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Spa to Dorm: Create a Collegiate Retreat

10 Aug

Either you or someone you know is more than likely going off to college this year. Exciting, yet scary and fun it can be oh so stressful!   So we’re giving it a spa makeover!   Here’s our spa spin on how to tame those beastly situations into bliss & the goodies to transform your dorm room into a pressure-free paradise where you can escape, daydream and even do a little studying!

Dorm rooms are small & hard.

Remedy: Soften it up with plush picks. Small = cozy! Fragrance can make your room homier too – try vanilla based reed diffusers a feel good scent.

A flokati, shag or other furry rug like this flokati from Just Shag Rugs keep feet feeling frisky and the pillow sac from Courtney Cachet for Lovesac is downright decadent.

This flokati rug creates a cloud like vibe

Pillowsac Ahhh as good as a spa!

You may have a roommate

Remedy: Put a wall up.  Privacy is priceless and sometimes you just need some me o’clock.  A screen is the ideal way to block out the noise and retreat – when you’re ready to be a social butterfly again, simply fold it up.  I like the four panel bamboo one from Target – 3 panels aren’t as stable & don’t give as much privacy.

College is tiring.

Remedy: Craft a rejuvenation station w/soothing gear.  There’s not much space in a dorm room for spa stuff – so make what you include count.  We suggest a paraffin melter.  It’s fun & feels great on feet & hands – especially if you layer on lotion or olive oil before dipping.  *Note just don’t let your dorm mates know – everyone will want to come visit and play!

Trying to remember your party, er I mean class, schedule is tough.

Remedy: Remind yourself with an Inspiration Board. Great spot for your calendar & also pictures that represent your dreams and schemes.  Love these magnetic ones from Ballard Designs.

Any other college woes you want Spaaahed over?   Comment or email us!

Live, love and lounge, Candy


Wanted: Anti-Spa Spaces

1 Jun

Do you have a room in your house that you wish could be more relaxing?  When you come home are you greeted by piles of shoes & coats?  Maybe your bath has been taken hostage by 1960’s decor or an army of lotions & potions?

Let us take you from Chez Stress to Chez Spa!  At SATW, we want to help you transform your home into a haven.  And, no, this doesn’t mean sending the kids on a long vacation with the grandparents!  Seriously, you and your entire family (even the pets) can benefit.

Let us help jumpstart your home decor into spa more mode.  At Spa Around the World we’re using our spa travels to help you spa up your living space.  Beginning June 14 – we will be doing Spa to Room Makeover Mondays.


To be considered for a virtual room transformation email jpg images (low to medium resolution please otherwise my mailbox gets overwhelmed!) of the room.  THIS CAN BE ANY ROOM OR SPACE NOT JUST BED or BATH.  The images should show the different areas of the rooms.   Also, you must allow us to show the pics on SATW.

* you can remain anonymous OR reveal your (and your website/company’s) identity


If chosen, we will send you a short questionnaire to suss up your spa style and choose one of the top spas in the world to “model” your room design after.

Then we’ll blah-g all about it with ideas and fun ways to spa up your space.   Plus, we’ll include a virtual inspiration board for you with all suggest all the bits and bobs, colors and couches, and more to get you on your way to a relaxed room.

We seriously cannot wait to Spa up Your Life.  Til then Live, Love & Lounge.

Spa wishes, Candy

Spa to Home Room Makeover: Brown’s Hotel to a Cincinnati Bedroom

1 Jun

Recently a realtor contacted me after reading an article about us in the Cincinnati newspaper.  One of her listings was stagnant due to a dated bedroom.  After seeing my comments on the power of spa in “Bed, Bath & Be Calm” she wanted this room redone with spa pizazz.  Sort of like Designed to Sell – Spa Edition.

She was trying to keep costs down so we worked out a plan where I advised her on the colors, furniture, linens, accessories, etc. but then she would purchase & oversee the actual implementation of the redo.  Since the implementation is my least favorite part of the design process – I was all for it!

The View

Walking in, the upstairs was Architectural Digest ready- pristine, bright & inviting with a great open flow.  But, as I ascended  into the basement it quickly changed to dark & dank.  Definitely not very spa like, unless you’re a troll.

A set of double doors opened from the hallway into the bedroom putting me face to face with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the city & it was bright – like get my sunglasses!  There were also French doors leading to a private side deck.

But all these great features were ensconced with mismatched dilapidated furniture and various shades of offwhite paint on the walls & molding, combined with a king bed that was too big for the space – gave the feeling that it WAS someone’s basement – where stuff is just thrown for dealing with later.

The Inspiration – Browns Hotel Spa in London

The owner & I chatted about travel & spas while I took cues from her living room.  She definitely was traditional & keen on the monochromatic look.  She said one of her fave cities was London too.  Ooooh I was getting excited, I had just the right spa to base our redo on: Brown’s Hotel Spa in London!  The spa decor is mainly shades of taupes w/punches of green apple & black.

The tricky thing was that she wanted the space to be something she liked as well since she didn’t know how long the property would take to sell.  So her wish list included:  side tables for the bed & lighting for the evening.   The plan:

Walls – Warm Taupe slightly darker than the linens (Benjamin Moore)

Bed –     Padded Headboard – An overpadded square headboard would be made using batting & a down comforter over the batting to create a plusher look.  It would be covered in a taupe and black nubby silk.  Swingarm sconces would be added to the sides so we could use smaller side tables that would fit the room better.


Taupe silk comforter embroidered with diamonds with down underlay

2 Bed Pillows in pillowcases laid horizontally with 2 Bed Pillows in Shams laid horizontally on top

In front of the 4 pillows lay Decorative Pillows w/accent colors (see image below)

Dust ruffle Black & Taupe Dots


Shaggy Bedside Rug

Window Treatment – Wall of sheers with taupe tassels to hold in the center when open.  As close as possible to wall color.

Bringing the outside in to highlight the view

Furnishings –

2 Chinoiserie trunks to hide bedside clutter & fit into small wall space beside the bed.  Important to be on legs to add illusion of more space (pic below)

Fabric covered bench or trunk at foot of bed with storage ideally with accent colors  (pics on board)

Chair & Ottoman for corner sitting area

Doors –

The double doors leading into the bedroom were 1970 standard hollow issue.  We decided to change them for a set of clear leaded glass doors with sidelights.  This would lighten up the hallway with the sunlight from the bedroom and create a soothing transition into the bedroom oasis.

Spa Inspiration Board - The Brown's Hotel London


The client is still renovating so no after pics yet.  I’ll update as soon as I receive them .

Submit Your Space

Don’t forget, Spa to Room Makeover Mondays start June 14 – submit pics of one of your home’s trouble spots (ANY ROOM NOT JUST THE BED OR BATH) to for consideration.  More details here. We’ll respond as soon as possible.

Spa wishes, Candy