As an interior designer, I firmly believe that enhancing the look of a space will make it more inviting. Attention to small details make a big difference. The mikveh experience is much the same.
This mitzvah gives married women the opportunity to pause from our hectic lives and reflect on ourselves, our femininity, our individuality and our connection to Hashem. As we immerse ourselves in the pure mikveh waters, we feel a sense of freshness and newness. The experience is a special, beautiful and spiritual one, helping us to reconnect with Hashem, with ourselves and with our spouses. It is one of the foundations to creating a rejuvenating and exciting marriage as we have the opportunity to recreate a monthly renewal with our spouse.
The mikveh should be a welcoming and appealing place for every woman. Its aesthetics are very important and plays a big part in how some women feel about fulfilling this important mitzvah.
It has been quite amazing to see the emphasis that has been placed on improving the cleanliness and aesthetic design of mikvaot over the last number of years. My experience in designing mikvaot and participating in Yisrael HaYafa’s yearly mikveh competition has allowed me to share my design expertise and contribute to the aesthetics of the mikveh, making them more appealing and inviting to women.
A woman’s first impression of the mikveh is the walkway and entrance. Exterior signage is important to facilitate a newcomer’s easy access. Proper lighting is mandatory. I recommend lighting leading up the walkway to the mikveh as well as by the entrance to the mikveh and specifically by the intercom. Additionally, well manicured greenery or a few potted plants by the entrance door, or even a framed Welcome sign can help set a pleasing and peaceful mood.
The reception area is where a woman is welcomed to the mikveh by a warm and smiling attendant. Women may have to wait a lengthy amount of time, and therefore it should have a comfortable seating area, with perhaps a few accent pillows to give a warm feel to the area. Soft relaxing music will enhance the experience. It should also include a small kitchenette where tea and water are available and a bookcase or a couple of bookshelves stocked with a selection of interesting and inspirational books. A fresh coat of paint and accent walls can be transformative. Incorporate art, décor, fresh cut flowers and accent lighting complementing the general décor of the mikveh.
The preparation rooms should enhance the feeling of peace and calm. I It is here that women can take the opportunity to pamper and prepare themselves physically as well as mentally before immersing. These rooms should be clean and comfortable. They should include all the necessary toiletries needed for the preparation process as well as hygienically disinfected utensils nicely laid out in a basket or tray. An upholstered bench or chair will be appreciated. Incorporate a small shelf with a few accent pieces, a framed mirror over the sink and a small tray to lay out one’s jewelry. Soothing soft music, dim lighting and scented lit candles will add to the serenity and spa like feeling. Large plush towels or a robe contribute to a woman’s modesty when being checked or moving from the preparation room to the mikveh itself.
Immersion in the mikveh is the moment a woman restores her spiritual purity. It’s the ultimate moment of renewal. The mikveh itself should be clean and artfully designed. Consider using tiles of contrasting color or figured with flowers. Beautify the tefillot with frames or other creative solutions and allow women their quiet private time to pray for herself and her family.
If possible include a separate area for a woman to blow-dry her hair and apply makeup.The area should be fully
equipped with all the necessities encouraging a woman to take the few extra minutes to beautify herself. Hang a framed mirror over the makeup counter and provide proper task lighting. A full length mirror will also be appreciated.
The key to making the mikveh experience appealing and more inviting is to provide all of the necessities and amenities. An aesthetically pleasing Mikveh will make the overall experience a pleasant one, and contribute to the fulfillment of this important mitzvah.
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Sandy Brudner made Aliyah to Israel with her family. Since making Aliyah, she realized her dream of opening Sandy B Interiors, an Interior Design Studio offering a wide range of Interior Design and Home Styling services. She designs beautiful and functional homes for people living in Israel as well as for people living abroad owning investment or vacation apartments.