At the RAAS Devigarh Hotel in Rajasthan, India, an 18th-century palace fortress was converted into a wellness destination. The eco-conscious redesign, complete with light-filled rooms, a luxe spa, and an Ayurvedic retreat center, demonstrates how small touches can transform a heritage property into a relaxing oasis.
Founder Nikhelendra Singh wanted to preserve the palatial façade with its domes and arches, but make the interior contemporary. No detail was spared—the restoration took almost 15 years and a team of 750 people.
The interior was redesigned in 2018 by New Delhi–based architects Studio Lotus in a minimalist style: white walls and marble floors, rich wood tones, plus colorful panoramic art prints and floral motifs to balance out the neutrals.
Making nature part of your home is the best way to breathe life into it—as seen in the herbs and flower gardens and open terraces at RAAS Devigarh.
In your own design, add greenery to whatever space you’ve got. Whether you have a porch garden with lavender and tomatoes, a simple windowsill featuring fresh herbs, or a lush indoor palm in your dining area, decorating with even a bit of live greenery—from a palm to a tulsi plant—adds a natural brightness and instills the feeling of being in an oasis.
See also: How Plants Can Improve Your Health
The palace was originally built with red sandstone that later was covered with white plaster—which felt monotonous, Singh says. The architects removed the white plaster in key places to reveal the palace’s warm sandstone columns while leaving it in others to maintain a clean feel.
To imitate the look at home, complement white-walled rooms with a warm accent wall, textured wallpaper, or brightly colored drapes.
The designers altered the palace’s veranda spaces into bar seating by putting sofas in the window corner. They added drama to the antechambers with mirrors.
Try it: Select a nook to convert into an intimate sanctuary by adding a decorative mirror, warm wood furniture (say, a vintage side table), patterned pillows, and low-hanging lights or a dim standing lamp.
At RAAS Devigarh, they used art including botanical and animal-filled scenic murals to pay homage to the locale (like Rajasthan’s famed Marwari horses), plus marble bowls full of water and fresh flowers.
Add an oversize painting to the largest wall in one of the rooms in your home, or create a gallery wall for a more multifaceted look. DIY your own floating flower décor by filling a wide-rimmed bowl with water and begonias or marigolds.