RSSAuthor Archive for Beth Westmore

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

Five Steps To Make You Bedroom More Romantic

After a long, hard day at work and dealing with the kids, I really want a space that I can call my own. What I really need is a place that offers peace – and even better, a little romance. Here are some steps to turn your room into a luxury boudoir:

Pick a color/any color – Don’t leave your bedroom walls a plain, vanilla white. Pick your favorite color, then look for a shade or tone of the color that is relaxing and soothing.

Outfit the room – Can’t afford to replace the furniture? A few changes to your linens can create a new look. Choose satin sheets ( and a satin bed skirt ( in a complimentary color to your wall scheme.

Don’t be afraid to mix things up – pick alternating colors for the sheets and bed skirts, or try a variety of satin pillow cases and shams (

Add the accents – Add some decorative elements, pictures and candles. Don’t fill your bedroom with lots of family photos – make it a neutral space that is conducive to romance.

Soften the lighting – Bring in some lamps, add dimmer switches to your lights. Make the lighting work when reading, but soft and relaxing when you need to chill out.

Don’t forget the music – Add a nice quality mini-stereo to play relaxing music, or consider adding something for white noise. Make the room as free of distractions from the outer world.

Immerse yourself in a little luxury and comfort. Create your own space with our satin sheets and you just may find that you never want to leave the room. To see more of our satin sheets, click here:

Pregnancy Pillows: Pros and Cons of Each Type

Sleep comes a lot more naturally to moms with newborns in the house than it does for moms-to-be in the last few months of pregnancy. Those who tell you to get all the sleep you can while you’re pregnant have obviously never slept with an extra 20 to 30 pounds of baby and other pregnancy weight moving around their stomach at all hours. It’s not exactly comfortable, and it makes a peaceful night of sleep next to impossible. If it weren’t for pregnancy pillows, I don’t know what expectant mothers would do for sleep.

The great thing about pregnancy pillows is that there are several to choose from, which means you’re sure to find one you love. I didn’t love the first one I tried, but the second one made my nights – and even my husband’s – that much more restful and relaxing.

Leacho Snoogle

Candy Cane

Courtesy of Kate Ter Haar


The first pregnancy pillow I purchased with my oldest daughter was the Leachco Snoogle. What’s great about it is the fact that it’s shaped like a candy cane already so you don’t have to maneuver it to make it comfortable. It was great for using as a regular pillow, a stomach pillow, and a between my knees pillow. The only con with this particular type of pregnancy pillow is the fact that it’s so large it makes me feel like there’s another large person in the bed with my husband and I.

Boppy Sleep Wedge

The Boppy Sleep Wedge was my absolute favorite pregnancy pillow when I was pregnant recently with my newborn twins. It sits just below my stomach or in between my knees. It all depends on how I’m comfortable at any given moment. It’s very small. We never once felt like the bed was overly crowded with this particular pillow. The firm feeling under my stomach was such a relief at night it almost felt like I was weightless. It’s very similar to the way you feel when you’re swimming. As far as cons go, the only thing I didn’t care for with this particular pregnancy pillow is the fact that it only goes one place at a time, so you need two if you want to comfort your stomach and keep your knees apart at the same time.

Sealy Sweet Pea

The Sealy Sweet Pea maternity and nursing pillow is another great one. My best friend swears by this pillow, even though I felt that it was a little too big for my petite size compared to her taller frame. What’s so great about it is that it does what pregnancy pillows are supposed to do and doubles as a nursing pillow once your baby arrives. It eliminates the need for both a pregnancy and a nursing pillow.

Aller-Ease (For Allergy Sufferers)

The Aller-Ease body pillow is essentially a king size pillow with the same rectangular shape. It’s a little bit softer than I feel is comfortable for a pregnancy pillow for my own particular taste, but it’s easy to use and it doesn’t require any maneuvering to find a comfortable position. The only negative about this one is that it’s almost identical to a king pillow but much more expensive. Depending on your comfort level, you might consider just purchasing a king size pillow.

To Each Her Own

There are dozens of pregnancy pillows on the market. I’ve tried and loved several, found flaws in some, and still occasionally use others when my back hurts or I can’t get comfortable. My pros and cons might differ from yours. Where I don’t care for a pillow that’s too soft, it might be your preference. By trying each one on for size, you’ll be able to determine which pillow helps you sleep like a baby – a baby that sleeps through the night, that is.

Baby Pillow

Courtesy of bess grant

Plus, some of these pillows might even be able to be used for your baby once you give birth :)