Things we like: Sleeping With the Fishes

Post by Kyle St. Romain.

I came across an inspiring post on my Facebook news feed the other day: a photo of an underwater bedroom. The photo I saw is pictured below, and it puts a whole new meaning to the concept of a waterbed.

Back on Facebook, the photo’s caption read, “LIKE if you’d love to own this bedroom.”

After I wiped the drool off my keyboard, I immediately queried Google to find out the Who, What, When, and Where behind this bedroom. The Why was pretty obvious to me: because you can. Think about it. Many of us landlubbers exert enormous effort to bring a little slice of the ocean into our homes, usually in the form of an aquarium. Aquariums can be very cool, especially ones with live coral. But for those of us who aren’t afraid to get our feet wet, the next logical improvement on the traditional aquarium is to bring a slice of your home into the ocean! I wonder what it costs to insure an underwater home….

Back to the facts: – The image appears to be a computer rendering. I am not able to determine whether it’s from the Poseidon Undersea Resort or Dubai’s Hyrdropolis, and it’s uncertain whether either of those two resorts actually exists. There are news articles talking about these resorts from almost 10 years ago and I can’t figure out how to book my reservation. – There is an actual underwater restaurant that you visit: the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort. It is occasionally converted into a hotel suite for the rich and famous. Click here for more Maldives eye candy. – There are more underwater hotels than the ones listed above; however, none of them are nearly as luxurious as the Poseidon and Hyrdopolis aim to be. Consider the Jules Underwater Hotel, and the Hotel Utter Inn. – Staying in an underwater hotel is not cheap. Rooms start at $150 per night and can cost as much as $20,000 per night! – If you want an underwater palace of your own, I even found a company that specialized in underwater construction: Deep Ocean Technology. I don’t even want to know how much that costs.

Stay tuned for my upcoming post with suggestions about how to incorporate ocean inspired design into your bedroom, even if it does have to stay above sea level.

In the meantime, let us know whether underwater hotels are for you in the comments below.

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Breakfast in Bed: Panko-Fried Heirloom Tomatoes

Post by Alison Hein.

We may not be loving the hot, hot weather that much, but the heirloom tomatoes sure are. Homely and humble on the outside, these babies are sweet and juicy on the inside, tasting of warm, summer sunshine and cool, fresh water…

Pick some up at your local farmers’ market. Then try slicing them, coating with panko, and lightly frying the tomatoes to a crisp golden brown. You can stop right here, if you like, for a lovely summer side dish or lunchtime salad topper. Or, keep going. Top your heirlooms with a couple of poached eggs, a light cheese sauce, and garden fresh chives for a sweet, summery breakfast in bed.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons grated gruyère cheese
1 – 2 heirloom tomatoes
3 eggs
1 tablespoon water
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 – 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped, fresh chives
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
To make cheese sauce, melt butter in small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth, thick paste forms. Whisk in milk and cook until slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add grated cheese and stir until just melted. Set aside and keep warm.

To bread and fry tomatoes, cut tomatoes into 4 ¼-inch slices. Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water. Coat tomato slices thoroughly with beaten egg, then roll and coat in panko to fully cover. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a heavy pan and heat over medium heat. Add tomato slices to pan and cook slowly over medium to medium low heat, turning once, until panko is golden brown and tomatoes are heated and soft, about 5 to 6 minutes. (Green tomatoes will take slightly longer to cook than red ones.) Transfer to paper towel-lined plate and keep warm until eggs are cooked.

Eggs should be as fresh as possible for perfect poaching. To poach eggs, fill a heavy saucepan with enough water to cover eggs (3 to 4 inches) and heat until very hot and simmering, but not boiling. Break eggs into individual small dishes. Or you can use an egg poacher. Carefully pour the first egg into the simmering water. Immediately use a wooden spoon to wrap the cooking white around the egg yolk to prevent the white from feathering. Repeat the process with the second egg, and cook for about four minutes, until the white is firm but the yolk is still soft. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain. Trim edges if necessary.

To assemble, stack two fried tomato slices on a plate, place one poached egg on top, top with cheese sauce, and garnish with chopped chives. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

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Bedroom Design: Book My Bedroom

Post by Laura Cheng.

The Kindle is a phenomenal idea, but I’m still old school. I collect books of all genres and over the course of only five years, I’ve amassed a collection that is now piling up as four floor to ceiling stacks in my living room. On top of that, my mum recently called and gave me an ultimatum to stop by and pick up the books that she’s been storing for me since high school. Those books hold high sentimental value. Others may call it borderline hoarding. I can’t let my Beverly Cleary collection or my Calculus and Biology text books go to the dump. Being in the situation that I am in, I find the idea of decorating with books in the bedroom to be promising.

Source: http://www.home-designing.com/2011/04/bookshelf-fantasy

The only drawback to a library in the bedroom is the need to clean more frequently. Books tend to accumulate dust and I just don’t have the time every week to pull all my books off and dust. I’d get distracted and start reading the books. A 30 minute task would turn into a 3 hour one. Martha Stewart has a great idea of adding the hair dryer to my dusting toolkit, but the idea of the dust falling in or around the bed is unsettling. Lining my bedroom with bookshelves that are directed away from my bed may be one way to avoid this, as shown in the bedroom below. Even more than the cozy ambiance of the book collection, I really like the unexpected picture frame that is hanging off the bookcase.

Source: http://dormitorioshogarinterior.blogspot.com/2008/08/living-with-books-lots-of-them.html

Everyone has their own preference and argument in the way they arrange their books. If your memory can’t even track what you had for breakfast, then organizing by author, title or category will be more suitable. When form prevails over function, arranging by color and size will keep the bedroom looking organized.
An open shelf system to display my collection of books could easily lead to clutter. If there are enough books to fill all the shelves, then this next subject won’t be an issue. If not, a bookcase once meant to collect books could easily turn into a convenient resting spot for your stuffed animal or lost coins.
In my previous blog, I talked about repetition, balance, and spacing. The same techniques apply here. When placing items on a shelf, keep an eye on the overall composition. If photos are added to the mix of media, keeping them in the same frame will help maintain order and symmetry. Avoid patterned bed linens. A plain ivory or white outfit for your bed will make sure the attention is drawn appropriately to the stylish shelves of knowledge.

Source: http://www.elementsofstyleblog.com/2010/03/3394.html

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Bedtime Stories: Hansel and Gretel

Post by Mark T. Locker.

Hansel and Gretel by Cynthia Rylant. Illustrated by Jen Corace.

I reckon that everyone in the Western world is at least somewhat acquainted with the classic Grimms’ fairy tales. Among their hundreds of stories, Hansel and Gretel is among the best-known, and among the best-known, surely the cruelest. So why should this be a bedtime story? Well, maybe your children will learn some valuable lessons (though it seems to me that the moral of Hansel and Gretel is, at best, vague) or maybe because—you know—happy endings! Personally, I love the story of Hansel and Gretel. I have always been fascinated by the image of being led by milky-white stones illuminated by the blue glow of the moon. I even had a pet gecko named Gretel!

This particular rendition is especially lovely. Written in a simple straightforward manner by acclaimed author Cynthia Rylant and richly illustrated by the NW’s own Jen Corace, this version is scores better than other tellings I have read. Naturally, you should use your best judgment to determine whether reading to your child about witchcraft, cannibalism and kids being abandoned in the woods is the right way to leave your child for dreamtime. And frankly, much as I love Jen Corace’s stylized illustrations, the children’s gray eyes seem a little dead and creepy. But hey, that’s me!

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Movies in Bed: Anaconda!

Post by Josh Zinn.

Someone once explained to me the popularity and allure of Jennifer Lopez, but, like so many things these days—including the rustic art of mayonnaise making, Diamonique®, and AP calculus—their words were lost on me. Honestly, I just couldn’t fathom how this averagely talented woman had become a worldwide media empire, shucking out albums, movies, and television appearances at a rate far eclipsing the brief but prodigious career of Nelson (the band, not Mandela). Sleek, slender, and bedazzled, Jennifer Lopez is a Versace-clad snake coiled around the globe, squeezing talent from the planet and leaving mediocrity in its place.

Like a snake…
Like a sn…
SNAKE!
Anaconda!

Of course, how could I be so silly?! The obvious reason Jennifer Lopez is one of the biggest stars in the world today is thanks to her starring role in a little film (that’s a simple-minded guilty pleasure) about a really, really, REALLY big snake.
Like On Golden Pond without a pond, Katherine Hepburn, or numerous Academy Awards, Anaconda is a film that raises questions which strike at the heart of the human experience, such as: Why does Angelina Jolie’s dad (John Voight) have a psychic connection with a gigantic snake? How can a fair-skinned Eric Stoltz stay surnburn-free in the middle of a tropical rainforest? If a snake swallows Owen Wilson and no one sees it, did it really happen? Huh, what’s Ice Cube doing here? And finally, how is Jennifer Lopez able to juggle the pressures of being a dedicated documentarian delving into the discovery of a lost native tribe—cause, folks, there’s always a lost native tribe—whilst maintaining a scantily-clad figure seemingly designed by Spandex?

Not content merely to stop with these quizzical queries, Anaconda also assaults the senses with an ever-increasing amount of tension as the audience is left in suspense wondering whose inability to act, the Anaconda or Ms. Lopez, will cause the death of their career first. Judging from the snakeskin boots J.Lo wore last season on American Idol, it would seem that question has already been answered.

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