When most of us get home from a hard day at work or school, or a hard day of wrangling children (and yes people, that is indeed work) the first thing most of us want to do is sink into our favourite chair, flop on the sofa or just hit the sack. The bathtub has scores of fans out there, but maybe what you need is a spa treatment. All bets are probably off though as that would involve finding a spa that had room to squeeze you in and putting your shoes back on. It would also be $1,600.
But what if you could do it at home? Now available at Colour Living is German luxury kitchen and bathroom component manufacturer Dornbracht’s Horizontal Spa. Equally effective in both private homes and professional spas, the Horizontal Spa features Ambiance Tuning Technique with six water bars recessed in wide shower space above a recliner piece. So while you’re lying down, the integrated automation system (by Carrot Home in Hong Kong) allows users to control the water flow type, temperature and quantity to, as Dornbracht says, balancing (after dealing with a boss that’s not as smart as you), energising (in preparation for a night out) or de-stressing (at the end of a day with hyperactive kids) effect.
“There is a strong trend to day spas,” begins Dornbracht’s managing director Andreas Dornbracht. “But on the other hand people enjoy the intimacy of the home.” To be clear, Dornbracht’s contribution is in the internal hardware; the spa design itself is flexible and totally up to the user. The hardware is fit into whatever size, style or position any given interiors demand. “It can be wall hung, it can be in the middle of the room. The interior designer can be as innovative as they want,” Dornbracht says.
In the way the spa industry has expanded and made itself more accessible to more people, Dornbracht sees the home spa eventually going the same way. He’ll admit it’s an upmarket product now — the way television units were luxury items once — but it won’t always be that way. “The cost of innovation demands we start in the luxury sector. I believe any good idea that is accepted in the high-end market will sooner or later trickle down into other sectors. We were the first to design the contemporary rainshower head and now it’s everywhere … That’s our role as an innovator: to think about new ideas for the market in general.”
Affluent or not, wasting water in Vichy type showers is decidedly unhip at many major spas as well as in personal homes — and the Horizontal Spa is an inherent water hog. Once again, Dornbracht expects technical innovation to help the problem. “We see a trend to grey water recycling coming. That will help with sustainability,” he says. It would mean filtering water from the shower or washbasins (those systems are available now) and re-using it elsewhere in the home. “Grey water is a good balance to something like this.”
So is the home spa going to put the professionals out of business? Dornbracht doesn’t think so and firmly believes the two can co-exist. “A private spa won’t necessarily use a therapist and there will always be a demand for that. You can’t get a deep tissue massage from water.” No, but it sounds like a great idea for Wednesday nights.