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Aqua Shiatsu DIY a la Evian Spa

7 Feb

Shiatsu is often compared to acupuncture without the needles. A rigorous form of acupressure in which pressure from the fingertips stimulates your body’s meridians (energy points) Evian offers it’s own brand of shiatsu while you are submersed in a pool of water.

Here are a few products and ideas to turn your next bath into a virtual Aqua Shiatsu session:

Do it Yourself

Feeling ambitious? Buy the book: Do It Yourself Shiatsu considered the bible of self practice. Master the techniques while you’re watching TV or relaxing then try it in the bath!

Aquasense Massage Mat from WalMart

Aquasense Massage Mat

Super simple to use and a bargain less than $18, the Aquasense Mat has massage zones with unique textures for each zone. Pop it into the tub, lay down and rev up your circulation.

Conair Thermal Massage Mat

A little slice of shiatsu for your soak

The Conair Thermal Massage Mat fully padded mat offers stimulating allover bubbles. The neck rests on an adjustable massaging pad, and moving down the mat, a dual back massager calms tight muscles and relaxes the spine.

Music

For Aqua Shiatsu ambiance pop this Shiatsu music compilation into your (watersafe) CD player.

Live, love and lounge, Candy

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Gourmet Baths a la Evian

6 Feb

A long relaxing soak is one of the quickest relaxation and beauty measures we can do at home. The therapeutic aspects of bathing are achieved at Evian by using water directly out of the spring & then upping the ante with infused baths for specific conditions.

You may remember last year, I wrote about the Hotel Victor in Miami which offers a bath in an entire tub full of evian water. Well you can do that at home (just buy it at Costco) if you’re feeling really decadent – but most of us aren’t going to blow $100 or more to fill our baths with evian.

But we can emulate the therapy baths from the actual Evian spa!

Chinese “New Year’s” Tea Bath

Tea can protect and moisturize the skin when added to a bath. The Chinese actually take herb specific baths at certain times of the year to attract good fortune. Since yesterday was Chinese New Year‘s here’s our version of Evian’s Chinese Tea Bath:

Take a washcloth size piece of cheesecloth and add the following herbs to the center:

1 TBSP Basil
1/2 C Ginger Root (Shaved off of a fresh ginger root)
5 – 7 drops of Sandalwood essential oil over top

Tie cheesecloth together and hang over bath faucet so water filters through the bag. Then throw and tub and soak away!

Alpine Essence Bath

This is the basic bath therapy at Evian. The tub is filled with water having been filtered through the mineral rocks at Evian and thus contains traces of Sodium, Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium. It’s also pure with no additives or preservatives that most water has.

This bath is noted to be good for anxiety relief, purification of skin, insomnia and eczema. And the minerals can be infused into your bath:

Sodium & Magnesium 1/2 c of epsom salts (aka Magnesium Sulfate)
Calcium: 1 cup of powdered milk
Potassium: Must be purchased from a soapmaker’s resource like Snowdrift Farm 1 Tblsp. add and dissolve in water first.

Ahava Bath Salts

If you don’t feel like gathering ingredients, Ahava The Source Mineral Bath Salts are rich in these four minerals.

Hydro Massage Bath with Plant Extracts

Red Flower Bath Salts

Because fresh plant extracts can be expensive and hard to find it’s best to use a pre-made concoction like:  Red Flower Bath Salts which contain chlorophyll to nourish the skin.

Live, love and lounge, Candy

Boudoir de Blanc Inspiration for your Bedroom & Bath

1 Feb

The Gilligan's Island exterior belies the contents of L'Ile aux Oiseaux Suite

The L’ile aux Oiseaux Suite (literally the Island of the Birds) designed by Maison Martin Margiela moves me in a way I can’t explain. How could this apres spa chambre be so avant garde & be located in a Gilligan’s Island style hut?

AND it’s located on a island on the lake of a world class vineyard & spa. . .sigh!

Trompe L’Oiel

Save the bath nook below, every flat surface that isn’t mirrored is trompe l’oieled with secret passageways, doors and faux architectural detailing. Very Alice in Wonderlandish! Keeping the rest of the furnishings and textiles white make this the focal feature of the room.

Trompe L'oiel Truimphant

SpaHome it: Try Trompe L’oeil wallpaper like this one below from Couture Deco

Or upload any image – I’m thinking a black and white storybook drawing would be gorgeous like the one below from Fine Art America for $50 – and send it to Block Posters who will turn into a poster large enough to cover entire walls.

Trompe l'oiel wallpaper from Couture Deco

Alice in Wonderland drawing

Lip Service

The iconic Heller Bocca Lips sofa with it’s solitary red mouth beckons you to sit.

Air kisses, the only "color" in the room, the lips sofa

SpaHome:  Buy the real thing from 2modern. Lips a little too out there? This Marilyn sofa from Funky Sofa keeps the sultry silhouette without being over the top.

The Marilyn Sofa

Opulence Underfoot

White carpet from West Elm

Waft across thin white carpet which is layered with white faux animal hides. The exact ones are available at West Elm.

Ikea Bomull Rug

SpaHome: Layer these flatwoven Bomull carpets from Ikea.

The Bath Nook

Curtains flanking a nook create a minimalist bath area. Narrow wall-mounted trough sinks take the place of a double vanity & create more open space. Distressed mirrors reminiscent of an urban skyline presiding above adding the right amount of edge.

Trough sinks and mirror in lieu of a double vanity in the suite

SpaHome: I love this Carrara marble trough sink from Signature Hardware. The gray veining makes it more forgiving for cleaning.

Carrara Marble Trough Sink for Your Spa Home

Walls are outfitted with tongue and groove panels clad painted in white.

SpaHome: Pine paneling about 1/4 or 3/8 inches wide painted white will give you the same effect on your own bathroom walls.

Live, love and lounge, Candy

La Sultana Style for Your Own Turkish Bathroom

21 Jan

Check out the richly patterned door to La Sultana's Hamam (to the left)

La Sultana, like most spas in its nook of the world, has a wetter version of a steam room called a hamam better known as a Turkish Bath. The style is best emulated in a real home by introducing a few richly patterned pieces and keeping the rest of the room toned down.

* At Home Hamam: When I want to purify my pores with a good sweat at home, I close the bathroom doors, and run the hottest water I can in the bath. If you have a space heater, also run that. Wait ten minutes & voila, your own hamam!

One caveat in mimicking Moroccan decor is to stay away from brass fixtures, or you risk your bath resembling a bordello. Here are some ideas for making your home spa bath Sultan worthy:

The Door

Moroccans say a house is known by it’s beautiful and individually crafted door. That goes for interior doors as well. It’s all about pattern & color. You could buy a ready made painted door like the one below. Or, consider having a faux finisher do one to coordinate with your current decor. Show a picture of the one below or La Sultana’s as an example. Depending on the location of your bath, consider only painting one side of the door so as not to disrupt the rest of your home’s decor.

A faux finisher could replicate this design on any door

More intricate, but still replicable.

The Sink

For as little as $200, you can find handcrafted patterned sinks – (preferably one to echo the colors and pattern of your new door).  Just the yellow door above and this sink would instantly transform a bath.   Check out this beautiful sink.

This sink would coordinate with either door above

Another resource for sinks and doors is www.justmorocco.com

The Ceiling

I don’t know what could take one on a virtual escape quicker than lying in the tub gazing up an intricate Moroccan ceiling like this one.

Yes! You can actually buy moroccan ceilings, or have your painter replicate one.

*Design Don’t – Especially if you’re having a painter recreate these stunning pieces, do not match them exactly. It will look staged and detract from the WoW factor.  Just make sure there a few unifying colors for cohesion.

The Light

A simple black lantern is the ideal choice. Just be sure it has enough glass to illuminate the room. Lights of this style tend to have a lot of metal, obstructing the light. Note* Make sure the lantern cannot be touched from the bath tub – against building codes in most states.

A simple black lantern

Shower Curtain, Towels & Rug

With all this color and patterns a-go-go, keep linens simple. Choose one color from your door, sink and pick your linens all solid in that color. For instance, using the ceiling above as reference, be subtle and go for the black or go for a pop with the orange!

Lotions & Potions

Wine decanters transform bath gels into Nirvana Nectars!

Clear glass wine decanters like the one below make elegant shower gel and bubble bath decanters. Look it’s a perfect match for the ones at La Sultana’s spa above. Put a label on the bottom of the decanter to remind you of what’s inside!

Live, Love & Lounge,

Candy

Degunk your Bunk: Five Fall Eco SpaHome Housekeeping Rituals for Stellar Skin

22 Sep

The first day of fall is upon us. And not far behind, winter. Most of us will be staying inside more and enduring the dying effects of heating systems. Not to mention the dirt & dust from summer residing inside our home.

Though we all hear of spring cleaning – is fall dirtening?  Not! Try these five tips to prime your palace for indoor living that’s soft on skin:

1. De-bunny heating vents.

Gross, I know – but dust bunnies often gather on & in heating units & if you don’t clean them, guess what? That “bunny” may just hop into your pores causing breakouts. Grosser!

Vent filters

How to: Remove vent cover. Wash in warm, soapy water. Vacuum inside of vent, then use a cloth to dust off the slats. (SpaHome Secret: Add essential oil to the water, your room will smell fab for a few weeks after.) Insert a vent filter like these from Home Depot.

2. Fall into the fridge.

You are what you eat. If you want a delicious complexion eat fresh. First get rid of the garbage from fridge & freezer. Pick out the popsicle from the ice cube tray. Compost outdated food.

Think about your fall/holiday plans. Do you want to lose weight? Are you hosting lots of parties? What staples will you need to accomplish your goals?  Make a list and go shopping. SpaHome Food Tip – Include lots of fresh salmon & veg for a fab fall face.

3. Freshen the entry.

Your door symbolizes the gateway to your sanctuary. A dirty, cluttered entry can lead to the same on your face. Ick! Cleanse your door w/vinegar & water & don’t forget the handle. Put away the shoes and other paraphernalia cluttered around it. Get a new doormat.

4. Orchestrate an orchid invasion.

Orchids are one of those plants that clean and add fresh oxygen to the air. Not only are they gorgeous to look at when summer color is fading, but they get rid of toxins and free radicals that age skin.

5. Launder the linens.

What’s next to your skin more than the fabric in our lives? Gather the tablecloths, place mats, sheets, throws and towels that you’ve been using and the ones you plan to use for winter.

Wash them in Anti-Allergen Laundry Detergent from The Ecology Works. It cleans and removes allergens from dust mites, pets, molds and neutralizes odors. Best of all it’s plant-based and eco-friendly.

What are some of your favorite fall cleaning rituals?  Share with us in the comments below.

Live, love and lounge, Candy

En”Robed” What to Wear to Unwind

24 Aug

Made in the Spa Shade

19 Aug

In the throes of August’s ridiculously radiant rays, I need some shade. Another kind of shade I crave are the lamp kind. A quick & simple way to change the look of a room, check out these sumptuous selections from fave resource Anthropologie:

Dressmaker’s Shade

The strands of torn silk layered on this shade add mouthwatering texture to a soft, neutral palette. I wish this were a hat – it’s so fashion forward. Set it off against a dark wall like charcoal gray or navy blue.

Secret Silhouette Shade

Empty frames reveal dog silhouettes when the light is switched on.  The frame motif is whimsical & even funny when the pups are revealed.  An iron base will add a bit of solidarity.

Little Somethings Shade

A linen & Cotton frilly sundress for your lamps.  Don’t you think it would be gorgeous against a dark purple wall?  So trendy right now.

Guelaguetza Shade

I’m always seeing those Mexican burlap handbags at the flea market & this is like one of those in lamp form.  A low maintenance & durable, festive choice for an outdoor or sun room.

Quiet Mist

An incredibly elegant handpainted silk drum shade with applique zinnias – in a word Renoir on a lamp.

Kissing Pleat Chandelier Shade

I’m a sucker for pleats slimming and tailored yet feminine and this apple green w/yellow contrast it’s so fresh – dress up a cream or white chandelier.

Live, love & lounge Candy

Spa to Home Interior Design: The Spalicious Style of Red Mountain Spa

6 Aug

Rugged mountains cradle Red Mountain Spa in Ivins, Utah, and the guests feel coddled as well with spa treatments, fitness & health classes & fun activities.  In addition to visiting Red Mountain, you can actually live there in their cozy canyon enclave called the Residences at Red Mountain.

The earthy color scheme of the villa decor reflects the desert.  The living room is a soothing sand with deeper taupes, goldenrods, rusts & burnt oranges of the surrounding red rocks & mountains.    SpaHome Secret:  Mimicking surroundings in interiors helps reduce stress.  Your body & mind don’t need to adjust or transition when the inside and outside environments are similar.

Kashwere throw

My favorite feature of this living room can’t be seen.  The sofa and ottomans are made of Kashwere .  As soft as a bunny’s belly, Kashwere is a microfiber chenille – their robes were made famous when Oprah named them one of her Favorite Things.  Red Mountain’s designers had the foresight to have the furnishings made from this fabric.  You may never want to get off the sofa – um room service please?

The Villa Living Room

Spa to Home:  The Living Room

While having custom made Kashwere furniture is beyond most of our budgets, Kashwere does make throws and blankets.  These can be tossed over your ottomans/chairs for instant sofa softening.

Bamboo Ladder from Gaiam

Did you notice the magazine ladder?  It’s a handy way to store your current reads and keep them in view.  Warning:  Do not overload – too many will lead the clutter and steal the spa right out of this organizing tool.   The best choice:  Go for a bamboo ladder at least 72″ inches high to bamboozle that reading pile with style.  Like the one from Gaiam.  A too small or fragile looking ladder will add to visual busyness rather than “sorting it out”.   Red Mountain also employs these ladders in bathrooms as towel racks.

The Bathroom

A slate floor & shower walls keep with the natural decor – while adding depth and signaling slowdown time with a new element.  SpaHome Secret:  Instead of matching towels to bath decor especially when the bath is all neutrals – bring in color from another room in the home with them.

Spa to Home Bathroom:

Normally I’m not a shower girl, but I’m a sucker for pebble floor showers like Red Mountain’s.  Walking on pebbles massages the feet, improves circulation and increases energy.  It’s something that can be achieved in any shower with the pebbled tiles available from places like Pebble Tile Mosaics.

The Bedroom

Double queen beds take up a lot of space, but the oblong arrangement of the guest bedroom looks inviting.  The fireplace does it’s share of balancing out the beds, but another tip is to keep the bedding simple so it doesn’t overpower the room.  SpaHome Secret:  notice the artwork, the bench and even the arrangement of the bedding echo the rectangular landscape of the space – this keeps the calmness & chi flowing.

Spa to Home Bedroom

Shawl from Shalincraft

Because many of us tend to overdo bedding (more is better right?) the way the linens are configured here is genius.  Reddish brown sheets, a white down comforter, 4 bed pillows (2 red and 2 white) and 2 bolsters to match the sheet.  Bulk  is minimized by making the centerpiece of each bed a lightweight wool blanket throw.

The ones from Shalincraft – e enlarged versions of a Jamawar Jacquard Shawl that the women wear there in India, come in bold colors.  Just fold into a  rectangle at the end of the bed.   For a less expensive idea, use a wide table runner – they come in loads of colors & designs.

Don’t forget a bench or trunk at the end of the bed helps define that space & can help defray the stuff factor by providing storage like this one from Target.

Live, Love & Lounge, Candy

Front Page News: Bedroom & Bath Spa Decor from SATW

20 Jul

I was super flattered when the the Cincy Enquirer contacted me for advice on living at home spa style.  We made the front page of the Home Section!

The following article featuring us & our work (including my top secret hotel bed tip) was published in January.  Click download and a life size version will pop up so you can read.

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Nate Berkus: Spa Dude and Designer Extraordinaire

14 Jun

On September 13, 2010, Oprah’s “cutie pie” designer Nate Berkus launches his very own TV show on NBC. It’s about time! In the words of a friend, “He’s my home design hero!” Love that – you know who you are.

In honor of the exciting news, our Twitter pals and HGTV design stars, the MoggitGirls proclaimed today #NateDay. Design bloggers everywhere are paying homage to Nate with their fave designs. How could we refuse?

Mouthwatering makeovers & astronomical adorableness aside, Nate’s design skill is what got him where he is. And, we feel, he’s a kindred SpaHome savant. Just as spa design captivated us – Nate is inspired by his surroundings too.

For instance, one of his favorite hotels, the Soho Grand in New York City, sports striped rugs in rich ivories & chocolates. Now check out Nate’s apartment – look familiar?

The Chicken. . . . (the Soho Grand Hotel in NYC)

or the egg? Nate's apt. from http://www.elledecor.com

And Nate’s no stranger to hospitality design. Just check out the hunter’s lodge vibe he did for Rockit Bar & Grill in Chicago. He used antler chandeliers and real dried tree trunks for cocktail tables. And we hear when he was in Seattle he frequented The Spa at The Woodmark Hotel. Sigh, a savvy designer and a SpaDude to boot!

Rockin the Hunter's Lodge vibe at Rockit Bar & Grill

So why else do we think Nate’s designs are spalicious? Let’s peek at the Chicago townhome of Producer Ellen Rakieten (designed in collaboration with fab designer Anne Coyle) and Nate’s apartment. (Full details at ElleDecor our source for the pics.) as we spell it out:

S is for Stress-free

If anything is the hallmark of SpaHome design it’s anti-stress.  Nate cleverly integrates useful, yet beautiful features into his client’s homes to take the stress right away.  For instance, in Rakeiten’s dressing room he installed silk upholstered wall panels to hold necklaces and mementos.  Preventing the omnipresent dresser jewelry tangle.

He took the same principal to her office, installing a cork wall to hold notes (I would so be using this for brainstorming!), etc.

The producer's office with cork wall to catch all that clutter!

Another destressor is the open walkways Nate plans into each room.  This gives an airy, bright mood.

P is for Playful

Fun objects in unexpected places make us smile and that increases endorphins which make us happy which makes us look ten years younger!  Gotta Love it and Nate is a master of whimsy – using his arsenal of objects sourced from flea markets to fashion houses.

A Leather Pig in Nate's Apt. Bathroom from Liberty of London

A is for Activity

Rooms are made for moving.  Into the producer’s home, Nate created a basketball room complete with backboard and hoop for her two boys.

Love how Nate personalizes rooms for his clients The Basketball Room

H is for Homey

What does homey really mean?  A place that feels like you, that brings your joys and passions out and provides respite from the world is our SpaHome definition.  Rakieten’s library is the epitome of homey a la Nate.  Off black paint by Farrow and Ball, a collage of pictures & intimate seating creates a cozy spot for cuddling up with your favorite novel (or design book!).

The Library - "Grab a book and sit a spell"

O is for Opulent

Like a millionaire in ripped jeans, Nate knows how to go luxe without pretention.  Case in point: Silver leaf wall’s formality is countered with a game board mounted on the wall of Nate’s office

Formal silver leaf wall treatment "foiled" with a funky game board

M is for Mixing

Nate is like the Kitchen Aid Mixmaster of home design.  He takes a little vintage, adds a pinch of flea market, throws in some European and blends in a bit of mod to come up with eclectic rooms that never look cluttered or cramped.

For instance, in Rakieten’s dressing room and bedroom, he sourced two vintage Baguès chandeliers to add cohesion between the two rooms but with a more personal feel than generic overhead fixtures.   Then he kept the rest of the dressing & bedroom, clean, white and bright to emphasize the chandeliers.

The bedroom's chandelier makes a striking focal point

E is for Everyone

What I find most appealing about Nate rooms is while gorgeous to gaze at, they are also super comfy to live in.  His designs invite and engage us to move in them and not through them. And that’s the most Spa Home attitude I know.

Congrats Nate and may you have many spa days to come (you deserve it!).  And once again, don’t forget, the Nate Show premieres September 13.  Be sure to stop by the other design bloggers talking about Nate today check out the list here.

Spa wishes, Candy