In the bathroom, wellness is becoming a culture all its own, a culture which is taking concrete shape in the Private spa. The need to rejoice in water, aesthetics and the body cult is satisfied by a sophisticated concept that allows these experiences to be celebrated in the intimacy of one's own private living space.
The Private spa is a bathroom concept that turns routine into ritual and water into an experience. The wellness effect is created by features like rainfall showers or whirlpool tubs, the furnishings and a sensuous overall look. The Private spa is the expression of a new interpretation of luxury that consists of finding the space and time to ensure physical and emotional wellbeing. For a growing number of people, the bathroom is the room of choice for pursuing such goals. Whereas the kitchen is the communicative focal point of the modern interior lifestyle, the Private spa remains an extremely personal domain. This trend accommodates the desire to recreate the luxury of a spa or hotel bathroom in the privacy of our own home, shielded from the outside world and free to combine more mundane activities with some well-deserved regeneration. Consumers' willingness to invest in a spacious private spa indicates that wellness in the bathroom is a complex theme, dominated not only by the bathtub but by soft factors like the ambience of the room, atmospheric scenographies and ritual usage possibilities as well.
A place sheltered from the outside world that offers everything the modern individual needs to relax and find his inner peace after a tiring day: intimacy, beauty, calm, water. The bathroom is becoming the focal point of a hedonistic culture that combines cultural sophistication with sensuousness, aesthetics, pleasurable sensations and ritual.
This forward-looking lifestyle element calls for a new spatial concept. The models the bathroom industry has developed to this end exhibit a great many different facets, including cosiness, differentiated functions, water scenographies or rainfall showers. Taken individually, none of these aspects are the slightest bit revolutionary. Clustered into a meaningful combination, however, they produce an innovative, ambitious type of bathroom: the Private spa.
Because of the exacting standards it imposes in terms of aesthetics, cosy furnishings, space and water scenographies, the Private spa is definitely not one of the "small solutions" for bathroom design. But no matter how much space is available, it always means a little bit of luxury – a luxury that is being indulged with growing self-confidence and is increasingly taken for granted. Luxury as an expression of material ownership and aesthetic cultivation is socially acceptable again, as is pleasure in one's own body. In this new concept of luxury, the time and care the individual invests in himself and his physical and emotional wellbeing are uppermost. It is a kind of luxury closely associated with a place, with an attractive setting – as embodied by a tastefully designed, comfortable bathroom integrated into a spacious interior context.
The Private spa concept combines the expertise of the bathroom sector with lifestyle, design and forward-looking architecture. It pursues the same holistic design approach that premium hotels have made popular all over the world – an ideal combination of wellness, aesthetics and privacy. Bathroom wellness is more than "just" a whirlpool tub or shower panel. Bathroom wellness is not the shower gel you use or the tub itself, but the experience associated with it – an experience determined by soft factors such as the ambience of the room, atmospheric scenographies and ritual usage possibilities. The Private spa concept gives suitable expression to this complexity.
Whereas a spa visit used to be more like a social event, modern individuals retreat to a spa in order to undergo ayurvedic therapies, therapeutic fasting or thalassic beauty treatments. Or simply because they want to be pampered. When it comes to the wellness experience, private luxury is uppermost – in a fancy hotel bathroom just as much as during a wellness weekend on a nature reserve or with a voucher for the day spa. And that is precisely the feeling a growing number of customers want to experience in their own private bathroom.
The formula: architecture, design and a dash of waterBut the Private spa concept does not only cover classic wellness functions. It also aims to provide space for a whole range of different mental states and usages that embrace the desire for new, immaterial values and an altered body consciousness. The experience of water as a therapeutic, sensuous element and the unconventional spatial concepts and interior designs of hotel bathrooms are prompting desires that did not previously exist in this form: a little bit of luxury for the body and wellness for the eyes, freshness and seclusion as well as the agreeable feeling conveyed by a stylish ambience – in the Private spa, these sensory experiences and impressions are transferred to one's own bathroom.
In the Private spa, the design of the individual object, whether it be angular or curved, of linear severity or organic softness, blends in subtly with an overall idea. For where shower partitions grow out of the floor like transparent walls and the rain patters straight out of the ceiling, where the tiled floor gives way to a level-access shower tray in the same look and bathtubs are embedded in relaxation platforms or wood panelling, the choice of materials, colours and surface feel takes on a whole new significance.
One indispensable characteristic is the water experience, which not only conveys sensuousness but constitutes an essential aesthetic element of the Private spa. And when minimalist faucets make the water seem to flow out of the wall or the fittings appear to grow out of the washstand, the elemental quality of water and the way it tingles on the skin are the true highlights.
Text: Claudia Wanninger