Bedroom Design: Afraid of the Dark

Post by Laura Cheng.

Every fashionista has a little black dress (LBD) in her (or if you’re so inclined, his) closet. They know that black is a fashion staple.  From a casual weekend outfit to a black tie affair, if this simple color can transcend time and trends, imagine what it can do for your bedroom walls.

May I be so bold to state that most people, including myself, are reluctant, if not terrified of painting their walls a dark color? While white and its variants remain the most popular bedroom colors, black and its relatives can be just as versatile.

Once of the most important things to do when going dark is to use premium paint colors. Pricey paint such as Benjamin Moore and Farrow & Ball are well worth the investment.  You will be rewarded with an elegant, rich pigment. Another key point is to stay away from high gloss unless you have really, really flat walls. “Matt” (Matte) is your bedroom walls’ best friend.

The walls in this master bedroom are painted Pratt & Lambert’s Wolf, “a warm gray with a hint of chocolate. White bedding, curtains, carpet, and slipcovers keep the room from feeling too cavelike. A 19th-century French armchair is covered in Rogers & Goffigon’s Olivia stripe in Argent and off-white.”  Sara Scaglione is the mastermind designer behind this stylish dark hued bedroom retreat.

Source: http://www.housebeautiful.com/decorating/relaxed-design#slide-11

A dark bedroom short on natural light can trick the eye with the use of artificial light and bright white decor. The dark gray bedroom walls of this modern bedroom are enhanced by the prevailing white arms of the canopy bed and pillowcases. The nightstands set a colorful, jewel tone in the room. Using white and other bright dominate colors to play off the dark walls will help highlight the opposing colors and bring an esthetic sparkle to the bedroom.

Source: http://www.housetohome.co.uk/bedroom/picture/black-bedroom-with-accents

Some people advise against painting a small space in dark colors, but I think this is where black can really have its moment. A dark bedroom can actually accentuate the cozy space. Not all the walls of a bedroom need to be painted the same color. Using the deeper color on an accent wall and surrounding it with lighter colors is actually one of my favorite techniques. The use of multiple but complimentary colors is an easy way to bring another eye-catching dimension to the bedroom walls.

Source: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/small-bedroom-inspiration-123841

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

Bedtime Stories: A Little Magic for Grown-Ups

Post by Mark T. Locker.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

Ever since J.K. Rowling introduced the world to Harry Potter, adults have been regularly usurping children’s and young adult literature for their own enjoyment, especially the bottomless pit of fantasy and sci-fi fiction series. Well, once in a while a book comes along for adults which will satisfy the puerile thirst for magic and escape from the realm of the ordinary, and you get to do so under the guise of proper grown-up literature and look all fancy on the bus. (The spine label even reads “Fiction” not “Horror” or “Romance”!)

The most recent of these that I have come across is Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel, The Night Circus. It is, as you may guess, about a nocturnal circus, but it is also about so much more. It’s about rival magicians raising children to compete against each other in the showdown to end all showdowns. It’s about really cool clocks. And contortionists and twins with strange powers.

Set in the late nineteenth century, it is reminiscent of Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, which is about Victorian gentlemanly English magicians. But it is also very much its own novel. It revolves around the worlds of a strange circus, and those within it and those outside it. It’s lovely to read, and gives you great stuff for dreams.

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

Movies in Bed: Real Genius

Post by Josh Zinn.

Dear Val Kilmer,

Hi, you don’t know me, but I’ve been watching you. Not obsessively, mind you—I sort of forgot you existed after The Doors came out, so you needn’t worry about me judging you on all the weight you’ve gained—but enough that I can say that your 1985 movie, Real Genius, is a touchstone of my childhood. Sure, you share that honor with vanilla Dunkaroos, an episode of Punky Brewster where the Space Shuttle Challenger blows up, and the television movie, The Deliberate Stranger, starring Mark Harmon as Ted Bundy, but nonetheless, my 12-year old self’s sense of humor is indebted to the collegiate shenanigans you effortlessly showcased in that film.

Upon the suggestion of a friend, I recently re-watched Real Genius in hopes of stoking those Betamax fires of nostalgia. There you were again, Val, looking as irreverent and crazy as I remembered, wearing an “I Love Toxic Waste” t-shirt whilst sporting toy antennas on your head—Fun! Unfortunately, you weren’t as funny as I once thought. In fact, aside from your penchant for always being in the right place for an 80’s synthesizer-set montage, you were kind of just there, smirking your education (and my time) away in flip-flops and hair gel. I’m sorry to say this, Val, but this time around I found myself far more fascinated by the unusual kid you take under your wing as your protégé. Y’know, the really smart one who looks like a cross between Tyne Daly and Martin Short? Yeah, that one.

See, Val, I’ve grown up and with age, I guess, comes the realization that Real Genius, while still fun in a stay-in-bed-all-day kind of way, isn’t as groundbreaking a film as I remembered it to be. Sure, it may be one of the first movies to successfully combine advanced military weaponry with bikini-beach dorm parties and Jiffy Pop, but even amidst all those fluffy nuggets of combat, keggers, and comedy are kernels of unpopped gold. I know this is all so sudden and I apologize, but I didn’t realize until I saw you again that accentuating your character’s eccentricities by wearing bunny slippers to class just isn’t going to cut it in post-justaboutanythingsinceIwentthroughpuberty world. Times are tough, Val, and it takes a real genius to know when to up the ante. Until you figure it out, my eyes will be on Cagney… or is that Lacey?

Sincerely,

Josh

P.S. – If it helps, I’m pretty much over Dunkaroos too.

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

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.

Posted in Bedroom Design, Things We Like | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

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.

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