Create your own Happy Place!

Your home should be your refuge. So what better way to seek inspiration for interior design ideas than while on vacation? We just came back from a two week trip to Thailand. It was one of the most adventurous and luxurious trips ever. Here are some tips that I picked up from one of the places we stayed at called Andara in Phuket.

1) Nothing like great architecture to start with.  Note the simplicity of the design and the seamless incorporation with the landscaping. The key is to keep it maintained and having a splash of color at the focal point.




2) The layout was something that I don’t usually see here in Los Angeles. The entry opened up to a large dining room  that flowed onto the living room with four separate bedrooms in each corner of the villa.  There was  a large kitchen to the left and a powder room to the right. This floor plan is very practical and makes a lot of sense. I also think having a large round table with fresh flowers is a wonderful entry idea and is particularly inviting.  I prefer round dining tables for everyone is physically equally aligned which encourages conversation amongst all guests.


Thai (872 of 960)


3) I’m a big fan of seating in the kitchen.   When you attend your next party, notice how many people gravitate towards the kitchen.  It’s not like we used this kitchen on vacation, but it did make us feel more like home having it there.  Within our kitchen back in West Hollywood we ended up expanding our island to incorporate seating which really warmed up the space and makes it so easy for guests to congregate within the space.  In this particular hotel kitchen I would have preferred swapping out the fan with an updated light fixture, replacing the dark granite counter top with something lighter in color and personalize the space with a back splash.




4) Use extra space in the bedroom as a retreat area.  There’s nothing like escaping from the hussle and bussle of LA, so if you can create that spot in your home that is conducive for you to read a book or just simply meditate, do it!  A comfy space to sit, something visually stimulating to look at and good lighting are a must.  If you don’t have a view like the one at the hotel, why not buy a piece of art that transports you to your own “happy place”?




5)  Bring home souvenirs from your trip.   We always make it a point to purchase something when we travel that reminds us of the trip.  I learned this tip from designer extraordinaire;  Jay Jeffers .  On this vacation we bought a pair of hand painted parasols in Chiang Mai that we placed in our entry.   Every time I come and go, I can’t help see them and think of our trip.  What a nice thought to have as I walk out of the door or return from a hectic day. Check out this bedroom to see how they incorporated these locally hand crafted sculptures.  These could look so exotic in a space and truly put your stamp on it.




6) Outdoor seating arrangements should be carefully placed.  If you are fortunate enough to have a yard, make the most of it.  I particularly like this double chase teak lounger with the pyramid pillows…kinda sexy seating that makes the most out of that space.  Who wouldn’t want to stay?


Thai (870 of 960)


Let’s admit, we all have active lives.  Most of us have careers that are super busy and sometimes we have trouble balancing it all.  Keeping in mind that balance is what everyone needs to keep it together, it’s important to start with the first place you wake up and the place where you rest your head at night.  Creating a tranquil space is that ingredient that provides for a more tranquil you.   Here’s to building your own “Happy Place” right there in your own home!

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