Author Archives: charlesprogers
Bedroom Design: How to Create a Relaxing Bedroom
Post by Tracy Kaler.
Once again the holiday season is upon us, and we all have too many things to accomplish in a limited amount of time. As the most stressful month of the year approaches, now more than ever, we need a place to relax and recoup. That place is often our bedroom.
Last week, we looked at what makes a great bedroom, and one of the components was a space to relax. Heed these tips to create a relaxing bedroom, ideal for unwinding during the holiday season or at any time of the year.
Choose the right size bed.
A comfy bed is a given, but what about size? Many couples prefer a king bed, so they have plenty of space to sprawl. A queen-size should be the bare minimum for two people. Twin beds are suitable for singles, but depending on the person’s size, a double bed might be comfier. Taller folks should opt for extra-long beds.
Treat the windows.
Window treatments soften a space and help with light control. They can also enhance the mood of a room, so every bedroom should have shades, blinds, and or curtains, which also can keep a room soundproof and block out the world outside.
Make sure that your bedroom isn’t too warm or too cool. Adjust the thermostat, don’t block heat or an air conditioning source, install a ceiling fan if possible, and if not, add a table fan for air circulation.
No one wants clutter, and if you want to chill out in your bedroom, you won’t want it either. Stay organized and purge anything you don’t need. You’ll thank yourself later.
If you haven’t experimented with scents in the bedroom, now is a good time to start. Use lavender and sage essential oils and candles to encourage relaxation and promote sleep.
Keeping a bedroom tidy might not seem like an important step in creating a relaxing bedroom, but cleanliness is essential. If you want your bedroom to be your sanctuary, treat it as such. Clean once per week, and be sure that HVAC, lamps and any electronics are in working order.
Bedroom Design: 6 Ways to Think Outside the Box
Post by Tracy Kaler.
Most of us sleep in a bedroom with four walls, one that’s large enough for an occasional chair, dresser, and if we’re lucky a walk-in closet. But not every bedroom in every home is conventional or expected. Here’s a look at six ways to think outside the box when designing a bedroom.
A Denver loft-style bedroom mixes materials to create an eclectic design. Metal cabinets, brick, a rustic bed wall, modern wood furniture, and a shag rug manage to work together in this industrial bedroom by James Maynard.
Get creative with storage.
A shoe closet on a bed wall is not the norm, but it’s innovative and a crafty way to introduce storage into this London bedroom. This bespoke “shoe wardrobe” finished in turquoise does the job and looks good at the same time.
Go with an unconventional floor plan.
A master bedroom with a bed floating in the center of the space isn’t seen too often, but in this instance, that layout works. Notice the closet and French doors leading to another room. This floor plan might have been the most practical option given the room’s layout.
Let the architecture be the star.
This Los Angeles Arts District loft bedroom had no doors and uses curtains for privacy. Ductwork and pipes are left exposed and become the highlight of the design scheme. Furniture, lighting, and accessories are contemporary.
Work with what you’ve got.
This bed in Italy resembles a built-in bench but works well for a small person. Notice the unique tile pattern on the floor as well.
Make the most of a small space.
This secluded nook is a perfect escape for a child or teen. The tiny space is quirky, but it’s a clever way to craft an extra bedroom when needed.
Bedtime Stories: Fangirl
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.
Cather and Wren are twins (Cather Wren—Catherine—get it??), starting their first year at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. And although they have always been thick as thieves, as twins should be, bold and brash Wren wants to break out and become her own person. She doesn’t want to room with Cath, wants to party all the time, and begins teasing Cath about the fan fiction they have been writing together for years.
The Simon Snow novels are the Harry Potter books of their world. Stories of an orphaned boy with powerful, if poorly controlled, magic. He is roomed with his nemesis, a vampire named Baz, short for Tyrannus Basilton Pitch. Throughout the novels, the two spar and occasionally collaborate for the greater good. Cather and Wren, but mostly Cath, have been writing short stories about Baz and Simon, about what happens between scenes. Her fic is hugely popular, garnering tens of thousands of followers, as she attempts to finish Carry On, Simon Snow, her version of the final book in the series, before the real final book comes out.
Between bouts of storytelling, Cath learns how to be her own self, thanks in large part to her brusque and straightforward roommate Reagan, who exasperatedly tells her she has to be her friend because she’s so damn pathetic. And thanks also to Reagan’s friend Levi, whose unflappable good cheer chips slowly away at Cath’s stony, stubborn exterior.
This is a book about magic, about friendship, love, and siblings. And it’s about growing up and learning how to have parents as an adult.
The best part is that if you are intrigued by the chapters of Carry On, Simon Snow that you get a peek at, Rainbow Rowell released the entire novel, Carry On last year. Good reading for people who like witty and smart writing with just a little (not too much) drama.
Thread Count: What You Need to Know
Post by Tracy Kaler.
Let’s talk sheets, shall we? If the term “thread count” has you baffled, then this post is for you. “Thread count” appears on bed linen packaging, and suggests the number of vertical and horizontal threads per square inch (in fitted sheets, flat sheets, pillow cases, etc.). Higher thread counts usually mean that a linen will wear well, feel softer or become softer as it ages, and be more expensive than lower thread counts. If you’re looking at 200-thread count vs. 800-thread count, the 800 should be higher quality and cost more than the 200-thread count. But, that’s not always true.
You see, depending on the construction of the sheet, that higher thread count might not mean much. According to HGTV, “Astronomical thread counts don’t necessarily mean the sheet is better—there are even tricks to inflating the thread count (such as using multiple yarns twisted together) that don’t actually improve the hand of the fabric and may even detract from its quality.”
Photo by Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects
Depending on the construction and finish of the sheets, 200-thread count can feel quite luxurious, so don’t always aim for a higher number when shopping sheets. Certain types of cotton sheets boast longer fibers, offering a stronger construction and softer hand on the fabric.
Want the best quality sheets? Go with 100 percent Egyptian cotton (also probably the priciest), followed by pima cotton, which should be trademarked Supima. If you find sheets marked 100 percent cotton, they’re probably American upland cotton, which won’t be nearly as expensive (or soft) as Egyptian or pima, and will be more likely to pill.