Over the last few years but more often now than ever before, many of my clients are requesting either an existing basement to become a luxury leisure zone or asking me to create one from scratch with the help of clever engineering. These subterranean areas can consist of a pool, steam and sauna rooms, a treatment room, a cinema room, a gym/dance studio and even a hairdressing room.
Indoor swimming pools are probably the most common requirement from clients who are more limited with space and they are really fun to create. I enjoy using lighting such as these star lights below, to create different moods for different times of the day. I also insist on the best sound systems throughout, for boosting energy and for my clients’ relaxation purposes.
It is also important if you have space around your pool area, to add pieces of furniture, even if it’s only a few pool chairs. I like to create that luxury “spa” feeling at home. Whether it’s a refreshing swim in the morning before the day ahead or relaxing after a busy day, the pool area should fill you with the feeling of being on a luxury vacation, wonderful for your mind, body and soul.
Creating a good home gym space comes very naturally for me, probably because for years I have trained in gyms all over the world with varying degrees of standard. Some have been exceptionally small and sparsely kitted out, whilst others have been luxurious, large and exceptionally well equipped. You do not need a huge amount of equipment for a home gym, mainly clients require an all over general fitness regime and this could entail using a cycle or stepper, some free weights and a compact multi gym. I always use floor to ceiling mirrors in home gyms as it is important to watch how you perform your exercises and not cause injury. Mirrors also create that lovely feeling of light and space. A good sound system and a wall hung TV are also very important, and I do like adding a few small luxury touches, such as water bottles, some fresh fruit and neatly stacked towels to give it that extra bit of ‘wow’.
Probably the most fun to create are cinema rooms. With these I can go a bit mad if the client allows! By that I mean that I love using interesting textures such as leathers and suede fabrics on walls, thick shag pile carpets and large deep filled sofas, full of cosy throws and cushions. I want my clients to feel that they just want to curl up and watch a great movie in complete luxury and comfort. A normal addition to this room is a drinks cabinet so that everything is “on tap”. Home cinemas don’t have to necessarily be in a large area and it is important to choose a screen size to work well within the space you do have. Surround sound and air conditioning are a must for atmosphere and comfort.
CELIA’S INTERIOR STYLE FILE
-Dear Celia, I would really like to buy some crockery for my dining room which looks very expensive, but doesn’t cost much. I’ve looked in M&S and various other places but the selection is limited and not very impressive. Do you know where I can find something to give it that “expensive” look?
Yes, I always recommend Zara Home, as they do offer some great looking crockery for really good prices. These look very elegant and have very clean lines.
-Do you have any thoughts on what I can do with my husbands’ office? He’s so messy I can’t bear leaving the door open. I have a new Georgian house which is quite classical inside and have replaced the internal doors with high gloss walnut but am not sure what to do inside this room? It’s a large square room with lots of light but my husband insists that I keep it “manly”. THANK YOU!
It sounds like you have nice proportions to play with and good natural light so I would keep the room quite dark in colour which will make it look masculine for him. I like the use of chrome with dark chocolate leathers in offices. If you have the budget why don’t you get a joiner to build in some storage in the same finish as your doors? This will look stylish and you can utilize the good space you have to keep it nice and tidy.
TOP HIGH STREET BUY
This week I recommend you go to your local British Heart Foundation Home and Electrical store. I found an amazing pair of armchairs for little money and had them recovered, my client loves them! http://www.bhf.org.uk/shop/our-local-shops/whats-in-our-stores.aspx
SPLASH THE CASH
Amazing chairs, I love them, by Mark Brazier Jones http://www.brazier-jones.com/Category/Chairs?parentID=144354
One more thing…
I am thrilled to have been shortlisted for the Inspirational Celebrity category at this year’s Inspiration Awards for Women. I have been nominated alongside the likes of Emeli Sande, Jessica Ennis, Lorraine Kelly and Victoria Pendleton for the awards ceremony in October.
So, please get voting for me! http://inspirationawards.co.uk/voting/index.php