Spa pampering seems to be topping women’s to-do lists. These days, it’s not enough to just give clients services—they want an experience. According to an International Spa Association study, U.S. spa visits increased a whopping 56% between 1997 and 1999—from 57 million to 89 million visits. Many salons cannot afford to go the full day spa route, but they can achieve a spa-like atmosphere by providing little touches to each area. Tony Cuccio, Star Nail International and Cuccio Naturale president, offers these tips on turning your salon into a combination of necessity and luxury. This month, he offers advice on giving your waiting area a facelift.

Create more oxygen and visual aesthetic with real plants. You can even add a string of white lights to create ambiance.

Add the sound of running water with a table top or floor stand waterfall.

Play soft, soothing music.

Eliminate cool fluorescent lighting. Use incandescent or warm fluorescent lights. You can even add table top and floor lamps that you normally use at home.

Add dressing or drapes around the windows or on the walls to soften the room and make it more comfortable.

Throw out those office or doctor waiting room chairs. Invest in soft, comfortable chairs and a sofa with large throw pillows.

Offer complimentary water or tea. Spice up the water with lemon or cucumber.

Keep fresh flowers or a plant on or near the receptionist desk.

Separate the waiting area from the rest of the salon by installing drapes or using a simple room divider, such as a Japanese screen.

Provide a soothing color scheme like earth tones to promote organization and invoke comfort.

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