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The Changing Decor of America’s Bedrooms

American Decor in 6 Decades

The decor of American bedrooms has been in constant change over the past six decades. From the bright pastel colors of the 1950s to the expansive bedrooms of the 21st century, how our bedrooms are decorated says a lot about the times we live in.

In the 1950s, American culture was much more conservative, and so were our home furnishings, especially in the bedroom. Married couples sleeping separately in twin beds was a popular theme on television, even if that idea didn’t quite translate to real life. Siblings did share bedrooms more often in those days, however, as most American houses only featured two bedrooms.

The 1960s saw many radical changes in popular culture and more Americans were taking it upon themselves to design bedrooms that matched the times. With psychedelic designs and far out posters and furniture, bedrooms were becoming an outlet for creative expression as well as comfort.

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The 1970s were all about earth tones, but that didn’t mean things weren’t bold as well. Beds got bigger, waterbeds were common, and wood grain paneling and wallpaper was at the height of popularity. The excesses of the ’60s seemed to be welcomed in the ’70s and that was evident in home decor.

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American Decor: The 80’s and Onward

Houses got bigger in the 1980s and consequently so did bedrooms. Designs became brighter and more futuristic in look. The number and size of our bedrooms got even bigger and so did the number of gadgets we put in them. TVs, video game systems and VCRs were all welcomed into the bedrooms of America.

In the 1990s, the ‘bigger is better’ theme continued with new homes containing even more bedrooms and more space. Luxury mattresses also gained in popularity, as did silk and satin sheets.

Today, our bedrooms are our own private sanctuaries. They’re big, they are full of technology and they’re quite luxurious when compared to past decades.

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Floral Prints Are Now in Style for Bedding

Floral themed fabric is a London specialty that dates back to the 19th century. These British prints, styled in both cotton and silk, were inspired by eastern motifs and elegance; and were enormously popular with fashionstas in old-time London.
Liberty Bedding

Floral Prints in Bloom for Your Bedroom

Nowadays they’re getting trendy once more, cropping up in everything from clothing to home decorating accessories. Floral print fabrics originate with the London shop of the same name, which was one of the first stores in the western world to carry eastern silks. The shop sells paisley, florals, pastels abstracts and other patterned prints sewn in a variety of ways, from fabulous silk scarves to cotton purses. Another super chic item on the menu is Floral Print bed sets. The Emilia bed set, which comes with sheets, a duvet and a pillowcase, is illustrated with light blue floral motifs, perfect for the spring and summer. Other bed sets exhibit floral patterns with soft pinks, greens, and yellows – great for lightening up just any bedroom in your home. While floral print fabrics are trendy now, they also display a characteristic vintage look that hints back at this fabric’s storied history.

Eiderdown Liberty Bedding

Flu proof your Room

Sneezing in a white hankie. (Mcarlandmo, Wikimedia Commons).

Influenza, also known as the flu virus, can make you feel horrible for days on end. But by regularly disinfecting your bedroom, your odds of catching the flu can drop significantly. Following these simple tips can make a big difference when flu season rolls around:

Scrub All Surfaces

Because flu viruses can survive on hard surfaces for up to two days, it’s important to regularly wipe them down. Pay special attention to frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, computer keyboards and screens, tables, chairs, your nightstand and your vanity. And definitely watch out for your desk – experts say that cleaning off a frequently used workspace like your desk can reduce your exposure to the flu by up to 50 percent.

Is Your Phone a Flu Magnet?

You might have never suspected your shiny new iPhone from doing wrong, but in fact, our cell phones can become major breeding grounds for all sorts of microbes. According to a <a href=http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/15/germs-iphone-phones-flu/>2010 Stanford University study,</a> telephones can harbor 18 times more germs than a toilet seat. So be sure to disinfect your phone regularly. If you’re technologically inclined, you can even buy a device that’ll gently clean off the sensitive tech parts with <a href=http://www.geeksugar.com/Clean-Your-Cellphone-UV-11478037>UV light.</a>

Sanitize Your Remote Control

Got a TV in your room? Unfortunately, your remote control is also germ hotspot. Because you and flip through channels on a daily basis, your remote control becomes a carrier of all sorts of tiny fauna. So, as with your phone, make sure to give it a hardy spritz of sanitizer on a regular basis.

Use a Humidifier

Using a humidifier on the air in your room can also ward away microbe invaders. Influenza’s ability to replicate is lessened when the humidity level in your room is higher.

Pay attention to both your wardrobe and your bedding. Note that just <a href=http://www.diylife.com/2010/11/25/flu-symptoms-proof-your-home/>one infected sheet</a> or piece of clothing is enough to spread the flu to an entire load of laundry. So to lessen the risk of catching something, turn your washing machine up to 150 degrees and don’t leave your wet laundry to dry on a clothing rack – dry everything in a dryer for 45 minutes minimum. These precautions, especially during flu season, can help keep your wardrobe and your bed virus-free.

Decor DIY: Crafty Bedroom Ideas

Making decorative crafts for your bedroom is a great way not only to hone your crafty side but also to give your space a personal touch. After all, what better shows off your individuality than crafts that you’ve made by hand? The projects below don’t require a lot of steps, or a lot of materials, but look very professional once completed. Armed with these crafty hacks, you’re bedroom will be looking super cute in no time.

Organize by upcycling.

Desk drawers get messy; that’s just a fact. If your drawers have a tendency to get out of control, consider making drawer dividers using old cereal boxes. Simply cut the bottoms off of a few from your recycling bin, cover them with wrapping paper or wall paper and then secure the paper with glue or tape on the bottom. Sure, you could just go out and buy dividers too — but they won’t be as cute as these! Moreover, because you’re upcycling boxes, these drawer dividers cost almost nothing to create.

Dividers emerge from old cerealboxes. (Oscar Learn, Oscar Teach!)

Add some floral notes.

Add some indoor flowers to your room with a couple of clever tricks. Fill a glass container about 1/3 of the way with either clear glass marbles or stones. Place a tulip bulb on top of the stones, pointed end up, and add further support to the bulb by adding a few more rocks or marbles around it. Finally, pour water into the container. The water line should be close to the bulb, but shouldn’t touch it. With your tulip in a glass container, you’ll see the roots develop in a fascinating and artistic way.

Indoor tulips (fabuloushomeblog.com

DIY furniture.

Do you want an extra place to sit in your room? Make a custom bench with cute fabric to go at the foot of your bed. Take a trip to Home Depot and buy four legs, a piece of wood, four chair leg plates and some screws. Then go to the craft store to pick out some padding and choose a few yards of fabric. Wrap the padding and the fabric around the piece of wood and staple with an industrial stapler to secure them in place. Drill a hole through the center of each leg, and attach them to the wood using the the chair leg plates and four sturdy screws. When you’re finished, you’ll have an adorable and sturdy extra seat.Make a cute DIY bench. (fabuloushomeblog.com)

Decorate a headboard.

Are you thinking about changing your headboard? Consider making one of your own with fabric that matches your bed’s color sheme. You’ll need fabric, mattress toppers, wood and a thin backer board. All of these can be found at Wal Mart or craft stores. Also go to Home Depot for screws and a wood board. Measure your headboard space and cut your wood board to fit. Then cut the wood again into even squares. Cover each square with a piece of mattress topper and then fabric, then staple into place. Finally, secure your fabric squares to the backer board using screws or a hot glue gun. And then — voila, you’re finished! Depending on the type of fabric you choose, you can either totally remake your bedroom’s look, or simply add a little bit of crafty flair with this neat trick.
A fabric headboard. (allthingsthrifty.com)

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)