Incorporating the Latest Design Trends Into Spas and Salons

Lisa Starr

As those who work in the fashion industry know, future direction is always driven by trends.  Designers attend fabric shows to get ideas about texture and color, and a year later, we see the fruits of those labors in clothing collections.  Spas and salons also need to pay attention to trends in order to remain fresh and relevant to our customers.  At the Global Spa Summit, Emmanuelle Linard, Executive Director of Edelkoort, in NYC, presented Earth Matters – A Visual Experience of Lifestyle and Design Trends for 2012, offering a peek at what’s ahead in store design.  While it’s not likely that you will redesign your spa on an annual basis, this evocative presentation was full of wonderful visuals that sparked ideas for new services,  refreshing marketing copy, and tips on how to incorporate a few of these featured elements into your current design.  Edelkoort has 25 years of experience of partnering with major U.S. and international companies, identifying and analyzing future consumer attitudes, lifestyles, and economic trends.

Linard began by saying that after all of the recent natural catastrophes, this was a perfect time to “rebind” with nature and get inspired by the earth.  She identified 9 distinct trends, which are listed here along with the supportive concepts:


Perfect for spas, this refers to the color white, which represents spirituality, peace and calm. People today have so much noise around them; spas should create a space that allows them to go back into themselves and be peaceful.

This use of white would not be smooth but have a porous, crinkled design, reflecting its uniqueness.


Reminds people of vacation and sun and has a specific physical texture.

The sand colors are ambers, beiges, and slightly blue, and can be apparent in linens as well as candles and the texture of beauty products such as body and facial scrubs.


It refers to strength and can be used in design to create a sustainable aspect, such as buildings merging into the landscape.

The rock colors are different greys, which match well with greens.  Beyond hot stone massage, rocks or rock patterns can be used in décor or furniture.


Building under the ground offers intimacy, which is important in spa environments.

It refers to birth and inspiration and can be communicated through mugs, pottery, walls, and treatments involving soil and mud.


Reminds us of a nest or of plants and their irregularity.

This concept is expressed through the use of natural dyes and local products; the quality and authenticity of the products are important.


Is the basis of all beauty treatment and will remain important; design elements can be bubble or drop patterns, as well as the use of translucent glass.  Colors are all shades of blues, with some green and/or white.


Crystals have long been considered healing and have an impact on well-being through the mind-body connection.

The colors are whites, purples and greens; these colors can be used in décor or actual crystals can be featured in wall hangings or decorative objects and candles.


Is evocative of sensuousness and wealth, and the colors are amber and bronze tones which complement purple.

The color gold is also present in honey, the nectar of the gods, so products containing honey can also be used.


Reminds us of a sense of danger.

The colors are black, grey or purple and are most apparent in linens, floors, and makeup products.


Some of the other general design trends Linard mentioned were:

Textiles are back: it is a warm contrast with cold materials as glass or iron. The patterns on the profiles and rugs will have a role to play. The trend is toward sustainability, especially in the dying process.

Gardening is a way to connect with nature and could be an added service to the spa.

New consumers want to go to amazing places with their pets, friends, and relatives; how can we accommodate this demand?

The fathers of today are more pampering and connected with their children and will continue to grow in numbers as salon and spa clients.

Young couples do everything together; we should have unisex products and services.

Wellbeing and prevention will become the new medicine.

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