Category Archives: Bedroom Design

Bedroom Design: The Power of Two

Post by Erin Sears.

Many years ago when I was an art student I took a course in the Art and Culture of Western Africa. My professor was a lovely man and a consummate storyteller. One of the tales he shared with us was about the Yoruba people of Nigeria. The Yoruba have the highest rate of twin births in the world. Twins are revered in their culture and seen to be fortunate. They are given special names and the entire community rejoices at their birth. The story that stuck with me the most is that for Yoruba people, the first twin born is actually considered to be the younger twin. This twin enters the world and checks things out, letting the older, more dominant twin know that it’s safe to be born. Throughout the years, amongst twins I’ve known, I’ve seen this pattern repeated time and time again. The firstborn twin is the twin that is more extroverted and active, while the second born twin carries a quiet wisdom and confidence.

What does this have to do with bedroom design? Twin beds show up frequently in good design. Just like with their human counterparts, twin beds add something special to a room. Twin beds give a room symmetry and balance.  They are both a bold and an innocent choice, reminding us of our youth and the good fortune of having enough room for everyone. Twin beds are not just for children; they are often enjoyed in vacation homes and guest rooms- joyous spaces that are meant to be shared with others.

Here are some of my favorite sets of twins:

Source: http://myoldcountryhouse.blogspot.com/2012/07/monday-makeover-twin-beds.html

The graphic prints of the headboard and the two rugs really attract me to this room.  If you head over to the blog, it shows the transformation of these beds from yard sale find to what you see above. Really cool DIY idea.

 

Source:  House Beautiful

The sweet sophistication of this room makes me want to curl up in one of these beds and sleep for a really long time. Clearly, the room pictured is for a child, but what I find compelling is that the room also has real “adult” furniture and accessories that make it versatile. Anyone could sleep comfortably here.


Source: http://www.nuevo-estilo.es/espacios/img.htm?404/404_4_10g.jpg


Turquoise! Tufted velvet! These unique twin headboards could be dressed up with different linens for adults, but are totally kid appropriate too.

May twin beds bring good fortune to your home.

For more on the Yoruba people of Nigeria and their magical twins: http://www.randafricanart.com/Yoruba_Customs_and_Beliefs_Pertaining_to_Twins.html

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Things We Like: Smart Lighting

Post by Kyle St. Romain.

If you recall, a while back I wrote about the basics of bedroom lighting. In that article, I went over some of the ways you can use lighting to change the look and feel of your bedroom. Basically, changes in the brightness, color, and height of your lighting all influence the way we experience a room.

In my quest to help you make the most out of your bedroom lighting (and lighting in other rooms) I’m going to share a new type of light bulb that recently came across. Meet the Philips Hue, which is more of a light system than it is a light bulb. Let me explain.

The Philips Hue is an LED light bulb and lighting control system that gives you the ability to adjust almost every aspect of your lighting (save physically moving the fixture). The bulbs screw into your existing light fixtures and connect to your home’s Wi-Fi through a bridge. The system allows you to control your lights remotely from your iPhone; and I’m not just talking simple on/off control. These bulbs also allow you to change the color of your light.

In addition to controlling the on/off function and color of your lights, Philips Hue also lets you adjust the brightness of your lighting, so you’ll no longer need to install a hard-wired dimmer switch. The system also has a number of pre-set selections (called light recipes) that adjust the color and brightness of your lighting for task specific purposes, such as: reading, relaxing, or working (concentrating). Philips even claims these light recipes are scientifically proven to improve your ability to focus and relax.

In the bedroom, the Philips Hue really shines. The bulbs can set on a timer that gradually brightens and adjusts the color of the light to simulate the sun coming up to help you wake up more peacefully. No more squinting (and dreading) when the lights suddenly come on!

Since the bulbs LED they consume about 80 percent less energy than traditional bulbs and last about 15 years. While they are a bit more expensive than regular bulbs (even energy efficient bulbs), it’s hard to put a price on the cool factor. The starter kit includes a wireless bridge that handles up to 50 bulbs and three bulbs. It sells for $199. Additional bulbs can be purchased for $59 each. A bit pricey, but much cheaper than other color changing LED systems I’ve shopped for before.

For more information, check out the official Philips Hue Website. The only question left is: How will you incorporate these new lighting possibilities into your bedroom? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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Bedroom Design: Oh, America!

Post by Erin Sears.

Well, it’s finally here- Election Day. Regardless of whom you voted for, I think that there’s one thing that we can all agree on- we’ll be glad when the election is over. Until then, this special day has me feeling patriotic and what could be more patriotic than red, white and blue, stars and stripes, and the American flag!

Maybe it’s my Midwestern roots, but I’d don’t mind a little Americana in the home.  It just needs to be very well curated and have visual interest. Stars and stripes, whether on a flag or not, have strong graphic appeal and that’s why they show up so often in home décor and fashion. Here are some great examples of star spangled decorating:

Source: desiretoinspire.net

There’s nothing understated about the bold use of this oversized flag.  What draws me to this room is that it is done so well.  The flag is framed in white and provides the color theme for the rest of the space.  It’s happy and exciting, which is just what a child’s room should be.

Source: http://media-cache-ec4.pinterest.com/upload/188799409348166836_sSJNf3dH.jpg

The literal use of the flag at the top of the bed aside, I’m really drawn to this bedding.  It’s a reversal of the stars and stripes theme. The quilt is a sophisticated use of red and white and it looks great with the striped pillow.  It’s just enough of a nod to the flag without being overpowering.

Source: http://www.shelterpop.com/2010/06/30/bright-idea-decorating-with-flags/

This simple room feels clean and classic. From the presumably vintage quilt on the bed to the light blue striped throw pillow to the boat painting, the room represents understated Americana at its best.  The flag-as-curtain ties the whole room together. It should be noted that there are official rules for using the flag indoors and technically, this room is breaking those rules.  I would assert that decorating is all about breaking rules and that America was founded with independent sensibilities in mind.  If using the flag in this manner isn’t for you, you have the freedom to go a different direction.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/17/garden/how-to-tell-if-youre-living-an-over-propped-life.html?_r=1&

Books! The New York Times wrote that doing this type of home styling might be over the top.  However, I think that if you’ve got the downtime and creative drive to turn your books into a showpiece, go for it!

I hope that you’ve been inspired by Old Glory this week and I hope that you vote today.  Regarding Hurricane Sandy, please know that all of us on the West Coast are thinking of all of you on the East Coast.  Take care.

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Movies in Bed: My Life as a Dog

Post by Josh Zinn.

The boy has no real home, not anymore. Orbiting around the lives of those for whom he feels his existence is now, in one way or another, a complication, his time is spent comparing what he endures with the lot of those whose circumstances appear to have been far worse than his own. It’s a way to get by in this transient life, when you’re viewed more as an attachment, a burden, a nuisance, a pet, than as someone worth knowing. “At least we’re not them,” we tell ourselves, all the while knowing we probably wouldn’t spend so much time thinking about it unless some of their pain resonated with our own.

Lasse Hallström’s “My Life as a Dog” knows what it’s like to feel forgotten about and left to drift towards some unknown oblivion. Like so many of the stories that flow through his mind, the film’s protagonist, Ingemar, is a boy whose happiness and well-being has become an after-thought. Seemingly unwanted, he lives on the outskirts of life, confined to adjunct spaces, with the rest of the world now existing behind shut doors or in memories of better times with his mother. Like Laika, the first dog in space whose fate is ruminated over throughout the film, Ingemar’s idea of his future appears isolated, grim, and hopeless.

To portray this notion of Ingemar being removed from the rest of the world, Hallström places the boy in a series of confined spaces throughout the film. From a drainage tunnel under train tracks, to the cabinet he hides under when his Mother is taken away, to the small spaceship-shaped “funhouse” he hides away in, Ingemar is put in places where he won’t be in the way. Unaware of the complexities of life taking place around him and confused about the changes happening within his own body, Ingemar is frequently trapped within his thoughts, unable to explain or understand what he is feeling. These pockets of solitude, then, become a representation of the darkness—the naiveté—that he must emerge from if he is to find his place in the world.

These allusions to space and rebirth also play a more obvious role in the two attempts Ingemar and his friends make to jettison a makeshift “spacecraft” they find in the old barn. Their first attempt, made when Ingemar is still stuck and holding back from embracing his new surroundings, comes to a halt in mid-air, literally leaving its crew hanging. The second attempt, coming at the end of the film—following a climactic breaking down of the fun house door and Ingemar’s subsequent exorcism of grief and guilt—successfully flies but, even more importantly, comes crashing back down to earth and into a puddle of cow manure. Now knowing he is no longer destined to float away into the ether, Ingemar learns that living an engaged life often means dealing with the crap you’re bound to find yourself in from time to time.

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Bedroom Design: Hooray for Houndstooth!

Post by Laura Cheng.

Houndstooth is one of my all time favorite graphic patterns. From iconic Chanel to daring Alexander McQueen, it has been a Scottish inspiration on the runaway for centuries. And for all my football fans reading this, houndstooth can be summed up in 2 words: Bear Bryant.  Its versatile, graphic pattern can be as daring or as subtle as one would like. Fun fact for the day: a smaller-scale version of the pattern is called “puppytooth”! How cute! If I ever wanted to give my bedroom a dose of good, old-fashioned sophistication and elegance, there is no doubt I would utilize this pattern.

I love the crushed velvet orange bed frame in the bedroom, but what I really noticed was the houndstooth rug. Its crisp black and white pattern is the perfect preppy fall accent. There’s another trend here that also caught my eye. Just as layering clothes keeps you warm, layering rugs have a similar effect. Not only does the technique add visual interest and texture to the floor, but it’s also so practical and easy to mimic. A quiet sisal rug as the base layer happily allows the houndstooth pattern to strut its monochromatic colors and anchor the space in the bedroom. And for the finishing touch that is essential but often overlooked, a vase of roses in a balancing hue keeps the bedroom timeless and romantic.

Source: http://shaylacopas.com/design-trends/2011-trend-houndstooth-in-your-home/

Usually, houndstooth is black and white, but it can also appear in varying shades.  It is just as, if not more,  wonderful in shades of red or navy.  Or if black and white is too bold and busy,  a nice neutral beige can often be the answer. This handsome wool throw by Moon of England is complements any bedroom decor without overwhelming the space.

Source: http://www.sierratradingpost.com/moon-houndstooth-throw-blanket-new-wool~p~4654r/

On the opposite spectrum, if I was looking for a statement piece, this one of a kind Pied-de-Poule armoire  by Seletti would be it. Getting dressed on groggy fall mornings will be definitely be more interesting with a jolt of fun and drama. The armoire is made of MDF with a silkscreened houndstooth pattern. I’m not quite sure where I would put it yet, but what I am sure of is I’d have a psychedelic start to any day.

 

Source: http://www.selettiboutique.co/seletti-trip-wardrobe-the-trip-furniture-pied-de-poule.html

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