Water, water everywhere. Coconut palms and elegant abodes. Rooftop lounges and neon skies. The perfume of Cuban coffee and the beat of steel drums.
Miami’s white-hot pulse is cooled by a dip into the endless seas or the glittering pool. Sometimes sizzling, sometimes serene … it’s all so Miami.
Miami is a lifestyle. And fun never seems to be far off the radar. Even when the temperature drops, it’s muy caliente. It’s no wonder people from everywhere flock to Miami for music, art and sun. If you’re going to sleep past noon and chill out by the water, there’s no better place to do it in style.
Miami is brimming with elegant mansions, flanked by terraces, porticos and gazebos. Many have captivating views of endless sea or soaring skyline. This is the way to luxuriate on the coast.
Inside these mansions, the views are magnificent. The palette is pure coastal: endless shades of blue meet pristine whitecaps.
When you want to sleep till noon, you can do so blissfully in a crisply layered, ocean-inspired bedroom. In a four-poster bed. Under cool Resort sheets. It’s time to make your escape.
Steal away for an afternoon siesta beneath the shade of a soaring palm or an expansive covered porch. A handsome chaise or cuddle chair is perfect for shady nooks and life’s little moments.
When it’s time to kick back, sparkling blue pools cool Miami’s famous sizzle. There’s no better way to while away an afternoon than in a chaise lounge.
Swank, but laid-back. Elegant, but pulsating with energy. Miami’s definitely more than a look. It’s a lifestyle.
Written by: Canyon Ranch Staff
We tend to associate candles with festive occasions—gathering around a birthday cake, or enjoying a meal with someone special—but there are many calming effects of candlelight. One of the more powerful ways to enjoy the beauty of candlelight is during a moment of stillness and solitude, when you turn off the world and tune into yourself.
There’s a reason candles are integral to religious and spiritual ceremonies the world over—the flame’s soft illumination touches the soul. Some people find they can achieve a meditative state more easily by focusing on candlelight than on a mantra or a mandala. The calming effect of candlelight can be a simple yet sacred tool to help reduce stress and increase self-awareness.
Here are a few things to keep in mind to create the ideal safe, healthy and tranquil atmosphere:
Opt for soy or beeswax. Long-term exposure to emissions from petroleum-based paraffin wax candles may pose a health hazard, according to a South Carolina State University study. Not only do paraffin candles release unhealthy chemicals such as alkenes and toluene (linked to the development of cancer and known to aggravate allergies and asthma), petroleum products are also not a renewable resource. Instead, choose soy or beeswax candles, which are renewable, free of toxins and biodegradable.
Add your own aromatherapy. A pleasing scent can be extremely soothing, but skip artificially scented candles (which contain petroleum-based synthetic compounds) and go for those infused with natural essential oils. You’ll get the soothing benefits from a whiff of essential oils with none of the chemicals you’d find in an artificially scented candle. Since different essential oils trigger specific reactions, pick those that have been shown to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, such as ylang-ylang, bergamot and lavender.
Consider color. Candles come in a rainbow of hues–which are perfect for dressing up a dinner party or backyard barbecue–but when it comes to using them to help calm and center you, stay neutral. Pastel or plain white candles can help you remain relaxed and focus on the flame itself.
Take care. To stay safe, keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything flammable; use sturdy, tip-proof holders; and avoid burning candles all the way down. Or consider battery-operated candles—their electronic flickering realistically mimics the real thing.
Once you’ve chosen your candles, add them to various aspects of your daily routine to create a moment of peace and calm whenever and wherever you need it.
In the morning or evening. Create your own altar using a shelf, table or other surface in a well-ventilated area. In addition to one or two candles, you may want to include objects that inspire or relax you—crystals, seashells, figurines, flowers and/or plants, personal mementos, photos, written affirmations. Spend a few moments each day, either as soon as you wake up or just before bedtime, sitting quietly in this space. As you sit, focus on the flames, noticing their beauty as you relax and breathe through your nose. Inhale for six counts, hold for three and exhale for six. For stress release, turn your attention to the melting wax and imagine it as tension melting and dripping away.
In the bathroom. The next time you are preparing to soak in the tub or take a shower, turn out the lights and rely on candles instead. By combining calming candlelight with the stress relief of warm, soothing water, you give yourself a double dose of relaxation.
While exercising. If you practice yoga, tai chi or qigong at home, try adding a few candles to your routine. The calming effects can help you relax both your mind and your body, allowing for deeper stretches and better concentration. You may also find that sitting quietly or lying down in a candlelit room is a great way to unwind after an intense workout.
Turn your space into a place to luxuriate and unwind with inspiration from our Pinterest board.
Summer is synonymous with spontaneity. Long days and sultry nights give rise to last-minute weekend getaways and impromptu pool parties. So when it comes to entertaining, any event – even if it’s an elegant dinner party that you’ve planned for weeks – should feel as free-spirited as the season itself.
A polished party doesn’t have to feel stuffy. Like a gorgeous summer sundress, the setting should be feminine, flirty, colorful and cool.
Show your flair for the dramatic by mixing and matching textures, patterns and color. Unlikely designs and unexpected colors engage the senses and create a buzzworthy party even before the first cocktail is poured.
The Quatrefoil Outdoor Dining Chair is clearly a surprise. Styled like an indoor chair with an upholstered seat and back, the flower shape adds a touch of whimsy to the table setting.
A mosaic of patterns and colors – romantic florals and lively geometrics, jewel-tone blues and citrusy greens – adds a charming effervescence to the scene.
A table setting brings a sense of order to the party….tableware, flatware, glassware, linens. There’s a place for everything. Yet the setting should have elements of surprise. Upbeat hues, fanciful accessories and splashes of color make it look good enough to eat.
Artistic little tables, whimsical elephants and even a patio umbrella add energy.
Effervescent hues meet dazzling style. Get a splash of color on our Palm Springs Dream pinterest board:
Hello, hello! We’re guest bloggers John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon of interior design firm Madcap Cottage. We are thrilled to be designing the covered porch at the 2015 Hampton Designer Showhouse in partnership with our friends at Frontgate.
About us: We’re known for our whimsical use of pattern and color. We scour the world for eclectic finds that capture our unique, gimlet-eyed viewpoint. Imagine a British country house that pairs Granny’s antiques and a spirited dash of chinoiserie chic with a soupçon of Morocco-meets-India élan. If you are looking for beige and boring, bark up someone else’s tree!
We run our firm—an ever-changing design laboratory—from a former pharmacy in the heart of High Point, North Carolina, the hub for American decorative arts. You can shop the Madcap Cottage line of bedding, window treatments, and pillows exclusively on HSN and at HSN.com.
And here’s a bit about our vision for the Hampton Designer Showhouse covered porch:
Turkey! India! England! A splash of Hong Kong and a whirl through the hills of Tuscany! Mix, shake, then pour. Our design reflects a passion for travel and a desire to bring your adventures home. We love exuberant patterns and a high-octane color palette. Who says you can’t mix stripes and florals? Certainly not us … for the Madcaps are your resident Prints Charmings—that’s P-R-I-N-T-S, folks.
Here are “before” photos of the covered porch. Wow, there’s a lot of work to be done … but, luckily, we have amazing products at hand to create our magic.
We sketched our vision for the covered porch. Note the mix of patterns, the global inspiration, and the punch of color. And this is just one side of the covered porch; wait until you see the far end—so chic!
A pair of chaise lounges with jade-green cushions will serve as a focal point. How fun to curl up in such style in front of the fireplace. We love the exotic lines of these chaises.
A pair of side tables will serve as the perfect perches for cool cocktails beside the chaise lounges. Blue and white—you cannot go wrong with this classic design colorway.
A stunning, handpainted dining table, festooned with lemons, will anchor the dining area of the covered porch. Sit down at this table, and you will be whisked away to a sunny lemon grove in the Italian hills.
This outdoor planter will hang above the fireplace and serve as a vintage-looking centerpiece to the space. We love pieces that have patina and weathering. You never want a space to look new, new, new, but rather accumulated over time.
Jaunty cabana window treatments will enclose the covered porch and give it a plucked-from-Southern-France sensibility that perfectly pairs with the room’s eclectic vibe. And, yes, you can mix stripes with other patterns—just find one consistent tone that you can carry among the various patterns. In this space, green and blue are the neutral hues that work amongst the various pieces.
The 2015 Hampton Designer Showhouse in Bridgehampton, New York, opened July 25. View a video about the finished product. We hope you like it.”