RSSAuthor Archive for Beth Westmore

Bunk Beds & Beyond: Bedrooms for Two

Are your children sharing a bedroom? There are many advantages to lodging siblings in one room: The arrangement teaches them how to share, how to compromise, and also how to be assertive when need be. Moreover, it teaches your children how to be mindful and respectful of each other’s property. When it comes to furnishing and decorating, however, you have to remain mindful of the smaller amount of space you have to work with. While you want your children to learn how to share space, you don’t want them stepping over each other’s toes. Read on for some tips on how to furnish and design a visually appealing shared bedroom while conserving space:

Bunk them.

Buy a pair of bunk beds and stand them in one corner of the room. Bunk beds free up a lot of floor room, providing an ample play area for your children. You can add even more compactness by buying a bunk bed with a chest of drawers or a cubbyhole shelf built into the side — extra storage that doesn’t take up any extra square feet. With bunk beds, the interior decor can be as plain or wild as you and your children want — buy elegant wooden bunk beds and decorate with a soft palette or go all-out and create a splashy themed room. Bunk beds can lend the structure to some wonderfully whimsical ideas, like this ‘playground’ bunk bed from CedarWorks, which includes detachable slides. Other themed rooms on Pinterest feature two-level mock houses and mock tree forts.
Bunk beds (Miguel Andrade Wikimedia Commons)

A new twist on an old idea.

Instead of facing the bunk beds in the same direction, you could also try placing them perpendicular to one another. This creates a different design look which opens up new possibilities. You can use the space freed up under the top bunk for a chest of drawers, a small play area, or both. When your children get older, you could also put a desk or a file cabinet in that space for school purposes.

Keep them separated.

If you and your children aren’t keen on the idea of bunk beds, you can keep the bed separate while still maximizing floor space. Put the two beds on risers and install drawers or cubbies beneath each bed, or buy two beds with bottom storage space already built-in. With the storage space underneath the beds, you don’t need to waste any square feet on an extra chest of drawers. Lastly, consider getting a floor rug that helps serve as a natural dividing line, like in this room featured in Homes and Gardens, to help your children minimize any sibling disagreements over floor space.
Perpendicular bunk beds (nooshloves)

Bedrooms with Pizzazz: Personalizing Your Space

If you’re looking to add some pizzazz to your personal space, but don’t have a lot of time to invest in decorating, there are nonetheless a variety of ways you can give it a decent makeover by simply rearranging or adding accessories. Read on to get some tips on how to make your room visually pop with minimal effort:

Add something seasonal.

Switch up some of your decor pieces four times a year in tune with the seasons. For example, you could celebrate spring by hanging floral artwork above your desk, or welcome a warm summer by exhibiting turquoise pottery on your vanity. For the fall, bring out a pair of red curtains and for the winter, a thick fur coverlet. Mixing up the accessories in your room when the seasons change will keep it looking fresh and visually appealing.

Rule of Three

Experiment with pillows.

Pillows, especially the decorative pillows, add a lot of dramatic coloring. In fact, buying pillows for your bed (unlike painting the walls or changing the light fixtures) is one of the easiest ways to experiment with your bedroom’s color, as you’re not making any heavy changes to your room when you do so. If you buy pillows that are wildly different colors, say red and black for example, you may find that they add a lot of contrast or depth to the color scheme of your room. Then again, depending on your room’s size and wall paint, that might not be the case at all! But by buying pillows and experimenting, you’ll know for sure one way or another. Experts also recommend that you use three or more pillows on your bed (the more the better). One or two pillows look small and flat, and won’t do the colors you’ve picked out justice.

A bedroom with green pillows. (D. Guedj Wikimedia Commons)

Accessorize in odd numbers.

Arrange items in threes or fives on a vanity, nightstand or or on your wall to create a layered effect. Better yet, arrange items with varied sizes, like three candles or five colored bottles that exhibit different heights. The Rule of Three is a principle used in various aspects of design, not only interior decorating but also photography, graphic design and architecture. In general, the rule states that details and items grouped in odd numbers are more visually appealing, memorable, and effective on the onlooker than even-numbered arrangements.

Budget Chic in the Bedroom

Is furnishing a new bedroom putting a strain on your wallet? Consider using a couple of smart upcycling techniques to save a lot of money on either pieces of furniture or accessories. Upcycling is the practice of taking old objects doomed to the trash bin and transforming them into something both useful and gorgeous — while remaining, of course, dirt cheap. The following upcycling bedroom ideas, the brainchildren of several crafty bloggers with an eye for interior design, prove that chic doesn’t have to be costly.

Carpet Chic.

Big Persian carpets add a unique dimension to a bedroom, but a nice one can be expensive. Instead, try painting a colorful design on some spare carpeting or an inexpensive rug. Design blogger Lydia Pudel crafted the carpet below by cutting out a stencil, tracing the stencil over the carpet, and then using wall paint to transform the rug from a boring white into a dreamy, Moroccan themed piece.

Handpaint a colorful design using a stencil on an old carpet or rug.

Repurposed Decor.

Do you have an old door lying around somewhere? You might not expect it, but old doors make wonderful new ‘shabby chic’ bookshelves. The Craftaholics Anonymous blog features a corner bookshelf made out of two halves of a door. The crafter used a circular saw to chisel the door in two. She then nailed the two halves together, perpendicular to one another and added shelving. The result is a one-of-a-kind piece that makes the entire room pop. Craftaholics Anonymous is not the only blog that is repurposing old doors, however — check Pinterest for more ideas on how to transform old doors into viable pieces of furniture. Other ideas include coffee tables, desks, cupboards and even wall sconces.

 Reuse an old door as a cute corner bookshelf.

Tablecloths are made from sturdy fabric and don’t just have to be for the table. You can use a new tablecloth or re-use an old one for inexpensive curtains in your bedroom. Simply iron out any wrinkles and clip them into place on the curtain rod — no sewing necessary. In fact, tablecloths are very versatile — check Pinterest for more ideas on how to use them for new chair cushions, pillows and more.

Two old tablecloths find new life as curtains.

Stylish Slumber for pets

Make a pet bed from an old suitcase.
Make a pet bed from a wine crate.

Dogs are man’s best friend, but your dog’s bed is likely not on friendly terms with the style police. Pillow-shaped traditional dog beds, with their fleece coverings and often awkward color scheme, might not mesh well with your home decor. So how can you find something that will have Fido slumbering in style as well as comfort? Surprisingly, there are a lot of options out there that have the potential to please not only your best bud but also your sense of personal aesthetics.

Look for wooden raised beds. A raised wooden dogbed is generally reminiscent of a shelf or a cubbyhole, with four legs which lift the bed off the ground by a few inches. Some beds are small and compact, while others are wide and elegant. The wooden finish on most of these dog beds matches well with most home color schemes. Moreover, both you and your buddy will benefit from a better airflow around the bed which reduces odours – a perk that comes with the raised design. Look for wooden dogbeds in speciality online boutiques, like Chesea Dogs.

Repurpose a wine crate. If you don’t want to spend the money for a wooden raised dog bed and you have a small to medium dog, consider using a simple hack: Use a wine crate. With its wooden finish and wine signage, a wine crate is just as elegant as any wooden dog bed. Use a circular saw to cut a semi circle in one side of the wine crate so that your pet can easily get in and out of the bed. To make it easier to move, apply four wooden rounds to the bottom of each of the crate’s corners. Then add a mini pillow to the interior, and voila! It’s gorgeous, it’s simple, and what’s more, it cost you almost nothing.

Use an old suitcase If you’d like something a bit more unique and ‘shabby chic,’ consider creating a pet bed from an old suitcase — at least, if you have one roomy enough for your pooch. First, line the suitcase with a piece of foam for cushioning. Then choose a matching fabric to cover the foam, tucking the excess over the corners and edges. After that, you’re ready to tuck your pooch in and have him enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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.