Utopia Blog

Relax Monday: Preparing the most Relaxing Bath Possible
Posted by admin on March 2, 2015 at 2:02 pm . Filed under: Uncategorized

It is important to take ample time to unwind, loosen up your muscles and rejuvenate your body and mind. Doing this after a stressful day will prepare you for the rest of the week ahead. Here’s the best way to prepare a bath that will make you feel better about yourself.

1. Run your bath at the optimum temperature and make sure your bathroom is nice and toasty, too. Warm your towel on the radiator and have some comfy clothes ready for when you get out.

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2. Lavender is a proven relaxant; research has shown that simply smelling the plant can lower the heart rate and blood pressure which puts your body into a relaxed state. Get some lavender bubble bath to make your bath therapeutic, lavender bath oils are not only soothing but also have antiseptic properties to help heal any small cuts or grazes you may have.

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3. Make your bathroom atmospheric by switching off the lights and lighting some candles instead for a soft relaxing light and comfortable glow. If you want to make your bathing experience truly relaxing and sensual you could even get some lavender candles.

4. Get an inflatable pillow which will allow you to lie back and completely rest your neck while bathing. If you haven’t had chance to get yourself an inflatable pillow then you can always roll up a cotton bath towel and rest your head on that instead.

relax-monday-3Image: www.catalogs.com

5. Applying a face mask will add to your rejuvenation. A face mask will leave your face feeling fresh and clean by deeply cleansing the pores; getting a cucumber face mask will also help to reduce the redness that is inevitable after a long soak.

6. Moisturise when you get out of your bath to continue the pampering process. Your newly nourished skin will make you feel replenished.

7. Get into your clean, warm pyjamas and read a book; you’ll be ready for an early night which will allow you to wake up feeling completely rejuvenated and ready to face the rest of the week ahead.

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How do you unwind on a Monday night?

 

10 Ways To Make The Most Of National Public Sleeping Day!
Posted by admin on February 27, 2015 at 12:31 pm . Filed under: Uncategorized

Feeling tired? Need a lie down but you’re just not in the right place at the right time? No fear! National Public Sleeping Day gives you the chance to sleep wherever you like, whenever you like on February 28th. So here are some of the best places you can sleep…

1)      On public transport
Didn’t get enough ZZZ’s in the night? Catch up on your travel to work! If you’re lucky, the person next to you may let you use their shoulder for a pillow.

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2)      In a shopping trolley
Just be sure to put the trolley somewhere it’s not going to roll away… 

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3)      In a phone box
If you hold the phone to your ear, people may not even realise what you’re doing! 

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4)      On a park bench
If anyone wants a seat, you can tell them it’s National Public Sleeping Day!

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5)      At your desk at work
Sometimes when work gets on top of you, having a snooze at your desk is the only way forward.

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6)      On the toilet
If sleeping at the desk is a bit too daring for you, lock yourself in a toilet cubicle for a bit more privacy.

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7)      On the beach
This is the perfect place to nap… and it’s unlikely that you’ll get sunburn in the UK in Feb!

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8)      In a basin
If you need a drink in the night, you’re in the right place!

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9)      In a playground
Sleeping has never been more fun than on a see-saw.

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10)   But when you have a bedroom like this, you’ll have no need to sleep elsewhere!

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Relax Monday: How to Completely Relax Before Bed
Posted by admin on February 23, 2015 at 10:18 am . Filed under: Uncategorized

You’re completely shattered after a long and busy day, but for some reason you just can’t sleep – we know how it is! No matter how tired you are, taking a few simple steps before hitting the sack is the best way to unwind and ensure a fulfilling night’s sleep.

1. Create a restful bed space
Adapt your brain to realise that your bed is a place for sleeping and relaxing – so don’t sit in bed doing work on your laptop! Make your bed as comfortable as possible and make your bedroom an area of relaxation which will allow your brain to switch off completely at bed time.

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2. Give your mind plenty of time to switch off
Watch your favourite film, listen to some calming music or read a book to give your mind a chance to get away from anything that may have been stressing you out in the day. Writing a diary entry is a great way to achieve this; write a list of achievements to end your day on a positive note. Try not to use electronics for at least an hour before you sleep.

3. Breathing is the most effective relaxation technique
Take deep breaths through your nose and out through your mouth; aim on pushing your abdomen out and in, yet keeping your shoulders and chest as still as possible.

4. Think about what you’re eating and drinking before bed
Milk is proven to help your brain go to sleep. Avoid consuming too much caffeine and eating too much before bed as your body will be kept awake digesting all of the food.

5. Dispel all your tension
Writing a diary every day is a great way to wind down and relieve tension. Being tense definitely disrupts your sleeping pattern, so a great way to assist your tension is to write down any of your worries and think logistically about a realistic solution. Write down your worries and solutions on a piece of paper and quite literally throw it away – you wouldn’t believe how well this gets rid of your anxieties.

6. Try a positive visualisation exercise
Think of a time when you have been most happy and relaxed and take yourself back to that place. Focus on every little detail of what you can see, hear, smell, taste and touch and this thought process should take your mind off any worries and relax your body for a good night’s sleep.

How do you unwind after a stressful Monday?

 

Get the look: Fifty Shades of Grey
Posted by admin on February 18, 2015 at 4:53 pm . Filed under: Uncategorized

1Image: www.digitalspy.co.uk

Fifty Shades has been the most anticipated film of the year so far and everyone wants a piece of Mr Grey – the ladies want him and the men want to be him!

‘Red Room of Pain’ aside, what we all want is his lifestyle of fast cars, sharp suits and luxury apartments.

Designer C. Scott Baker who did the set for the film has said that he aimed for the apartment to reflect the character by being modern and (of course) sexy – but how do we create this look?

Modern design is typically a very reduced style and here’s how you can re-create Christian Grey’s penthouse in your home with Utopia.

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This design from our Nadia range captures the elegance of Ana’s bedroom in Mr Grey’s house – a plush bed, chandelier and a feature wall with glossy wallpaper. This way, the design has the right balance between classic and modern.

3Image: www.elledecor.com

In the bathroom scene, we get a sexy glimpse of the couple in a freestanding bath. Whether it was done on purpose we don’t know, but the bathroom seems to be painted in a bright clean white, with various shades of grey tiles on the bathroom walls which reflects Mr Grey’s character and adds to the über modern style.

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Send us your ideas of how to recreate the Fifty Shades look in your house!

 

Relax Mondays: Making Your Bedroom a Tranquil Space
Posted by admin on February 16, 2015 at 11:18 am . Filed under: Uncategorized

After a busy weekend and a stressful Monday at work, when we get home we need to chill out and rejuvenate. What better way to relax than to make your bedroom into a zen zone? It’s really not that hard to do and doesn’t have to cost a lot either; it’s simply a matter of making a few tweaks to transform your boring bedroom into a soothing retreat.

A clear room equals a clear mind
Get rid of any clutter around your room, it’s bound to stress you out, If you’re not feeling relaxed, put that clutter elsewhere! For example, your laptop and mobile phone are probably associated with work, so leave them outside the bedroom. Replace these with more comforting things like plush cushions and chilled music.

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Make your bed indulgent
Doing this doesn’t have to mean going out and spending a fortune on a new bed and mattress. It’s the simple things than make the world of difference – get some good quality cotton or linen sheets (they may cost a little more, but they’re softer, breathable and they’ll last a lot longer too!) Making small differences like getting good pillows and a thick mattress topper will make your bed much more indulgent.

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Work on the senses
Scents like lavender are known to have a calming effect on the body, so spritz your room with some lavender scent or get a lavender candle to promote a soothing feeling and good night’s sleep. Play your favourite chilled-out music and dim the lights a little to give your room a calming feel.

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Get some comfortable nightwear
Soft pyjamas, a fluffy bathrobe and slippers really do make all the difference when you are indulging in a chilled evening. Having these in your bedroom will encourage you to relax more often and to make the most of your down time.

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Decorate with some soothing artwork
If you can, find some soothing pieces of artwork, in earthy, muted colours like greens and blues.  Shades of blue specifically help calm the mind and aid concentration, having a soothing effect. However, your bedroom is your own personal space, so go with whatever makes you happy.

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Relax Mondays: Turn Your Bathroom into an Every Day Spa
Posted by admin on February 9, 2015 at 2:30 pm . Filed under: Uncategorized

Wouldn’t it be nice if after a long day at work we could put up our feet and pamper in a relaxing spa?  Practically this seems impossible, but there is a way you can get that pampered feeling without booking a spa weekend! Here are a few nifty ways you can transform your bathroom into a tranquil spa.

Block out the rest of the world
Part of the luxury of being at a spa is that you are in a serene environment that is totally different from your home. Although this is virtually impossible at home, there are ways that you can block out the outside world in your own bathroom. Simply turn off the lights and light some candles. This way you’ll be able to take a break from life and just focus on yourself.

Pamper yourself
As you can imagine, when you go to a spa you are pampered with all kinds of luxurious lotions, scrubs and creams. So why not do this at home? Indulge yourself with some nice bathroom products that will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. After your bath, you could take this further by moisturising and applying a face mask.

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Make your bathroom aesthetically pleasing
Your surroundings really do affect your mood, so it’s a given that if your bathroom is a mess, you won’t feel particularly relaxed. Whether it be adding some decorative flowers or plants or arranging your bathroom products nicely on the worktop, your surroundings will feel much more spa-like and transport you into a feeling of total relaxation.

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Make the bathroom toasty
That spa-like feeling isn’t exclusively for when you’re in the bath, you can continue the feeling afterwards by warming your towels and bathrobe on a towel warmer (or the radiator if you don’t have a towel rack.) Also by using your fluffiest towel to dry off, your pampering will continue. Luxurious towels will also make your bathroom appear more spa-like.

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Appeal to all of your senses
Lighting some scented candles and playing some soothing music will also add to the spa feeling and put you into a relaxing space. With music and lighting you can also block out the outside world and imagine you are elsewhere.

It is that easy to transform your bathroom into a spa, so melt away the day’s worries and rejuvenate your mind and body. 

 

Doggy Bathroooms!
Posted by admin on December 11, 2014 at 11:40 am . Filed under: Uncategorized

Bathrooms for Dogs from Around the World

You may be surprised to know that bathrooms designed exclusively for our four-legged friends are starting to appear across the globe, with models ranging from baths, to toilets and showers.

So, to accompany our ‘12 Dogs of Christmas’ campaign, we did the research and found some great examples of these doggy bathrooms from around the world. In addition, we even took a detailed look at what impression these doggy bathrooms might be making on our shores here in the UK.

Bernie in bathroom

 

Stay. A Modern Dog Hotel – Chicago, USA

Our first few examples come all the way from America. The first, as the name suggests, is something which goes beyond your typical kennel. This fully-functioning hotel made exclusively for dogs comes complete with rooms, lounges and fitness areas. The best part for your dog though is their bathroom, where they can enjoy individual baths and personal washing and grooming services offered by the staff. Take a look at their website to see for yourself.

 

Dogtopia – USA and Canada

This particular chain of dog groomers can be found across America and neighbouring Canada, and along with their spa-grooming services they offer you a ‘Self-Serve Dog Wash’ bathroom facility. There’s a wealth of bathtubs to suit different sizes and breeds, as well as the cleaning and drying products you need to make your pooch spotless. This being the best choice for dog owners who want to avoid a watery mess in their Utopia bathroom at home.

 

Standard Pacific Homes – USA

This building company has taken their properties to the next level by offering to build homes complete with ‘pet suites’. These are essentially scaled down, all-inclusive homes made just for dogs that are added onto the main building.  The bathrooms are a particularly striking feature though, and their step-in, tiled shower and drying units that can be made to suit your dog’s needs. Also on the tiled walls are clips for owners to attach their dog’s lead, ensuring they stay put when getting a wash.

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Delta Airlines Detroit Airport – Detroit, USA

Our final stateside example comes from the Detroit Airport, where they have installed bathrooms for guide dogs and service dogs in one of their terminals.  These new facilities feature toilets styled as mock-up patches of grass complete with fire hydrants, meaning their owners don’t have to find their way outside. The thoughtful idea behind these facilities is to offer more convenience and comfort for both owners and their dogs when travelling.

 

Brisbane International Airport – Brisbane, Australia

If we cross over to the other side of the world, you can find similar canine bathroom services at this airport in Brisbane. The two toilet facilities feature patches of artificial turf for guide dogs and service dogs and as an added benefit for some owners, they are also fully wheelchair accessible. Brisbane are proud to be the first Australian airport to offer these services, which much like Detroit, give the convenience and comfort to ensure safe and happy travels.

 

Luohu District – Shenzhen, China

In a bid to keep the Luohu streets cleaner, this particular Chinese district has made headlines by introducing public dog toilets in certain areas. Within the Luohu District park areas, you will encounter fenced off squares of turf labelled as conveniences for dogs. While these may not be the most glamorous, they must have been a success as there are plans to install over 1000 of these ‘bathrooms’.

 

El Vendrell – Spain

In a similar vein to the previous example, this European entry has also seen the introduction of public dog toilets. This town in the north-east of Spain has drastically cracked-down on careless dog walkers by installing toilets designed for their canine companions. They resemble a normal toilet, complete with a folding lid and can be found on one of the town’s main streets. Owners are expected to get their dogs to use these toilets and then flush them afterwards, otherwise they can face hefty fines.

Dressed up in the bathroom

 

TopCamp Henne Strand – Henne, Denmark

This Danish campsite is the perfect choice if you are looking to take your dog with you on holiday. As you’ll see here, this dog-friendly destination has on-site bathrooms just for your beloved pets and they are spacious enough to accommodate a variety of breeds and sizes. The facilities are neatly tiled, feature a handy detachable showerhead and even have steps to help your dog get up to the washing area.

 

It is fair to say that some of these global examples of dog bathrooms do demonstrate a great deal of affection coming from owners towards their respective four-legged friends. At the same time, some of the others definitely show a degree of practicality. But, does this mean we might potentially start to see such things catching on in the UK?

Well, it would appear that these doggy bathrooms have already begun to make an impression on our markets. We are a nation of dog lovers after all, so this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. We too like to pamper our pets and what better way to show them that we love them than by treating them to some luxury bath-based treatment? Here are a couple of examples of some of dog-based bathrooms you can find on our shores:

 

The Pet Spa – London

This franchise has certainly taken a leaf from America’s book by offering London’s dog owners luxury grooming services. The salon-esqe bathrooms see some of the capital’s pooches being washed, dried, styled and, above all, pampered by trained members of staff.

 

The Dog Spa, Raithwaite Estate – Whitby, Yorkshire

The Raithwaite Estate in Yorkshire can offer a luxury spa weekend for both people and pooches. The lucky pooches, who have their own dedicated lodge, can be indulged with bath and spa treatments that would rival even the most expensive human equivalent. There are a range of packages available, from basic baths all the way up to premium pampering. Some of their baths can also give dogs a bubble massage to help them relax, while their owners are out enjoying what the estate has to offer.

 

So there you have it, just a couple of doggy bathrooms you can find here in the UK. If we look to the future, given the success of these examples, we could well see more and more dog bathrooms and conveniences appearing around the country very soon.