6 Gifts to Pimp Your Pad

Turn your home into a haven of happiness with a little stylish self-gifting.

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When it comes to holiday shopping, you know how it goes: One gift for your girlfriends from college, two for you. And why should you resist the temptation to treat yourself? You’ve been good this year!

Here at Spa Week, we’re not opposed to pampering ourselves with presents—especially during dark winter days and the overwhelming whirlwind of the holiday season. So what are we checking off our own Christmas list? Gifts for the home, of course! For us, there’s no better reprieve from the bitter cold than a warm home filled with wonderful things. So, in the spirit of self-gifting, here are six unique items to elevate your abode.

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Philippi Butler Mirror Finish Pitcher

This awesome architectural pitcher is the perfect piece for impressing dinner guests. Sporting a polished mirror finish and striking spout, a floral centerpiece would look positively pedestrian in comparison.

($150, fancy.com)

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Violife Personal Misting Humidifier

A slightly more pragmatic piece than Philippi Butler’s art deco-inspired pitcher, Violife’s Personal Humidifier is certainly no less stylish. Available in three rich hues and one pretty gold pattern, we love this petite alternative to the basic and bulky drugstore brand.

($34.95, violight.com)

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ModCloth Cents You Been Gone Bank

With a witty name like the above, there was no way we could resist this precious piggy bank.

($11.99, modcloth.com)

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Pier One Elephant Teapot

Giving “the elephant in the room” idiom a whole new meaning, this cutie-petutie teapot is a true interior treasure. But don’t be fooled—Pier1’s adorable accent piece is more than just decorative. Made with microwavable stoneware and dish-washer safe, the elephant teapot is definitely designed for daily use.

($15.95, pier1.com)

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Uncommon Goods Driftwood iPhone Charging Dock

Modern technology goes back to basics with this nature-inspired iPhone stand. Handcrafted in Maine from natural driftwood, this minimalistic accessory is the ultimate juxtaposition of artificial and organic.

($72-$88, uncommongoods.com)

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Urban Outfitters NYC Glass Candle

This New York-themed candle requires no caption. Adorned with sweet landmark sketches, the reusable glass jar is black, white and chic all over.

($18, urbanoutfitters.com)

 

Elle Fure is the Editorial Director of Spa Week Daily.

10 Ways to Glam Up and Zen Out Your Place On The Cheap

I’m on the verge of a move! In just two weeks I’ll be settling into a three bedroom apartment a few blocks east with my first-ever exposed brick wall. It’s a beauty! And the last thing I want to do is ruin it with all my decorative clutter. You know, if you pamper your palace it’ll pamper you back. My first goal is minimalizing my collection of all-too-excessive trinkets and decor, and after that, it’s adding the perfect select pieces to finish it off. With a small budget, and keeping in mind that we plan to be entertaining a lot (hello ugly sweater party!), it’s important to have a strategy. Interior design guru Michael Craig, founder of dinette.com, shares his budget-friendly tips on how to glam up your place with just a few strategic moves, along with my picks, all under strong consideration for purchase!

1.  First thing’s first… LESS. IS. MORE. Take away unnecessary items that distract the eye from the Main Event. Take notes from your favorite zen spa ambiance: de-clutter, ladies!

2.  Jazzy pillows. Add some to spice up your boring sofa. Also, make sure they are comfortable for your guests to relax. My pick: Add a patchwork safari touch from Urban Outfitters for conversational comfort- $36

3. Orchids. Orchids always add sophistication to any space – make sure to water accordingly and watch them blossom.

4.  Add a shiny bowl to your tabletop – nuts look great in a glitzy silver bowl. Editor’s pick: A giant spoon! From Z Gallerie – $29.95


5.  Put a runner on your tabletop.  Not only does it protect against nail polish remover spills (the worst!) but it will add charm and style. Editor’s pick: Opt for an unusual shape – who said runners need to be straight-edged? This red flamenco flower runners from Pier 1 will pop, even under 2 tons of turkey and potatoes. $29.95

6.  Candles. Not only do they provide great lighting but can fill the room with relaxing aromas. Go easy on the strong scents! Editor’s pick: get in the holiday spirit with a little luxury from Diptyque’s new Joie de Vivre collection, a pine and candied plum scent. Visit diptyqueparis.com – Starting at $32

7.  Edit your framed pictures. Too much is too much! We don’t need to see a 100 pictures of your baby. We already did on Facebook. On a similar note, here’s an idea for a very cool use of picture frames!

8.  Live plants. Putting a live plant in your home is never wrong – but proportional size is key. Editor’s pick: Bring the desert home with these small and very low maintence little cacti plants from Home Depot. 3-pack for $23.96

9. Rugs and runners.  Add a runner or rug to give warmth to your space. It keeps your toes from touching the cold surface. Editor’s pick: Dare to go furry and white for a cozy elegant touch. Crazy, you say? Actually – my friend has one just like this, and surprisingly it has remained unstained and looking brand new for over a year! Not recommended if you have kids… and keep Drunk Uncle Bob in the other room. On overstock for $290.

10.  Dimmers are key. This one takes a little more planning, but mood lighting always helps control the ambiance and allows you to drift off to your happy place.


5 Elegant DIY Holiday Centerpieces

It’s hard to believe that 2010 is almost finished and done with it. Seems like just yesterday we were compiling our lists of hopeful accomplishments for the year. Well, Thanksgiving is a week from today and if your list included saving money or being a little more crafty around the house, Woman’s Day gives your goal a jump start with 5 seasonal DIY holiday center pieces.

Splatter Paint Pumpkins

Halloween might be over, but left over pumpkins make for great decoration. Paint them white and the stem gold to for a more luxe-than-ghoul display.

Nut Sphere

A bouquet of freshly roasted nuts sets the tone for a cozy family evening nestled under an open fire. Place the nuts into a sphere and add gold embellishments and a rose satin ribbon.

Birch Log Candle Stick Holder

Build a glamorous, one-of-a kind candle holder by drilling small horizontal inserts into two small logs and spray paint for a golden luster.

For a couple more elegant table pieces, click HERE.

And if you’re thinking of getting crafty with your cranberry sauce too, it might not be such a bad idea.

“Tasteful” Wall Decor

Guest Column by Candy Silvasy, Spa Expert and CEO of Art of the Spa

Wallpaper has a bad rep thanks to the cheesy borders and prairie prints of the 80’s.  But the drywall disguiser is making a comeback.  Glam metallics and flocked graphics, along with nirvana neutrals with natural touches like grassy texture are some of the best choices for a spa atmosphere.  These more opulent choices are perfect for entries & powder rooms for a jewel box effect.

However, there’s one wallpaper that’s super tasty.  Flavor Paper produces hand screened wallcovering – specializing in modern graphic prints.  But my favorites are their unique scratch and sniff designs.  Scratch a cherry – it smells like a cherry.  Rub a banana, it smells like a banana!  Very Willie Wonka (remember the lickable fruit wallpaper?)

Fab decor to add whimsy to your kitchen?  A super fun conversation starter?  Found!  With it’s trendy turquoise background, Banana flavor is my favorite.

Live, love & lounge, Candy

SpaHome Seasons: Create a Flirty Fall Flat

Guest Post by Candy Silvasy, Spa Expert and CEO of Art of the Spa

Fall is such a flirt isn’t it? First it’s 90 then it’s 60. Technicolor foliage lures us with a brilliant new wardrobe only to begin a striptease! The holidays aren’t here just yet, though Halloween and Sweetest Day are right round the corner.

As tentative as it is, autumn makes us want to cozy up our lair too. But with Hanukah and Christmas round the bend, we don’t want to go overboard. And since we don’t need to go into total hibernation (yet), we want to keep our pad flexible to opening up and hunkering down.

Here are a few ways to have a fall fling with your flat:

1. Bring It Flowers

With summer color fading, vases of flowers bring in fresh fragrance and instant indulgence. I actually make room in my budget for flowers in the rooms I spend the most time in. The targets? The bathroom, bedroom, living room and kitchen.

Recessionista SpaHome Secret: A little can go a long way. Try mixing twigs or inexpensive greenery with a large store bought bouquet to make multiple bouquets.

Flowers to try: Zinnias, Mums, Lilies, Gladiolas, Birds of Paradise. Check out these glorious sunset lillies from Calyx Flowers for inspiration.

2. Open Up Your (Home’s) Heart

The crisp days of fall and Indian summer are perfect for throwing the windows ajar – ejecting the stale air and toxins accumulated during the air conditioned summer days. Plus, when the days are too chilly to open the windows but sunny, you’ll want window treatments that open easily and breathe for eco friendly heat.

Dupioni Silk has a fabulous raw texture (reminds of fall leaves) and readily available in rich neutrals like these from Pottery Barn.

3. Show Your True Colors

Fall light projects a muter light into your home, than the flashlight summer sun. This motivates me to put away the whites & pastels and add candle-like rich, glowing colors to amp up the energy in my rooms (and me). Cinnamon, pumpkin, chocolate, olive – sounds like a recipe no?

The good news is bringing in color can be painless. Try:

-Switching out lampshades, putting covers on pillows, adding throws.

-Feeling more adventurous? Paint a wall to change the entire look of a space fast.

-Embolden your bath with new towels, rugs, and a shower curtain. Check out this romantic shower curtain from Anthropologie.

4. Fall Head Over Heels

If you have hardwoods or tile floors, you know they can be cold in the morning and who’s awake enough to put on slippers? A thick throw rug assures a warm wake up walk.

Live, love and lounge, Candy

Candy Silvasy is CEO of Art of the Spa, a spacentric brand for design, entertaining, cooking and style. Her book SpaHome: Makeover Your Maison will be released in February 2011. Email her for a gratis subscription to Haven Magazine or to pick her spa brain at candace@artofthespa.com