4 Ingredients that Make the Best Hand Lotion

By Krista Payne
Posted . Filed under Blog, Health & Wellness.

Winter is in full swing here in Colorado and as I sit here writing our weekly blog I watch the snow quietly falling and piling up outside. With that beautiful snow comes dry cold winds that reak havok with your skin. From dry hands to dry feet, cracking can start occuring.  So on the hunt we have been, trying to find a great lotion that will keep our skin moisturized and heal the dryness but not leave it overly greasy. THE best lotions we have found (and we have tried the cheapest to the most expensive) is this homemade version that combines baby lotion, vitamind e oils and creams and a bit of vaseline. People swear by the homemade concoction saying it has healed everything from cracked heals to eczema to psoriasis.

fotevescc jbl vaseline veo

So next time you jump out of that soaking tub, dry off and lather this thick creamy lotion onto your heels, elbows and legs making sure to concentrate on your hands and feet and place socks over your feet to let the lotion really soak into your skin. We hope you love it as much as we do. Happy New Year!

The Best Handmade Lotion Recipe

  • 1 Bottle of Johnson’s (Pink) Baby Lotion
  • 4 0z Jar of Vitamin E Cream ( I use Fruit of the Earth Brand)
  • 1 capful of Vitamin E Oil
  • 1/2 cup of Petroleum Jelly  (any brand, but I use Vaseline)

Mix all ingredients together with the whip attachment of a mixer. If you don’t have a mixer, any mixer will do. Blend the ingredients until they are a whipped, creamy consistency and all the ingredients are combined.

Place the lotion into a gallon size plastic freezer bag and snip one corner of the bag. Squeeze the lotion into a container. A pump style may not work as the lotion is thick and tends to be too thick to go through the pump but if you can find a reusable container that has a large hole where the lotion can get through this tends to work the best.








Copper Shower Pan Generates The Buzz

By Krista Payne
Posted . Filed under Blog, Featured.

PPCO Twist System


Diamond Spas got some exciting news yesterday. Our copper shower pan got one of the top 20 most requested products of the year. The oversize custom shower pan is done in a raw copper so the natural elements of the copper will appear over time with rich hues of greens and browns and sometimes even blue tones. A great addition to any bathroom design as it is such a unique product that is not typically seen and adds such a dramatic flair to the overall look.

PPCO Twist System PPCO Twist System

Blending Your Hot Tub into its Surroundings

By Krista Payne
Posted . Filed under Blog, Hot Off The Press.

Stainless Steel Hot Tub

As seen on Pool and Spa News

There are times, even in high-end custom backyards, when nothing but a portable spa will do.

That has happened to landscape architect Chuck Hess. He was building a very expensive pool as part of a whole backyard design. It had a vanishing edge on one side, with slot overflow on the other three. That detail alone cost about $1,000 per linear foot.

With all this in the works, the homeowners sprang it on the designer that they’d like a portable spa, too, and they’d like it placed away from the pool.

For many designers, this can create a challenge because portable hot tubs stand more than 3 feet off the ground and come with pre-made skirting. This makes the unit a little bulkier to deal with and means designers have to work with an existing aesthetic rather than create their own concrete spa tucked into the ground.

None of this stopped Hess, principal of Hess Landscape Architects in Lansdale, Pa., from designing a beautiful hot tub environment where homeowners could enjoy the benefits of hydrotherapy while feeling completely engaged in their surroundings.

Sometimes a portable spa is just more appropriate, whether it be because of budget or accoutrements.

“From a hydrotherapy standpoint, they’re ergonomically designed, they have multiple jets — they’re able to accomplish things in a more comfortable spa shell than we’re able to do out of [concrete] currently,” says Scott Cohen, president of Green Scene Landscaping and Pools in Los Angeles. “They’re easier to cover, they’re insulated, and more energy efficient.”

Here, professionals with experience designing pools share their perspective on how to build the best environment around a portable spa.

Make it the place to be

A portable spa is an incredible amenity, however it doesn’t always need to be the visual center of attention.

“A portable spa is a go-to destination but not a focal point,” Cohen says. “I create my focal points with fire, fountains, trees and plantings, but have a go-to outdoor room that’s got the aboveground spa.”

In many cases, this means creating a separate area for the hot tub, without trying to integrate it with the pool, if there is one. This can be done by using the same materials and design elements found in the rest of the yard, while adding planters, half walls and other borders to delineate the spa room, along with steps and stone paths to get there.

Of course, a tried-and-true destination is near the bedroom, where the homeowners can slip in and out conveniently. That strategy still stands, whether the spa is manufactured or a custom-built hot tub.

“[Homeowners] don’t want to walk a long distance,” says Shane LeBlanc, president of Selective Designs in Peachtree City, Ga. “I’ve noticed that if we put the hot tubs closer to the house, even if they’re designed with the swimming pool, [homeowners] tend to use it a lot more. If it’s farther away, they don’t use it,” he adds.

But that doesn’t mean the hot tub should just be dropped on a concrete pad.

“Often you’ll have the standard patio coming just out your back door, and they sit the hot tub right in the middle,” Hess says. “I get it — it’s very accessible to the home, but it looks like somebody dropped it there. Could you have placed it in a way that looked more inviting?”

When Hess needed to add a hot tub in the same yard as his pool, he decided to create a separate destination spot suited even for those not planning to soak. His solution was a shade arbor, and instead of placing the hot tub in the middle of the arbor, he set it to the side. This left space under the structure for people to walk through on the way to the house, or to relax on a chaise and chat with those in the hot tub.

“You can sit in the arbor and feel like you’re connected with the people in the spa,” Hess says. “If the hot tub were in the center of the space, you’d have to walk around it. I didn’t want it to be that much of an obstacle. Instead, I’m leaving the patio 100-percent usable, so it’s not just a tiny little space.”

But some designers prefer to blend the tub completely with the landscape, so they bury it in the ground. That’s the first strategy for LeBlanc.

“We want it to look like there’s a hole in the ground where this hot, luscious water comes out,” he says. “That makes it more desirable. We try to hide the [lip] of the spa as much as possible by cantilevering over it with either teak wood, Brazilian hardwood or large pieces of flagstone.”

Connect bathers with the area Though the hot tub may be placed off to the side, those using it don’t necessarily want to feel isolated.

Place elements around the custom hot tub that create a connection, making it easier for those in the spa to feel like part of the big picture, and for those outside the hot tub to interact.

Taller plantings, such as ornamental grasses and shrubs, can be placed around the hot tub so they’re on level with the top of the tub, as Hess has done.

“When you’re sitting in the hot tub, I wanted the feeling that you’re kind of in the garden,” Hess says. This strategy enhances the sensation of looking over the rest of the garden, while also providing privacy from other areas.

To enable more interaction while softening the bulkiness of the tub, Cohen likes to build countertops around three sides, leaving the fourth open so the equipment can be accessed for maintenance and repairs. Those inside the spa can take advantage of the counter, and others, who might be eating or drinking, can sit and chat with those in the spa. For this same reason, LeBlanc likes to keep the outdoor kitchen close by. This also keeps the drinks on hand so bathers can hydrate.

Designers also can invite conversation between those inside and out of the spa by setting it partially in the ground, so it’s raised about 18 inches, and building a seat wall around it. “This also makes it very easy for [users] to swing their legs over and get into the spa,” adds Bill Renter, president of Deck and Patio Company in Huntington Station, N.Y.

If the hot tub is lowered into the ground, designers can bring other features, such as streams and ponds, right to the spa. Koi ponds, especially, create engagement with the moving colors and fish.

Engage the senses

Of course, it’s important to engage as many of the senses as possible.

This starts by creating a beautiful view from the hot tub, whether of a vista off the property, or from a waterfeature or fire bowl placed for that specific purpose.

Designers also should discuss the possibility of stargazing. Though many designers tend to automatically place a solid roof structure or latticed arbor over the spa, some homeowners soak at night, and they might want to look at the sky. If this is the case, the hot tub can go without a shade structure, or one can be placed to the side, where it will throw a shadow at certain times of the day.

Sound can be introduced with the use of moving water or by placing grasses and leaves that sweep and flow with the wind.

Scent also should be incorporated, especially because some people link hydrotherapy with aromatherapy. This can be accomplished, at least during part of the year, with the placement of fragrant plants nearby. LeBlanc tries to avoid putting flowers too close if they will attract bees or bugs.

“A lot of times the bees aren’t going to sting you in the hot tub, but most people want to feel comfortable,” he says.

There are specimens that generally are less attractive to bees. Tea olive, also known as sweet olive, is preferred by LeBlanc and Cohen. The dark green shrub has small white flowers that aren’t extraordinary to look at, but smell similar to freesia, Cohen says.

Frost-proof gardenia presents another option.

“The frost-proof gardenia is a little disease-resistant, so moisture from the spa won’t create what they call hot spots, where it creates a fungus on it,” he says. Wax myrtles placed around the perimeter can help repel insects, such as mosquitoes, with a scent that people can’t detect.

Beautiful flowers that do attract bees can go farther away to be appreciated from a distance.

Professionals have a variety of approaches to the bee question. While some designers will, as a practice, keep bee-attracting flowers away from the spa, others ask clients about their tolerance for the insects. Still others don’t worry about it. But Cohen gives one piece of advice: “When getting into a conversation with a homeowner about bees, you never want to imply that you’re able to plant plants that have fewer bees,” he says. “They hear that as ‘no bees,’ and that’s not an option with plants.”

Hydrotherapy Tubs Proving to Help Arthritis

By Krista Payne
Posted . Filed under Blog, Health & Wellness.


woods townhomes 2

Hydrotherapy tubs have long been used as a way to treat injury and relieve symptoms of sports injuries, illness, and diseases. Hundreds of years ago, people realized the healing powers of water. We have seen evidence of this in Japan, Pakistan and Rome where it has been noted in history that the culture depended on their bathing routines for not just cleaning but for medicinal and social purposes. Various forms of hydrotherapy were essential part of early Roman, Egyptian and Greek cultures as well as those in China and Japan. The same was true for Europe, where public bathhouses were extremely popular throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, while bathhouses made their first appearance in the U.S. in the mid-1700s.

SF Bath houses

Water is the most nurturing of all the elements, yet we frequently take its restorative properties for granted. We turn to water when we need comfort. We take a bath to heal our aching bones, mend our weary spirits, or rid ourselves of emotional trauma. A study done by Therapies in Medicine showed that a daily soak in a hot bath for 8 weeks was more effective at easing anxiety than a prescription drug. Other reasons to indulge in a good soak session? Ease sore muscles, aches, and pains. The increased circulation helps elimination the lactic acid build-up in our muscles that occurs from a hard workout.

Today, hydrotherapy is often associated with luxurious indulgences at resorts and day spas or physical therapy during rehabilitation. However, with the wealth of bath products offered today, design professionals can offer their clients the benefits of hydrotherapy right in their own homes. Modern products – including soaking tubs,  jetted tubs and custom hot tubs – can soothe the discomfort of everything from acne and arthritis to sleep disorders and tendonitis, while improving circulation, decreasing joint pain and speeding the body’s natural healing process.