Bedroom Design: Going Global

Post by Erin Sears.

Travel much?  Whether you daydream in your armchair or actually get up and go- the bedroom is a great place for a global look.  You don’t want to wake up in a bad theater production, so a light touch is essential, but bringing in maps, artwork, and worldly items are a definite do.  When I am fortunate enough to travel, I try to find one or two items that represent that place for me and then I integrate them into my home.  My New Orleans Mardi Gras beads are displayed in a glass jar, a beautifully painted sugar skull in bright colors represents a trip to the southwest, and a gorgeous hooked pillow depicting a swimmer from Cape Cod all have starring roles in my space.  Embrace global touches and you’ll never feel far from your next trip.

Source: http://24.media.tumblr.com/

Who doesn’t love an old map of Paris?  This map turned wallpaper is so impressive that the bed can be kept simple.  Having a fancy bed against the map would be too busy and take away from both.  You don’t need a headboard when you have the City of Light to dream under.

Source: apartmenttherapy.com

This room makes me want to buy a plane ticket. Again, the linens on the bed are kept neutral while the color of the pillows, curtains, and accessories draw you in to the room.  The mirrored headboard and the Vishnu print give the room a global feeling without becoming too kitchsy.  LOVE.

Source: happinessisapinkfoodog.com

Morocco is definitely on my list of places to experience and it is also a hot theme in home décor.  I love the sexy curves of the headboard and the glamour of the bedside tables.  The accessories say casbah without screaming it and bold colors are used sparingly, but effectively.  It’s a perfect place to rest your head while dreaming of your next great adventure!

Posted in Bedroom Design | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bedtime Stories: The Diviners

Post by Mark T. Locker.

The Diviners by Libba Bray.

Hold on to your cloche hats and strings of beads, people! A nasty murderer from beyond the grave named Naughty John is terrorizing 1920’s New York!

Seventeen-year-old Evie O’Neill is more than her small Ohio town can handle, so when her “punishment” is to stay with her uncle in Manhattan, she couldn’t be more pleased. Unfortunately, her trip coincides with a string of grisly and symbolic murders being carried out. Unfortunately for Evie, she has a newly-discovered gift which enables her to “read” peoples’ personal objects and from which she can divine secret information. So when she accidentally comes in contact with a poor murdered girl’s shoe, she learns more than she’s like about Naughty John, accidentally summoned from Hell to carry out his gruesome business.

Uptown in Harlem is another kid, a boy named Memphis has discovered the mixed blessing of his own powers, which can heal but can also do harm.

The newest novel by Printz-winning author Libba Bray is full of the vibrant imagery and language of the world of Ziegfeld girls, bootleg gin, and peacock feather-adorned headdresses. It’s funny, it’s scary, and it’s fascinating. Clearly Libba Bray has done her homework with this one. Her 1920s New York is so elaborately created, it’s hard not to get completely swept up in it. Unfortunately, that goes for the creepy, maniacal butcher as well. Eep.

Posted in Bedtime Stories | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Movies in Bed: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Post by Josh Zinn.

The street signs of Sleepy Hollow have headless horsemen on them. So do the police cars, garbage trucks, and natural gas meters. In fact, I’m sure a myriad of public utilities take part in celebrating and cashing in on the famed decapitated equestrian whose midnight rides of terror helped transform their humble hamlet into the Halloween haunt of the Hudson hinterlands. Perhaps Washington Irving hadn’t imagined his creepy creation would one day come to signify the call to arms for the men and women working for Sleepy Hollow’s sewage system, but crappier things have happened in the name of public works—just ask the folks who named Flushings.

If one were to ask the Headless Horseman himself—hey, he might know sign language…even though he doesn’t have eyes—what moments in his fictional life truly felt like a misappropriation, however, he’d probably tell you about the time I purchased a key-lime flavored latte (complete with crunchy graham topping!) from a Sleepy Hollow coffee shop. Or the Mexican restaurant named after him that served my friend and I a salad consisting of a HEAD of lettuce alongside a terrine of “bloodied” French dressing. Oh yes, and then there was the time Bing Crosby came to town…

Disney’s animated version of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” starring Crosby as beleaguered schoolteacher Ichabod Crane, is a milder take on Irving’s allegory of foreign-bred superstition and tradition mingling with the bravado, boldness, and greed of the then-new America. By milder, I mean that Ichabod spends much of the cartoon either singing sweet dulcimer notes to the local housewives in an attempt to lure them of their chicken dinners or by balladeering Katrina, the beautiful daughter of the wealthiest man in town, in order to fill his pocketbook. Horror only exists on the outskirts of this Sleepy Hollow, with creepiness taking a backseat to Crosby’s crooning.

“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” isn’t a bad film by any means, but in shifting its focus away from the terror of Tarrytown and onto the soothing vocal abilities present in Crosby’s portrayal of Crane, Irving’s supernatural story mutates into a pageantry of phthongal pedagoguery better fit for a USO function. Truth be told, there’s little fright to be found in a film where, for the majority of its length, fanatical females fight for the chance to feed a fair-weather philanderer with the voice of a lounge singer. Sure, the Horseman finally rears his hea… neck near the cartoon’s finale, but until then any pervasive sense of dread has been replaced by questions of whether white Christmases happen even for the headless.

Perhaps, then, the Horseman-emblazoned signs, logos, and salads of today’s Sleepy Hollow are a reclamation of the sinister story that put their town on the map. While there’s nothing wrong with a little Bing to lift one’s spirits, it’s best to remember the spirit at the heart of Irving’s story struck a far more horrific note.

Posted in Movies in Bed | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Things We Like: Sleeping on Ice

Post by Kyle St. Romain.

Unless you’re an Eskimo, you’ve probably never considered the idea of sleeping on a bed of ice – at least not seriously. Why would you? An ice bed is only inviting backache, and frostbite – I’ll take my warm, down filled nest of a bed any day.

Despite the perceived pitfalls of sleeping on an ice bed, many travelers (perhaps gluttons for self-punishment) trek to the northernmost regions of our world to experience exactly what mankind has worked so hard to remove ourselves from: the unloving cold. However, modern man enjoys the cold a bit more luxuriously. Allow me to introduce you to the world of ice hotels.

Starting in December, dozens of “ice hotels” around the world open their doors for business. Since these hotels melt during the warm summer months, they must be entirely rebuilt every year in what is described as “one of the world’s most extreme building projects.” While there are several ice hotels to choose from, the most famous, and largest, of these ice hotels is none other than ICEHOTEL located in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden (don’t ask me how to pronounce that).

The ICEHOTEL first opened in 1990, and has operated every year since from December to April. While sections of the hotel are open starting in December, it takes a full month before the hotel is complete. It’s built from over 9,000 tons of ice and can accommodate about 100 guests at full capacity. Each suite is a work of art of its own, as they are individually sculpted from renowned ice artists. If you watch the Discovery Channel or NatGeo, you may have already learned about the ICEHOTEL from one of several documentaries showcasing it.

While you do have to pack appropriately for your visit to the ICEHOTEL (think subzero temperatures), the stay can’t be too bad given that crowds of visitors wait patiently for the opportunity to stay at what has become one of the most extreme destination hotels on the planet. If you aren’t as eager to sleep on a blog of ice, but want to have an Iced Tea or other cold beverage at the ICEHOTEL’s ICEBAR there are “warm” accommodations available nearby.

Accommodations at the ICEHOTEL start at about $400/night (on top of getting there). So while it’s not exactly cheap (though it’s considerably less expensive than some of the Underwater Hotels), it’s one of those bedtime stories you’re sure to remember for the rest of your life.

 

Click here for more information about the ICEHOTEL.

Do you have any exotic destinations where you’d like to rest your head? Share your travel plans in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Things We Like | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Breakfast in Bed: Buckwheat Honey Waffles with Apple Compote

Post by Alison Hein.

Enter autumn, with a cornucopia of glorious bounty. Kick off your fall with these lightly sweet, aromatic buckwheat waffles. Top them with homemade apple compote, and you’ll want to curl up with a good book in front of the fire. Well, after breakfast anyway. 😉

Despite its name, buckwheat is gluten-free and unrelated to wheat. Rather, it’s a herbaceous plant related to sorrel, knotweed, and rhubarb. Its name derives from the German “Buchweizen,” meaning beech-wheat, because buckwheat’s unusual triangular seed resembles the much larger seeds of the beech tree.

Some of the world’s most richly satisfying dishes – galettes from Brittany, Japanese soba, and Russian blinis – are made with buckwheat. In this recipe, rich, smooth batter almost glides across a hot waffle iron, and toasts up in minutes to a hardy crisp. Sweet, seasonal apple compote makes a simple complement to the burnished buckwheat for a glorious, bountiful breakfast in bed.

Ingredients

Buckwheat Honey Waffles
2 ½ cups buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups milk
2 eggs
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup vegetable oil, or butter, melted and slightly cooled
½ cup sour cream
Cooking spray

Apple Compote
1 apple (tart varieties such as Granny Smith work well)
¼ cup of water (add more for a thinner topping
2 tablespoons honey
¼ cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup slivered almonds (optional)

Garnish
Dollop of sour cream
Mint sprigs

Preparation
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl. In separate bowl, add milk, eggs, honey and vanilla and beat until frothy. Pour oil or melted butter into liquid mixture and stir well. Using a wooden spoon or hand mixer, gradually add liquid mixture to dry ingredients until batter is smooth. Stir in sour cream.

Spray waffle iron with cooking spray and heat to high. Pour ½ cup to ¾ cup batter into center of iron, making sure you have enough batter to evenly spread across the surface of your waffle iron. Cook until golden brown and crisp and waffle pulls away easily from iron, about 3 minutes. Serve warm with apple compote. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of mint.

Makes approximately 6 waffles.

To make compote, pare, slice and finely chop apple. Place in small, heavy pot and add water, honey, golden raisins, vanilla and cinnamon. Stir in slivered almonds, if you like. Bring apple mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer until apples are cooked through but still hold their shape, about 15 minutes.

Makes approximately 1 cup apple compote.

Posted in Breakfast in Bed | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment