Fragrance F-air-ytale: Scents to Belie Your Sky

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

Last week in our quest to help you create a spa home, we showed you how to detox your oxygen – we got the muck out.  Now it’s time to adorn your lair’s air.

Imagine lounging by a garden of jasmine, walking in a dense forest or having a massage by a beach.  Fragrance can take you on these escapes instantly.  I know what you’re thinking:  “I’ve got a candle for that!”

Blow out that match.  The stress- (and almost) maintenance-free way to aroma up your abode is a fragrance plan.  Otherwise it’ll end up smelling like the perfume counter at Nordie’s – sickly.

One very strong candle is like one superbright light – too much and not enough.  For a superspa nosefest, follow these steps:

1.  Emulate Euphoria

What would your ideal home smell like? Because spa homes are healthy & relaxed focus on that.  What makes you happy?  Dream vacation?  Your disses?  For instance, I can’t stand patchouli – so any fragrance with that is banned from my bungalow.  Some examples to get you started are:

Love the beach? –  go for aqua fragrances with citrus notes.

More of a skiing or hiking hottie? – woodsy tones will be your choice.

Trying to lose weight? – keep away from sweet foodie fragrances, while mint can help keep you from snacking

2.   Choose Your Base Fragrance

Shopping! Yay! Find a home fragrance that matches your pick.   AnthropologieBath and Body Works, TJ Maxx, are fun fragrant field trips.  Remember your base is the background the under note upon which you will layer other fragrances like candles.

Best way to waft?  Reed diffusers are low maintenance. Flip the reeds occasionally & change when the oil is gone. My favorite base: Agraria Golden Pomegranate it’s fruity for energy and earthy for a nature vibe.

Place one diffuser for each 900 square feet of house.

Another option is the Hush Air Diffuser System.  It lets you control the intensity and program the time of fragrance release.

3.  Take Your Nose up a Notch

With your base in place, you should feel happy whenever you arrive home.  But sometimes we need more.  This is where aromatherapy comes into play.    For example, in my office I burn Slatkin’s grapefruit candle to revive my brain.  Or at Christmas I burn the Thymes Christmas Tree to harken holiday cheer.

For more aromatherapy ideas check out The Little Book of Aromatherapy – it’s simple & you can take it shopping with you.

In addition to candles, consider room sprays, scented stones, like Esteban Paris’ Teak and Tonka (woodsy) below sachets and oil burners.  Most important, get creative and have fun.  That’s common scents!

Live, love and lounge, Candy

Candy Silvasy is CEO of Art of the Spa (, a spacentric brand that delivers home decor, beauty, cooking, style and living advice.  An internationally recognized spa expert, her latest book SpaHome: Makeover Your Maison from Blah to Ahhhhh will be released in February 2011.  Is your pad more stress than sanctuary?  Pick her spa brain at candace at artofthespa dot com.

5 Etsy Home Decor Buys Under $30 to Bring the Beach to You

Beach Pastel Origami Stars

Shell Sampler Rubber Stamps

Sand Castle Ceramic Ornament

Flounder Tile

Nautical Beach Grass Centerpiece

Father’s Day Gift Ideas: Home Decor Courtesy of a Mad Man

Your dad may roll his eyes at thrifting, pillow matching, and antiquing – which is fine! Not everyone in your family has to share your love for fine home decor. But just because you think he doesn’t notice your carefully selected wallpaper, drapes, and tchotchkes, doesn’t mean he wouldn’t jump at the chance to furnish a room of his own with a real man’s taste – a Mad Man, to be exact.

Actor Bryan Batt (better known as Sal on Mad Men) owns his own home decor shop, Hazelnut, on New Orleans’ stylish Magazine Street, inspired by the inimitable soul of NOLA. Batt even designed a limited edition sofa inspired by the Playboy Club of the 1960s – the piece is called “The Hef” and can be yours for a mere $15,000.

If that’s a bit out of your Father’s Day price range, never fear. Hazelnut carries dozens of other hand-selected gifts from craftsmen all around the world. Try this Lion’s Head Gold Barware Set – sure to please the Don, Sal, or Roger in your home.

Decorating on the Cheap: IKEA HACKS

The leap from IKEA furniture to furniture made out of…well, real wood (we love you, IKEA!) can be a pretty big (and expensive) one – but when you’ve seen your exact $60 “Billy” model bookcase in all your friends’ homes, you might be ready for furniture that reflects your personality just a leeetle bit more.

So, how to grow up without shelling out mad cash? Easy – enter IKEA Hacks, a website with hundreds of easy ways to alter and adapt IKEA furniture to make them your own.

Inspired by the site, in my own apartment we took a cheap $20 table from IKEA and covered it with samples of designer wallpaper and a coat of polyurethane to make a stylish, spill-proof one of a kind table. It was a piece of cake, and I’d love to try other IKEA hack projects in the future. Here are three of my favorites:

Make A Dali-Style Melting Clock
Make a Rope-Bridge Bookcase
Make an iPod Protector

6 Inspiring Design Blogs

Happy Friday! We hope you’re enjoying the anticipation of the weekend and enjoying spring in full bloom. A new season brings with it the urge to cast out the old and welcome the new with open arms – and that can translate to antsiness when it comes to last season’s home decor. (Spring cleaning, anyone?) What was so cozy last October may seem dull and boring now. What to do?

Luckily, you don’t have to buy whole rooms full of new furniture in order to freshen up your world. Sometimes all you need is a jump-start in the idea department to make some little changes that will have a big impact.

Here are 6 great design blogs to get you inspired – whatever your design style, whatever your budget, and whether you want to change things up on a big or small scale.

Simple Song (beauty in the small things)

This is Glamour (daily glamour within your reach)

Design Squish (design for the eco-conscious)

Apartment Therapy (the Big Daddy of all design blogs)

Decor8 (dispatches on design from an American living in Hamburg)

coco + kelley (cozy, worldly sophistication)

(Image “the home within us” by Bobby McAlpine, found via simple song)