Author Archives: charlesprogers
Bedroom Design: Shades of Gray
Post by Erin Sears.
Living in Portland, Oregon, I’m accustomed to gray. We’re old friends. I’ve accepted that soon the blue skies of summer will be replaced by the cozy gray dome that we live under for most of the year. You’d think I’d be sick of gray, but gray happens to be one of the hottest colors in home décor right now and I love it! Painting a bedroom gray is a great way to provide your room with a grounding neutral color to which you can add luscious pops of color. Yellows, purples, turquoise and hot pink all look stunning against a gray base. Conversely, adding gray accessories in a room adds an element of sophistication. It shows that you know what you’re doing. In the September 2012 issue of House Beautiful readers listed gray as one of their favorite color choices. Let’s take a closer look:
Source: House Beautiful
Gray tufted bed with hot pink accent pillow and monogrammed shams. So elegant!
The red bed and yellow pillow really stand out against the washed gray wall. It’s rustic and cozy.
Source: www.houzz.com Jessica Lagrange Interiors
If you aren’t able to commit to painting your room or you are still saving up for that special bed purchase, how about choosing gray bed linens? Try the European linen duvet and shams from Charles P. Rogers. Nothing brings a room together faster than good bedding. Enjoy!
Bedtime Stories: Jumanji
Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg.
You’ve probably never heard of this book before. Chris Van Allsburg is an obscure 18th Dutch children’s author from the town of Blokzijl. The word “Jumanji” is an archaic term from an obscure dialect meaning “to harness one’s sorrows and transform them into hopes”.
—Hang on, I’m getting a message:
What’s that? Oh, it turns out that Chris Van Allsburg is from Michigan and his books have sold millions and Jumanji was made into a best-selling movie starring Robbie Williams—sorry—Robin Williams.
Well, I can’t introduce you to something new every week, now can I???
Well, my kid got the 30th anniversary edition of Jumanji for his birthday. I can’t believe it’s over thirty years old now! Anyways, this particular edition came with an audio version of the book read by
Robbie Robin Williams. Honestly, he does a pretty good job reading the story. He is an actor, after all. There’s some weird saxophone thing going on during the intro and at the end, but otherwise it’s perfectly fine. I was thinking about all this tonight as my son cried and cried to please listen to Jumanji. Again. After all, like I said, it’s pretty good.
But not that good.
Bedroom Design: Best Bedroom Colors
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
Choosing the best bedroom colors can be a difficult task, especially if it’s the first time you get to choose the color of your bedroom. Most apartments and rental homes leave the bedroom walls white, and for very good reason: white goes with everything. However, white can be boring, especially the drab white landlords use. If you’re ready to add some color to your bedroom, I’ve compiled a list of the three best bedroom colors and why.
Many people hear neutral colors and think, “boring,” but this doesn’t have to be the case. Neutral colors create an ideal backdrop to frame the rest of your bedroom design against, and are more forgiving for novice designers. They also work well with different designs, which allows you to easily update the décor of your bedroom without having to repaint. Included in the broad category of neutrals is everything from white to gray, which is actually a lot. Take a trip to your local home improvement or paint store and see for yourself: you’ll be surprised how many different shades of white you can choose from.
2. Earth Tones
Earth tones include the more muted shades of brown and green. Remember, you want to feel relaxed when you enter your bedroom and lime green probably isn’t the best way to conjure that feeling. Earth tones make it easy to envision what colors to incorporate in your overall design too; simply think of what colors you’d find in a forest. Bright red is an excellent color to use for your statement piece with an earthy palette, just doesn’t overdo it.
The number of shades of blue you can choose from can be overwhelming. To help narrow your choices, first decide between light and dark blue. Dark blue will create a deep, mature feeling in the bedroom, while light blues are generally considered more light and airy. Use white to accent your blue walls. White floorboards, headboards, and furniture contrast nicely with any shade of blue.
What do you think is the best bedroom color? Let us know in the comments below.
Breakfast in Bed: Homemade Ricotta Cheese on Grilled Bread
Post by Alison Hein.
One recent morning, groping around in my fridge for the usual breakfast fare, I came up empty-handed. No eggs. No cheese. No juice. Well, wait a minute. I did have one quart of whole milk and a couple of lemons. Add to that a few slices of French bread from last night’s dinner, and an image begins to form in my mind… Rich, homemade ricotta cheese, still warm from the stove, slathered on buttery golden bread, generously sprinkled with tangy lemon zest.
Ricotta cheese is astonishingly easy to make. You’ll need whole milk, and some lemon juice or vinegar. And, although it can be made without, a little cheesecloth and a candy thermometer make the process even easier. Some people like to add cream or buttermilk for a richer flavor. Add salt or not, and let the cheese rest longer for a heavier feel. I encourage you to try it a few times, then hone the recipe to your taste. So nice to cook with – add some to an omelet, or your favorite Italian dish.
Turns out necessity is not only the mother of invention, but sometimes the genesis of a simple, rich and tangy breakfast in bed.
1 lemon (2 tablespoons juice)
1 quart whole milk
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
1 tablespoon butter
4 slices French or Italian bread
Salt and pepper, to taste
Using a lemon zester or grater, remove one to two teaspoons of lemon zest. Slice lemon in half. Juice lemon and set lemon juice and zest aside. Line a colander with a double layer of cheesecloth and place in sink.
Pour milk into heavy saucepan, and stir in salt. Place over medium heat, until milk reaches a temperature of 180° to 185°. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Let milk mixture sit for one to two minutes, until curds and whey separate. Carefully remove curds with slotted spoon, and place in cheesecloth-lined colander to drain. Discard whey. Allow curds to drain for at least 10 minutes, up to one hour. (The consistency of the cheese will become firmer with longer draining time.) Place in bowl and refrigerate if not using right away. Fresh ricotta will last several days in the refrigerator.
To grill bread, melt butter in heavy frying pan over medium heat. Add bread slices and cook until golden brown, turning once, about 2 minutes. Spoon equal portions of ricotta onto bread, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with lemon zest.
This recipe can be easily increased to make more cheese – use the same proportions, up to one gallon of milk.
Makes about ⅔ cup ricotta cheese, and 2 servings of grilled bread.
Bedroom Design: A Lesson in Geometry
Post by Laura Cheng.
Move over triangles and squares, there’s a new shape in town. Polyhedrons are the new rage and its not hard to realize its appeal. The reason why I love geometric design is because it’s an oxymoron. The design is both retro and modern. It can enhance the bedroom with its clean, structured lines or draw attention to its unexpected, unsymmetric shape. It can relax the formality of traditional furniture and bedding choices.
Geometry is everywhere. Lately, polyhedrons have been used as inspiration for many angular lamp designs. This one is sold by the Land of Nod, which just goes to show that even toddlers can get a geometry lesson on flat faces and straight edges. However, to make it easier for them to understand, the term has been simplified as “Between a Rock Lamp Base”. It comes in silver, white, and gold; gold being my favorite (see previous blog about “Going for the Gold”).
On a nightstand, it stands as a beautiful and functional sculptural piece. If you’re really into replicating the look of this room, keep reading. Even timepieces can be transformed into a case involving geometry.
A classic alarm clock shaped as a polyhedron is the perfect complement to a modernly styled polyhedron lamp. Although out of production, the Retro Hexagon Clock by Pottery Barn adds instant vintage glamour and intrigue to your nightstand tablescape. A resin and pearlized material to the clock will maintain a coherent balance between the shiny surface of the lamp base. Look for Bakelite clocks designed with updated details and mechanisms on your next trip to the flea market or antique store. And if you haven’t heard of eBay, then call me. We need to talk.
Can you count the polyhedrons in this picture? Technically, polyhedrons are 3 dimensional objects. However, exceptions are always made in geometric design. In design 2+2 does not always equal 4. There is no right answer. Another reason to love geometric design! This geometric lattice wallpaper absorbs all the attention in this bedroom. The key green color is repeated in the trim to help break up the busy pattern. Other primary colors like black and white keep the focus on the main attraction.