How do you calm the (frayed) nerves of hundreds of delegates whose smartphones have practically become appendages? You start with a peaceful space. And that's just what The Huffington Post will do with the Oasis, a wellness-focused destination at the 2012 Republican and Democratic National Conventions. The mini-retreat, which offers healthy snacks, spa sessions and yoga classes, offers a respite from the hustle and bustle. But what's extra-special about the Oasis is the soothing design, created by event planner Bryan Rafanelli. We sat down with the designer (who designed Chelsea Clinton's wedding) to find out exactly how to turn an intense environment into a true relaxing getaway. Be sure to click through the slideshow to see the before and after photos of the Oasis and scroll down to read our Q&A with Rafanelli.
Q: What was your concept for designing the Oasis?
A: We wanted it to have a rustic and romantic feel. It had to have comfort and soothing energy. It's all about simplicity and keeping everything as fresh and clean as possible.
Q: What were some key elements you included in the Oasis design to make it soothing?
A: We wanted as much white as possible and different leavens to create warmth. So, it has a white palette, florals and soft fabrics.
Q; What kind of the furniture and decor will be at the destination?
A: We went with oversized, super comfortable that you literally sink into. We added carpeting, big fluffy pillows and great florals.
Q: Why is it important to have a place to relax when you're on-the-go?
A: Because we inevitably need a place to recharge. And that doesn't mean a protein bar. It's a place where you calm your mind and change the world, that's the idea of the Oasis. [I'd love] to create one in every office.
Q: How would you describe the Oasis?
A: It's going to automatically calm you down.