interior design

Some TLC for your room’s sixth side

We have grown up with the impression (presumably) that ceilings must be white. Even so, my daughter who is a product of the millennial generation can’t think any different.

Recently she decided to paint her room white, which meant the ceiling and trim had to be white too. With plain white furniture already in the room and zero texture, I had to contrive.

The floor tiles in her room had a yellow undertone, so my options for white must have a yellow undertone. I picked two options and suggested the lighter off white (my “trust me I am color consultant’ hat was convincing). We went with BM OC-122, Cotton balls. It was an off- white that would appear almost white in her well-lit room. While the bright white ceiling and trim was untouched, I was happy that the overall effect was not dull and boring.

The essence was minimalism yet pops of color made the space livable and warm.

How about this bedroom below?  The walls and ceiling in one color make the room appear larger than it is, enhancing every piece of décor.  What if the ceiling was also white?  I can imagine the eye resting on patches of color and the beauty of the décor and design getting lost in the mix.  

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Tender loving care (TLC) towards the ceiling will create incredible appeal. How about a wooden ceiling, wooden windows and décor combined with white and black….?

….Or a white and wood ceiling coordinated with wooden flooring, staircase and white walls? Don’t you think a variety of texture in this living room makes it more interesting?

Industrial design in coffee shops and restaurants seems to be trending. What do you think of this “dressed-up” white ceiling?

When ceilings are ornate or busy with crown molding, the design elements need to stand out. Here, white would do the job. Of course there are churches, palaces, mosques and museums where you want to stare at those artistic and colorful ceilings forever.

Dark furniture, for instance cherry oak, would work well with white walls and ceiling. On the other hand, what do you think of pleasing pastel color combined with white to bring out the ceiling elements in the hotel below? Don’t miss the marble border above the trim connecting with the pillar so that it is not singled out.

If you want yellow walls, then white would work on the ceiling. In this older home below, don’t you think the white and yellow are well balanced? I love the crown molding on the wall; it takes away any overt attention from the ceiling.

High ceilings create a formal environment in a traditional or modern home. For warmth and coziness, you could have a dark ceiling to lower the room’s height while white walls give largeness to space. Do you think this innovative shophouse in Southeast Asia though expansive, creates warmth?

How about you? What color would you pick for your ceiling?

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Color Trends from the 2017 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show

Color Trends from the 2017 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show

It is my pleasure to introduce Linda Holt and summarize her color and design contributions. A former professional photographer, an interior designer and color expert in the US located north of Boston, Massachusetts, Linda possesses two different Color Expert certifications and holds an esteemed position by serving on the Benjamin Moore Color Advisory board. She has been featured in both House Beautiful Magazine and The Huffington Post for her color expertise as well as earned a coveted spot as “designer of the Day” in Elle Décor magazine. She writes a weekly design blog and is the Home Consultant and regular contributor to Merrimack Valley Magazine sharing decorating tips and design trends

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My Spa Special

My experience at The Barai at Hua Hin, Thailand was out of this world. I felt rejuvenated in its natural surroundings and structural beauty of the vast property.

Built to fulfill the personal wellness purpose, The Barai Resort Spa is a sanctum with its luxurious suites and treatment rooms. It was in these treatment rooms, that I felt more special and spoilt. Each day was one of its kinds where a new pair of hands worked towards exclusive care and attention. After the first day, there was more to “The Spa Special” (TSS) that struck me.

As I walked the passage to the Salarai or open pavilions to reach the treatment room, I felt the calm and serenity of the temple like structure under the open sky. The earthy colors gave a sense of being grounded. 

While the dim lighting in the treatment room offset the gold and pinkish red, daylight seeped in through multi colored star- shaped glass pieces set into a wooden door. This visual treat uplifted my mood and I relaxed even more.  I was sensing every moment in that room. The width of the space was more than comfortable for a single person; somehow the tall ceilings added to the mood. I realized that individual space was more important than being alone in a large room. 

The total experience made the Spa special. Not just the treatment but also the right mood created by colors, design, and lighting, most of all its quiet beauty and space.

Let's take a look at the spa at the Hilton Jumeirah, Dubai. Don’t you think it has some things in common with TSS?

Here’s a nondescript treatment place in Deira Dubai. Uncanny how this Ayurvedic massage center makes me feel as though a wave of calmness has swept through.  For sure, it’s those earthy colors and beautiful lighting!

Look at this modern spa in The Address Boulevard, a five star hotel in Dubai. Would this be your private spot for an hour or two?  Does the off white with wood and tall windows create a tranquil ambiance? 

Add the element of luxury to warm colors and perfect lighting and you get the Cleopatra Spa in Wafi Mall Dubai.  Would this work for you?  

Opulence is a feature of some reputed hotels in Dubai. The Rixos Royal Spa below is a work of art yet does it serve the purpose of TSS?


Neutrals and dark wood with orange create an harmonious environment at the Dubai Ladies Club Spa Earthy and vibrant hues together make for a calm and energized effect in this treatment enclave.

Grandiose v/s Unpretentious. What would your Spa choice be?