Author Archives: charlesprogers
Bedroom Design: Preppy Yet Stylish
Post by Tracy Kaler.
What does the term “preppy” mean to you? According to the Collins Dictionary, the word means this: “characteristic of or denoting a fashion style of neat, understated, and often expensive clothes; young but classic, suggesting that the wearer is well off, upper class, and conservative….”
Is that how you would define preppy? When I think of preppy, I think of a button-down shirt with khaki pants, and a room that’s tailored with monograms and starched sheets.
When we talk about preppy-style interiors, we tend to imagine crisp plaid or check fabrics and traditional furnishings and colors. But “preppy” isn’t necessarily boring or humdrum, and doesn’t fit a certain stereotype. And it doesn’t need to be completely conservative, either.
Let’s take a look at bedrooms that do preppy well and celebrate the style.
Located in the Yorkville neighborhood in Manhattan, this bedroom begins with a gray plaid carpet and flame-stitch wall covering, but the abstract artwork and less conventional bedside lighting give the room an edge.
Pink and green have long been considered preppy colors. This pretty bedroom has a preppy feel but also feels undoubtedly feminine.
This sweet and stylish room by decorator Anthony Baratta is all about the details. The architecture and some of the elements are traditional, but the room itself has a more modern aesthetic.
Interior Designer Katie Rosenfeld tries a different approach to a preppy bedroom and does it with great finesse. Bold orange and bright green work well, and the modern LOVE art contributes to the room’s whimsical décor. Notice the zebra rug, which doesn’t match or coordinate with anything else in this photo.
What are your thoughts on preppy rooms after looking at these photos? Preppy can be stylish, after all.
Bed Nuts & Bolts: Squeaks and Creaks
Post by Jessica Schoenenberger.
While it might not be monsters under your bed, listening to squeaks and creaks can be annoying. Here’s a simple review of what might be causing you to loose a quiet’s night sleep:
Levelize Your Playing Field
Check to see if you floor is level. If you don’t have a level playing field your bed will go out of square. It means the corners are no longer at 90 degree angles. That could also happen if two feet or wheels are on the rug and two are on the wood floor, making the bed higher in some areas than others. When your bed is out of square, parts of it will rub against other parts, causing noise. If your bed uses a foundation/box spring it too will go out of square, following the misshape of your floor. If this is what’s happening in your room, you want to catch the problem early to avoid damage to the mattress and foundation, as well as the furniture.
An easy way to find out if your bed is in square is to measure the diagonals like a big X. When each length of the X is the same then you bed is in square. If your bed has become a trapezoid, loosen the hardware and adjust the rails until those diagonals measure the same lengths, then tighten your hardware. No need to strip threads, tighten just enough.
If your bed is in square but you floor is not level, either use shims to have all four corners the same height or adjust the levelers on your feet to compensate.
To determine if the noise you hear is the coming from the furniture or the foundation, take the mattress & foundation off the bed and place it on the floor. Bounce around and see if you still hear the noise when the set of bedding is on the floor. If your foundation has warped, you will need to replace it. Besides the noise it may be negatively impacting on the support your mattress, hence the support you get.
A clunking noise, when you sit on top of your mattress, could be a center support leg issue. All Queen, King and Cal Kings beds must have additional center support rail with leg(s) to the floor for proper long range care. Take a look underneath the bed at your center support legs. They should just be skimming off the floor. When you and/or your partner are on top of the bed, that’s when they touch down. Now that you have chased the monsters away, use the space under your bed for storage.
Movies in Bed: Young Frankenstein
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Rest in peace, Gene Wilder. There seem to be two camps of people: those who mostly remember this hilarious, frizzy-haired goofball as Willy Wonka in the 1971 production; his face in one of the final scenes has been plaster across millions of political memes throughout the last few years; and those who remember him as Frederick Frankenstein, grandson to the mad genius who created the Creature, known as Frankenstein’s monster. He was of course in many other great movies: Blazing Saddles; Stir Crazy; The Producers. But the two movies coming back to the big screen this fall are Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Young Frankenstein.
I come from a Young Frankenstein family. It’s both hilarious and beautiful at the same time. It’s got dark mystery mixed with the zany antics you would expect from a Mel Brooks film. Marty Feldman’s Igor is so bizarre and funny that it’s hard to know how anyone manages to keep a straight face. If you haven’t seen the movie, the basic run-down is that the grandson of Dr. Victor Frankenstein., Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, is a great surgeon and teacher who wants nothing to do with his grandfather’s work. But when he inherits his grandfather’s estate, he must take the trip to see it for himself. Try as he might, he cannot resist the allure of playing God.
Using the set from the original 1931 Frankenstein movie, the eerie old-fashioned feeling is contrasted with the amazing cast of Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman, Madeleine Kahn, Teri Garr and Peter Boyle. There are a number of raunchy jokes (this is a Mel Brooks movie, after all) so bear that in mind for family viewing.
Autumn is coming; what better way to celebrate fall and honor Gene Wilder than with curling up under blankets and watching this classic.
Bedroom Design: How to Paint Your Bedroom Walls Like a Pro
Post by Tracy Kaler.
We already know that painting is the least expensive way to transform a room, especially if you’re up to the task. (Hiring professional painters adds a whole other line item to the budget, and contractors can get expensive.) So, you’re probably thinking, “What if I don’t have any experience painting? Should I attempt to tackle a project like painting my bedroom?”
If you’re willing to follow instructions and spend the time needed (not rush through the job), then you should be happy with the results. I’ve put together a list for the novice painter, and if you follow these pointers, you’ll find yourself painting like a pro.
Make sure your walls are clean and ready for paint. Using a soft sponge, wash the walls with water and a mild detergent. After the walls are dry, spackle any holes and sand for a smooth finish. Check out these detailed instructions how to properly prep for paint (the key to a professional-looking paint job.
Once you’re all prepped, you need to prime the walls if you’re changing colors. If you’re keeping the same color and you don’t have a lot of wall repair, you can get away without priming. If you’re using a dark color, be sure to buy a tinted primer. (Follow painting instructions below for primer.) Again, if you’re painting with the same or very similar color (a white to an ivory), you shouldn’t need primer.
3. Cut in.
Next, you’ll want to cut in the corners and edges using an angled paint brush. If you’re not good with a brush, you can use painter’s tape to tape off edges around trim. Know that taping will add time and the paint can bleed over edges, so many professional painters don’t recommend it. If you must tape, be sure to remove it as soon as the walls are dry to the touch so it doesn’t pull off any paint. Cut in several inches around all trip and in corners.
Once you’ve cut in, attach your roller to an extension so you can reach those high places. Pour your paint into your tray and saturate your roller. Roll the paint in a “W” pattern and continue with vertical rolls until the entire wall is covered. Then, move on to the next wall. Tip: Be sure to wait until the paint is completely dry before applying additional coats.
How much paint will you need?
One gallon should cover approximately 400 square feet, but if you’re painting a dark color like navy blue or red, the coverage could be less and you’ll need additional paint. Ask your local paint store what they recommend. Better to have some paint left over anyhow, because touch-ups are practically inevitable.
Which finish paint should you use?
Walls are typically best in a flat, eggshell, or a low-sheen paint. In a bedroom, which is a low traffic area, you should be able to use flat paint without issue. Take a look at Benjamin Moore for more info on colors and finishes. Happy painting!
Bedtime Stories: Cartoons for Grown-Ups
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh.
Recently I was feeling a bit down. All the news has been sad and depressing and I needed to read a book that would be sure to make me laugh out loud (actual laughing—not LOLing) and make me forget all the other stuff in the world. I was given a number of recommendations from friends but the one that came up the most was Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. With no idea what it was—so little of an idea that I looked for an audio version—I promptly put a hold on it at my local library, with no idea what I was even getting.
What I got was a unique blend of personal narrative and hilariously crude illustrations, all chronicling the formative moments of Allie Brosh’s life, from the opening story about finding a note written to future Allie from 10-year-old Allie to the story of her insanely stupid (but greatly loved) dog. Each story is complemented by a number of pictures done in Brosh’s telltale stick-figure style. The stories on their own are funny and interesting but the pictures push it to a whole new level of hilarity.
But not all the stories are flat-out funny. As one who has struggled with depression, she provides a startlingly honest look at her bouts with depression and her attempts to be understood and to deal with it. Even this is oddly funny, mostly due to her ability to see clearly where she is being unreasonable and holding, at times, hilariously unrealistic expectations.
I read this book in bed every night and couldn’t get enough. My son was super interested in it too, partly due to the fun pictures but probably mostly because I told him it was totally inappropriate for children, mostly because of language. We did let him read the story about cake. The cake story is okay for kids.
If you need some levity in your life without compromising on a smart read, read this book. Or, if you can’t wait, hit up her blog where it all began: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/