Tag Archives: bed

Sleeping with Pets

Post by Jessica Schoenenberger

During winter evenings, my cat curls up next to my chest, lets me put my arms around him, and snuggles with me all night. In the summer, he chooses the top of the fridge over my amazingly comfortable mattress, but still joins me in the morning (usually when he wants food). For a lot of you, this type of affection might seem normal for your pet. But with my cat, a black Bombay named Lu (Lucifer) that was rescued from the streets of Brooklyn, this is the biggest honor of my life. Lu’s affectionate in his own ways, but not the most cuddly. So the fact that he deigned me the most tolerable human in the house to huddle against during the colder seasons is something I won’t take for granted. Believe me, my boyfriend is more jealous than anyone you’ve ever seen.

So there I am, relishing every moment Lu seems to be depending on me for something other than food for once. And for the first half of the night while I’m sleeping soundly, it’s nothing short of heaven. Then as I get restless I come to the number one cat owner dilemma. If I move and disturb our little Dark Prince’s sleep, I know he will quite literally grumble at me in annoyance and jump down, leaving me cold and lonely. Or worse, he’ll awkwardly sandwich himself somewhere near my legs, leaving me only a few inches of the mattress to spare. Yes, my cat has emotions like that, I swear. And yes this is normal for a cat owner (I hope).

my cat picture

The benefits and drawbacks of letting your pet sleep with you have long been debated. According to Science Daily-about half of all pet owners co-sleep with their pets. Even further, Web MD states that 62% of cat owners sleep with their pet.

If you have severe allergies, of course it is best not to sleep with your pet, especially if you notice it irritating you. Otherwise, the consensus seems to be that it is perfectly fine to sleep with your pet if you can tolerate it. It has never been definitively proven that you are at higher risk of disease. Plus, there seem to be at least a few benefits in it for you. According to studies, sleeping with pets can relax you and provide you with a sense of security. Not to mention warmth, if you aren’t already a hot sleeper. Some insomnia sufferers can only sleep with the comfort of their dog or cat next to them. Like many lessons about sleep, it’s really about what is comfortable to you. If you feel you are sacrificing a good night sleep just to make your furry friend happy, you may want to rethink your situation. Otherwise, snuggle away!

A few tips if you do choose to sleep with your pet- If you have a new pet, you should try to give them a neutral sleeping area before letting them into your bed. And when you do, it should be by invitation only. That way, if you find that you are uncomfortable on certain nights, your pet will have somewhere else to go without being traumatized. Plus, for dog owners specifically, invitation only sleeping will reassert your dominance over certain dogs that might become territorial or aggressive about their perfect spot on the mattress.

Lu tends to be very restless any time I move around. And, at 4:45 in the morning on the dot (God knows why), he starts bothering me for his breakfast, meowing and wreaking havoc in the room. When this happens I am able to lock him out of the bedroom to get some extra shut eye, and he still has a few favorite spots around the house to settle into.

my cat in bed

In the end, it really comes down to the balance. If you train your pet correctly, you should feel comfortable kicking them out if you can’t sleep. But it’s a personal choice. I of all people know how hard it can be to part with your pet when all you want to do is cuddle, but sometimes it will be for both of your benefit. You don’t want to end up resenting Fido for tossing and turning all night. I know I’ll probably still hold on to Lu longer than I should to my own detriment, but I’ll enjoy every second of it. Maybe I’m too obsessed with my pet, or maybe I’m just a normal cat owner starved for the aloof animal’s attention. But I do what makes me happy, and you should too. That’s what it’s all about, right?

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Builder Upgrades for Your Master Bedroom

Post by Tracy Kaler.


Photo by LMK Interiors

Building your dream home? If you fear that your master bedroom could end up looking a little too cookie cutter and would like your space to feel more personalized, implementing even one or two of these upgrades might be worth the splurge.

Select more expensive carpeting.
A simple carpet upgrade can make a bedroom look luxurious and feel much comfier underfoot.

Upgrade your carpet pad.
Speaking of comfy, a high-quality carpet pad can make all the difference in the look and feel of your wall to wall carpeting.

Raise the ceiling height.
Sure, ceilings that measure at 8’-0” might be standard, but a 9’-0” ceiling height (or higher) will instantly add character to a vanilla bedroom.

Select a fun paint color.
Rather than going with the standard ivory or beige on the walls, choose a tranquil blue, soft yellow, or even a bold color if you’re feeling adventurous.

Add decorative molding.
Crown molding or wainscoting will add an architectural element to even the dullest space. Talk with your builder about options that are within your budget.

Dress up your bedroom with a chandelier.
Let there be light! Yes, a chandelier (rather than a ceiling mount) will undoubtedly dress up your space.

Put the lights on switches and dimmers
Straightforward and inexpensive, dimmers give you the ability to control the amount of light in any room. They’re a luxury worth every penny.

Customize the closet.
Storage makes all the difference, and a customized closet will reap the rewards when you go to sell.



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5 Unique Beach House Bedrooms

Post by Tracy Kaler.

It’s that time of year again when we’re dreaming of sand between our toes and the sounds of the sea. I think most everyone I know fantasizes about spending summers on the beach. I know I do. These five unique beach house bedrooms would make for perfect days and nights along the coast.

This Charleston bedroom is decked out in traditional blue and white beach colors but with a hint of beige. A comfy club chair, desk, and a stunning view turn this room into a haven for sleeping, reading, working, and relaxing.


Photo by The Anderson Studio of Architecture & Design

A San Francisco beach house sports a mostly green bedroom but with blue walls. Bright white furniture and trim keep the room feeling fresh and clean. A starburst mirror adds an eclectic element to the space.


Photo by Viscusi Elson Interior Design – Gina Viscusi Elson

Designer Barclay Butera decorated this Ocean County bedroom. White bedding with an awning stripe at the food of the bed plus a ship above the bed create a nautical theme, ideal for a home along the California coast.


Photo by Barclay Butera Interiors

This gorgeous master bedroom designed by Tara Seawright doesn’t skip a beat. Located in Shelter Island, New York, the space feels undeniably coastal yet comfy.


Photo by Tara Seawright Interior Design

The pitched board and batten ceiling of this Seattle beach cottage takes center stage. The decor is no fuss, but subtle touches like the rustic pendant, porthole window, and French doors add interest to the otherwise simple design.






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Bedroom Design: 5 Well-Designed Basement Bedrooms

Post by Tracy Kaler.

Basements used to be considered less-than-desirable spaces, but more recently, these subterranean rooms are often used for family rooms, play rooms, offices, and even bedrooms. Depending on the structure, basement bedrooms can be attractive, stylish, and comfortable, offering everything that a ground floor or second story bedroom would. Still not sold on sleeping in the basement of your home? Look at these basement bedrooms for inspiration.

This basement bedroom designed by Knudsen Interiors allows light to seep in through clerestory windows, which add a visual element at the same time. With its earthy color scheme and modern touches, this room takes on an Arts and Crafts feel.



Believe it or not, this bedroom is in a basement and the space sports 9-foot ceilings (that height is practically unheard of in basements). A bright orange splashes the bed wall and warms up the space. Cork flooring is appropriate for a room below grade.


I don’t know that I’ve ever seen such a beautifully decorated basement. A modern Knoxville bedroom pulls out all the stops with an ample sleeping space and a separate seating area. Exposed beams give the room a rustic feel, yet the furnishings are contemporary.


Bringing light into any bedroom is essential, but it’s especially difficult in basement bedrooms. This light well patio eliminates the basement feel and creates a private outdoor space. It’s a win-win.


What’s not to love about this bachelor basement bedroom? Exposed floor joists introduce pattern and increase ceiling height. Gray walls, pine floors, and minimal furnishings lend an industrial feel.

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Beat Insomnia with These Herbs

Post by Tracy Kaler.

Counting sheep again? Insomnia plagues millions of Americans, so know that when you’re wide awake and staring at the ceiling at 2 a.m., you are not alone. If lack of sleep due to stress (and not because of a medical issue) is affecting your sleep, consider going the natural route. For some, herbs can provide enough relaxation to catch up on missed beauty sleep. Here are nine to try.

For years, Passionflower has been used to treat anxiety and sleep irregularities. The herb contains Flavanoids, which help relax nerves, making it one of the top choices to treat insomnia. Available in tea, capsules, or tincture.

Valerian root has long been used to remedy sleep disorders and is considered safe in small doses. You can find valerian at your neighborhood health food store, and some drug stores sell the herb too. You can tell valerian by its putrid odor.

Most often used in combination with valerian, hops has a sedative effect, and that could be all your body needs to fall asleep.


Even the scent of lavender is enough to relieve sleeplessness for some insomniacs. Try a lavender tea, massage essential oil into your skin, or add it to your bath water.


California Poppy is a natural sedative. This sleep-promoting herb will ease your mind until you drift off into dreamland.


While chamomile might not be potent enough to address chronic cases of insomnia, it does have a mild tranquilizing effect for those occasional sleepless nights.

Have you had any luck with herbs for insomnia?

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