have our own home instead of renting so I can do whatever I want to it! I’ll be coming to this blog for inspiration!!

  5. Kirsty says:

    It’s looking lovely Sarah, I love the pop of colour with the irises! I have my first bathroom reno coming up this summer and it gives me butterflies just thinking about it! Such a big job and it’s the only bathroom in the house too which should be interesting. Glad that you’re enjoying yours, spa days at home are the best :) xo K

  6. Vanessa says:

    Wow! Everything looks fabulous Sarah! And you right about it all. Sometimes I try “my own spa day” and it’s just great. By the way, the Argan oil is just fantastic! I use shampoo and conditioner with Argan oil on a regular basis, best thing ever! It always makes me feel like I have just stepped out of the salon. Happy relaxation! ~ Vanessa

  7. Audrey says:

    Your bathroom is so gorgeous!! I totally agree with you on the bath = personal spa idea, so true! Our main bathroom is halfway through being finished and your pictures really motivate me to work a tad bit harder at getting it all done. I also make my own sugar scrub, so easy and great for the skin! I use coconut cream (can fom the supermarket, yep!) as a hair mask, leave it on your hair for up to 3 hours, then wash as per normal… Your hair will be extra soft!

    • sarah says:

      thanks I haven’t heard that one before…do you mean Coconut Can as in the food one? Anyway I am trying it tonight so if I end up looking like a Thai curry I will come back to you! x

      • Audrey says:

        Yes! A Can of coconut cream from the grocery store, “milk” aisle! I suggest apply on hair while soaking in the bath, although it’s creamy it can get messy… good luck!

  8. Janelle says:

    Oh you have to be loving your bathroom!! Lovely! After years (and years… and years…) of not bothering with the bath (yes I was making use of the shower tho!!) you inspired me to have a soak and now I’m totally addicted. Sooooo nice at the end of the day. xx

  9. Aisling says:

    I hate baths but you have made me want to try one tonight. I even have an Ecoya candle !

  10. suzanne says:

    You know Sarah, you really have a natural talent with your styling. The whole look of the bathroom (and can’t wait to see the whole thing) is amazing how it actually reflects the perfect “a-la- casual , hot sunny days, walk in from the beach look.” I just LOVE it, yes it is hard work living through bathroom reno”s, which we did a few years back but I wish I had your beachy flare. Showed my hubby and he even loves everything about it.

  11. alison says:

    OK, I’ll try a bath again and try to love it. I have a box of epsom salts ready.

    You’ve inspired me go back to a local gift shop-because I’ve been very good lately-and buy one of their beautiful candles in bottles that look like old pharmacy ingredient bottles. These candles appear expensive but they last for hours.


  12. Sharon Forward says:

    Hi Sarah, I bought ecoya candles back home for my girlfriends they are lovely. The bathroom looks divine (hey we knew it would) cant wait to see the full revealx

  13. Mary Anne Komar says:

    You forgot one thing, an Andre Boccelli cd!!!!!!

  14. bec says:

    I might try that coconut treatment too as I love coconut. I have used ‘Ayam” coconut milk powder sachets in the bath before. It kinda makes you feel like a tropical version of cleopatra. Float a few frangipani flowers in there and burn a pina colada candle and your set!
    Love the tiles in your bathroom by the way.
    Bec x

  15. Robynne says:

    I could definitely have a wonderful soak in your beautiful bathroom…champagne in hand of course (or prosecco/cava…whatever’s on special at Morrisons)…the beauty of your white bathroom Sarah is that something as simple as a bunch of Irises really pops…Robx

  16. Lark says:

    The bathroom is looking beautiful! I am so in envy of your tub. Our tub is so shallow my knees stick out above the water…oh, how I long for the days in our old place that had a nice soaking tub. Can’t wait to get the recipe for the sugar scrub. Maybe that will make up for my cold knees. :)

  17. Hannah says:

    Oh my gosh, your bathroom is perfection! I desperately want a clawfoot tub! Thanks for the DIY Spa advice, I will definitely be using that tomorrow night after I finish shooting a wedding x

  18. Imelda says:

    Oh, how utterly yummy that all sounds, particularly to a mother living in the midst of a fixer-upper colonial farmhouse in Connecticut with two little ones, both currently teething, whose idea of an “evening off” is my husband taking care of the kids while I go off to teach a voice lesson!! I must lurk about your site more frequently.

    • sarah says:

      you must lol!

      and you must take time for you…been there with littlies, got the t-shirt! xx

  19. Tricia Rose says:

    A cup of tea? or something long and cold ~
    how beautiful the irises are.