Yearly Archives: 2012
Post by Laura Cheng.
The Kindle is a phenomenal idea, but I’m still old school. I collect books of all genres and over the course of only five years, I’ve amassed a collection that is now piling up as four floor to ceiling stacks in my living room. On top of that, my mum recently called and gave me an ultimatum to stop by and pick up the books that she’s been storing for me since high school. Those books hold high sentimental value. Others may call it borderline hoarding. I can’t let my Beverly Cleary collection or my Calculus and Biology text books go to the dump. Being in the situation that I am in, I find the idea of decorating with books in the bedroom to be promising.
The only drawback to a library in the bedroom is the need to clean more frequently. Books tend to accumulate dust and I just don’t have the time every week to pull all my books off and dust. I’d get distracted and start reading the books. A 30 minute task would turn into a 3 hour one. Martha Stewart has a great idea of adding the hair dryer to my dusting toolkit, but the idea of the dust falling in or around the bed is unsettling. Lining my bedroom with bookshelves that are directed away from my bed may be one way to avoid this, as shown in the bedroom below. Even more than the cozy ambiance of the book collection, I really like the unexpected picture frame that is hanging off the bookcase.
Everyone has their own preference and argument in the way they arrange their books. If your memory can’t even track what you had for breakfast, then organizing by author, title or category will be more suitable. When form prevails over function, arranging by color and size will keep the bedroom looking organized.
An open shelf system to display my collection of books could easily lead to clutter. If there are enough books to fill all the shelves, then this next subject won’t be an issue. If not, a bookcase once meant to collect books could easily turn into a convenient resting spot for your stuffed animal or lost coins.
In my previous blog, I talked about repetition, balance, and spacing. The same techniques apply here. When placing items on a shelf, keep an eye on the overall composition. If photos are added to the mix of media, keeping them in the same frame will help maintain order and symmetry. Avoid patterned bed linens. A plain ivory or white outfit for your bed will make sure the attention is drawn appropriately to the stylish shelves of knowledge.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
I reckon that everyone in the Western world is at least somewhat acquainted with the classic Grimms’ fairy tales. Among their hundreds of stories, Hansel and Gretel is among the best-known, and among the best-known, surely the cruelest. So why should this be a bedtime story? Well, maybe your children will learn some valuable lessons (though it seems to me that the moral of Hansel and Gretel is, at best, vague) or maybe because—you know—happy endings! Personally, I love the story of Hansel and Gretel. I have always been fascinated by the image of being led by milky-white stones illuminated by the blue glow of the moon. I even had a pet gecko named Gretel!
This particular rendition is especially lovely. Written in a simple straightforward manner by acclaimed author Cynthia Rylant and richly illustrated by the NW’s own Jen Corace, this version is scores better than other tellings I have read. Naturally, you should use your best judgment to determine whether reading to your child about witchcraft, cannibalism and kids being abandoned in the woods is the right way to leave your child for dreamtime. And frankly, much as I love Jen Corace’s stylized illustrations, the children’s gray eyes seem a little dead and creepy. But hey, that’s me!
Post by Josh Zinn.
Someone once explained to me the popularity and allure of Jennifer Lopez, but, like so many things these days—including the rustic art of mayonnaise making, Diamonique®, and AP calculus—their words were lost on me. Honestly, I just couldn’t fathom how this averagely talented woman had become a worldwide media empire, shucking out albums, movies, and television appearances at a rate far eclipsing the brief but prodigious career of Nelson (the band, not Mandela). Sleek, slender, and bedazzled, Jennifer Lopez is a Versace-clad snake coiled around the globe, squeezing talent from the planet and leaving mediocrity in its place.
Like a snake…
Like a sn…
Of course, how could I be so silly?! The obvious reason Jennifer Lopez is one of the biggest stars in the world today is thanks to her starring role in a little film (that’s a simple-minded guilty pleasure) about a really, really, REALLY big snake.
Like On Golden Pond without a pond, Katherine Hepburn, or numerous Academy Awards, Anaconda is a film that raises questions which strike at the heart of the human experience, such as: Why does Angelina Jolie’s dad (John Voight) have a psychic connection with a gigantic snake? How can a fair-skinned Eric Stoltz stay surnburn-free in the middle of a tropical rainforest? If a snake swallows Owen Wilson and no one sees it, did it really happen? Huh, what’s Ice Cube doing here? And finally, how is Jennifer Lopez able to juggle the pressures of being a dedicated documentarian delving into the discovery of a lost native tribe—cause, folks, there’s always a lost native tribe—whilst maintaining a scantily-clad figure seemingly designed by Spandex?
Not content merely to stop with these quizzical queries, Anaconda also assaults the senses with an ever-increasing amount of tension as the audience is left in suspense wondering whose inability to act, the Anaconda or Ms. Lopez, will cause the death of their career first. Judging from the snakeskin boots J.Lo wore last season on American Idol, it would seem that question has already been answered.
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
It is often said that variety is the spice of life, and this is true even when it comes to sleeping. That said, I’ve woken up on the sofa more than I’d care to admit and I would always tell you I prefer the bed. However, there are those nights when I succumb to the call of the siren, or sofa, in search of something different. Fortunately, the sofa isn’t the only alternative out there. For example, you can easily trade those achy zzz’s on the couch for a bohemian nap in a hammock.
I was first introduced to sleeping in a hammock when I was about 13 years old. That summer, the family took a vacation to California for my cousin’s wedding. The place we stayed at was a relatively small townhouse, and even a Spartan would describe it as sparse. Since it didn’t have enough beds to accommodate us all, and since I always draw the short stick, I was relegated to sleeping in a hammock that occupied what I imagine was supposed to be the living room.
At first, I was nervous about sleeping in something I could fall out of so easily. However, my fears quickly drifted away once I climbed in, and I now appreciate the simplistic beauty of sleeping in a hammock. I even purchased a hammock several years ago for precisely this reason. Sadly, however, I have yet to live somewhere with a big enough room to hang it in.
Writing this article got me curious about any possible side effects of sleeping in a hammock. Certainly, it can’t be good for your back. Can it? To my surprise, it appears that the side effects of sleeping in a hammock are all positive. Indeed, one study on WebMD suggests that “rocking to soothe and induce sleep is an adaptive human behavior that has evolved over the years to encourage the natural oscillations that occur in the brain during sleep” and hammocks are very good at inducing these oscillations. In fact, many people report that sleeping in a hammock helps them sleep better. Digging a little further I even found a number of web communities that advocate sleeping in hammocks as a fulltime alternative to beds.
While I’m not ready to burn my mattress in favor of sleeping in a hammock fulltime, I anxiously await the day I can hang a hammock of my own; even if only for an occasional Spanish-style siesta.
Until next time, duerma bien mis amigos (sleep well, my friends).
Post by Laura Cheng.
The tropical New York heat calls for a tropical getaway. And if not by plane, then by transforming your bedroom into an oasis complete with palm leaf décor.
Jumbo, greenery printed bed sheets can easily achieve the look. A quick trip to a store like Crate and Barrel and done! A wooden, four poster canopy bed makes a statement in the center of this bedroom among the mural of framed prints and mirrors. Symmetric nightstands and footstools balance out the rest of the bedroom. The organically woven texture of the footstools lend a fresh, resort style atmosphere. I have always loved the combination of a bright, masculine green and a bold, feminine pink. The bedroom would not look as put together if it were not for the vase of magenta flowers and the pop of color it adds.
It is no doubt that green and pink make great, modern design statements. The color combo shows up again in this room. However, the main show stopper that caught my eye is the golden frond fan. I’m a huge, huge “fan” of Portuguese designer, Prego Sem Estopa, who designed the room below. A fan like this one would serve dual purpose, transforming the bedroom into a breezy, fashionable retreat.
If there is already a fan in your room, but it looks like it was tragically pulled from the basement of your grandmother’s house, then despair no more. No need to buy a whole new fixture. Palm leaf fan blades are sold as attachable accessories to your currently existing fan. In addition to adding tropical flair, the blades pound around more air per square inch, meaning a cooler room in the current summer heat.
Can you count the number of tropical icons in the room below? Palm leaf draperies, coordinating fern throw pillows, bamboo blinds tropical leaves in vases, glass bottle table lamp, branching sculpture floor lamp, seagrass wallpaper, sea horse accent pillow, and a tropical green chaise are all topped off with an amazing sea view. So if you said 9, you are correct! And as your game show host, I present you with door number 3, your bedroom renewed into a tropical oasis. Take any of the style cues from this bedroom into your own to get you through the rest of the balmy and sultry New York summer.