Spa bathrooms: can water help our wellbeing?

Curved freestanding bath

How we plan our homes is changing. With the rise in multi-generational living comes a need to expand the functional aspects, as we have more people to cater for. Could spa bathrooms where water is used for wellbeing as well as cleaning be the future?

Many adults are living at home with their parents for longer, plus modern medicine and healthier lifestyles are leading to longer life expectancy – so often, several generations share one property.

The family bathroom is pivotal, then, and I believe it is evolving to become even more important in enhancing our current and future lifestyles. Along with the kitchen, it is probably one of the most used rooms in the house.

So, what does the future hold for the humble bathroom? While many houses are incorporating ensuites to every bedroom as part of renovation projects, the main family suite is evolving into ‘feature bathrooms’ or ‘spa bathrooms’ to offer increased experience and multiple functions to suit all. It is becoming more like a spa environment, designed for relaxing, retreating, and focusing on our wellbeing, rather than purely for everyday use. With this in mind, the way water and steam are used is central to any modern scheme. By nature, water is cleansing and invigorating – both internally and externally – and should not be underestimated.

Dornbracht LifeSpa system

In a move towards bathrooms designed with wellness in mind, Dornbracht’s LifeSpa concept has been developed to integrate health-enhancing water applications in the home.

Health and wellness have been an important trend over the last decade, for good reason. The benefits of a spa trip, or even a sauna after a rough day, are positive – but still, these features at home seem extravagant, right? The good news is this notion is changing and I am seeing an increased awareness and focus for new products with advanced systems inspired by the most serene retreats. Even better, the latest innovations are designed to be incorporated into average-sized bathrooms and can easily become part of your daily routine.

Houseplants in bathroom

Bringing nature into the bathroom not only adds colour and different shapes, but the right plants can help purify the air, too. Plants from Dobbies.

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Many variations of showerheads, hand showers, or water outlets can provide different deliveries. These settings tend to imitate nature in the form of rain, mist, waterfall, or cascades, but using a combination or sequence of these can have a positive physical effect. It may sound odd, but well-directed water application and changes in flow and pressure can benefit health. We instinctively feel a warm bath is relaxing or soothes aches and pains – in contrast, a cold shower will invigorate us and make us feel fresh and awake. But water temperature can actually improve our physical health. In the 1800s, German priest Sebastian Kneipp developed a form of hydrotherapy to treat patients with circulation issues. Kneipp therapy is based on the idea that a stream of water, applied in certain areas without pressure and at specific temperatures, not only relaxes muscles but strengthens the immune system.

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There are many more ways to fit spa functions into your space, and there is certainly a trend to remove the bath in favour of a larger shower with a steam function, built-in seat, and considered water delivery. A good shower area is relatively easy to achieve and means the space can provide different experiences and often make better use of floor area.

Duravit shower bath mixer

Duravit‘s B.2 range of brassware includes a single bath mixer, blue box behind the wall, spout, hand shower, outlet and holder, £1148.40.

It’s an interesting time to explore how water can improve our health and wellbeing and how our spaces at home can be more like spa bathrooms. Could you introduce water therapy into your daily routine?

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Of course, the family bathroom will still serve its main purpose – but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a shower or bathing experience to the next level, whatever your age and needs. I’m certain we will see many more innovations that encourage wellbeing and have added benefits using the power of water.

Featured image: Double-ended freestanding bath with smooth, flowing curves and a super-slim 20mm profile edge, from £1795, Waters Baths of Ashbourne.
Hayley Robson is the creative director at Day True.

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