Category Archives: Bedroom Design

Bedroom Design: Tips for Decorating a College Dorm

Post by Tracy Kaler.

Dorm Room

Living in a tiny room for four years or even two years of college isn’t all that fun unless you have a decorating strategy. Yes, you’ll mostly sleep and study in that room, and probably spend the majority of your time participating in activities on campus and in the library and classroom. But, wouldn’t you like to look forward to returning to your dorm room every night? Here are some practical yet essential tips for decorating a college dorm, and making it your home away from home.

First off, start with a comfy bed.
A great mattress will give you a great night’s sleep. Try adding a topper if you prefer that cocoon effect, and buy the best sheets and pillows that your budget allows. (Ask mom for help in this department.)

Get organized with storage.
You might have a single closet and it probably won’t be of the walk-in variety, so additional storage can keep away the clutter and make your tiny space more livable. Use freestanding units, or individual hanging shelves, as well as storage bins under your bed. Opt for a hamper for dirty clothing, an over-the-door shoe rack, and decorative boxes so every item has a place, including any miscellaneous stuff on your desk.

Accessorize, even a little bit.
Add a mirror, and perhaps an easy-to-maintain indoor plant that doesn’t require too much sunlight. Speaking of light, add lamps, both table and floor, and your new home will take on a warm glow.

Dress up a plain bed with a few bold accent pillows, and a cozy, decorative throw that you can use if your room gets chilly. Consider covering the floor with an area rug, and adding strippable wall covering that can easily be removed when you move out. Even an accent wall can spruce up the dullest interior. And don’t forget the artwork. Posters are an affordable alternative to framed prints.

VisuaLingual home/HQ

Make it yours.
Now that you’ve cleared away the clutter and accessorized, make your dorm room say something about you. Add your initials to your wall above your bed, bring in photos of your friends and family, pets, or even you alone. Be sure to have copies of your go-to magazines and favorite novels, and a small stereo to play your tunes. This compact apartment will give you a welcome respite, and a place to relax and retreat when you’re tired of hitting the books.

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Bedtime Stories: Celebrations of Halloweens Past

halloweenHalloween Merrymaking: An Illustrated Celebration of Fun, Food, and Frolics from Halloweens Past by Diane Arkins

Post by Mark T. Locker.

I love Halloween. I love that dark and spooky become de rigeur for a month. I love skeletons, giant spiders, creepy sound effects. The holiday has been a phenomenon in the United States for a long time, though traditions have changed a bit over the years. Halloween Merrymaking looks at the holiday through the lens of American history and tradition.

The book is filled with cool old pictures of Halloween decorations from bygone days and informational tidbits about how the Halloween traditions have changed over the years. Mostly, this is a book about Halloween entertaining from the 19th century to now. In the early 20th century, it seems simply EVERYONE was hosting Halloween parties for adults and there were no shortage of books and magazines offering ideas for everything from invitation templates to recipe ideas. Whereas today’s angle is children and spookiness, in yesteryear, it was just as fun for adults and it was more about mystery. Invitations were always sent out anonymously, lending an extra air of mystery.

Often these mysterious parties would have a theme, like all guests must dress as ghosts, or as noted literary figures. Or maybe the hostess would be ghost. Bobbing for apples was always a good time even back then. Other party ideas have, not surprisingly, faded away such as this oddity: “Where a fireplace can be used, dip stick in strong salt water and dry them thoroughly…sticks are given to guests who throw them in the fire and perform tricks or tell stories while the it burns.” (Spooky Hallowe’en Entertainments, 1923)

halloween-1  jack-horner-pie-centerpiece

If you like Halloween and if you like the old-timey celebrations of days gone by, this book has a lot of interesting information and maybe some unusual party ideas as well!

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Bedroom Design: Autumn Inspired

Post by Tracy Kaler.

Who doesn’t love fall? The temperatures aren’t too warm or too cool, and nature might even be its prettiest during September and October. Fall colors can make us feel warm and fuzzy inside –– so much that we want to drink a Pumpkin Spice Latte or eat a slice of warm apple pie. From deep corals to rusty reds and mocha browns, the hues that we associate with autumn can inspire the palette for any room. Here are five bedrooms that feel like fall.

Warm grays, beiges, golds, and a hint of orange in a master bedroom seating area give us a glimpse of fall. The cozy spot looks perfect to curl up with a good book or watch the leaves fall outside those big windows.

Olstad Drive Residence Master Bedroom 3

For some reason, the color eggplant alludes to the fall season. The rich color works well on the tufted headboard, and orange with purple is an unexpected combination. The accent pillows balance the two colors.

Colour Pop Apartment

Scottsdale might not get the same fall as the Northeastern US, but it does get seasons. Regardless of the amount of leaf-peeping available in this Arizona town, this bedroom sure feels like autumn.

Ownby Design

Vivid masculine colors come together nicely in this modern Australia bedroom. The simple design allows the architecture to shine. The paper pendant fixtures add some fun to the space.

2014 Interior Design Excellence Awards – Arent&Pyke

This Carmel Valley retreat boasts a Mediterranean flavor with its exposed wood beams, Venetian plaster walls, and the balcony and its metal railing. The subtle red and yellow scheme makes the bedroom feel homey and inviting.


Don’t you love fall?

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Bedroom Design: Decorating Bedrooms with Lofty Ceilings

Post by Tracy Kaler.

Extra tall ceilings might be number one on your wish list, but furnishing a room with height has its challenges. Furniture can look short or almost dwarfed, and how do you treat that extra wall space or those big windows? We turned to our friends at Houzz for some brilliant ideas for decorating bedrooms with lofty ceilings.

This contemporary bedroom keeps things simple and straightforward, allowing the architecture to shine. The steel and stone fireplace wall with a built-in television becomes the focal point. Privacy must not be an issue because the designer chose to leave the double-height windows uncovered.

master bedroom with steel & stone fireplace

This East Midlands farmhouse bedroom celebrates the height. The room has a tower-like feel, and the designer didn’t pay much attention to the furnishings, but let the exposed wood canopy lower the ceiling height. Notice the saddle draped over the beam.

The Tower

This stunning bedroom might be minimalist, but I don’t feel like it’s missing a thing. The open view of the woods acts as a natural wall covering. No windows treatments are needed.

Garden Bedroom

With two sets of windows –– upper and lower –– this room has drapes only on the bottom set. The high windows perform double duty, allowing more light and creating architectural interest.

Tranquil Eclectic Residence

This dramatic Charlotte bedroom exudes elegance. With its vaulted ceilings and chunky moldings, the simple but neutral space gets a dose of paprika on the shams and lounge chair. The feminine chandelier feels like it’s just the right scale for this room.

Queens West

A Seattle bedroom boasts a brilliant design with a separate seating area in front of the fireplace. Notice the amount of detail and texture in this space, as well as the unique window coverings. The room is warm and cozy despite its size.

Contemporary Bedroom

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Tips and Tricks: What to Do When You Can’t Sleep


Post by Tracy Kaler.

Insomnia. It happens to all of us. We have those nights when no matter what we try, we can’t get to sleep. Tossing. Turning. Stressing. Watching the minutes and hours pass, and nothing. Not even a light snooze. Feeling exhausted and not being able to drift off to sleep can be incredibly frustrating. Here’s what to do when you can’t sleep.

First, if you’ve tried to sleep for 20 or 30 minutes and you find that you’re not even close to dozing off, get out of bed. Staying horizontal will only create more stress, knowing that you can’t drift off.

Once you’re up, find something else to do that relaxes you and takes your mind off sleep. That could be different for everyone. You might like to read, meditate, or do some light stretching or yoga. Or, walking around the house might be therapeutic enough to make you tired.

Even though experts advise not to watch television or get in front of a computer around bedtime, if staring at a screen can cause enough relaxation to put you to sleep, then, by all means do, it. Do whatever works for you.

Still no luck? Try to rub your pulse points with lavender oil. The scent is calming and will help reduce the stress you’re feeling since you’re having trouble getting to sleep.

You could be hungry, or have low blood sugar, which might prevent you from sleeping. Try a light snack. A cup of warm milk, a few almonds or turkey (with tryptophan) could induce sleep.

Most of all, think happy thoughts. If you’re worried about what’s going to happen at work the next day, or you’re thinking about a disagreement you had with a friend earlier, chances are, you won’t get to sleep at all. Try to save the serious business for waking hours. Imagine yourself doing your favorite activity in your favorite place, until you unwind. Then, you should get to sleep in no time.

Sweet dreams!

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