Spa-aaah Style

My husband just returned from India with video of the India pied-à-terre. That is our “second home” apartment in Chennai that’s currently half-finished, but that may change in 2015!

What struck me while watching the video was the cool calmness of the white walls. If done right, white doesn’t have to be boring or clinical. What I like about it is, it feels both bright and happy and as calm and soothing as a spa. When I walk in the door of the India pied-à-terre, I want to go “ahhhhh” and shut the door and leave the over-stimulating world of India’s urban streets outside. It’s invigorating when you’re in it but it wears on you.

Here’s some spa style as inspiration …

Pattern can help a white space be interesting not boring, like at the Royal Mansour white spa:

Royal Mansour Spa

Spa at the Royal Mansour

Indeed on the Royal Mansour’s website, they say:

“A door opens, the outside world slides away. What is left is pure calm.”

I didn’t know that was there when I wrote the words above! So they created this space with the same vision. We visited the Royal Mansour just a few months ago and I honestly can’t remember now if we got to see the spa. After awhile I was overwhelmed with all the pattern there!

Nook in Royal Mansour Spa

You can see they used a dark beige to add pattern while keeping the overall effect  white. The patterned screens are called mashrabiya in Morocco. They are like jali in India. So I’m keeping that in mind for our India apartment.

Texture and warm wood also help to make a neutral space interesting. The India apartment already has teak windows and some teak furniture, and textured tile.

Teak and Texture in Neutral Spa-Like Space

Again there’s texture in this bathroom featured at Lonny, but what’s also interesting is the inset shelf or niche is not the usual small shape. Details like this make a difference when the space is otherwise so unadorned:

Neutral Bathroom via Lonny

This next space has some similarities to those above: warm wood that is a prominent detail in a different shape. And the figurine – an apsara or rice goddess, I can’t quite tell. I’m not sure about a Buddha in a bathroom, so I’d hope it’s more like an apsara. It’s a little global touch I love:

Calm Spa Space

Here is another white, light and mostly unadorned space but the pattern and the shapes keep it interesting:

Moroccan Spa-Like Space

If you study what’s NOT here in these photos, there isn’t a lot of stuff and clutter. Clutter is the killer of calm. I’ve written before about the importance of restraint if you want a calm feeling.

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One Reply to “Spa-aaah Style”

  1. I love the overall decoration style. That said, I disagree with placing a Buddha image as interior decoration in a bathroom. In a livingroom would not be bad, but if your have any Buddhist guests over, they would be offended to see the image in the bathroom. It’s just not respectful if you know what I mean.

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