As a massage therapist, you know a massage is more than just “a little pressure here, a little kneading there.” For your clients, it’s an experience.

Part of that experience is the massage room itself, which requires great light and soothing sounds and scents. But when you’re looking to design your room, it’s not easy to balance all the tools and setup you need with the tranquil, relaxing feeling your clients are looking for.

In celebration of Spiritual Wellness Month, we’re taking a deep-dive into how you can design the best (no, the most zen!) massage therapy room of all time. 

In this guide, we’ll show you how with a little creativity and attention to detail you can create a massage room your clients will want to return to again and again! 

How to Design a Zen Massage Therapy Room

Designing a peaceful massage room for your clients is all about simplicity. So if you’re wondering where to start, start with the basics.

Step 1: Start with the Basics

While the size of massage rooms vary, there are a few things to keep in mind when setting up your space.

  • Entrance: Your client’s experience begins at the entrance. Your front door sets the tone for their visit. So depending on your style, this could mean indoor plants or a light-hearted sign to welcome them.
  • Space: Allow at least three feet of space around the massage table, so you have plenty of room to work. Also make sure you have enough room for seating, as well as space for the door to easily open and close. 
  • Floor: If you’re not comfortable at your job, your clients won’t be either. So when considering the flooring for your room, go with wood or vinyl tile if you can — instead of a harder surface like tile — for your own comfort (think about those hours on your feet!).

Step 2: Keep It Clutter-Free

Think storage — but with style! 

In terms of “feng shui” — which is a design practice aimed at balance and harmony within a space — less is always more. But that doesn’t mean you should cut back when it comes to supplies or tools you need for the job. Smart storage space is what you need! 

This means your storage boxes and shelving needs to function as both storage and decor. Depending on your space, you can even use curtains to hide supplies or open shelves. 

Step 3: Choose Your Aesthetic

Every massage room is different, based on the massage therapist’s own aesthetic — meaning your own personal flair becomes part of the room. 

So when imagining your dream massage setup, what’s your style? Do you want more of a tropical oasis feel with indoor plants and maybe even a palm tree in the corner? Or is a modern vibe more your thing? 

Either way you go, keep these three ideas in mind:

  • Color: Keep your walls and color theme a neutral earth tone. Soft, neutral colors help clients relax. If you’re unsure what color(s) to choose, remember that shades of blue and green are known to have a calming effect, and you also can’t go wrong with a soft beige or gray.
  • Decor: Again, less is always better for a massage room, so when choosing your decor, think about what represents your style, while also keeping your client’s comfort in mind. Choose smaller pieces of furniture, keep paintings or other wall art to a minimum, and if you’re going to include a few indoor plants, make sure the space doesn’t feel cluttered.
  • Consistency: Whatever combination of color and decor you go with, keep the tone and feel consistent. For example, if you’re going for a tropical island vibe with a palm tree and soothing ocean sounds, don’t hang a painting of a city skyline on the wall. Choose a theme for the space and stick to it across the board. 

Step 4: Focus on Lighting

A big part of the massage mood and experience for clients comes down to lighting. The light should be both inviting and relaxing as soon as clients enter the room. 

Use soft lighting from lamps and make sure the light is not shining directly on the massage table. Go with a “warm” light bulb as it will help relax your clients. And if you have a lamp or ceiling lights with a “dimmer” switch, that’s even better! (The more customization, the more you can customize your client’s experience!)

If you happen to have windows in your room, keep the light filtered with adjustable blinds. This way, you can customize the lighting for different clients depending on their preference as well. 

Step 5: Don’t Forget About Sound and Scent

Lastly, you want to think about sound and scent in your room. In addition to lighting and decor, the sound and scent play a big part in the zen vibes of your client’s experience.

Sound

Ideally, your massage room should be in a quiet location without much noise coming in from outside (traffic, passersby). But if you are noticing some outside noise getting through, you can always consider double-panning the windows or applying a seal to your doors.

Then, once you have a quiet space, you can think about the music and/or natural/ambient sounds you want to use. While different clients are going to have different preferences, playing soothing music will relax clients and help lead to a better overall experience.

Bonus: Our Favorite Spotify Playlists for Setting a Zen Mood

Scent

Instead of artificial scents (who wants that?!), use scented candles with natural essential oils. You can also try essential oil burners or fresh flowers to help lift your client’s mood during the massage! 

Bonus: Our Favorite Resources on Essentials Oils and Candles

For even more design inspiration, check out our guides to other spaces, such as salons and fitness studios.