Archive | Office RSS feed for this section

Makeover Your Mouse – Take Your Tech from Mundane to Marvy

29 Sep

I have a secret: I hate technology. Cell phones, computers & ipads all have number not name written all over them. And no matter how slick or cool their functions – they are so generic. What’s a girly girl to do?

Go on a quest to make them as personal and pretty as possible & thus more fun to use. A few ways I’ve spaahed up my tech:

Massaged my Monitor

What do you see when you boot up your computer? Courtesy of the pic of the Hotel Giardano Spa I have on mine – I get to take a little trip to Switzerland every day! Depending on your computer, you can use any pic as a wallpaper & you can even make screensavers out of pic collages. Here are a few ready made selections:

Sanctuary on Camelback

National Geographic Photo of the Day

Maia Luxury Resort in the Seychelles

Thalasso Spa Screensaver

Art of the Spa, hey that’s us! will have images from our calendar available shortly for you to download for your screensaver needs. Email us to be notified when available. candace(at)artofthespa(dot)com

Glammed it Up

Bling may be dead, but something as blah as tech devices – well they need a swarovski spa day, don’t ya think? Check out these:

Mouse from Crystal Case

Ipad case

Gave It a Facial

Phone Devil glare protector not only keeps your phone cleaner & better functioning, but it prevents squinting and thus, crows feet! Now that’s a double duty treatment

Give it plastic surgery with a decorative skin! If only we could change our skin as easily as Gela skins for your laptop case and your iphone case

Created a Spa Hotline

Applications can make your next appointment only moments away:

Ananda Spa App

Four Seasons Hotel Apps & Widgets

Do you have any favorite apps, screensavers or ways you’ve treated your tech?  Dish in the comments – we’d love to know your secrets!

Live, love and lounge, Candy

Advertisements

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

Wordless Wine Wednesday Bastille Day

14 Jul

Your private relaxation room in your hotel suite

While a Bastille is NOT a retreat we want to go to.  How about the Hotel Royal Garden on the Champs Elysee?  From the flower & macaroon welcome to breakfasting under a glass dome. . .here’s a place we can pause the world for a while!

SpaHome Tip:  Wouldn’t these dusty & dark grays and blues add a calming spa vibe to any office?

Spa Treat:

The back facial.  Leave it to the French to make sure every inch of your body is relaxed.  This treatment incorporates a self heating marine mud mask followed by a half hour of massage.  Backless dresses?  Bring ’em!

Wine Pairing:

Salut Paris!  The spa brings a bottle of champagne to your room every evening. YUM!

Spa wishes, Candy

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

SpaCandy: Perfection Sleeping Throw

31 Mar

Do you remember that reassuring, cuddly blankie that you had as a child?  You know the one. . . the one your mother had to keep mending or worse (if she lacked sewing skills) stapled together because you wouldn’t part with the tattered textile?  The one you wouldn’t leave the house without?

I would like to lobby for the return of the blankie for us (slightly!) beyond baby stage.  Seriously, what Spa Home would be complete without objects that coddle & soothe or just make us plain happy?  And scrumptious linens are a budget friendly way to do just that.

So I don’t like to think I’m regressing as I grow older. . .  but my blankie’s back & I’m never going to relinquish it!  Seriously, when I found the Perfection Sleeping Throw from Soft Surroundings – I was simply looking for something to keep me warm in my cold drafty Victorian house.  Honest – that was it – a little warmth – a perfectly respectable goal.

And warm it was. . .  and let’s not forget snuggly, supersuedy and featherlight.  But before you knew it, I began to crave it’s buttery bunny eared softness when I worked in my home office, as I fell asleep, in my meditation nook and during long road trips.

Though he made fun of me for buying the throw, my boyfriend soon shanghaied it every chance he got so I had to buy another.  And did I forget to mention that my cat, Miro, made it into a new cozy bed?  Ya know what they say, if you want the most comfortable spot in the house you have to move the cat!  Proof that the Perfection Sleeping Throw is the comfiest blankie on earth.

Buy it at Soft Surroundings .

Spa wishes, Candy

SpaLifeLibrary: Simplify Your Time book review

1 Feb

You may find it a bit odd for a spa site to be reviewing a book on time management.  But it makes complete sense.  If you lived at a spa, would you be constantly adding things and to dos to your day?  Overstimulated on every front?  What’s that you say?  You think a spa vacation entails doing nothing all day so it’s irrelevant to reality?

Wrong on both counts – spa weeks taught me a lot about how focus and determined action enhance my state of mind.  My philosophy is this – if you plan a week at a luxurious spa, you want to make the most out of it.  You’ll probably have a goal in mind too, lose weight, decompress, bond with your friends.

The difference is when you go on a spa vacation, you have a clean slate. . . no housework, job, stores.  Instead, you’re given a limited array or high quality activities & beauty/wellness treatments.   HINT: The best spas have guides to help you choose and plan your day to reach your goals.

But, the problem is once you leave the spa, you’ve got a whole world literally of things you could do, buy, eat, etc.  Well, think of Marcia Ramsland, author of Simplify Your Time as your Spa Life Guide.  She advocates that to live a less stressed & more accomplished life you limit your choices, know your goals & choose accordingly – sound familiar?

I discovered Simplify Your Time in my annual pilgrimage through the organization aisle at the local bookstore in my quest to get myself together.  Even a spa gal has trouble getting everything done.  It seems I am always on the run with a million things to do.

What drew me to this book in particular, was simplify.  Many other time management books are just ways to add MORE to dos with tricks to get more done. But simplify is becoming a key theme for me.  After my recent 6 month trip to California – where I lived out of 2 (albeit very large) suitcases I realized that I was getting by with so little and life was so much easier with fewer choices.   So i am more adamant than ever about cleaning out not just physical but mental clutter.

Simplify Your Time makes the process actually fun.  It’s divided by the four trouble areas that mess with our lives:  Simplifying – Your Time, Your Future Goals, Your Daily Life & Your Lifestyle. Some of the more useful tips I found:

– Plan your day in reverse, focusing on the good feeling at the end of the day and what you did to get here.

– REDUCE THE AMOUNT YOU DO OF THESE TIME ROBBERS:

1. Email   2. Driving   3. Working Late  4. tv     5. Shopping

– Schedule an hour of time for yourself each week – actually write it in your planner.  (Plus, Marcia incorporates Spa TIme as rewards – any organization guru that sees the benefit of spa time has my attention!)

– Do the 3 most important things on your to do list first

*  One thing I did as a result of this book, was employ a grocery delivery service.  In the long run, this will save me time at the store & money from no impulse purchases.

So if getting organized is one of your Resolutions – check this book out, it’s a quick read. It may even help you get more spa time in.

See You at the Spa, Candy

Promis’d or Punk’d Spa Style

17 Jan

Have you noticed how many products play on Spa?  Heck, there’s even a spa foundation, alas much of this is marketing hype.  That foundation may be good, but unless teeny tiny aestheticians leap out and give you a facial, makeup is not a spa.

In the spirit of wanting you to enjoy some spa time – and this does not involve wasting your money on products that don’t deliver – I thought I’d save you the dosh by reviewing whether these “spa” products come through as Promised or leave you Punk’d.

I’ll admit, I’m writing this with a blanket on my lap.  I am a comfort junkie & constantly seek ways to spa up my desk.  The other day I was on Levenger, a website with gadgets, furniture and other literary loot for those that love to read & write.  They are having a big sale this weekend & since reading is one of my cherished retreats I had to browse.

Now I’ve found some great stuff here, one of my faves:  a Thai reading pillow.  It’s a triangle shaped pillow with a fold out edge that holds your book at a perfect level for your body and eyes & keeps your book open.  Plus, it’s so much prettier than those hard wooden bookstands & blends well with my soft spa decor.

DeskSpa Foot Rest

OK, so I’m browsing & then I saw it – a footrest called the DeskSpa. Basically, a hard wooden footrest for under your desk with a built in foot roller in the middle for $98!

Spa Office Tip:  Elevate your feet under your desk for good circulation and better posture.  The addition of a foot roller gives you a caffeine free energy boost.

My desk foot spa - roller by Happy Company & pillow foot rest

Instead of spending nearly $100 for this contraption – which doesn’t even look all that comfy, here’s what I do I have a vibrating footrest and keep my foot roller beside it – much more versatile.

Some of the better footrests are: Kensington SoleMassager Exercising Footrest
or kick it up a notch with the Vornado SoleAire Foot Rest and Heater
(might have to do that myself my feet are always cold.)

The best foot roller on the market is The Happy Company Foot & Body Roller Massaging Fingers
see pic at right.

Now that will tickle those desk bound tootsies!  Verdict:  DeskSpa Foot Rest – Punk’d!

PS:  If you have any gadget or goodies that claim to give you that spa feeling – submit them for review to candace@artofthespa.com.