RSSAuthor Archive for Beth Westmore

Psyching out bedroom clutter

Untidy room (Karottenreibe Wikimedia commons)

No matter how hard you try to beat it back, bedroom clutter always sedems to return. But the sea of not-so-useful items on your desk, on your floor, and on your nightstand only stresses you out and makes life more complicated than it needs to be. After all, if your living space is afflicted with too much stuff, you inevitably end up losing important things among the rubble. If you’re tired of losing your housekeys under piles of paperwork, or finally finding your current metrocard under a pile of used metro tickets, it’s time to change your current situation. A cluttered keyboard. (Chuck Marean Wikimedia Commons)
WebMD experts recommend starting off with a simple mind trick: If you have something you don’t wear or use, but you’re not sure you can part with it, put it in a labeled box. On the label, write down a future date one to 6 months from now and then keep the box in your basement or another space you use for storage.

Now, if you need the object at some point before the future date, don’t hesitate to bring the box back out from storage and re-install that object in your room. But if you don’t need to use it during that time period, then leave it there.

When that future date comes around, you have all the proof you need to recognize that you need to get rid of it. “When the date comes — and you need to write it in your calendar — don’t open the box,” says Aricz LaFrance, a psychotherapist and organizing consultant interviewed by Web MD. “Donate it or throw it away.” This mind trick, a clever way to psych yourself out, helps you to overcome the irrational beliefs you may hold about the usefulness of some of your stuff. It’s a simple first step to clearing out the rubble and establishing a cleaner and less stressful bedroom.

Bedtime Kiddie Quandaries and Their Solutions

As a toddler, your child is more mobile, more active, and more of his or her own person than ever before. She is ‘finding her feet,’ both literally and metaphorically speaking. So it’s not too surprising to find that when 8:30 rolls around, your toddler rebels against bedtime.

A sleeping toddler. (Vannessa Q, Wikimedia Commons).

 A toddler looking at a baby book (Jon Mick, Wikimedia Commons).

You may find that your toddler makes request after request to stave off the inevitable lights-out — ‘one more book, Mommy,’ or ‘one more glass of milk, Daddy,’ or ‘there are monsters in my closet, can I watch TV for just a little longer?’ But of course, the more excuses he makes, the later he goes to bed and the grouchier he will be in the morning. So how can you avoid his sleepytime stubbornness? Here are some tried and true techniques:

Stick to a routine. Set a solid bedtime, be sure to stick to it, and don’t let your child forget that he has a deadline. Remind him what time ‘bedtime’ is after dinner, and keep gently reminding him as he brushes his teeth, takes a bath, and gets into his pajamas. By sticking to a routine bedtime each night, you give your toddler structure. He will know what to expect and will also recognize that there’s not a whole lot of wiggle room when it comes to bedtime.

Empower you child. She’s pushing for more independence – so yield when you can. Allow her to make as many bedtime choices as possible; like what book she wants to read before lights out, how many pillows she wants to sleep with, whether she wants to wear the Mickey Mouse pajamas or the Snow White ones, or if she’d like an extra blanket over her comforter. According to Parents magazine writer Allison Winn, the trick is to offer your child two alternatives which are both acceptable to you and give her some autonomy. Winn explains that you don’t want to ask your child, ‘do you want to go to bed now?’ After all, if your child says ‘no,’ then you have a potential dilemma on your hands. Instead, ask something like ‘do you want to go to bed now or in five minutes?’ No matter what decision she takes, you’ve got her cornered — whether it’s now or in five minutes, she’s going to bed at any rate.

A ‘big kid’ bed means you get a ‘big kid’ bedtime. After age three, your child has likely outgrown her crib and is setling into her new bed. Use this moment as an opportunity to tell her that a part of getting older is learning how to sleep on your own when bedtime rolls around. Encourage and praise her whenever she stays put in her bed. If she can’t resist the urge to go wandering after lights-out, gently take back to bed, tell her that it’s time to sleep, and leave – don’t linger. Above all, show your child that a big kid bed comes with a big kid responsibility – that is, going to bed at a reasonable hour and getting a good night’s sleep.

Personalize with Pooch Portraits

A lovable poodle. John Leslie from London, UK (Wikimedia Commons)

A regal dog (Valerie Leonard)

Love your dog? Do you love him enough to decorate your living room with his adorable mug? Some dog owners these days are translating their love for their dog into works of art, comissioning pooch portraits that range from adorable to laugh-out-loud kitschy. Below, check out a small sample of the artists who are actively working in this unique portrait field.

Regal Glory. Ordering a customized portrait from Valerie Leonard will get your pooch the Mona Lisa treatment. Leonard, who specializes in classic oil paintings, creates elaborate and realistic portraits of dogs lounging around in historic clothing reminiscent of the clothing you find on the aristocratic subjects painted by the European Old Masters. Your dog could be draped in an ermine stole, wear a gold pocket watch, or maybe model some napoleon era battle gear. Regardless of Leonard’s clothing choices, your dog’s portrait will certainly serve as a tongue in cheek conversation starter.

Pop art fun. If you’re more into contemporary painting, Brooklyn based artist Dean Russo can create a pop art portrait of your pooch that’s light, colorful, and very visually interesting. His doggie portraits sizzle with loud colors, pychadelic images and funky squiggles.

Elaborate Ink. Comissioning a portrait from Valentina Harper, on the other hand, will get you a South American influenced portrait of your puppy to hang by your mantelpiece. Harper, who is Veneuelan, usng black ink to create elaborately detailed portraits of man’s best friend.

Whatever your taste in art may be, there’s an artist who can help meet your doggie vision, and what better way to personalize a room in your home than a funky image of the most beloved critter living there? These artists are only a small sampling of doggie portrait artists working in the field today. To find just the right artist that suits the taste of both you and your best buddy, head over to Etsy or Pinterest to view the sample portraits of dog loving artists from all around the world.

Bedside Tables – Style Within Reach

A nightstand, or bedside table, is a small table or cabinet designed to be placed beside a bed or elsewhere in a bedroom. It serves as easy storage within reach or a tabletop for convenience.

Before indoor flushing toilets became commonplace, the main function of a bedside table was to contain a commode pot. As a result, early nightstands were often small cabinets, sometimes fitted with a drawer, and usually containing an enclosed storage space below covered by one or more doors. Modern nightstands are usually small bedside tables, often with a drawer. They are used to support items that might be useful during the night, such as a lamp, alarm clock, mobile phone, books, a glass of water, or medication. Bedside tables have come a long way and now add style and design to a bedroom (and without the stench of their previous uses). Nightstands can be bought in almost any color and finish, and can match a modern or even antique bedroom furniture style.

This classic, elegant bedside table can be found on Elle Decor

Anglesey End Table

Nightstands are conveniently affordable, and most bedroom furniture sets are not complete without a stand to place on each side of the bed. Read a book by lamp light, keep a pen and paper in the drawer for to-do lists, and place decorative picture frames on the shelf. Handy and fashionable nightstands are practical as well as decorative. You can easily create a theme for your whole room around this useful piece of furniture. Use the nightstand as a decorative piece in addition to its sensible function as furniture. This contemporary bedside table will add a flair to any bedroom: Midcentury Nighstand by West Elm

Convenience and storage are only a few benefits of practical bedside tables. A bedroom furniture suit is not complete without at least one or two.

How the Size of Beds Has Changed Over Time

These days, it’s easy to find sheets that snugly fit your bed. But not so in the 18th century and earlier, when standardized bed sizes didn’t exist. In general, bed sizes varied depending on the furniture maker. As a result, both mattresses and bedding had to be individually fitted to the unique shape of each bed. One of the best ways to see the difference firsthand is to visit a preserved colonial house like the ones open to visitors in Williamsburg, Virginia, which have numerous colonial beds on display, complete with requisite 18th century canopies and high headboards.
Single Bed size in old mansions
Along with their unique colonial trimmings, you’ll observe that bed lengths varied from being very, very short and wide to very, very long and narrow, along with every kind of dimension in between. After the industrial revolution took place, however, standardized twin and double beds took the place of more approximated sizing. In the 1960s, standard ‘king’ and ‘queen’ sized beds also became extremely popular in the United States. By the end of the era, most master bedrooms included either a queen or king sized bed. So the next time you visit the bedding aisle, remember to be grateful that finding the right sized bedding set is as simple as looking for twin, double, queen or king -sized linens — no custom fitted sheets needed!
Bed Sizes