Author Archives: charlesprogers

Bedroom Design: 5 Fabulous Studio Apartments

Post by Tracy Kaler.

Living in one room has its challenges for sure, but small spaces can be incredibly stylish and convenient. There’s something wonderful about having everything you need (almost) with an arm’s reach, and studio life allows that. Single room residences aren’t ideal for overnight guests, and for some, they work for a specific time in life. Many folks eventually outgrow the living/dining/sleeping combo and graduate to a one bedroom or even a house. Nonetheless, studios can be fabulous, as you can see in these five apartments.

This Hoboken studio is not only chic, but the narrow space offers great storage. Designer Marina Cheban used IKEA bookcases for the client’s shoe collection and added an armoire for dresses. I’d call this room organized – there’s not a hair out of place.

A wall separates the kitchen and small living space in this Venice micro-apartment. Deep gray walls, cabinets, and floors are the backdrop for simple decor. Yellow and orange work well as accent colors.

Solar skylights add plenty of light to this West Midlands bedroom. A wall mural of a street scene and bicycle propped against it create a design element that makes a lovely focal point.

A chocolate brown accent wall draws the eye in this San Francisco studio. Notice the tiny office area tucked into the corner. Modern accessories complete the space.

The designer of this oversized studio in Brooklyn created zones for living, eating, sleeping and dressing. Large, modern art leads the eye around the space.

Posted in Bedroom Design | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bedtime Stories: Kittens! Kittens Everywhere!

Post by Mark T. Locker.

My kid may be pushing nine years old but that doesn’t stop him from getting any and all picture books related to kittens. Currently on high renewal rate are K is for Kitten and Kitten’s First Full Moon.

Kitten’s First Full Moon is arguably the better of the two. It was written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes, a prolific author/illustrator many of whose books feature mice in teeny tiny outfits. Henkes nabbed a Caldecott Medal for Kitten’s First Full Moon thanks to its simple but eye-catching images. The book follows around a tiny cute white kitty who is experiencing its first full moon and thinks the big white orb is a bowl of celestial milk. So kitty embarks on a quixotic mission to lap from the great white bowl of milk. But all kitty gets is a mouthful of bugs, or a tumble down the stairs, or a bunch of wet fur. Poor Kitty!

K is for Kitten by Niki Clark Leopold and Susan Jeffers is an A-Z book about a kitten adopted and taken to its new home by a little girl. With such captivating verse as
B is for Brave
All the way home
She purred in my arms
Soft fur and bone

it’s remarkable it took two people to create this book. The illustrations are done by Susan Jeffers, a prolific and talented illustrator and I think that’s what my son is drawn to. Admittedly, the kitty on the cover is pretty adorable.

So if you know a child who like cute little kitties, both of these books are bound to satisfy their cuteness quota.

Posted in Bedtime Stories | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Important Questions to Ask Before You Add a Master Suite

Post by Tracy Kaler.

Photo by ICF Custom Homes

Is sleeping in a tiny bedroom getting you down? I understand. I’ve lived in small bedrooms (in a studio apartment, no less) and large bedrooms where I had more than enough space for a queen bed and a sofa, and I must say that I prefer the latter. I like to relax in my bedroom and use it, not just sleep there, so a generous space works for me. If you’ve dreamt about that sprawling bedroom and decided to pull the trigger and add a master suite, here are five important questions to answer before you pull the trigger.

Is there a viable place to add a master suite?
Decide where and if you have a viable place for an addition in your home. Can you use an attic or basement space? Do you have the potential to go up with a second floor? Or perhaps you can bump out the back or side of your home, depending on lot size and setbacks. Figure out if and where a master suite would be possible.

How much do I have to spend?
Once you’re serious about adding a master bedroom suite, figure out your budget. Create an itemized list per room (bedroom, bathroom, etc). You might need a design/build firm to help you with planning, and then you should have a better idea what the project will cost and what you can afford. You might not be able to do the entire project at once, in which case, you could do it in stages.

Do I need a sitting area?
If you imagine relaxing evenings by the fire while reading the next bestseller, then you might like a sitting area, and with a fireplace too. That needs to be part of the plan early on, as well as a line item in the budget. If you only use your bedroom for sleeping, then you can disregard this point.

Will I reuse furnishings or buy new?
Reworking your furniture will save you time (shopping) and money. If your heart is set on some fabulous new pieces, start thinking about the overall look or theme and add another line item to that budget. Remember, of all the furnishings in the bedroom, a comfy bed that works for you is most important.

Do I want an outdoor space?
Depending on where your master suite is located, you might be able to have a patio or deck attached to it. Outdoor spaces have become more the norm for master bedrooms, and if that’s a priority, include the outdoor space in your overall plans from the get-go. Itemize it as a room because you’ll need to select finishes, and furnish it just like the interior.


Posted in Bedroom Design | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sleep Habits from Around the World

Post by Tracy Kaler.

It may come as a surprise, but different cultures possess different sleep habits. Spend any time in other countries, and you’ll soon figure out that although everybody sleeps, we differ in our sleep habits and patterns.

In FRANCE, people sleep an average of 8.8 hours per night. Studies show that more sleep contributes to healthier, happier, and even thinner people, which might explain why the French spend so much time at the table eating but tend to be thinner than those in some other countries. Eating fresh food and skipping fast and processed food might also have something to do with that theory.

Folks in MEXICO like to keep their bedrooms tidy – 82% make their bed every morning, more than any other country in the study. And in the UK, one third of all Brits tend to sleep in the nude, which helps regulate body temperature.

According to the sleep tracking app, , Sleep Cycle, POLAND has the latest average bedtime at 12:55 a.m. SOUTH AFRICA has the earliest wake-up time at 6:24 a.m. and South Africans average only six hours of sleep a night because they hit the hay rather late at 12:20 a.m.

Many Mediterranean countries take siestas or midday naps, but even in SPAIN, that tradition isn’t as common as it once was.

A lot parents and babies around the world do sleep together. In fact, in some cultures, it’s unheard of to allow babies to sleep alone, so cosleeping is expected. Eventually, young children are weaned to sleep in their own beds.

Unfortunately for SINGAPORE and JAPAN, sleep deprivation is on the rise. In JAPAN however, SIDS and infant mortality rates are incredibly low, which might be attributed to the acceptance of cosleeping (children sharing a bed with parents). In the US, cosleeping is not as socially accepted as it is in some other countries.

Generally, few of us in the world are getting enough sleep on most days of the week. It turns out, though, that Sundays are the happiest mornings because most countries wake up feeling refreshed and in a great mood. At least we have that much in common.

Posted in Bedroom Design, Things We Like | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Bedroom Design: A Quick Lesson on Cut Pile Carpeting for the Bedroom

Post by Tracy Kaler.


Photo by i3 design group

If you a prefer soft, cushy floor covering for your bedroom (yes, your toes will thank you), then this blog post is for you. While there’s a host of different types of carpeting, some synthetic and some made from natural fibers, here’s a quick overview of cut pile carpeting (sometimes just called “plush”), a good choice and some of the comfiest flooring for a bedroom.

What is cut pile? Commonly used in bedrooms, cut pile has no loops and tends to feel softer than loop pile carpets, making it a more practical choice for the bedroom. Since yarns are cut, the carpet feels denser. Looking for soft carpet for your bedroom? Consider these types of cut pile carpeting.

Plush (velvet)
This carpet has a smooth almost sleek, formal look to it. You’ll see those footprints and vacuum marks, but you might not mind so much because this carpeting feels luxurious.

Textured plush
This type of carpet is versatile and can work with most design styles. If your bedroom is going to be used for more than sleeping, textured plush is a good choice because it’s a little tougher than these other options. You won’t see footprints or vacuum marks either.

Frieze
A good choice for an informal bedroom that gets regular activity, frieze will be more casual than plush or textured plush and footprints and marks won’t be so noticeable.

Saxony
The finish is smooth on saxony carpet, but because the fibers are longer (and twisted), furniture dents are common. Saxony is one of the most popular carpets types.

Cable
Besides plush, cable is probably the most comfortable carpeting on this list. The fibers are long and thick and can crush easily, so it’s best for low-traffic areas like the master bedroom.


Photo by Chalet

Shopping for carpet? You’ll discover many other types such as sisal, linen, silk, and the famed Wilton, a high-end woven carpet. Select your bedroom carpet based on lifestyle, price, and taste. Not looking for wall-to-wall carpeting? Go with an area rug, instead.


Posted in Bedroom Design | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment