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


Tete a Tete – The Heavenly Headboards of Caudalie

31 Jan

I couldn’t resist sharing the inventive headboards & beds that the designers at Les Sources de Caudalie have dreamed up. Steal their genius for your own maison:

L’Ile aux Oiseaux

Got white sheets? Got pillows? You’ve got a bed and headboard. The frameless bed sits on the ground anchoring the sleeping area.

Chambre Prestige

Shutters from the old laundry house add warmth and height to this room.

SpaHome: Search flea markets, antique shops & architectural salvage companies for unique items like doors, shutters & other wooden items with textural interest.

Chambre Prestige 2

This bed is crowned and flanked with Toile de Juoy (literally scenes of work) fabric lined with gingham and held open by two large drapery brackets attached to the wall. Sumptuousness is attained by a. lining the fabric & b. draping it across the wall not just hanging it from the crown’s semi-circle.

SpaHome: Build your own Bed Crown. Here’s how to’s for a semi round one from Leah French the Flea Market expert on  Though ready made crowns are difficult to find, Horchow has a decent selection, a favorite below.

The deep bronze and delicate lines of this bed crown from Horchow keep it from being gaudy.

Junior Suite

The stunning four poster with canopy frame more than makes up for the blank wall behind it. So French Country, though, I’d love to see a canopy drape though.

SpaHome It:  At Ethan Allen the British Classics Montego w/canopy frame channels the lines and presence of Caudalie’s.

What’s your favorite? Invented your own headboard? We’d love to hear about it in the comments or better yet post a picture in our FaceBook Lounge.

Live, love and lounge, Candy

Les Sources de Caudalie Video Cooking Class via Gourmandia

29 Jan

Caudalie Chef Franck Salein gives video how tos for several spa favorites on Gourmandia.  Get ready to salivate over sumptuous and healthy dishes such as:

Bon Appetit!

Bordeaux Wine Tasting Class & Party

29 Jan

As a spa on a vineyard, its no surprise Les Sources de Caudalie wine tasting classes are a guest favorite. But if you can’t get to Bordeaux anytime soon, hold your own version with this informal Bordeaux Wine Tasting Party.


Wine tastings work best with 6 – 8 guests max. Otherwise you’ll need to start buying multiples of the wine AND it allows for each guest to chat with group re their impressions. I’ve created a complimentary invitation you can print on good quality paper & download:

The Wine

You’ll note the invite requests each guest bring a bottle of Bordeaux wine. This can be confusing as it has double meanings. It can mean a general Bordeaux – an inexpensive table wine. Or it can mean it is from the Bordeaux region (& a bit pricier) We’ve chosen the former for guests to bring & we usually add a few of the regional bottles.

All You Need is Wine!


Tasting Kit

Buy a wine tasting kit for the party like All You Need is Wine for the bags to cloak the wine bottles. Kits also include scorecards and placemats. If you enjoy throwing wine tastings, make copies of the forms so you can replenish.

DIY: If you’d rather not buy a kit, the internet has a wealth of free downloadable scorecards and placements. Hide bottle with a piece of construction paper taped around it marked with a unique number. Be sure to write down which is which.  A few of our fave forms:
Detailed Scorecard from Wine Country Getaways
Wine Placemat from Wine Country Getaways
Delong Wine Graphic Scorecard

Decor & Set Up

-Wine crates (most wine shops will give these to you for free): Stack them around the tasting area/room

-A red or purple tablecloth with a protective pad under to protect the Tasting Table. Patterned fabric remnants also work well. Bunches of grapes and corkscrews at the center with room to set tasting bottles make a centerpiece.

-Download photos of Bordeaux and have them printed on 11 x 14 or larger paper. Hang on the wall or in picture frames. Check out these from Stefano Molinari

This image from Stefano Molinari sets the French mood

-Lay a placemat for each guest on the table with empty wine glasses (we use clear plastic glasses for tastes) on each number on the mat.

-Put out snacks. If you have ice buckets, they make festive cracker bowls lined with cloth or a fabric remnant.


-Assortment of cheeses that pair with Bordeaux wines: Gorgonzola, Havarti & Roquefort Brie
-Pain au Chocolate: French bread with dark chocolate melted on the top
-Wine crackers for in between each tasting to cleanse the palate (Trenton are the best)

Trenton Wine Crackers


Party Time!

Once all guests arrive, uncork & cloak their wine bottles with wine bags randomly somewhere unseen to guests. Place cloaked wine bottled on tasting table. Give guests scorecards and explain they will taste and rate each wine & give their opinion as you go.

You can also talk about the Bordeaux region of France & why you chose these wines. Make it fun and casual – at the end of the tasting enjoy discussing the best and worst and compare the prices. . . And of course finishing the wine!
Salut! Live love and lounge, Candy

Virtual Bike Ride Through the Vineyards a la Caudalie

27 Jan

Doesn’t a sunny cycle through Caudalie’s sumptuous vineyards sound (and smell) di-vine right now?  Good news, you don’t have to travel to France to enjoy a relaxing, rejuvenating ride.  And winter weather?  Who cares?  Our Virtual Vineyard tour leaves from your living room daily:

Choose a Bike 

The Marcy Bike. Vespa vibes!

1. A stationary bike can be a reluctant exerciser’s best friend.  You can ride and watch TV and newer bikes are blissfully quiet so no sound stress!  I really dig this one by Marcy – not only because it’s uberquiet and can be adjusted for a harder or easier pedal, but the sleek and minimalist design makes it an elegant addition not an eyesore.

Convert your outdoor bike to indoor trainer!

2.  Don’t have an indoor stationary bike?  Or the room or cash?  An indoor trainer, like this one from Bell, elevates your outdoor bike to indoor status.

Set the Mood

Turn off the lights and spread grapes on your table for a healthy snack afterwards.  *And don’t forget the padded bike shorts for posh pedaling!

Take the Tour

Several DVDs exist for wine connoisseurs featuring trips through great vineyards of the world.  Our pick for it’s rich visuals & melodic soundtrack:  Exploring French Wine Regions.  Pop into your TV and pedal away!

Au Revoir til tomorrow, Candy

Les Sources de Caudalie Week 4 Spa

27 Jan

J’adore wine, relaxation and beauty? Then Les Sources de Caudalie is the spa escape for you. You may recognize Caudalie as a brand of skin care products carried by Sephora and the like. Well, the spa came before the egg.

View from across the Lake

Located on the Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte estate in Bordeaux, France, Les Sources de Caudalie brings Joie de Vino to life.

Les Sources de Caudalie

The Spa

Caudalie was the first Vinotherapy spa (a spa that uses grapes as basis for many of its treatments) & has even developed essential oils to ramp up the beauty & relaxation effects.

Thermal Bath in the Spa

A natural spring below the vineyards, supplies richly mineralized water combined with grape therapies. The spa treatment rooms incorporate wood and stone to mimic the vineyard’s terrain and to create a natural feel to the relaxation lounge.

Check out these vintner worthy spa vintage treats:
-Barrel Bath – soak up those anti-oxidants in a wine barrel brewing with grapes, seeks, stems, the works!

Wine Bath!

-Merlot Wrap
-Pulp Friction Massage with Fresh Grapes
-Vinoperfect Facial – with Caudalie’s signature exclusive fresh made grape essential oils


Lounge by the pool or cycle through vineyards.

You won’t find fitness classes here, but instead more fun fitness is gained via riding bikes through the vineyards, playing golf or tennis, or touring neighboring vineyards and the lush countryside. And don’t forget the wine tasting and cooking classes – hey raising a glass is good for the biceps, no?


Chambre Prestige

Its not JUST about the wining and unwinding here, the hotel’s 40 individually designed suites boast not a clone among the bunch (and I’m not talking grapes). For instance L’Ile aux Oiseaux located on “Bird Island” on it’s own pontoon on a lake or La Bastide des Grands Crus rooms that pay homage to famous wine collectors.


Restaurant La Grand Vigne check out that stunning fireplace & mirrored wall!

Even the restaurants are feasts for the eyes. La Table du Lavoir the former laundry house, even displays the daily offerings on the original laundry beater boards.

Watch from now through next Monday for bring it home ideas, including blissful boudoir decor, how to take a virtual bike ride through the vineyards, throw a wine tasting party & my own creation the Crushed Cabernet Ice Body Scrub!

*Thanks to the lovely Presse Dept. at Les Sources de Caudalie for the photos.

Live, love and lounge, Candy

Argan Oil Moroccan Beauty Secret

23 Jan

To conclude our week at La Sultana, I wanted to introduce you to a line of beauty treatments I recently discovered. There is a tree grown only in southwest Morocco called the Argan tree. The oil from this tree is jam packed with vitamin e & omega 3s and is a Moroccan beauty secret.

And you can treat your entire body, including your hair, with argan via Kae Argatherapie. You can purchase it online at Amazon. Super moisturizing for winter skin too!  Some of our favorites:

Exfoliating Hammam Glove

Designed to be used in a Hammam or steam room to exfoliate the skin. It really is invigorating! Works equally well in the bath. Take it to the gym for your next steam and double your bliss!

Natural Clay Rhassoul

Made of Moroccan white clay, simply mix this powder with warm water to make a smooth paste. Apply to skin, body or hair to condition and cleanse. It can also be left on as a mask. Multipurpose and exotic – we like!

Repairing Night Serum

Soothes and heals acne and breakout prone skin. Unclogs pores and reduces redness. I love this during my, ahem, girl time of the month to help reduce breakouts.

Savon Noir (Black Soap)

I don’t know what’s more addicting about this. . . the paste texture or the fragrance of eucalyptus. Sure to help unclog those winter flu and cold stuffy noses. Just slather a bit of this on in the shower and scrub with the Hammam Glove. It makes showers so fun!

Live, Love & Lounge, Candy

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


Mood music La Sultana spa style.

22 Jan

Mood music La Sultana spa style. The artist traveled through Morocco recording for 5 years.  A blended Moroccan music cocktail of meditative and rhythmic tunes.  Moroccan Spirit Perfect accompaniment to your Tajine dinner from yesterday’s post.

Tajine Cooking a la Sultana Spa

21 Jan

A tajine is a pot used in moroccan cooking, it sort of looks like a teepee. A flat dish with a triangular lid on top. It’s a beautiful table centerpiece and serving dish in one. And best of all, it’s a super healthy way to cook. Simply pop ingredients onto plate of tajine, cook for around 1.5 hours over low heat & voila!

Use the Tajine recipe from below as a guideline, but feel free to change the meat, spices, veg to your faves!

We really like the Cherry Moroccan tajine by Le Creuset available at Sur La Table

Le Creuset Tajine

Chicken Tajine from Group Recipes

4 x chicken thighs
1 x leek
2 x red onions
1 x courgette
1 x yellow bell pepper
turmeric, cumin, coriander, Red paprika, Fenugreek, cayenne
spice powders
1 x can chopped tomatoes
vegetable oil

1. add approx 2tbs oil to base of Tagine or Casserole
2. Slice onions thinly and form a layer at bottom of pan
3, Remove skin from thighs and place on top of onion slices
4. Slice leek thinly and lay on top of onion slices
5. Open tomato can and pour contents over the veg and chicken
6. Slice Courgette and make another layer (also yellow pepper)
7. Sprinkle 1 x tsp of the Turmeric,Cumin,Coriander & Paprika over
the contents,add Half tsp Fenugreek and pinch of Cayenne
8. Turn on heat (low) and leave to cook for approx 75 mins stirring

Live, love and lounge!