Don’t you just love a good refresh? Whether it’s rearranging the furniture and decor you already have, adding new pops of color, or even a little bit of paint, redecorating in any way can change the whole feel and experience of a room. But how do you know if something looks good in your space or if you’re creating the vibe you actually intend to? That’s where the experts come in.
Since the first SpaDerma location has been open for almost 20 years, and with the opening of our newest location in Lakeview opening later this month, we wanted to bring a fresh energy into each of our four unique spaces. To execute this massive undertaking, we hired renowned interior design group, Rebel House! Their distinguished background and incredible portfolio drew us in and we’ve been amazed to see how they’ve transformed our spas. From the luxurious waiting rooms, to enticing hallways, to wild wallpapers, Rebel House brought our passion for aesthetics to life within the interiors of our spas and we couldn't be happier. Bathroom mirror selfies? Yes, please!
To learn more about the passion behind Rebel House we interviewed Marli Jones, Creative Director and Owner of Rebel House Interior Design. Check out what inspires her as well as design tips for creating the perfect space!
How did Rebel House get its start?
In some ways Rebel House got its start when I was a kid, drawing chalk floor plans in my driveway. I knew from a young age I wanted to be in interior design. Growing up, my mother ran her own graphic design business, so I also knew I wanted to be my own boss one day. After establishing myself in residential design in San Francisco, I made the leap into hospitality when I moved back to Chicago - helping launch a line of boutique hotels as a senior designer. When the time was right, I launched Rebel House with a few clients who trusted my vision despite not having an established track record on my own.
How do you know when interior design is “good”? (or bad?)
Intent and understanding the full design is what separates good from bad, in my opinion. Designers who use unique combinations are successful when they know the rules they are breaking and understand what they are trying to achieve. A designer should be able to tell you the why behind their choices and it should never just be "because it's pretty." I tend towards minimalism, achieving a greater than the sum of the parts feeling while reducing the unnecessary, but even maximalism should be done with intent.
How do you combine beauty and functionality, especially in a business setting?
This is a great question. Truly, every space has to be functional as well as beautiful. Whether it is a commercial space which will see thousands of visitors a year or a living room with a particularly messy family dog, the space has to be designed to withstand everyday life. We create designs and choose materials with a mind towards how the space will be used. For business settings, we choose very durable materials and plan practical applications - but luckily in today's market, that does not mean sacrificing a beautiful product. Great strides have been made in synthetic fabrics which are stain-resistant, but still have a great hand (we put these in residential family rooms all the time, too). Our fabricators have a lot of great tools and materials at their disposal to make something both beautiful and functional for the kind of traffic a business sees.
Where do you find inspiration?
Truly everywhere. It is our job to keep a library in our heads of beautiful spaces, furniture, design concepts, materials, etc. Instagram has evolved into an amazing resource to see a million applications of design, but nothing beats physically being in a space to see how it lives, feels, and holds up. In a world before COVID, our vacations centered around seeing the latest and greatest in design, plus we are lucky enough to be in a fantastic city for design - there are so many well designed restaurants, hotels, and stores to inspire (back when we could do that).
What is the strangest request you’ve gotten from a client?
I’ve seen a lot and been asked for some odd designs, but a good designer never tells. 🙂
What is your favorite project you’ve ever worked on and why?
We’ve been so lucky to work on some amazing spaces over the years from incredible homes in San Francisco, Chicago, and the North Shore of Chicago (where I am from). We’ve also been very lucky to work on a handful of luxe boutique hotel and restaurant properties. I have to say - most recently - I’ve truly loved working on Spa Derma’s properties! We’ve put effort into making a unique personality for each property while making sure they all feel related - shapes and themes are woven throughout, but each property gets a slightly different set of materials and color palettes. We’ve had a lot of fun creating custom seating, storage, and display elements that provide a luxe and relaxed sensibility.
What are some easy ways to update a space without giving it a full redesign?
Oooh, that's always a fun challenge! Refreshing your walls with a new color or wall-covering will always have a big impact and can be done while being budget-conscious. Two other great areas to focus on are: decorative lighting and sculptural accents. Making a statement with a new chandelier can do a lot for a space (for example, the fantastic chandelier at SpaDerma North Shore). For sculptural accents, these could be anything from an amazing chair, geometric side table, or even some new accessories. At RHID, we really believe in setting the tone with sculptural pieces - take a chance with the shape of your accent furniture from chairs to tables. The investment won't quite be the same as the bigger pieces of furniture, so these pieces can take some risks.
What was your inspiration behind the designs you've worked on for SpaDerma?
First of all, we were very inspired by the incredible brand the SpaDerma team already created. We knew the spaces had to be fun and fresh and each property should have its own personality while maintaining some connective tissue between spaces. North Shore has a certain parisian elegance with gold and pink palette layered over the black and white wallpaper. Lincoln Park is going to have a fantastic city edge with peach and rust being the accents while incorporating some natural white oak into the built-ins. West Loop will be bold enough to hold its own on Restaurant Row with some deep blues, dark stone, and fun pop of wine color. Finally, Lakeview will be an amazingly fresh mix of white and pale green. Geremy Whalen, a talented designer on our team, and I have had a lot of fun collaborating on adding special touches to each property. We hope you love them as much as we do!
We’re truly amazed (and we hope you are too!) by Marli and the team at Rebel House and how they’ve used their expertise to transform our vision into tangible, exciting design.
We can't wait to show you how the newest SpaDerma in Lakeview turns out!