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Chiva Som Styled Boudoir & a Tranquility Tree

15 Jan

One of Chiva Som’s star accommodations is the Golden Bo Suite. With separate day, dining and living areas plus the bedroom it’s definitely not your typical hotel room. So let’s steal some of this style for our own boudoirs shall we?  Caveat:  You must love color!

Golden Bo Suite

The Silk Road

This greenish mustard makes for an inviting bed cover.

Sumptuous Thai silk outfits every soft good & upholstered surface. So glam! The furnishings, linens, window treatments all sport it. But hey we live in the real world, dogs, cats, kids, wine drinking – Silk probably isn’t the most practical choice for all furniture and linens.

But, why not mix silk with more durable fabrics? For instance, go silk with pillows and sheets (trust me you’ll never go back) and keep furnishings and duvets in a washable blend. For instance, this Nora coverlet set from Crate and Barrel which is cotton.

These Thai Silk Pillow Covers from Decorish are an inexpensive way to update your throw pillows. And for less than $5!

These would look stunning on a chocolate brown chair or bench.$5!

Pan Asian Palette

And can we talk about those luscious jewel tone colors?  Brilliant apple green & grape accents, a slightly mossy green for the window treatments, a rich merlot accent wall, chocolate upholstered sofas and chairs.

Love Amalfi Red by Ralph Lauren Home for the wall.

Through the Looking Glass

If you have a large space that needs dividing, check out what Chiva Som did here. A large hanging mirror divides the day and sleeping spaces. It creates separation but maintains a bright and airy room by reflecting light.

*Note – don’t attempt this without a professional – a mirror that large will need to be secured into the studs to ensure a sturdy hold. We don’t want this baby to fall and break, talk about 7 years of bad luck! This large Solano mirror from Pottery Barn would fit the bill perfectly!

Ring Around the Tree

Though not in the suite, nearby on Chiva Som’s grounds many of the trees have wide benches built around the trunks. Not touching the tree, slightly away so as not to damage it.

Relaxing under a tree at Chiva Som

What an excellent idea to add some relaxing space to a yard that is more trees than open space. Take a few pillows, your favorite blanket, a glass of wine. . . and spend some quality spa time in the garden. This eucalyptus one from Improvements Catalog fits the bill perfectly.

DIY verson from Improvements

Live, love and lounge, Candy


The Dining Room & Patio – Ananda Style

7 Jan

One key element to bringing spa living to your abode, is to have a transition piece. It’s the thing that says goodbye world hello me. It could be a fountain on the patio, fragrant jasmine at the door or a supersoft rug in your foyer.

At Ananda, guests are welcomed by a herd of peacocks when they drive up to the gate! Talk about regalia! But not only are they signal you’ve arrived, but they foreshadow what awaits inside. Because the decor reflects their regal feathers.

Welcome to Ananda

For instance, the Viceregal Tea Lounge. Yes a WHOLE ROOM devoted to sipping tea! Has a lovely navy, royal blue, gold and cream palette reminiscent of peacock feathers.

Viceregal Tea Lounge

Bring a touch of Viceregal to Your Dining Room

Dining chair seats are a super quick way to change or add personality. This Kravet Woven Jacobean fabric would be stunning accented with short bullion fringe around the cushion (also by Kravet) for a truly regal feel.

Kravet Jacobean

Kravet Bullion Fringe

Walls take on a tea stained lustre with a yellowed ivory (like Hepplewhite Ivory from Benjamin Moore), accented with bright white molding. Use toe molding to create panels to frame your artwork. So elegant!

Hepplewhite Ivory from Benjamin Moore

Elephant in the Room: And don’t forget to put an elephant in the room somewhere – maybe a small sculpture, or in your placemats, on a bowl – they are thought to bring good luck! I like this Novica Buddha & The Ruby Elephant teapot available at World Market.

Posh Patio Ceiling

The Yoga Pavilion’s ceiling is another stunning design element. Almost like a real flying carpet, you can do your asanas looking at a sea of blue.

Yoga Pavilion

Paddington Blue Benjamin Moore

SpaHome Solution

I love the way this cozies up an outside space – perhaps your covered patio could use a color boost? I’m not saying glue a carpet to it (though that’s something I’d like to attempt!), but why not try painting it a rich blue? Paddington Blue by Benjamin Moore available at is a rich and calming choice.  *Note color swatches courtesy of

Next week’s feature spa launches Monday. I wonder what it will be? If you missed any episodes of Ananda click on the 2011 Weekly Spa Tour category tab to the right.

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

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

Top 10 Shun the Sun Picks

7 Jun

Keep those rays at bay!  This week the Sun Safety Alliance has designated as Sun Safety Week and the Canadian Cancer Society has proclaimed Nat’l Sun Awareness Week. And as a red headed freckle gal with a mom who has skin cancer, I’ve been called a sun hater who is obsessive about finding stylish superlative ways to repel the rays. (though really I don’t hate the sun! just what it does to your skin)   My top 10 cannot be without weapons:

Heliocare – These vitamins protect every inch of you & help fade sun gained freckles.

LaRoche Posay Face Sunscreen Ultralight  – Milk for you face keeps rays off and your face from looking greasy and/or ghostly.

Colorescience Sunforgettable SPF 30 Brush at SpaLook – I carry this with me everywhere and layer over my LaRoche sunscreen.  Helps even out skin tone too.

Colorescience Eye Screen Orb – Most eye sunscreens burn my eyes to tears.  This is the only one that doesn’t plus it comes with an adorable brush!

Beach Umbrella w/SPF Tote this with you in its own carry bag – use it at sports events, picnics and more.

Roxy UV Tech long sleeved shirt These shirts are cool enough to run in on even the hottest days and can be worn in the pool.  They also look fun with skirts or shorts.

Ahava SPF 50 Sunscreen Moisturizer from SpaLook This mineral based sunscreen provides immediate protection and gives a soft sheen to the skin. Use for my body only.

Physician Endorsed Sunglasses from Big sunglasses are always in – My requirement they must have big side arms to protect the sides of my eyes – no crow’s feet!

Oscar Blandi Capri Sun Shield for Hair from  This will help colored hair hold it’s hue in the sun & protect any hair and make it look super shiny.

Coolibar Sun Umbrella Bring back the parasol!  Portable enough to tote, you can take this on walks or anywhere you’ll be outside.

Juicy Couture Sun Hat from Zappos  This pretty in pink hat protects your face and looks smashing!

Spa & Sun Safe Wishes, Candy

The Molto Bella Outdoor Style of Boutique Spa La Serra

3 Jun

The center of an orange and olive garden is a lush setting for anything I can think of & even better – a spa. In the midst of such a place in Sorrento, Italy (the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria in fact) – resides the Boutique Spa La Serra.

Focusing on well-being & beauty, La Serra is housed inside the hotel’s renovated greenhouse & even has a signature treatment that pays homage to it’s locale:

Orange Garden This treatment begins with an aromatic massage with highly natural orange essential oil, followed by a scalp massage and a Jacuzzi orange bath. After some relaxation with a herbal tea, it finishes with a fantastic foot massage.

What I love most about the spa’s design are the decks that spill off of the spa into the garden. Perfect for R&R following the Orange Garden treatment. The furniture & fauna take a square deck from plain to decadent.

Bringing it Home

My guess is that most of us don’t have outdoor space even remotely resembling an orange & olive grove in Italy. But, I’ll bet many of you (myself included) have neighbors and other distractions that detract from creating a rejuvenating outdoor space.

Here are some takeaways to inspire a cozy place to canoodle:

Teak Loungers from Frontgate

– Focus on the seating – note the small table & large lounges. Keep the wood in warm tones – think Cedar, Teak or Cypress. And keep cushions/fabrics neutral. Stay away from large tables that invite work & create space between people.

Check out Frontgate for an awesome selection of outdoor furnishings.

Mmmm Orange Trees

– Use an umbrella to define the lounging spot & block out the sun and noise.
– Plant tall bushes around the patio for privacy & noise control. I would add potted orange trees like these from Williams Sonoma

for fragrance too!

Til next time, Live, Love and Lounge, Candy

From Earth Day to Spa Day: Home Design Picks from HGTV’s Ecothon

26 Apr

HGTV is a channel many of us watch thinking “I’m going to do that”. But after the show is over, cooking, cleaning and caring for our families tends to usurp our intentions. That’s why when I heard that HGTV was having a Eco Design marathon, I decided to watch & record ideas that suit the SpaHome lifestyle.

Green design saves money, protects our planet & strengthens our connection with the world’s beauty. Hmm, balance, tranquility & beauty, if that doesn’t spell SpaHome design I don’t know what does.  My fave finds from HGTV’s Earth Day celebration:

* Sources included are my preference. Be sure to check out HGTV’s website for project how tos and more resources.

– Use an old windowpane to build shelves using the panes as guides
– Wall mirrors are outdated. In your bathroom, re use your wall mirror by removing, cutting to the size of a picture frame & hang
– Give your house number and house a personalized artsy feel. Try a number made out of an old detour sign. Check them out at Eco-artware
– Repurpose light fixtures. Try taking your old chandelier & moving it to the front porch. Saves from going to land fill & dresses up outside spots.

Revive your home w/soothing spa soft carpet

– Used carpeting sounds yuck. . . but anso carpet has recycled fibers for earth friendly feet coddling. I love the leaves & animal print designs at Shaw Floors

– Fences transform back gardens into private sanctuaries. But fencing can be pricey – try using old flooring as a fence
– Compressed paper countertops (made from recycled paper) sealed w/resin are as durable as granite. Richlite is a good choice.
– I think I’ve found my dream alternative to granite! Jewel like glass terrazzo countertops are inspiring, coming in loads of bright colors made from recycled goods like vodka bottles. Cheers to that! Vetrazzo has loads of candy colored & neutral patterns

Green Bistro Countertop from Vetrazzo sparkles like emeralds!

– Choose drapery fabrics to reduce heating/cooling costs. For instance, a blackout lining keeps rooms cool in summer. Find it at Fabric website
– Mulch made from car tires is an earth friendly alternative to regular mulch and lasts longer International Mulch will even send you free samples
– Turn an old bed into a porch swing – I love this swinging bed on etsy
– Saving money is definitely de-stressing and rain barrels are a simple way to cut your water bills. They collect rain water which can be used for watering the plants. Home Depot has them.
– Another “flexible” and soft surface for your garden – recycled rubber pavers – probably the comfiest alternative to concrete ever. Find them here
– Looking for a fireplace? Try one that burns ethanol gas instead of electric or wood-burning. Eco-Smart Fire has the best range

Eco Fireplace No Chimney Required!

– Mold is anti-spa for sure. Using waterproofing membrane in bathroom repels mold and provides antimicrobial protection for those long bubble baths. Try Laticrete.
– Bring the outdoors in: turn a tree trunk into a lamp with a lamp kit available at any crafts store
– Branches like birch make striking accents for instance shelf brackets
– In HGTV’s green home, old stacks of magazines are transformed into a whimsical mirror frame. Check out this square version

– An energy saving kitchen idea: Induction cooking uses magnetic forces to heat metal pans without electricity & it’s faster than usual stoves. Quicker veggies and rice – Spa Cuisine anyone?

I was so inspired from HGTV’s ecothon I created a few EcoDesign spastyle tips. Join me in a few days for part 2 of the Ecothon where I reveal my EcoSpaHome ideas. April is Earth Month you know.

Spa wishes, Candy

Amazing Race to the Spa: Singapore

12 Apr

Sadly, due to technical difficulties I had to miss my beloved Amazing Race this week. BUT, I remembered Phil said the racers would be bolting around Singapore – so while I can’t do my recap – how about a visit to one of the top spas in Singapore?  If you need a recap, She Knows has an awesome one.

Singapore is a city that takes spa and relaxation seriously. The Singapore Tourism Board awards the top respites annually with Best Spa Experience and Best Tourism Hotel: Spa. And this week’s spa has won them both and SpaAsias’ award for one of the top ten spas.

Spa Getaway

The Spa Botanica is located in the Sentosa Hotel and a favorite of mine. Spa Botanica has the distinction of being Singapore’s first garden destination spa, it also has Asia’s first mud pools and float pools with cascading waterfalls. The mud in the region is known for it’s richness of earth and it’s positive life energy is thought to be healing.

If any of the racers are still injured, they can visit the spa’s Seven Eden Wellness Centre for a Traditional Chinese Medicine consultation or acupuncture. Or try the Executive Health and Active Aging programs and leave with a plan for living younger and more optimally.

But Spa Botanica’s most a”maz”ing feature are the meditation labyrinths. Lose your cares in this age old circle for escaping the modern world. A single path leads you into the circle where you can sit and leave your worries. . . then take the other path out and at peace.

Since the racers will arrive in the evening, I’d recommend they do one of the spa’s Galaxy treatments while they rest under the stars. For instance:

galaxy mud detox and massage
Submerge yourself in the bathing rituals of ancient cultures while journeying into the wonders of the galaxy. The Galaxy Steam Bath is the first of its kind in Asia. This relaxing treatment comes from a long tradition of cleansing rituals in Asia and the Middle East. Apply mud blended with essential oils selected to suit different parts of the body. Then relax under the stars in quiet reflection as you are soothed by the gentle application of dry heat. As the temperature gradually increases, indulge in a soft herbal mud detox experience. Complete you rejuvenate with warm drizzle shower.

and I’ll bet the gals especially would love the travel gunk washed out of their hair with one of Botanica’s Hair Spa treats like:

detoxifying scalp treatment
This totally reinvigorating experience relaxes tense scalp muscles and soothes stress-induced headaches brought about by a hectic lifestyle. It also removes excessive sebum and dirt from polluted air. A deep cleansing treatment is highly recommended for oily scalps. Detoxify regularly to prevent hair loss.

Bringing it Home: The Labyrinth – Meditation Hits the Spot!

Since it’s spring and we’re all getting down and dirty in our gardens, why not create your own temporary Labyrinth? Even if you have a small yard you can design a spot that will signal you to unwind.

One of Spa Botanica's Labyrinths

Typically a labyrinth is 50 feet long at least, with a set of loops that lead to the middle and then another set of loops that lead out. See Spa Botanica’s labyrinth pic above. But in our practical version we are going to use a spiral model with in and out counting as two separate paths. To Do:

1. Find the most secluded place in your yard where you can make a circle w/at least a 5 foot diameter.
2. Place small stones, bricks, wood or sticks along the outer edge of your circle.
3. Determine your material:
– You can fill circle with sand (if it’s more permanent) then draw a spiral in the sand from center to perimeter
– You can make a spiral with rocks – even river stones from the craft store work well. Start from center and make a spiral out
– Use your imagination! To finish place a small pillow in the center.

To use your Labyrinth:
– Enter from the perimeter and walk the spiral to the center.
– Sit in the center & empty your mind of everything but the sounds & smells of your garden at least 3 mins or more.
– Exit by retracing your path to the outer edge of the circle.

If you really want to go to town and do a complex labyrinth, check out this how to on DIY Network

Spa wishes, Candy