INTERIOR HARMONY

June 26, 2017
Natural furnishings and simple, airy design create calm wellbeing at Kamalaya.

Creative design and our wellbeing have everything in common. Both strive for perfect balance. Nature exemplifies this harmony, and gets it just right. We feel calmed, renewed, invigorated and ready to reconnect when the natural world surrounds us. It is how we feel deep inside when we walk along a deserted beach, wander through a woodland or gaze across a breathtaking view of rolling hills. We see colours, shapes and textures that flow together in blissful rhythm. Our stress levels plummet. Our mood is lightened. Those negative vibes diminish, while confidence and optimism bubble back to the surface.

I’d had a very busy year and I was exhausted from the full-on schedule of my thrilling but stress-inducing job. My entire body seemed to ache. Uncharacteristically, I felt irritated at the slightest problem and had a sense of being overwhelmed with my workload. Added to that, I had piled on a few very unwanted pounds. It was time to bring my mind and body back into balance.

I needed a full detox for my mind, body and soul. I did some research and found paradise. Kamalaya is a wellness sanctuary and holistic spa situated on the south west corner of the island of Koh Samui, off the east coast of Thailand, www.kamalaya.com. Kamalaya embodies a sublimely beautiful, natural environment that combines stunning and soothing design elements with healing therapies from the East and the West.

After a long flight, I arrived still wearing my puffer jacket. I was hot, tired and worn out. But within minutes my body and the busy noise in my brain began to evaporate into the perfumed Thai air. I was in a stunning oasis designed around peace and tranquility. Kamalaya is built on a hillside dotted with Thai style huts of various sizes amongst tropical vegetation that stretches down to a secluded, white sandy beach. Pathways wander through lush flora of massive emerald-coloured leaves and flowers of every possible size and colour. The villas are surrounded by this tranquil setting, enticing all the senses with the sounds of exotic birds and the ocean below, the intense fragrance of the sea, sand and plants. By the time I arrived at my villa, nestled atop massive granite boulders with a magical view over the Gulf of Thailand, I was in heaven.

Shoes removed, as is the custom, and neatly laid by my own front door, I entered what would be my home for the next ten days. Simple, stylish design and comfortable furnishings allow the tranquility of the seascape outside to embrace me in perfect harmony. Natural wooden pillars soar up to lofty ceilings. The inviting beds are made from teak, and topped with luscious white linens. The design of the bathroom was again at one with nature; mine had a thatched roof, yet modern facilities.

Kamalaya focuses on helping us explore our inner soul and wellbeing. The programs, treatments and meals are the effective tools they utilize to restore physical and emotional balance. As a designer, I am fully aware of how important each and every décor element is in order to create a successful living space. Natural materials, simple vignettes, organic textures and hues -- these help us reconnect and bring peace and quiet into our lives.

Debbie Travis' House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email your questions to house2home@debbietravis.com. You can follow Debbie on Twitter at www.twitter.com/debbie_travis, and visit Debbie’s new website, swww.debbietravis.com.