Bedroom Design: What Makes a Great Bedroom?

Post by Tracy Kaler.

Surrey Blanket

Interior Design is often based on personal preferences, but great design is universal. Each successful space has specific elements that make the room function well and feel good at the same time, no matter the style. Let’s take a look at what makes a great bedroom.

A comfortable bed.
First and foremost, every bedroom needs a good mattress. Sure, a room can be attractive, if not alluring, but if the bed isn’t comfortable enough to provide restful sleep, then the space doesn’t function well. And comfort to one person isn’t necessarily the same for another person. Some people prefer a firm mattress, while others want a cushy pillow-top. And that’s okay. Find what works for you.

Quality bedding
You don’t have to spend a fortune on sheets, bed coverings, and pillows, but spend as much as your budget allows. Just remember that higher thread count isn’t always better, and 300-thread count sheets can do the job.

Little Venice Apartment

Good lighting.
Overall light is essential for basic tasks like waking up and getting dressed, but it’s also necessary for reading in bed. Natural light should be available, and if not, ceiling lights, floor, and table lamps can correct the amount of light in a room. Any way you introduce light, it’s crucial to a well-balanced interior, can enhance mood, and start the day off right.

Flow.
Clearances and traffic flow aren’t something we think about in any room, but if we don’t have enough space to open a drawer or walk out of a room without bumping into a piece of furniture, then we know that the layout isn’t working well. Too many items can crowd a space, and an inefficient floor plan will affect traffic flow. No one wants to wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom or get a glass of water, only to run into a side chair or bench.

A relaxing atmosphere.
Bedrooms are primarily for sleeping, so serene colors like pale blues and warm grays work well to create a tranquil, relaxing space. But even rooms with bolder colors can still be restful and become a sanctuary. You be the judge. What relaxes you? Just know that a place where you can get some much-needed downtime and catch good sleep should be the ultimate goal when designing any bedroom.

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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.

Mix materials.
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.

ModMobili

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.

Wandsworth Common

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.

Master Bedroom

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.

Arts District Loft

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.

TANGLE

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.

32nd Avalon

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Bedtime Stories: Fangirl

fanPost 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.

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Thread Count: What You Need to Know

Post by Tracy Kaler.

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-2-16-11-pm

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.”

Lake Washington

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.

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Bedtime Stories: Goldenhand

goldenhand_garthnix_epicreadsPost by Mark T. Locker.

Goldenhand by Garth Nix.

I don’t have a scary story for you today. Sorry! I was too excited about the new Garth Nix novel to read anything else. I’m sure you all understand.

20 years ago, the Australian author released Sabriel the YA fantasy novel about a young woman, Sabriel, flung before her time into the dark and dangerous world of necromancy. Wielder of seven magical bells, her job is to fight Free Magic necromancers, who bring the dead back to life to do their bidding. Later, we met Lirael, Daughter of the Clayr. Lirael is a Clayr, the Seers who live underneath the glacier and watch the future and the past. In the final book, Abhorsen, Lirael continues her quest to defeat a dark necromancer.

And now, 20 years after the last battles of the Old Kingdom, we get Goldenhand, a new tale that picks up shortly after Abhorsen. Tying together all the novels (including Clariel, a story that takes place hundreds of years earlier) we get what appears to probably be the final book in the series. Focusing again mostly on Lirael, we join her as she reunites with a young man from the other side of the Wall, a non-magical person with little experience in the magical North. We also meet a new character, another brave and fierce woman, a tribal warrior named Ferin. While Lirael and Nick work their way to the Clayr’s glacier, Ferin is fighting to make her way to Lirael, carrying an important message from Lirael’s long-deceased mother.

If you have read the other four books in the Old Kingdom series, Goldenhand will quench your thirst for another trip north of the Wall. Personally, Sabriel is still my favorite but this is a satisfactory end to a much-loved series.

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