Tag Archives: bedroom
Things We Like: Underwater Hotels, Pt. 2
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
A while back, I wrote an article highlighting several underwater hotels that provide a lucky few with an unforgettable experience. While many of these sub-sea accommodations are well outside the budgets of even the privileged classes, underwater hotels are still something I expect to become more popular (and hopefully more affordable) in the future.
Home to some of the world’s most luxurious places to sleep*, Dubai looks to be leading the way in the underwater hospitality market as well. Specifically, Polish company Deep Ocean Technology (a recurring name when it comes to underwater construction projects) recently announced its plan to construct the Water Discus Hotel beneath the Persian Gulf, off the coast of Dubai.
The plan calls for an 11,000 square footdisc, or chamber, that will house 21 guest rooms some 33 feet underwater. The structure will also utilize a second disc located above the surface for added amenities. Together, the teo disc structure will offer a diving center (complete with air locks and a decompression chamber), a spa, gardens, and a helipad above the surface for guests arriving by air. The structures are also movable, which allows the hotel to relocate as environmental policies and economies change.
If you’d like to read more about the plans for the Water Discus Hotel, check out Deep Ocean Technology online @ http://www.deep-ocean-
I’m still fascinated with the idea underwater hotels, and can’t wait for the opportunity to experience one – even if only for a quick day tour! Are underwater hotels something you’d like to experience? Let us know in the comments below.
*Did you know each suite at the Burj Al Arab (often credited as the most luxurious hotel the entire world) comes with a gold iPad? You don’t get to keep it, but you’re free to use it as a sort of personal concierge throughout your stay. Dubai is also home to one of the tallest buildings in the world, the largest shopping mall, and the biggest man-made island. Yeah, everything’s a bit over the top there.
Breakfast in Bed: Hush Puppies
Post by Alison Hein.
Nearly 20 years ago, I took a trip to Charleston, South Carolina. I was quite taken by the stately, historic homes, tucked sideways to the street and blanketed by lush, secret gardens. The marketplace was a plethora of sights, scents and sounds – local artisans weaving sweet grass baskets, aromas of intricate spice blends, and faint lingering chords of street musicians. But most of all, I was entranced by the deep-fried mini-cornmeal cakes playfully called hush puppies. And at every restaurant we visited, I was rewarded with a steaming basket of these little babies before even seeing a menu.
Last month, I returned to Charleston, and was disappointed with the evident lack of hush puppies. When I inquired where they had gone, I was reminded that Charleston is now THE food destination in the US, and weren’t hush puppies just a tad passé?
Upon returning home, I decided to make my house THE food destination for breakfast in bed, starting with a basketful of hot, crisped hush puppies and a side of homemade honey butter. Yumm.
Oil for frying (4 to 6 cups)
2 cups corn meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 large egg
Deep-fry or candy thermometer
Pour oil at least 2 inches deep into a small, heavy pan. Heat over medium heat to approximately 360°.
In a large bowl, combine corn meal, baking powder, sugar and salt, stirring to mix. Add milk, cider vinegar and egg and mix well. Batter should be slightly thicker than pancake batter.
Use a teaspoon to measure batter. Carefully drop a teaspoon of batter into the hot oil for each hush puppy. Dip spoon into clean water after each hush puppy. This helps the batter to drop off the spoon easily. Cook about eight to ten hush puppies at a time, allowing oil to retain its temperature.
Fry the hush puppies until they have reached a deep golden brown color, about 2 to 3 minutes. They tend to flip over on their own, but give them a little push with a spoon if they don’t so they cook evenly. Remove hush puppies from pan and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with honey butter.
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons honey
Add softened butter to small bowl. Stir in honey and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
NOTE: Monitor oil with candy thermometer to maintain stable temperature.
Makes about 4 dozen.
Things We Like: “Brick’d-Out” Bedroom Design
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
In the past, exposed interior brick was traditionally associated with more masculine spaces; reserved for offices, bachelor pads, and “man-caves.” Today, however, designers and homeowners are finding that brick is a great touch for any room, including spaces with a more feminine feel. Combined with the popularity of loft condos and other repurposed living spaces, exposed brick has quickly cemented its place among a short-list of “must-have” design features for many homeowners.
Whether you’re living in an old warehouse with exposed brick walls, or want to build a brick wall inside a new room (either real brick or a faux finish), the use of brick in your bedroom provides an organic, industrial chic feel to your design that you can’t achieve otherwise.
Perhaps the coolest thing about using brick as an interior design element is that you can use it to compliment any number of looks. Whether you’re going for an industrial, vintage, rustic, modern, contemporary, eclectic, or bohemian look in your bedroom, brick can look right at home in all of the above. With brick, anything is possible; you only need a little bit of creativity.
If you’re considering incorporating brick into your bedroom’s design, below are some helpful tips and considerations to keep in mind so you can brick-your-bedroom with style.
Exposed Brick vs. Finished Brick
The first decision to make when incorporating brick into your bedroom’s design is whether to leave it exposed (as it is) or finish it (usually with paint).
Exposed brick tends to work best in a modern, rustic, or traditional space. The rich earth tones and the rough texture work well with a number of design styles, and can be enhanced with proper accents. Finished brick, on the other hand, is usually used in more refined spaces. Finished brick walls are often painted, either in a solid color of light white wash to allow some of the natural color to still show through. Finished brick may provide better insulation and less maintenance, but comes at the cost of losing out on some of the natural charm inherent with brick.
Ultimately, the choice of whether to go with exposed or finished brick walls is a personal one and depends on the overall design of your space.
Faux Brick vs. Real Brick
While nothing replaces a real brick wall, there are a number of faux finishes that come very close. Many of these real brick alternatives are installed as a sort of veneer, using panels covered with slices of real brick to perfect the look. Even upon close inspection (save drilling into the wall), it can be very hard to tell whether you have an actual brick wall or a faux finish.
The type of building you live in, cost, and the amount of maintenance you’re willing to put up with are also contributing factors to whether you chose to go with real or faux brick finish in your design.
Many buildings have brick walls that were built during the original construction of the building. As such, they may be old and in disrepair. If you’re planning to use old brick, it’s worthwhile to have a professional come out and inspect the brick and recommend whether you should undergo a restoration or whether it’s even worthwhile. Bad brick can be a nightmare to live with, littering your place with dusty crumbles whilst leaking air through gaps in the mortar.
Incorporating brick into the design of your bedroom can be as involved of a decision or as simple of a one, particularly if you live in a space that already has exposed brick walls. If you’re looking for some design inspiration, there are a number of brick bedroom galleries online for your viewing pleasure. Houzz has an excellent brick bedroom gallery, and you can find additional galleries on shelterness, DigsDigs, and Home Design Lover.
Have you lived with brick walls? Do you wish you could? Let us know what you think about incorporating brick walls into your bedroom design in the comments below.
Bedtime Stories: Pop-Up Moby Dick!
Post by Mark T. Locker.
I have a number of books that are very appealing to children that I would never allow children to get their hands on. One is my collection of first/early editions of John Bellairs books, illustrated by Edward Gorey. Another is my artfully crafted pop-up version of Moby-Dick, as interpreted by paper engineer Sam Ita.
My boy has no interest in Gothic horror for middle readers. And it’s my fault that I was reading my Moby-Dick within sight of my boy. It’s got so many lovely moving parts and a giant pop-up 19th-century whaling ship, who could resist? And what cold-hearted soul would tell a little boy “no” to that?
Books like this are a fantastic introduction to the classics; it is obviously abridged; I can’t imagine what an unabridged pop-up of Moby-Dick would be like! So the story is short and more to the point, there are lots of fun interactive tabs to pull, whirlpools to whirl, and spyglasses to peer through. Sam Ita, creator of this rendition, has also made a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Odyssey. Personally, I’m tempted to buy 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea right this instant. Heartily recommended for children and adults of all ages.
Things We Like: Renting Out Your Unused Bedroom For Cash
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
Ever thought of operating your very own mini-hotel? It may be easier than you think.
Many of us have an extra bedroom or two in our homes that go unused throughout most of the year. The extra space is certainly nice to have when your family or other guests come to visit, but what about the other 80 percent of the time? What if you could make money from your extra bedroom or guesthouse, all while meeting new travelers along the way.
The idea of renting your second home or extra bedroom to travelers looking for alternative lodging isn’t anything new. I can’t help but think this is how the first Bed & Breakfasts got started. While operating a formal B&B often requires special licensing and permits under state hospitality laws, there are a number of companies that specifically cater to the part-time hotel/landlord market, namely Airbnb (though, there are others like 9flats, HomeAway, and Travelmob — to name a few). However, you should check with your state laws before renting your space, as a New York Judge recently declared that short-term rentals violate its state hospitality laws if the owner isn’t present. Other cities, such as New Orleans, have similar laws.
What is Airbnb?
“Whether you have a spare bedroom, own a second property, have a treehouse, or just want to rent your place and pay for your travels, you can list it on Airbnb.”
In a nutshell, Airbnb is a directory/listing platform that connects homeowners with travelers. In addition to helping you find a guest for your underused space, Airbnb also manages payments and deposits. It even comes with a guarantee, covering you for up to $1,000,000 for loss or damage caused by theft or vandalism.
While it the idea of Airbnb may be a bit too novel for many would-be hotel managers/guests, it’s actually pretty easy. I’ve personally used Airbnb on a number of occasions when visiting cities for a couple days, and have nothing but great things to say about my experiences. Most recently, I used Airbnb to find a cheap apartment to stay at for a wedding trip. Not only did I save hundreds of dollars over staying in a hotel, I also got to experience the city more like a local.
How much do people actually make renting their empty beds? Well, that depends on your home and location. That said, one entrepreneur amassed over $30,000 renting out her bedroom and sofa on Airbnb, which she used as seed money to start a business. That’s way more than I’ve ever found between the sofa cushions!
What would you do with a little extra rental income? Would you ever consider listing your space as a short-term suite? Share your thoughts in the comments below.