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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 Compost outdated food.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


Owly Oasis – Wise Finds to Feather Your Nest

18 Aug

Who knows better than a wise owl how to feather the ultimate nest?  Especially Owly from Hootsuite he’s been flying around at night & hooting my ear off about:

Hate the hard feel, not to mention the heat of your coffee cup? Warm up your Cafe and keep your hands happy with the Cupcoat from Bright and Bold

Who better to design barware than a DJ? Sagaform ice buckets, martini shakers and more put a Spa spin on your cocktails at Unica Home

Check out these exquisite stove hoods made from Greek artifacts by Phoenician Stone. Zeus would approve!

If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. Not a very spa like attitude, but now your kitchen can be anywhere you are. Wave of the future? We think moving around instead of standing at a counter is a more fun & active way to cook. Portable Carre kitchen concept designed by students for the Berlin Design Festival via DesignBoom

The Battersea Sofette is the closest thing you’ll ever get to swimming in butterscotch pudding. Ubersoft leather and brilliant lines make it comfy and beautiful. And double bonus, no pesky cushions to arrange and clean under. From Anthropologie

The Westin Heavenly Bed I’ve been sleeping on this the past month (living at a Westin) and have had some of the best zzzzz’s ever!

Live, Love and Lounge, Candy

HGTV Design Star Folly to Fab: Corkscrew Inspired Kitchen

3 Aug

Corkscrew vibe hardware from Bellacore

On HGTV’s Design Star Sunday night Alex chose a corkscrew for his design inspiration for the Sears Kenmore shoot project.  Despite everyone else’s astonishment at this pick – I thought it was rather ingenious – until he decided that it’s utilitarian function would be reflected in the appliance – uh boring.  So what would I have done?  Here are some ways I think a corkscrew could inspire beauty, comfort & ambiance in a SpaHome Kitchen:

Multi-Colors of Cork flooring Define the Eating Area

1.  The obvious choice here would have been the floor.  Cork flooring is not only ecofriendly (which we love), but softer on the knees and joints than hardwood, warmer and comfier on the feet and comes in various grades & price ranges.  Check out this beautiful example from DuroDesign

2.  Another route would have been to go with the shape of corkscrew.  I don’t know about you but the centerpiece of a corkscrew is the, um, screw.  It’s flowing spiral twisty shape makes me think of fun & frivolity.  Like corkscrew pasta.  This could have been translated in the:

a.  Cabinet hardware

Pulls & knobs come in a huge variety of shapes. Here are two that would have put off that corkscrew vibe.  A twisted knob by Bellacor and a piece from Atlas Homewares Scroll collection.

Scroll hardware from Atlas

b.  Faucet

Spiral faucets combine beauty & function.  The Krause Spiral Faucet pulls out of it’s faucet and swivels 360 degrees.  Awesome for easy cleaning.  Would have been a must have here for me adding texture to the photo.

How would a corkscrew have inspired your Design Star kitchen?  Let us know in the comments.

Live, love & lounge, Candy

SpaHome Tweetchat Design Series Launches

23 Jul

Over 100 twitterers, including top kitchen designers & foodies, joined the fun as we held our inaugural SpaHome tweetchat. Every month, we’ll get together to talk how to design our homes & lives for relaxation, beauty & style designed around a specific room in the house.

And we started with the Kitchen! Designed to tantalize & inviting us to linger are hallmarks of a SpaHome Kitchen and we dished w/expert designers and foodies on how they create their perfect kitchen.

Had to miss it? No worries – view the entire transcript – there were so many amazing tips & tricks for creating & caring for the ultimate “spa” food room you won’t want to miss a word.

Some highlights of what we wish for & ways for obtaining that low stress soothing kitchen:

– Great kitchens provide the ability to cook & entertain at once @savvyhost @cnaes, have lots of storage & counterspace @MrGuilt, & wide open spaces @cozifamily and room for friends to gather.

Where @ecomod keeps appliances

– @cupboards reminded us that designing a kitchen for entertaining is a balance of stations the classic triangle goes by the wayside.

– Islands are people magnets – though seating is a bit tricky. @cupboards suggested backless stools that are easily moved around. @lolamichele has a peninsula to connect kitchen & living area.

– The top cookware? Le Creuset in it’s technicolor glory such as onyx, lime, lemongrass and cobalt. It just makes us happy to cook in such beautiful vessels.

– Great tip from @thevcollective – add a piece of wood over your island range to convert it to a buffet serving area.

– Dream ingredients: Wine storage, seating for up to 8 & double ovens are highly desired as well as 2 dishwashers @noirblancdesign; as well as a personal chef like Mario Batali

– @williamssonoma @mellanhead @luckygirlamy want an outdoor kitchen – in the summer it’s a great way to get outside & not heat up the house w/meal prep

F. Paykel double drawer dishwasher

– @abcddesigns recommended the FisherPaykel dishwasher  Drawer dishwashers are definitely high on the priority list

– Many kitchen chores are retreats @trelost said that washing stemware is zen & several folks loved prepping veggies

– Often used items should be stored low – make top cupboards into curios like @cnaes

@thedailybasics Susan Serra CKD designed kitchen

– Fun idea: Chalkboard kitchen backsplash from @condoblues

– We need to cut down on the amount of glassware & plates we have to add storage

– To choose a paint color you’ll love check out your fave clothing colors

– Awesome way to create a bar from @vinoluci Remove bifold doors retrofit w/cabinets

– Fave kitchen colors, burnt orange, terracotta, chartreuse, black & white, mustard

– Top resources for kitchen hardware anthropologie, architect. salvage yards

– @ecomod recommends mixing cabinet door styles

– Granite care @countertoplady mild dishsoap and water with a clean, white cloth work the best and black granite is hardest to keep looking good

– The Miele built in hot beverage center is the coffee maker of choice

– Heated debate about carpet in the kitchen. I myself love area carpets to soothe my feet –

– For it’s comfort, eco friendliness and warm tones – cork flooring gets the SpaKitchen award, but for looks everyone loves slate and bamboo gets runner up!

It turns out there’s so much to discuss about designing the perfect Spa Kitchen that our August SpaHome chat will continue in the kitchen, join our Facebook Lounge on the sidebar  to register for our notification list.
Live Love & Lounge, Candy

Sieguzi Interior Designs: SpaKitchen Redux of the Day

18 Jul

Sieguzi Interior Designs is a design firm in Toronto Canada headed by Robin  – an interior designer & certified kitchen designer.  We are so lucky to have her as one of experts at the upcoming SpaKitchen tweetchat.  And I absolutely adore how she kept the personality of this kitchen renovation while giving the family everything they needed to relax and repast to the max!  Hear it in the designer’s words in the article below.

PS:  I agree with Robin about the cork flooring she used.  It is so warm and comfy on the feet & eco friendly! Super SpaHome kitchen.


Before & After
A Kitchen Update that Keeps its Charm

If you’ve been following the saga in Robin’s Nest of the 80 year old kitchen we’re renovating, you may recognize the photos here. While Peter & Jean’s kitchen was full of charm and character, it lacked functionality and space. So we were hired to help them increase storage, working counter space, improve flow and organization while remaining true to their home’s historical architectural details.


By the way, the flooring in the new kitchen is cork, a material that you might know is one of my favourites! It’s as versatile, durable and economical as it is attractive and it’s environmentally responsible, too!


Closing in a small back porch which added 18 square feet to the kitchen’s footprint, eliminating the arch between kitchen and breakfast nook and creating a large opening in the wall to the dining room has made a world of difference to the space. Instead of the cramped tired kitchen of the past, its move into the future is open and functional and ready for a party!

Courtesy of Sieguzi Interior Designs ezine.

A Spa Kitchen that exudes Clarity & Calm

17 Jul

Our pick of the day, a #SpaKitchen that exudes clarity, calm yet coziness sans clutter. Adore the trough with multiple functions, the fireplace and pass through window.  A simple way to add serenity to your kitchen is look for these types of double duty items like the one below from Kohler – saves space & time!

Kohler trough sink

Aptly dubbed The Intelligent Kitchen via Dwell Magazine.  Check out the video at Dwell Magazine

Spa wishes and see you Monday at the Twitter SpaKitchen event.

Spa”Kitchen” Flick Friday

16 Jul

In honor of the upcoming launch of the SpaHome tweetchat series SpaKitchen – we’ve devoted this SpaFlick Friday to SpaKitchen worthy movie kitchens. We found so many awesome designers professing their movie kitchen love we decided to share those plus our own.  Rent these movies to whet your design palate:

Something’s Gotta Give seems to be the film lover’s kitchen of choice.

Relaxing in Somethings Gotta Give inspired kitchen

Check out this family who remodeled their Hamptons beach house kitchen around the film’s from Washington Post

Pic From Everything Fabulous

Everything Fabulous has amazing pics of the kitchen and the entire house. Especially love her comment about unwinding here.

In The Land of the Women from Shelterrific

In the Land of the Women Pic from Shelterrific

Thelma Adams the film critic from US Weekly weighs in on her top pick and gives DIY selections for paint, counters (carrera marble a fave of mine) and cabinets.

Practical Magic from Attic Mag

Practical Magic's magical kitchen Pic from AtticMag

Set designers Robin Standefer & Stephen Alesch describe the kitchen which is the most used room on the set, as light, utopian & jovial. Action revolves around the Aga cooker no doubt symbolic of the witche’s caldron. Cream Ann Sacks tile also plays a role.

Kitchen Stories, Spa Around the World

Or how about a movie set in a kitchen?  For the anti #SpaKitchen try Kitchen Stories where characters collide in a clinical Swedish kitchen – an efficiency expert tries to streamline a farmer’s culinary efforts.

SpaKitchen Wishes & look forward to seeing you at SpaKitchen, Candy

SpaHome Kitchen Elements – Curves

15 Jul

Porthole Passthrough adds Light & Space to both rooms

Not to throw you a “curve”ball, but does your kitchen get a”round”?  Circular shapes are easy on the eye (and body when you’re a klutz like me who tends to bump into things!)  So, our fave SpaKitchen round up had to include these two foodie rooms that throw typical kitchen designs for a loop.   Bonus:  less sharp edges makes the kitchen more kid friendly.

The porthole window above joins the kitchen with the living space & though it looks into a decidedly square space – it’s a super example of how one circular element with a the marine influence immediately transports us to thoughts of soothing waves & water.

The gracious kitchen below exudes glamour yet is family friendly.  The arch above the range,  semi-moon seating bench and even the flowers partner with a cheerful yellow give a sunny, happy feel.  The bench performs triple duty as book storage, sitting and countertop/bar area.  Smart space for sure.

For Your SpaHome Kitchen

Though the above incorporate curves in architectural elements that require more time and effort than most of us have these days – you can get a”round” this by bringing circular/oval accessories. Consider:

  • Lighting fixtures

  • Tables & chairs

  • Vases

  • Linens/table accessories like placemats and plate chargers like this shell covered beauty from  Crate and Barrel.

See more Curvy Kitchen ideas at Better Homes & Gardens Kitchen Ideas the source for these pics.

Spa wishes & see you at the SpaKitchen Tweetchat event on Monday, Candy

SpaHome Kitchen: Aerin Lauder

14 Jul

Aerin Lauder's SpaKitchen

Aerin Lauder, Global Creative Director of Estee Lauder, is a beauty industry giant & not surprisingly a SpaKitchenista.   The soothing pale blue & icicle white palette in her kitchen could be an EL eyeshadow duo.   I find it really charming that her love for blue & white comes from her grandmother.

The corner bench softened with overstuffed cushions & casual wicker chairs from Artistic Frame make for the kind of long lingering meals I love.  The vase & light lend to the leisurely ambiance.  The colored floor ties it all together.  Spa kudos to designer Jacques Grange.

For Your SpaHome

  • Paint: Try Blue Ground from Farrow & Ball

  • Don’t be afraid to bring artwork into the kitchen for personality & intimacy.  Leaning it on a ledge makes it a movable art feast.

  • Integrate fabric fearlessly into your kitchen by choosing small prints that don’t show “spilt milk”

See the rest of Aerin’s home at Elle Decor where this pic was sourced.

Spa wishes & see you at the SpaKitchen event on Monday, Candy

What’s Cooking? Comfort & Style at the SpaKitchen Tweetchat

6 Jul

The kitchen is the heart of the home.  Parties end up here, families congregate here and nourishment & nosh are born here.  That’s why for our first #SpaHome chat we chose the Kitchen.

What is SpaHome anyway?  Spas are designed for relaxation.  Everything from the landscaping, the furnishings, the paint, the music & the layout promote tranquility, happiness & rejuvenation.  SpaHomes also have that je ne sais quoi – that engages the rest of your senses with sound, smell, taste & touch!

SpaHome reveals these secrets  – so you can create an oasis for you and your family whether you live in an apartment or a house in the city or the country.  But spa doesn’t mean blah – it’s living optimally with style & comfort.  So let’s spa up your kitchen!

We’re teaming up with Foodies Night In #fni by Cooking with Caitlin – the hottest food chat on twitter.  Stop by to dish with cooking, interior design & spa experts on:

– Latest accessories to coddle the chef (no more burned fingers!)

– Appliances & decor for beautiful & functional spaces

– Design advice to create a cozy spa like foodie retreat

– Strategies to streamline & de-stress meal prep


When:          Monday July 19 from 4 – 6 pm EST / 1 – 3 pm PAC

How:            The easiest way to watch or join in the convo is from Tweetgrid or Tweetchat putting #fni #spakitchen in the hashtag box at the top.  Or log into twitter and follow #spakitchen #fni


Oldcastle Surfaces – the largest countertop maker in the Southeast

Cupboards Kitchen & Bath

Susan K. Serra, Certified Kitchen Designer

Sieguzi Interior Designs Inc.

Noir Blanc Interiors

Follow along this week as we profile some of our favorite Spa Kitchens under the SATW Kitchen category.

The #SpaHome twitter chat series will be held once a month each focusing on a different room in the home.  Subscribe so you don’t miss one!

Spa wishes, Candy