Bedroom Design: Contemporary vs. Modern vs. Traditional Design

Post by Kyle St. Romain.

While most people have a general idea of the way they want their bedroom to look, many use the wrong words when trying to describe this vision to other people. While minor differences in terminology go mostly unnoticed when talking amongst friends, the same words carry distinctly different meanings to professionals in the design community. To help you nail down the terminology, we’re going to discuss contemporary, modern, and traditional design and the main differences between each.

Contemporary Design

Contemporary design, also called transitional design, can be described as a mix of modern and traditional design. Unlike modern design, which describes a specific style from a particular era, contemporary design embodies what is “in” today. Indeed, the word contemporary means “with the time, “or “modern, characteristic of the present.” Contemporary can even be further described in terms of its geography. Thus, today’s contemporary design in California may be very different from today’s contemporary design in New York.

Some of the cornerstone elements found in contemporary design today include shiny, reflective surfaces like glass and stainless steel. Contemporary furniture is a bit bulkier and more rounded than modern furniture, but is more minimalistic than traditional furniture. Contemporary design often features very artistic lighting fixtures, which are commonly used as the statement piece in a room.

Modern Design

Modern and contemporary design are often confused and while they are similar, modern design refers to a specific era of design while contemporary design changes with the present. Modern design refers to an era of design from the mid 20th Century (1920s – 1970s) and many of the most famous furniture pieces and designers from this era are referred to as 20th Century Classics. Modern design incorporates clean lines, bright and open spaces, and the use of natural materials. During the mid 20th century, the idea of “form follows function” was prominent, and you’ll find that modern furniture is surprisingly comfortable—even if it doesn’t look like it will be.

Traditional Design

While it’s rare to confuse traditional design with modern or contemporary design, it’s important to briefly hit on traditional design since contemporary design often blends traditional with modern.

Traditional design often uses heavy, bold furnishings with rich earth tone colors such as brown, gold, or dark green. Traditional design is very ornate also, for example: claw foot chairs and embellished four post beds. Traditional pieces draw their inspiration from 18th and 19th century Europe. If you can picture it in a castle, it is likely traditional.

So there you have it: a brief introduction to contemporary, modern, and traditional design. Understanding the differences between these design styles, especially modern and contemporary, is important when describing your vision to interior designers, furniture sales people, and other members of the design community. As always, the best way to get a feel for design is to see how other people have done it.

What type of style do you like? What elements do you feel distinguishes these different design styles? Let us know in the comments below.

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Breakfast in Bed: Danny’s Egg White Omelet with Wilted Spinach and Grilled Tomatoes


Post by Alison Hein

Facebook. That’s how I got reacquainted with my good friend Danny. We live miles apart and haven’t seen each other for years. In my mind, Danny is still that tall, gangly teenager with the easy smile and friendly style. Except that he’s not. Well, I’m pretty sure he’s still friendly, and I hope that he smiles often, but he’s certainly not gangly anymore.

Dan recently messaged me: “In 2012, a health coach friend helped me take control of my dietary habits, and now I feel better than I have in years. So, I am starting 2013 with a new commitment to help others make more healthful decisions about food and exercise.”

After a further exchange of messages, Dan shared the following: “For two decades, I worked first in retail, then in radio. Then, an awful thing happened – I got my first desk job. I sat, and sat, and sat some more. I also gained, and gained, and gained until I was 75 pounds overweight.”


Dan is committed to his weight loss journey, and has lost 25 pounds so far. It’s enough to allow him to walk a mile or two without losing his breath, and enough that his self-esteem has returned from exile.

You go, Danny! Kudos for your hard work and commitment to helping others! Here’s a light and healthy Egg White Omelet named in your honor. Fresh vegetables and nature’s pure flavors make this an enjoyable, healthy breakfast in bed. So relax, fuel up, then go out and do something exciting to post to Facebook. ☺

Ingredients
Olive oil cooking spray
1 ripe but firm tomato
1 cup loosely packed fresh baby spinach
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon water
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation
Spray a grill pan with cooking spray and heat on high. Cut tomato into thick slices. Place on hot pan and cook until tomato is softened (and grill-marked) but still firm, about 1 minute on each side. Set aside and keep warm.

Liberally spray a small, heavy pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Place baby spinach leaves in pan and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low. Whisk egg whites with water until frothy. Add eggs to heated pan and allow to cook slowly and gently, folding over around wilted spinach. Push back edges and let uncooked egg whites flow underneath. Cook until egg whites are set, but still glossy, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Fold in half and gently slide onto serving plate. Top with grilled tomato slices and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving.

See Dan’s facebook page if you are interested in learning more about his journey and commitment to helping others – http://www.facebook.com/Coach.Rudt

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Bedroom Design:We ♥ Valentine Pillows

Post by Stephanie Noble.

The first rule of any design show makeover of a bedroom is more pillows! Not just the pillows you rest your head on while you sleep, but ambiance pillows of varying shapes, textures and patterns.

I’ll admit to being a reformed pillow fanatic. I wanted my bedroom to look like a hotel room every time I walked in. But, with a long commute, a full time job, a 19 month old son and a never ending stream of laundry to fold; my husband and I are lucky if the bed gets made. There is simply no time for complex pillow schemes. So we’ve streamlined our cushion display to three sleeping pillows each and a turquoise satin embroidered pillow. My great grandmother started the pillow in the 1920s. My grandmother worked on it at some point during the 1960s and my aunt finished it in the 1990s.  This family treasure is the only decorative pillow in our cushion lineup.

That’s not to say I do not notice other pillows. I do, all the time. They are such a quick and easy way to freshen up a room. They’re also an easy nod to a holiday without going overboard.  Although, I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day, I’ll admit to being attracted to Valentine pillows. Here are a few of my favorites.

These Scrabble-inspired pillows are all over Etsy.

 


This personalized tree initials pillow cover is available in five colors from Red Envelope.

 


This love postcard pillow cover is available online only from Pottery Barn.

It’s not too late to add a Valentine flair to your room.

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Bedtime Stories: Mr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire!

Post by Mark T. Locker.

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire! by Polly Horvath.

This is one of the silliest books I have read in a while. It was very refreshing. And it’s not just silly in the random insert-something-arbitrary-and-silly-here kind of book; it was actually, literally laugh out loud funny. Just ask my wife! Polly Horvath is enormously talented at writing subtle humor that children and adults alike will laugh at.

Madeleine is a smart girl with some utterly useless, kinda dumb parents. So when they go missing, she knows she must find them, because they are pretty much helpless without her. Her only clues are a letter signed “The Enemy” and a coded card with reference to rabbits and rabbit by-products. Spoiler alert: it’s foxes.

Luckily, Madeleine meets Mr. and Mrs. Bunny just when they had decided to buy fedoras so they could be detectives. Mr. and Mrs. Bunny have never detected before. Madeleine worries that she may be putting too much faith in them, not because they are new in the game but because they are bunnies. What Madeleine quickly learns is that the Bunnys are the closest she will come to being cared for and loved. And that marmots are very stupid and very fond of the Olde Spaghetti Factory. (These two points are not related. Probably.) Mr. and Mrs. Bunny are charming and adorable. I would love to be adopted by them.

Poignant, funny, action-packed, this book can be read by even as slow a reader as me in just a couple days. It’s well worth it!

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Movies in Bed: The Hobbit

Post by Mark T. Locker.

Personally, I don’t know what Peter Jackson was thinking remaking The Hobbit. He must have known that two perfect things came into being in the year 1977. The first being yours truly, the second being the animated musical movie The Hobbit. With music by Glenn Yarbrough and some fantastically hideous illustration, there was no way Peter Jackson was going to be able to hold a candle to this interpretation.

We owned the LP version of the movie (I can’t imagine whose great idea it was to have the entire movie sold as an audio with accompanying book but I loved it) and must have listened to it hundreds of times. You all know the story, Bilbo Baggins, Gollum, Gandalf, dwarves. Adventure, trolls, goblins, spiders!

The animated version, with its 1970s soundtrack, terrifying Gollum rendition, and ugly, ugly characters, is not to be missed. It has some classic voices of the era, including Hans Conried, the voice of Captain Hook, as Thorin. Seriously, it’s so bad/good.

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