Spa Magic at Home

Spas have become a big rage and trend around the world. Especially since our hectic lifestyles and travels leave our skins dehyderated and bodies absolutely tired. I for one try to fit in a Spa appointment atleast once a month, and especially if I am travelling I try to take time out to visit the hotel spa atleast for a massage if nothing else. I know alot of people who do the same and I am sure none of us would mind having such handy tips at home to soothe our senses once in a while. Here again the Small luxury Hotels of the Worl (SLH) team has put together a few tips on how we can create a Spa at Home.

Les Sources de Caudalie, Bordeaux, France

Delphine Duffours, Spa Manager, Les Sources de Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa

“Relaxation is a question of atmosphere – even in the most ordinary bathroom, you can recreate the atmosphere of a luxury spa, thanks to some accessories and products. Here are my 4 tips to spa bliss in your own home – firstly put some scented candles around your bath. A soft light and fragrance will fill your bathroom, for an immediate sensation of well-being. Secondly, put on some soothing music. Classical, background music or natural sounds, choose what has the most relaxing effect on you. Then – take your time. Be sure that you won’t be interrupted during this “spa session”, give yourself some time to focus on your well being. Prepare yourself a cup of green tea and a plate of fresh fruits high in potassium, like banana, kiwi, or avocado, to help relieve stress and anxiety.Finally, choose new beauty products, with soft textures and delicate fragrances. Take care of your body with a scrub, take time for a facial mask, massage and moisturize your body and your face.”

 Huvafen Fushi, NIYAMA and Desert Palm, Per AQUUM Retreats, Maldives – 

Jason Sloan, Group Director of Spa, Per AQUUM Retreats

Home scrub for skin like velvet, it works! Mix up some medium coarse salt or sugar (sugar is milder in texture and better for sensitive skin), cover the sugar/salt in grape-seed oil and some lavender essential oil. After being in the warm to hot bath for five minutes the skin has softened enough for you to scrub your legs arms and body as you bathe, the scrubbing circular action will remove dead skin and the oils will nourish, soothe and heal. Use with a loofah or exfoliating gloves if you wish. After the bath, shower with warm water to remove excess oils and pat dry, moisturise if necessary.

For a very gentle effective face peel; wash your face with a mild PH balanced cleanser. Mix fresh lemon juice with live natural unsweetened yoghurt leave on your face for 15 minutes (avoid eye area) and gently wash your face. Use a gentle toner and apply moisturiser. Very deep cleansing – try this regime 3 times a week and see the difference.Bring your spa to your bed – try adding lavender/rosewood to the final rinse in your wash cycle for your sheets!”

To check out more tips on how to create Hotel style at your home click here

Choose your Art

Choosing Art work for the house can seem like a very daunting experience. Especially since art is an expensive investment and a very impactful one at that. Noone wants to make the wrong desicion. Here we have a few people from the team of Small luxury hotels of the World (SLH) give us tips on how we can choose the right art work for our house, particularly the living and bedroom.

Pudi Boutique Hotel, Shanghai, China

Janet Bao, General Manager, Pudi Boutique Hotel

“The moment they step into the lobby here at Pudi Boutique Hotel, guests feel as if they are staying in an art gallery. We mix oil paintings and sculpture from young Chinese artists with a modern style. Guests may purchase these art works and take them home to add to their own collection. A few tips I’d offer when choosing art for your own home – choose a painting the width of your mattress to hang over your bed for dramatic effect in the bedroom – pick out colours from the painting in your cushions and bedding too. It is well worth investing in special lighting to highlight your artwork. And I like to choose one colour as a central theme and select pieces incorporating this colour to draw my whole art collection together – at Pudi Boutique Hotel red copper is featured in most of our artwork to add a strongShanghai feel.”

The George, Christchurch, New Zealand

Bruce Garrett, General Manager, The George

“In the bedroom you can use symmetry for maximum impact with matching lamps and cushions and a bigger bed head or panel with a horizontal frame to create a dramatic and stylish effect. Use neutral colours throughout with a pop of colour in each piece of artwork to make it stand out. It’s also effective to use one theme (like a region, or era – here at The George our themes include iconic images of our city in the guest rooms and NZ artists throughout the hotel) and then have different types of artwork based on the same theme including photography and pieces from different artists throughout your home. Choose matching frames in a row to pull your artwork together and use spotlighting to highlight each piece.”

To check out more tips on how to create hotel style at your home click here

Create Hotel style at home

I love staying in hotels. I do. For me that can be a major high or low point in my travel plan depending on how good or bad my accommodation is. I just love the attention to every small detail that is given from the welcoming way you are greeted at the door, to the perfectly made bed, to the beautifully arranged flowers. I can just go on and on.  Some of my exceptional experiences has been with properties under the Small Luxury hotels of the world (SLH) profile.  Small Luxury Hotels of the World has got some of the finest small independent hotels in their portfolio. From cutting edge design hotels to palatial 17th century mansion, city centre sanctuaries to remote private islands, SLH offers only the best. Well as luck would have it SLH team has gone behind the scene at a number of their properties and got us tricks on how to create the hotel experience at home. Here are a few of the tips they have shared with us;

Photograph Courtesy iStockphoto

1. How to create a stylish vase of flowers

2. How to draw the ultimate relaxing bath

3. How to mix a spot on Martini

4. How to choose art to compliment your space

5. How to create your own home Spa

6. Create a Romantic evening and serve wine like a Sommelier

Monsoon Friendly Home

Well Monsoons are in full flow all over the Indian sub-continent, except Delhi it seems which is getting just erratic sprouts. Either way I think Monsoons are a great excuse to do up the Interior Décor of the house. Like I have mentioned before redoing the décor of your home does not have to be an expensive affair, but with a few simple tips can change the look of your home and make it Monsoon friendly.
Monsoon Decor, www.stylecity.in

Colour me bright
Colourful cushions for monsoon decor, www.stylecity.inThe dull outdoors with constant grey skies can be real mood dampeners. Hence, bright interior accents have the effect of uplifting the mood. But you don’t need to go in for a drastic change in the décor like changing wall colours or buying new sofas. Simple tricks like getting new colourful fabric colours for your sofa, or nice bright bed sheets for the bedroom or even simply bringing a range of colourful cushions can help uplift the Interiors of the house. The range of cushion covers could span from solid colours to retro prints to India-inspired motifs.

Fabric Trails
Do away with heavy curtains like jacquards and velvet or even cottons instead opt for sheers which help the light in during rainy season. Also fabrics like Wool and Velvet and cotton soak in moisture, try and avoid using them along with silk or woollen bed covers and carpets as they tend to attract moisture. Opt for furnishings in polyester and nylon instead. In terms of floor covering, first thing get a coir mat for to place outside the front door, and replace all the carpets in the house with rugs and dhurries that can be machine washed.

Kelly Hoppens

Scent of rain
ladylimoges-tumblr-com-post-45591837100We all have to agree, as amazing as rainfall smells in the nature and outdoor, with our over populated cities and pollution the smells accompanying the rain is not always pleasant. Trust me, in the 4 monsoons spent by me in Mumbai, the one thing that used to get to me most was the smell, there is an easy solution for that, place scented candles all over the house, they are also practical as electricity tends to go a lot during the monsoons. Of course fresh blooms are always a great option all year around as they make the house smell great and brighten up the space.

Furniture Design
In terms of furniture, that is not something which we can change, unless you have the option of putting it in storage and get out Monsoon furniture, so though simple solutions like Sofa covers can help prevent expensive sofas from getting dirty, wicker furniture is a great option for areas such as the patios and well as areas near big open windows. Mirrors are great to incorporate on walls to reflect the nature outside (if you have a good view) and also increase the light.

India Inspired Decor

When we say Indian Interiors, the first thought in everyones mind is large palatial homes with a lot of carved woodwork and mirrors. While that was true till a few years ago, with the coming of nuclear families and smaller homes things have changed. Here are some innovative ideas of how we can incorporate Indian Home decor into our homes.

Colours: India is a land known for a lot of vivacious and bright colours. A great way to incorporate colours into homes is by adding colours like hot pink, turquoise blue and yellow or even jewelled tones like ruby, sapphire and emerald through upholstery like cushions, rugs and throws. An innovative way to add colour is via lots of colourful bottles and maybe even a coloured glass chandelier.

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Good Earth

Prints and Patterns: India has a large variety of prints to choose from; ikat, paisley and bandhini are just some assorted styles. Instead of just going for printed upholstery, we have the options of Indian print tiles, wallpaper and even crockery. Just incorporate a few of these into your homes for that Indian touch.

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Good Earth

Metals: India is known for its vast use of metals like silver, gold, copper and brass. You can get in some metal artefacts, light fittings and even jars and cutlery

shutterstock_302210372
Shutterstock

Woodwork: While heavy, carved furniture and was a norm till the 90’s, the increase in wood prices and small home spaces has made it impractical to have heavy furniture. Now a great way to incorporate wood work is though lattice print screens in the backdrop instead of a wall paper or even as a partition. If possible it could also make an interesting ceiling

http://www.sohautestyle.com/2008/07/global-chic.html
http://www.sohautestyle.com/2008/07/global-chic.html

Art and Sculptures: With its vast history and mythology, Indian art works and sculptures make for an artists dream. You can add a variety of Indian God statues, or even go in for traditional Indian artwork replicas like Tanjore paintings, Madhubani Painting or even miniature paintings. Or try to get statement light fittings inspired by India

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Elle Decor

Flowers: A great addition to Indian homes is typical Indian flowers like Marigold, Indian Roses and Jasmines to your living room. They look fresh and all have a lovely smell

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Elle Decor

Do let me know how these tips work out for transforming your room to and Indian Inspired room.

 

Review: Flick a Dish Cafe, New Delhi

Having stayed away from home in a different city for almost 4 years, I know that nothing can take away the feeling of missing Home cooked food. As a matter of fact, eating out is just never as good and given the crazy lifestyle we all lead, cooking dinner each day seems like very difficult task, so we end up avoiding doing so. Keeping this concept of ‘Ghar ka Khana’ in mind we have a new cosy cafe, called Flick a dish.

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The cafe looks like someones living room, with red walls and curios across the walls, vintage table clothes, antique teapots and old Bollywood movie posters. A little off the main Ring road in Delhi, the idea behind this cafe is to satiate all those desires for home cooked food. Most dishes have kept authentic flavours in mind, but there are a few experimental dishes like Omelette curry. We wanted to have a simple meal, so besides the omelette we tried the Paneer Mumtaz and Chicken Korma along with Tawa roti. But even most other dishes like Chicken Pakora, Baked mushroom in white sauce, Malai Kofta, Mutton cutlets and mutton chops looked quite delicious, a must try for next time and looked right out of our grandmothers kitchen. IMG_6347

The restaurant is run by Mrs Jyoti Mathur, the author of ‘My Cooking Recipe book for Special Children’, who believes in making every meal a memorable experience. With a very simple menu, the experience is definitely something I would recommend you go for if you are craving a simple no fuss meal in what could be your grandmothers living room.    

Name: Flick A Dish Cafe
Address: A-66, Dayanand Colony, Lajpat Nagar-4, New Delhi – 110024
Contact: 011-26472292-93, 9810115058
Timings: 12 noon till 11pm
Meal for two: Rs 800

Monsoon Makeover Tips By D’Decor

Monsoon is a great time to give your abode a practical yet vibrant makeover. D’Decor, provides some useful tips and trends to re-invent your home décor this Monsoon.
With plenty of black and grays outside, it is a definite no-no for the interiors. Whites and creams can also be avoided as they get difficult to maintain, especially if you have kids in the house.Monsoon calls for warm and bright colors such as ochre, coral, shades of red or neon pastels.  Lend a refreshing change to your home décor with vibrant colors, quirky printed fabrics and accessories to add a touch of liveliness.

Tropical dreaming. Styled by Ruth Welsby
Tropical dreaming. Styled by Ruth Welsby

With overcast skies, one would need whatever light that can enter the home to enhance the bright colors and reflective surfaces. Use light cotton or sheer curtains or blinds which do not have lining, to allow sufficient light to enter the room, yet providing the privacy needed.

Image @ D' Decor
Image @ D’ Decor

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Small colorful cotton rugs and mats are a surely recommended as add ons, so that one can clean their feet before jumping on the bed. Keep the bed clean as well as dry, such that you do not need to change the linen frequently. Cover the beds during the day with bed-covers made from blended fabrics and sit back and enjoy the pleasant weather!

Review: Tamra, Shangri-La, New Delhi

Tamra, the new all-day dining at the Shangri-la, takes its inspiration from the early ages of culinary evolution when copper (tamra) vessels were key components. I think the concept and the visual appeal of Tamra is fabulous. Tamra brings a high level of creativity to the casual dining scenario with a large variety of food offerings from around the world. It successfully brings old world charm and presents it in a new avatar,as it borrows its decor inspiration from the early trading markets when Indian spices, jute, copper, silk, leather and other items were appreciated at shores all over the world. Even the interactive kitchens are a tribute to the early market place, where Chefs showed off their skills and produced culinary delights to sell to traders and visitors.

Tamra, Shangri-la, www.stylecity.in

Walking into Tamra was quite a pleasant surprise for me as I am not used to seeing Hotel coffee shops go through such creative ideas and style the space. Tamra has a unique five, live kitchen concept, along with an elegant wooden bar next to the entrance. Conceptualized by the renowned Dubai based Stickman Design, the restaurant is a visual depiction of culinary delights from around the world. From the wheat grass lined planter boxes that form the backdrop to the continental station to Copper hanging pots that are displayed over the two infinity tables where mirrored walls provide an exaggerated view,the space gets an overall warm and convivial character

Tamra, Shangri-la, www.stylecity.in

Led by the hotels Executive Chef Martin Bracker, Tamra’s open theatre stations are Asian, Indian and regional, Japanese and Teppanyaki, homemade gelatos and a Dessert Bar, Cold Cuts, Cheeses, Breads and a Salad Bar. However despite the large Designed with intimacy in mind, Tamra has pockets of privacy screened off by decorative floor to ceiling jute rope partitions. Hanging shelves at the back of the show kitchens display decorative culinary installations and provide a quirky backdrop for the interactive kitchens while the counter tops are lined with signature dishes to showcase the food. The food itself is amazing! The variety and amount of food offered here possibly surpasses that of any other Hotel coffee shop buffet. They also have a ‘ghar ka khana’ counter which is perfect for the traveler who is missing home cooked food. Finally at Rs.2100++ (w/o alcohol) the buffet is also extremely well-priced. Piece of advice, go starving if you really want to enjoy the vast selection!

Sparkling Swarovski

Swarovski is the premium brand for the finest crystal embellishments since 1895. It is recognized for its innovative excellence, flair for trends, and its collaborations with top class designers and brands across the globe. Swarovski crystals have become a glamorous ingredient in chandeliers, floor panels, wall panels, building elements like door handles, soft furnishings, furniture and lifestyle décor accessories.

Swarovski Studded Mirror Frame
Swarovski Studded Mirror Frame
Swarovski Studded Door Handle
Swarovski Studded Door Handle

Today Swarovski leads the way forward working closely with industry experts including Anvi, Bharat Potteries, Carpet Couture, Dorset, GM Modular, Golden Lights, JJ Valaya,Luxaddi, Shimera, Stanley, Studio Plus, Tattva (Mukul Goel), Tilt (Mike Foley). These partners showcased innovative designer interior solutions like crystal inlays in marble and wood, decorative electric switches, crystal studded couture carpets and shimmering chandeliers.The precious ingredients used in the fashion, jewelry, accessories, interior and lighting industries can be recognized by the Swarovski seal.With its sophisticated design features, such as the hologram effect and tracking number, the seal serves as a certificate of authenticity that identifies products embellished with genuine Swarovski crystals.

As noted at the India Design 2015 from February 13-15, 2015 at NSIC grounds Okhla, New Delhi.

Review: Chew Pan Asian cafe, New Delhi

It is a pleasant surprise and joy to see bright and quirky interiors in an Asian restaurant, namely Chew Pan Asian cafe,  which is such a contrast from the usual sombre and zen interiors usually associated with Asian restaurants. But the decor is just the start as the food is equally delightful and unique. Launched in January 2014, Chew Pan Asian is all about experimentation with Pan Asian cuisine. The menu boasts of Chinese , Japanese , Thai and the Indonesian Cuisine and also boasts of an open kitchen as well as a live Teppanyaki grill.

Chew Pan Asian Cafe, www.stylecity.in

Spread over 2500 sq.ft. area the interiors of the restaurant are vibrant yet comforting. Walls adorned with the eye-catching black and white Aztec-patterned tiles have been carefully contrasted with Dholpur stone. Chew is a quirky, hip and vibrant restaurant. The furniture is a mix blend of booth sofa sitting, swing seats and turquoise blue chairs that make the dining experience at Chew super comfortable and fun! Asian inspirations within the space come in the form of carefully hand-picked ceramic plates and posters that adorn the walls and the elongated spice rack that features spices from Asia! My style pick was definitely the swing chairs which had been anchored to the floor, but as cool as they looked they also looked a bit uncomfortable, but then style before comfort I say!I also loved the wall with one liners, that included lines like “All you need is love, but also a little chocolate”, those pretty much made my day.

Chew Pan Asian Cafe, www.stylecity.in

Chew Pan Asian cafe, www.stylecity.in

The menu much like the decor of the place is quirky and fun. It is appealing and makes one want to actually read the menu without it seeming like an ordeal. For food, we asked the chef to get us small portions so we could try the various dishes on the menu. We started with the chew special house salad, which unlike what is expect from Asian dishes was actually not very sweet but quite fresh and light. We wanted to avoid Japanese dishes as it seems recently all we have eaten is Japanese food, so we stuck to other asian dishes. Of course the highlight was the various dumplings where they have something called crystal dumplings which i have never eaten before, but am glad I did as they were lighter than regular dumplings and we tried almost all on the menu. For mains we had Stir friend prawns and Chicken meat teriyaki with some steamed rice and some braised vegetables. We were very happy with both the service as well as the quality of our food. We ended with some Tiramisu and finger-licking chocolate molten cake. I would absolutely go back and have already recommended the venue to various people. Do try it for yourself!

Address: First Floor, M16, Outer Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Phone: 011 41516164
Price: Rs.2,000 for two