Category Archives: Home and Garden
It’s hard to imagine a design more simple than a basic straight line. Stack two or more straight lines, and you have stripes: clean, easy on the eyes, and infinitely variable. Perhaps that’s why the most common patterns used to decorate interior walls are stripes in all their glorious variations. Horizontal, vertical, one stripe, lots of stripes, jagged stripes, colorful stripes: whether you choose to adorn just one accent wall with straight-edged fun (as in the beautiful bedroom from CDA Interior Design shown here), or go all-out and encircle the entire room with stripes, it’s a reasonably easy DIY project that will add a hefty dose of wow to your bedroom. Painting basic stripes on the wall is easy enough; just decide how thick you want the stripes to be, use painter’s tape to mark off the borders, then fill in the lines with your desired color of paint. If you’d rather not be bothered with a paintbrush, there are many striped wallpapers, and with today’s easy-up, easy-down wall coverings, you can even decorate a rental’s walls with your favorite pattern. Need some inspiration? Here are 25 bedrooms that show off the range and versatility of geometry’s most basic design.
This gorgeous contemporary room from Atelier Interior Design shows off the most common orientation of wall stripes: horizontal. It’s easy to paint horizontal stripes, and as a plus, they make a small room look larger. While the soft stripes here are wallpaper, you could achieve the same effect with crackle glaze and paint. For the best appearance, keep your stripes between five and ten inches wide.
If you want to add a statement, yet not an exclamation, try one oversize horizontal stripe wrapping around the center of your walls, as in this room by Ragan Corliss of Decorating Den Interiors.
Your bedroom. It’s your own personal refuge at the end of a long, hectic day. It’s the most private area of your home; after all, guests use the bathroom, gather in the kitchen, and visit in the living room, but few guests will wander into your bedroom. It’s the place where you fall blissfully into your comfortable bed at night to dream away the hours peacefully, and then awaken refreshed and ready for a new day.
And believe it or not, it’s also just as important as the gym when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight.
It’s not just the kitchen that’s out to get you when it comes to putting on the pounds; many studies have concluded that the bedroom — or more specifically, the bedroom’s major purpose: sleep – plays a significant role in weight gain, appetite control and health eating. You already know that a lack of good-quality sleep is linked to several health problems, including:
- High blood pressure
- Wrinkled, dull skin
- Lowered immune system function
- Reduced sex drive
But now there’s a new health buster to add to the list — routinely sleeping five hours or less each night can make you fat. And it doesn’t have to be years of insufficient sleep, either; even a few nights spent burning the candle at both ends is enough to skewer your diet goals. A study done at the University of Colorado found that test subjects who slept only five hours per night for one week gained an average of two pounds during that time.
That means a rough week spent working overtime, a sick toddler, or too many nights spent binge-watching your favorite show might show up on the bathroom scale.
When You’re Tired, You Snack
A foggy brain is a brain in search of quick energy, and also prone to making poor food choices. That explains why you find yourself standing in front of the office vending machine, money in hand, every afternoon when the “three o’clock slump” strikes, or even worse, pulling that carton of Ben and Jerry’s – the one you swore was for the kids – out of the freezer shortly before bedtime.
And worst of all, when you are exhausted and barely able to drag yourself out of bed because your wakeup time is far too close to your bedtime, it’s nearly impossible to pass by those luscious donuts in the lunchroom, or resist the lure of pulling through Starbucks for a Venti Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino. The inevitable result? Pants that are too tight, and no, it’s not because they shrunk in the wash. In the University of Colorado study, the participants particularly craved carbs, and lots of them. Sound familiar? Then get to bed early tonight.
It’s a Hormone Thing
Your desire to eat is far more complicated than, “Mmm, chocolate cake and ice cream sound pretty good right now.” In fact, an intricate dance of hormones helps keep your appetite under control, and the two most important of those hunger hormones are ghrelin and leptin.
Ghrelin hangs out in your stomach, reporting on food intake to your brain. It’s a hungry hormone; when your stomach is empty, ghrelin levels rise drastically, telling your brain, “Hey, we need some food in here!” In response, you feel a desire to eat.
Leptin is produced by your fat cells, and along with other food-related functions, it’s in charge of letting your brain know that you’re full. That sends the signal that it’s time to set your fork down.
When you’re well-rested, these two hormones are better able to maintain balance, and you are far likelier to make wise food choices. Your willpower and clear thinking are strong, and it’s far easier to resist the siren call of, “Just one more slice of pizza.”
The bed sizes available in the United States are Twin, Single, Double, Full, Queen, King, California King, Western King, and Eastern King.
How in the world is anyone supposed to know the difference between all the bed sizes on the market today? Even the sales person in your local department store bed department might not have all the facts. It can be a very overwhelming decision. So, what exactly is the difference between the different sizes of beds available?
Read on for help understanding the sizes of beds on the market, and how to decide which one is right for your needs.
Some manufacturers will custom-cut beds larger or smaller than standard sizes, but beware of these custom made beds. While it may seem appealing to have a custom size bed, you may have trouble finding bedding to fit.
Twin, Single, and Extra-Long Twin Beds
- Twin beds are also known as single beds. They’re the most common choice for children’s rooms or multi-use guest rooms. These beds are narrow and fit easily into the smallest bedroom. Often twin beds have a “trundle” underneath to accommodate a sleep-over or second guest. Twin beds are used for bunk beds too.
- Overall dimensions: 39″ wide x 75″ long”
- Width per person: 39″
- Pros: Because of its small size it will fit easily into smaller bedrooms. Twin sheets are the least costly of all sheet sizes and are available in lots of patterns. It’s easy to make a twin bed.
- Cons: A standard size is too short for many adults.
- Twin Extra Long beds are 5″ longer than a standard twin. They’re often used in college dorm rooms to accommodate tall teens.
- Overall dimensions: 39″ wide x 80″ long
- Width per person: 39″
- Pros: The longer length is good for taller teens and adults. It’s easy to make since it’s narrow. If you need flexibility in a guest room, two extra long twins are a good choice. They can be used as singles or pushed together to form a king size bed.
- Cons: Bedding is difficult to find and not available in every pattern.
Note: What is considered “standard” is occasionally changed by some manufacturers. Before you go shopping for bedding, be sure to know the exact measurements of the bed you have purchased. Some standard fitted sheets may not fit.
Double, Full, or Queen Size Beds
Any of these sizes fit in a normal room, but many couples feel that a Full or Double bed (they’re essentially the same thing) is definitely too narrow for anything more than an occasional night’s sleep. A Queen size bed gives each one a bit more room without taking up too much more floor space.
Here’s the main difference between Full and Queen beds:
- Double or Full beds are 15″ wider than a Twin, but if two share the bed, each has only 27″ of personal space — much less than a twin!
- A Queen bed is 6″ wider than a Double bed, allowing more room for each person, but still 9″ less than a twin bed.
- Double beds (also known as Full) were the most common for two to sleep in until the 1960’s. They’re only 15″ wider than a Single bed, leaving only 27″ of sleep space for each of two adults. At 75″ long, a Full-size bed may be too short for some taller adults.
- Overall dimensions: 54″ wide x 75″ long
- Width per person: 27″
- Pros: Fits into smaller rooms. Might be just right for a single sleeper who is under 5’5″ tall. Sheets are less expensive than queen or king size.
- Cons: Many people find a Double bed too narrow for 2 adults and too short as well.
You’ve been sharing your hearts for a while, and now you’ve made the decision to share your home as well. When it’s time to take the plunge and move in together, there are many decisions to be made: how will you handle finances? How are you going to divvy up housework? How much time will you spend pursuing individual hobbies, and how much time will you spend together? And of course, you’ll also need to decide how to decorate your shared bedroom.
It’s often said that the kitchen is the heart of the home, but it can also be said that the bedroom is the heart of your relationship. Get that heart beating in a healthy rhythm with these tips to decorate your shared space.
Paint the Bedroom Walls a Color You Love
If you’re renting, you probably can’t permanently change the wall color (although there are plenty of non-paint ways to decorate walls), but if you purchased your home, nothing says new start like a fresh coat of paint. Go creamy white, pale gray, or soft sand if you like a neutral or traditional style; choose something brighter if you share a sense of drama; or go dark and deep if you both prefer an elegant, slightly moody look. The actual color isn’t as important as the process of choosing the paint together. If possible, tackle the paint job yourself (painting a single room is a fairly easy DIY project for a weekend) as a symbol of the new life you are starting together.
One of the biggest decorating decisions you’ll have to face together, particularly if you both had fully furnished living quarters prior to cohabiting, is which furniture to keep, which furniture is unnecessary, and which furniture should be replaced. Luckily, while these can be complicated decisions in the living room and entertainment area, they are usually not as difficult in the bedroom.
First of all, don’t think you have to have matching furniture in the bedroom (or in any area of the home, for that matter.) Matched sets can actually be boring, so feel free to go eclectic with a mix of looks. If the two of you are bringing very diverse styles of furniture into the bedroom – for example, you have black lacquered contemporary pieces and he has knotty pine country style – don’t despair. A coat of paint and perhaps matching drawer pulls and knobs help create a complementary compromise. If your tastes in furniture are closer in style, then you might not have to make any changes at all.
You’ll also want to consider the size and function of your bedroom furniture. Two people sharing a room generally means two nightstands, two dressers or chests of drawers, one bed with headboard and perhaps footboard, an armchair or comfortable spot to sit, and a selection of lamps. Out of your pool of furniture, choose the pieces that are suitably sized and in the best condition for your new digs.
Your shared bed is the most intimate spot in your home. Because of this, many couples like to start fresh with a brand new mattress selected together. If your budget simply will not allow such a luxury, then choose the mattress that is in the best condition, or is the newest.
But whether or not you buy a new mattress, do make it a point to purchase new bedding together. After all, when two people slip into the same bed each night, both deserve a say about the color, design, and feel of the sheets, blankets and duvet or comforter. Plus, it’s always nice to know there is no “past history” with any prior partners and the bedding in your new home.
Accessories Mean Compromise
The decorating area that generally requires the most compromise is artwork and accessories. After all, your bed and furniture are mostly functional, but the frills and extras in the bedroom are just that: extras that serve little purpose beyond looking decorative (not that that isn’t important!). Typically, you’ll want at least onelarge piece of artwork over your headboard or over a dresser, so if one of you has a suitably sized piece, that might be reason enough to give it a place of honor. But if one of you really hates the other’s taste in artwork or decorative accessories, you’ll need to work out a compromise. That might mean agreeing to each select one piece of artwork out of what you already own, and then purchasing a few new items together. Another solution is to use one partner’s accessories in the bedroom and the other partner’s artwork in another room of the home. When reaching a compromise, consider the sentimental or emotional value of the object, its monetary value, and its suitability to the space where you intend to use it. But remember – what’s most important is creating a happy new life together. Arguments over décor simply aren’t worth the strain on your relationship. Flexibility is the key when moving in with your significant other, whether in finances, parenting or decorating. After all, a relationship is for a lifetime, while just about everything else comes and goes.
The most serene bedrooms share several things in common: a soft color scheme, a pampering, luxurious bed, soft but adequate lighting, and growing greenery, to name a few. But one thing you’ll never find in a tranquil, calming bedroom is clutter. Disorganization is the enemy of relaxation; it’s hard to drift off into quality sleep when reminders of all the things you haven’t gotten to yet are surrounding you.
Your bedroom is the last thing you see before falling asleep at night, and the first thing to greet your eyes in the morning, so shouldn’t that space be as appealing and welcoming as possible? If your bedroom needs a little bit of help in the organization department, the following nine tips will help you whip things into shape.
Make Your Bed
It costs you nothing, takes only a minute or so in the morning, and is the most powerful tool in your organization toolbox when it comes to making your bedroom look better. When the bed is rumpled and unmade, even an otherwise gorgeous room looks messy. And conversely, when the bed is neatly made, your bedroom looks better, even if other areas of the room could use a little decluttering. So take those extra seconds each morning to straighten your pillows, pull up the sheets, and smooth out your comforter or duvet. Voila, your bedroom just became more organized.
You knew it had to be said; before you can get organized, you need to get rid of all those things that aren’t needed, aren’t loved, or aren’t usable. So gather up the clothes and shoes that don’t fit or flatter, the books you’ve already read, the collectibles that you don’t really treasure, the treadmill or exercise ball you swore you’d use every morning but now serves mostly to hold clothes that either belong in the dresser or in the laundry hamper.
Let the Goodwill benefit from your castoffs, because it’s to your benefit as well. Once you get rid of the things you really don’t need, it’s far easier to organize what’s left.
Take Advantage of the Space Under Your Bed
You’ve got several square feet of real estate underneath your bed – why waste it? That space is a prime storage area for shoes, seasonal clothing and sporting equipment, extra linens and other bulky items. Make it easy with under-bed storage boxes, preferably clear so you can see what’s inside without having to open the box, and with handles for easy access. If necessary, elevate your bed a few inches with bed risers. Now you have more clearance for storage.
Conquer the Closet
Make your mornings easier by sorting out your closet. First, get rid of anything that doesn’t belong in the bedroom, along with clothes and shoes you no longer wear. Then invest in a few closet organizers – a shoe rack is a must. Hanging organizers and shelf racks are also useful for sorting accessories, sweaters, and purses.
Arrange your clothing by type or season – whichever best suits your needs.
While a nightstand that is basically a small table can certainly add a touch of beauty to a bedroom, it’s a waste as far as organization and storage go. Save the table-style nightstands for the guest room, and choose a model with drawers for your own bedroom. Now you have a spot to stash all the sundries that tend to clutter up the bedside area: Kleenex, lip balms, books, pen and paper, hand cream and the like.
Give Jewelry a Home
A traditional jewelry box makes it easy to sort and store your bling, but it’s not the only option. If you have a large collection of jewelry, show it off on a small, framed piece of pegboard hung on the wall. Store rings and earrings in mismatched china cups, or on a pretty tray atop the dresser.
Don’t Forget the Doors
Install hooks on the backs of your bedroom and closet doors, and use them to hang your bathrobe, jacket, purse, scarves, hats, and belts.
Add a Trunk
If you have enough room, a trunk or storage bench at the foot of the bed is a great spot to stash extra linens or out-of-season clothing. Plus, it provides a convenient spot to sit and pull on your shoes in the morning. But be careful; don’t let the top of the trunk become another magnet for clutter.
Style Your Dresser Top
Dresser tops have a way of becoming clutter catchalls. Nip the problem in the bud by placing a few baskets or decorative boxes on your dresser to corral small items. Watch for the tendency to dump folded laundry atop your dresser; it only takes a few minutes to put clean clothing away, so make it a habit.
Bedroom flooring is a particularly intimate surface. It is the first thing your feet will step down on in the morning, and the last thing they will lift off of before climbing into bed each night. That means that the tactile and aesthetic effect that the floor will have on the space can also extend to the subconscious psyche of the person inhabiting it, making this a particularly important design decision.
Finding the best bedroom flooring material requires you to evaluate your options based on a number of different criteria. Some of these may be obvious, such as the feel of the floor, or how it looks. There may also be environmental concerns that you will want to explore, as well as issues of maintenance, and life cycle. The importance of these elements is based on the person who will actually be living there.
Bedrooms With Carpeting
Carpet is probably the most popular bedroom floor surface covering in industrialized nations where it is readily available. This is due chiefly to the fact that it is very soft and warm on a person’s feet. That tactile comfort helps to create a sense of lush luxury in the room, while also protecting you from cold toes on chilly winter mornings.
Another benefit of carpet in the bedroom is that it can provide a certain amount of insulation for the space. This can help to isolate the room from outside noises, making it easier to sleep at night.
At the same time, carpeting will also insulate the bedroom against the loss of heat, ensuring that the space will remain toasty warm.
Price is another factor that makes carpeting in the bedroom so popular. In recent decades the manufacturing process has gotten so efficient that the cost for low-end materials is $2 – $3 per square foot.
However, the price for higher end specialty materials will be higher. You also have to consider that carpeting has a shorter lifespan than alternatives such as hardwood, so will need to be replaced regularly.
Drawbacks: The major drawback to bedroom carpet is the fact that it is very difficult to keep it clean. Liquid stains can seep deep into the padding and remain permanently. At the same time, carpet tends to attract both dust, and small microbial organisms, which can contribute negatively to the air quality of the space.
Bedrooms With Hardwood Floors
Next to carpet, hardwood flooring is the second most popular choice for a bedroom. While it’s not as soft as its padded counterpart, hardwood planks do have some yield, and are both softer, and warmer underfoot than most tile and stone alternatives. This can be combined with throw rugs and area rugs to both gentle, and customize the look of the surface.
The thing that hardwood can really lend to a bedroom is the inherent natural beauty that can be found in each, individual piece.
While the look will vary to some extent based on species, grade, cut, and stain, the material itself always maintains a feel of primal, basic beauty, which is inherent to the biological truths within each of us.
Drawbacks: There are several drawbacks to hardwood in bedrooms. First, it can be very noisy. Most hardwood floors have little or no insulation, which means that those dwelling below may be able to clearly hear every footstep you take. It also provides little in the way of heat insulation.
Step away from the warm side of the spectrum – red, orange and yellow – and pass by the cooler hues of green, blue and purple, and you enter the decorating world of the neutrals. Embracing all the shades of brown, gray, black and white, neutrals are both loved for their safety, versatility, ability to play well with others, and soothing vibes, and yet reviled for that same tendency to be “too safe,” “unexciting” or “drab.” In reality, however, neutrals can be every bit as beautiful, dramatic, elegant, and yes, even high contrast, if done correctly.
So just because you are stuck with apartment-rental-beige, or housing tract Swiss coffee, or simply prefer a palette that speaks in a whisper instead of a scream, there’s no reason to settle for boring. For proof, check out the gorgeous bedrooms featured here. All are predominantly decorated in neutrals, but not a one is boring, overly safe or without style. These are neutrals done right.
Think the only way to create a dramatic, high-contrast bedroom is to decorate with bright colors or moody blues, reds or greens? Well, think again, because if you choose them well, neutrals can be every bit as dramatic and eye-catching as the purer colors of the spectrum. Picture charcoal gray or chocolate brown (as in the room featured here) highlighted with gauzy accents of creamy white. Dreamy, dramatic and romantic, yet not a bright or primary color in sight. When you decorate with dark walls, like the room here, adding plenty of soft fabric accents keeps the look cozy and romantic, rather than spooky or cave-like. Beautiful.
The minimalist decorating style is free from clutter and unnecessary furnishings, with a clean and serene vibe that makes it perfectly suited to the bedroom. While often associated with a stark, cool palette of black, gray, and white, a palette of earth-tone neutrals also works very well with this tranquil decorating style, adding some warm welcome. Note that minimalist does not mean without personality, style or any adornment. The best minimalist rooms have interesting touches in the lighting, well-chosen artwork, and furnishings that keep the look friendly, not sterile.
Gorgeous, welcoming, and tranquil bedrooms: you pin and re-pin them on Pinterest, sigh over them on interior design websites, and drool over their images in glossy home décor magazines. But if you are like many people, you shrug off the idea that you could have a bedroom just as beautiful, just as peaceful, just as cozy, and most importantly, just as much the room of your dreams. And you can do it without spending a fortune. In fact, with the great advice from top interior decorator Lindsay Pennington, you can do it yourself, whatever your budget and whatever your favorite decorating style. Read on for Lindsay’s five steps for a top-to-toe bedroom makeover that can be completed in a weekend.
Look around your bedroom as if seeing it for the first time. Is it a restful and attractive space, or is it a mess? Lindsay says, “Too often, bedrooms become the storage units of our homes, where we hide dilapidated furniture or that never-quite-right lamp away from the eyes of guests (who usually only venture into more public spaces, like the living room and kitchen).”
The first step of your makeover is the edit. Consider your bedroom with a critical and objective eye. What do you love? What is worth keeping, and what is better off donated or sold? What belongs in another area of your house? As Lindsay puts it, “The bedroom should be a soothing retreat that both relaxes and recharges you at the end of the day. Start the makeover process by eliminating anything that you don’t need and love. And the best part of editing? It’s free!”
A home makeover is like a road trip in that without a map or clear directions, you might not ever reach your destination. In step two, you’ll reconfigure your bedroom furnishings to match the vision in your mind. Start with basic questions: Does your furniture really suit your tastes and needs? Is your bed large enough (or is it too big)? Does your bedroom “work”? The answers to these questions give you a guide for creating your dream bedroom.
Once you are clear on the basics, take another look around your room. Now’s the time to get more detailed; ask yourself if the furniture is positioned properly and accessories are shown to their best advantage. According to Lindsay, it all starts with your bed: a simple rule of thumb is to place your bed on the longest wall in the room, and then place your remaining pieces of furniture in the most complementary position around it.
So many special things happen when people come together over a meal. Whether it’s with family or friends, a special occasion, or that special someone, there is something remarkable about sharing a table. It becomes even more special when the table itself is a thing of beauty. One of the best ways to transform your table into an enchanting moment is to accompany your table settings with an elegantly folded napkin.
If you have always loved intricate napkin folds but have felt that it required some special skill, don’t fret. It’s all very simple once you you learn some basic napkin folding methods. See our easy tutorials on how to create 12 different napkin folds. You’re sure to find one you love.
Have you ever gone to a party where the hosts have taken the time to make the table look really special? Didn’t the napkins, folded to a pretty shape, add to the total feel of the setting? Some napkins are arranged so beautifully that you don’t want to use them.
In your own home, a special table says that you really value your guests when you make the extra effort to set the table beautifully.Even if you’ve never folded a napkin in your life, these photo tutorials will make it all simple.
The napkin folds presented here are not complicated or difficult. Each one will take only a few minutes, and you’ll be pleased with the results.
Start out with the easy ones and attempt something a bit more complicated when you’ve mastered one. Some are easy, and some more complicated, some use napkin rings, and all will look more presentable if you have the iron out when you’re working.
Try all the folds to decide which one you prefer. You might feel that one style is more casual and another more formal. Choose your favorite for the occasion.
The Easiest Folds
These are the folds to start with when working to develop your skills at creating eye-catching napkin decorations. You’ll be amazed at the number of different folds, tricks, and variations that are out there. But before you get to those, you’ll want to know these basic folds:
- Scarf Napkin Fold
- Traditional Napkin Fold
- Rolling Napkin Fold
- Goblet Fan Napkin Fold
- Knotted Napkin Fold
- Tailored Napkin Fold
Slightly More Complicated Folds
Once you’ve gotten the hang of the basics, you’ll be ready to branch out into more complicated feats. Some of the most popular you’ll find are the:
- Wings Napkin Fold
- Pocket Napkin Fold
- Stand Up Fan Napkin Fold
- Three Point “Hat” Napkin Fold
- Cuffed Roll Napkin Fold
- Tulip Napkin Fold
- Cat’s Paw Fold
- Triangle Pocket Napkin Fold
The most interesting homes are those that are designed with innovation in mind. Those where out-of-the-box style reigns. That’s the kind of design that you see in the work of Loczi Design Group. The San Francisco-based firm is known for creating one-of-a-kind spaces. And this modern San Francisco home in SOMA is no different. Formerly two separate units that were merged together to create one home, Loczi Design Group had one mission for this interior – to design a space where there client could entertain and throw large or small gatherings with ease.
The interior design project was the perfect complement to the home’s unique architecture. A twelve-foot skylight and a striking steel staircase meet you at the center of the home. Flanked by the client’s collection of mid-century Russian art, the interior design took direction from all of the architectural elements in this eclectic interior.
Unconventional, funky, and with a love of geometrics, Loczi Design Group was able to put their stamp on the newly designed space. Just as their client asked, spaces were designed with entertaining in mind. In this lounge, low-seating was placed beneath a skylight. The perfect place for party-goers to enjoy a cocktail, and even a look up at the stars and moon when the sun sets. And just like in the home’s living room, the lounge is home to a fun mix of hues. Turquoise seating and a subtle shade of lilac on the wall form a striking color palette, a perfect reflection of the colorful art on the wall.
Beyond the lounge area, this contemporary dining room can easily seat eight. The furniture is so sleek and sophisticated. Perfect for an evening of entertaining in the Bay Area. Beyond the stone table, it’s the art that catches the eye in this dining room. Alcoves are the perfect fit for abstract pieces that add to the home’s rich color palette. Fuchsia, lilac, soft blues and the greens that are in each piece literally jump off the canvas and onto the furnishings in the living room that’s home to a hot pink sofa and purple side chairs.