A raised surround gives a spa added presence in the landscape, so it’s important to find a material
or design that is appealing. This brightly painted cement surround has become a work of art, rather than a utilitarian enclosure.
Design Tips: If you paint a surround, choose a design motif that blends in. Try one that fits your region, such as the Southwestern-inspired mural of quail and cacti seen here. If you’re artistically challenged, try using themed stencils from a crafts store.
Get more use from your spa by enclosing it with a gazebo, covered porch, or three-season sunroom. The idea is to moderate surrounding temperatures and prevent windchill. The best enclosures have high ceilings (to prevent feelings of claustrophobia) and lots of windows (to bring the outdoors in).
Design Tips: Incorporate surrounding walls into the spa decor with paint, tile, and/or artistic elements. Be sure to include boisterous houseplants to bring the garden closer.
Join the Pool
If you’re constructing an in-ground pool, consider integrating a spa. This one blends in with the pool and adds the welcome sound of running water.
Design Tips: Break up large expanses of concrete to make the spa seem more inviting. Potted plants and a chiminea effectively mitigate the stark wall and conceal valves for the spa and pool, while natural stone softens the spa edges.
Enhance Your Spa Retreat
Interested in creating a spa retreat in your backyard? Here are some tips from the National Spa & Pool Institute.
The Right Site:
Always consider accessibility. You’re more likely to use a spa — especially in cold weather — if it’s
easily accessible from the house. Aesthetics are important too. Consider how the placement of the spa will affect the look of your landscape.
A Good Foundation:
Whether you set up your spa on an existing patio or deck or want to conquer unexplored terrain, you’ll need a firm, level surface that supports a minimum of 90 pounds per square foot. The size of your spa will dictate the exact amount of space needed. Drainage is also important. Water needs to flow away from your house and any other structures, including your spa.
Landscaping around your spa can complete the transformation of your backyard into a permanent retreat. Choosing the right plants is important. Be aware that the fragrance of some flowers can attract insects. Some plants that tolerate a water environment but don’t attract bugs are ornamental grasses, daylilies, coleus, and caladiums.
When landscaping is not practical, structures such as gazebos, arbors, and built-in planter boxes can help create an inviting atmosphere. Potted plants, hanging baskets, and supplemental water features, such as fountains and waterfalls, can also make the atmosphere around a spa inviting.
Enclosing your spa with a decorative gazebo is a great way to enhance the sense of a getaway, increase privacy, and block wind. Another idea is to use tall evergreens, such as cypress or juniper, to block views toward the spa. Finally, you might simply set the
spa where it’s hidden by a structure.