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Relaxing in the Riad – a Hall Garden for Your Home

22 Jan

La Sultana is a Riad hotel. This means the hotel is built around a breathtaking interior courtyard which all of the rooms open out onto. The Riad is a hallmark of Moorish architecture.

What is super spa cool about a riad is it allows us to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors without passersby or neighbors ogling our oasis. It also truly brings the outside in. Imagine walking out your bedroom in the morning to a tranquil fountain and birds chirping as you go to breakfast! Now that’s a Wow Wakeup!

The trouble is many of us don’t live in the climate suitable to open air living all year – can you say snow? Brrr. BUT, we can bring some of that riad vibe to our houses. I’m thinking hall garden:

The Hall Garden

So you don’t really want to swing your bedroom door open to a frozen tundra in the AM. But. . . what about the sound of a bubbling fountain? Coming out of the bedroom, to me, is a symbolic act that says “Hey world I got out of bed, bring it on!” Live  this statement to the fullest, by creating a garden in your hall.


Hall to the Courtyard at La Sultana. Note the ceiling detail, pearlescent walls and tile floor.

The hall to the courtyard at La Sultana - note the pearlescent walls and white tile floor

1. Fountain

For instance, a wall fountain outside your bedroom door or at the end of the hall (always test the fountain in the shop for splashing. . . we don’t want’ to ruin our floors or carpets)

If you are worried about your flooring it doesn’t even have to run, just the aesthetics are enough to set the mood.

I know what you’re thinking this is a huge project. Well it doesn’t have to be. You can buy beautiful fountains that can simply be plugged in like the one below from Tazi Designs. It even has wheels to easily reposition.

No one will ever know this fountain is plug in and go!

If you’re a DIY diva make your own. Step by Step instructions over at Gardenguides.

2. Plants

Flank your fountain with a few potted plants. In Morocco, you’re likely to find herbs like Bay Laurel and Rosemary growing in the courtyard. If you have a sunny, bright hallway these will not only smell wonderful, but can be used in your tajine dishes. If you’re hall is dim, go for a structured plant like Mother in Law’s tongue.

Bay Laurel

If you pick a fountain with a ledge small mosaic pots set on them add color & character & keep plants off the floor.

3. Bench

While it’s fairly unlikely you’re going to sit in your hall, a narrow bench serves as a visual cue to relax. And you’ll be surprised how much you may actually use it, to put on shoes or while waiting for the bathroom perhaps. Wood or iron work well, or try an upholstered one to add more warmth & comfort.

4. Lighting

These lacy sconces lining your wall have a cutout pattern allows small bits of light to peek out, giving a starry effect at night. Very soothing way to say goodnight to the world.

5. Paint

Riad courtyards are usually white. Note how this hall at La Sultana leading to the courtyard is pearlescent to reflect the natural light. This pearlescent paint from Modern Masters in either Oyster or Camel will quickly fill your hall garden with light.

Modern Masters Pearlescent Camel

Live, Love and Lounge



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

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