Barbara Kaplan is an interior designer specializing in holistic living.


Creating a spa-like atmosphere in your own home is an opportunity for personal pleasure and enjoyment.  First, you have to have an extra room to make this happen. If you are fortunate to have the space, you can create a get-away just for you, a place you can get a quiet and soul-satisfying massage or use for meditation.  If this is important to you, here are some things to consider and choices to make.

Begin by determining which room will give you the privacy you need — where you will feel safe from the outside world. A place that is quiet with no phone ringing or TV sounds from other rooms. Bring in a comfortable chair, meditation pillow or pillows to lie on. Make the floor a different color than the rest of the house. You can also make the floor extra soft to the touch of bare feet. Paint the walls in your favorite relaxing color. Perhaps you can upholster the walls with fabric for additional soundproofing and softness. If you have special or spiritual objects, you can display them on an altar. Finish it off with soft lighting and you have created your own private haven.

If you have a regular massage, choosing the time of day you prefer is significant. Mornings before you begin the day are great because you can then be energized for the rest of the day. Facing stress can be less difficult. Perhaps you prefer the evening to relieve your stress. Yes, this may be considered an indulgence — but what better gift can you give yourself in your own home!

Here are some helpful tips. Make sure the air is comfortable, not too hot or cold. If it is winter, it needs to be warm enough without a blanket, and in the summer, it is nice to have a fan blowing cool air over you. Personally, I love having massages on my back patio when the weather permits. The birds and running water from my fountain carry me into nature. A fan and a heater as I need it make the area as comfortable as possible.

It is also nice to have music playing at the right volume to soothe you. Loud music is jarring to the soul — music needs to be audible enough to take you to places where your mind can rest. Regardless of the time of day, have candles flickering near you. Even with your eyes closed you can feel the glow. Sometimes, lightly scented candles give the same effect as aromatherapy. Small vases with flowers are another treat.

One of the benefits of home massages is that you don’t have to get dressed afterwards. You can lounge in your robe and drink tea in your favorite cup or water in your favorite glass. You can do all this sitting in your favorite chair or get back into bed and take a nap or read. Of course, your bed is an entire article by itself. How soft are your sheets, how comfortable is your pillow and how inviting is your blanket?

When you have these experiences in your own home, the memory stays with you. This is one of the reasons it is important to be sure that when you are designing rooms in your home that they are a reflection of you. Create your rooms to serve you and make each environment one that will give you pleasure and personal fulfillment. How you do this is up to you.

Remember, rooms have no feelings — you do!

Barbara Kaplan, IFDA and Allied ASID, is a Phoenix-based Holistic Interior Design consultant and the founder of Barbara’s Picks, an online resource for the best of the best Design and Lifestyle Resources. Visit for more information.

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