Summer Time | Bedrooms

For some, summer is their favorite time of year.  The kids are out of school, BBQs and pool parties are always on the calendar, and the atmosphere is just overall more relaxed.  However, summer time is also the hot season.  Especially if you live in Florida.  Once July hits, you're basically living for the AC until about mid-September.  Rain is also a constant in the summer but it's ok because it cools things down a little bit. Sleeping when it's hot is the worst so today we're going to share some tips on how to cool down a bedroom with more than just the AC for summer time.

Light, airy fabrics are a must in the summer.  Anything dark and heavy is just going to make you feel warmer even if the temperature really isn't higher.  Go with something light in color and breathable.  Cotton is always a good go-to but linen is nice choice as well.  Because linen is a natural fiber,  it breathes and allows for you to cool off a little.

We don't always think about lightening up the thickness of the bedding but a thinner comforter or duvet will also make your nights a little more restful.  All duvet fillers come in different thicknesses specifically for the seasons, so take advantage of a thinner filler.

Consider the decor as well. Artwork and accessories that look a little more like summer (ie. warm weather wildlife, coastal pictures, bright florals, and greenery) will also make you think of summer.  So place these little reminders through your house during the summer months to bring the "outdoors to inside", organic feel around your house.

Finally, bring on the sunlight!  Open the windows and let some natural light come in.  Even though it's warm outside and the tendency may be to keep the sun (and heat) out, the truth is that natural light releases endorphins and will naturally lighten your mood.  So even if it's hot, you're happy! :) 

I'm going to be honest--by the end of the summer, I'm ready for it to be over because it's so hot. However, there are some good things about this season so we might as well learn to embrace it!

How To | The Master Bedroom

Master bedrooms are often one of the most neglected rooms in the house!  They are usually the last rooms to get a facelift but are one of the most important rooms to have right.  Your master bedroom should be your retreat!  It should be the place you go to relax, get away from the kids, and have some privacy.  it should be a space where you immediately feel calm as you enter it and should reflect your personal style.  Instead, so many master bedrooms are the catch-all spaces.  They end up being junk collectors and the land of leftover furniture.  While the way the rest of your house looks and functions matters too, the master bedroom should be top priority since it plays a big factor in determining how rested & relaxed you are to tackle life.  So today we're going to walk you through a calm master bedroom and how to create it.  These simple steps may be easy check-offs, or they might serve as glaring reminders of what you need to update in your own master bedroom.

While white is in, it may not be a relaxing color for you.  Some people like white because it's clean but we are big proponents of a moody master bedroom.  Moody doesn't have to mean dark or black either, it can just be a warm grey or even a mature blue mixed in.  Usually earth tones are great choices for a relaxing master bedroom.

The flow of your master bedroom affects the overall harmony of the space as well.  Believe it or not, the way the space functions can seriously affect how relaxing it is. Think about it--if you walk into a space that feels disjointed and cluttered where you're not really sure which direction to go, you immediately feel tense.  However, if the space flows and makes sense with easy traffic patterns and well-placed furniture, you will instantly be at ease entering the space.  The main piece of furniture that this effects is the bed.  Since the bed is typically the focal point of the bedroom, try placing it where it's the first thing you see when you walk in the room.  Obviously, if that doesn't make sense in the room based on windows and doors, don't force it.  But most bedrooms will work best by placing the bed on the wall you first seen upon entering the room.

Since the bedroom is where you sleep, it's important for yours to be set up for the best sleep!  We get that some people really like natural light but that doesn't mean you need it all the time.  We highly recommend room-darkening drapery in a master bedroom.  Drapes can always be opened to let light in, but if your window treatments are too thin and don't provide the option of blocking out light completely, you may be frustrated during those rare naps or even infrequent mornings where you are able to sleep past sunrise.  Having blackout as an option is key!

Lights and ceiling fans are also key features in a master bedroom.  If you absolutely need a ceiling fan, be sure to get one that won't keep you awake from it's racket.  A quiet ceiling fan is a must!  Additionally, lighting matters in a master bedroom as well.  Overhead light is fine...not always necessary, but it works.  However, lamp lighting is a big deal!  Be sure to get lamps that give off enough light without blinding you and any light in a bedroom that is on a dimmer is always best!

Finally, don't allow your master bedroom to become a catch-all.  Clean and minimal is best where you're talking master bedrooms.  A cluttered room equals a cluttered mind and that is not conducive to sleep!

If you haven't taken anything from this post, let us remind you that rest matters!  And where you rest determines how well you rest!  So don't let your master bedroom fall to the back burner.  It's comfort factor affects more than you.

Design Trends | Middle School & High School

There are normally 2-3 big room updates in the life of a child.  The first is usually sometime between sleeping in the crib and transition to a big kid bed.  The second usually happens once they reach middle school and have outgrown their "baby room" and the the third is normally sometime in high school.  As parents, we usually have a lot of say in the nursery and "big kid bed" room, but after that, we're at the mercy of whatever is popular on TV, basically.  So today, we're going to discuss what those trends are currently for the middle school bedroom transition and the high school bedroom transition.  If your kids are in either of these categories, here's a little heads-up of what you can expect to hear once they decide they've outgrown their current room design and want something older.

The first thing to be able to accomplish in a bedroom for this age group is multi-functionality--kids this age typically do a lot in their rooms, whether it's sleeping (obviously), watching tv, doing home work, or entertaining friends (sleep overs and what not), they use it a lot.  It's also their safe place, an area they can call their own and escape their parents, if only for an hour and their area to express themselves--display sports memorabilia or trophies, get artsy, hang posters or pictures...you get the point.  So yes, it needs to be a variety of things.

It used to be that, if you were a kid, you had a twin bed.  I mean, isn't that why they invented twin beds...for kids?  But now, lets be honest, no teenager wants a twin bed in their room.  Kids sleep, a lot!  And they want to be comfortable when they sleep.  They also sit on their bed to do homework, work on creative projects or watch tv, so a space large enough for 1 isn't very fun or practical.  So bigger beds are where it's at for a teenager.  Bonus is that it gives their friend a place to sleep when they spend the night, too!

More and more kids are getting interested in the look of their room.  They want to be proud of the way it looks when their friends come over--girls especially, really care about how stylish it is.  For this reason, the feature wall is becoming increasingly popular in teenager rooms.  By feature wall we don't necessarily mean an accent wall with just a different paint color, we mean something that's really different than the rest of the walls that sets the room apart.  Sometimes this is pattern wallpaper, or it could mean a mural, maybe it's an entire wall of pictures or whatever other creative thing your teenager dreams up.  Whatever it ends up being, expect to have a wall that screams at you a little louder than the rest when you walk into the room.

When I was kid, desks were all about the storage, the keyboard drawer, the file drawer and all the other little drawers that stored junk.  Not to mention the hutch with a cork board and open shelving that just ended up collecting dust.  Today, don't be surprised if your kid selects a desk that's just the opposite--something very minimal and open feeling.  Why?  Because technology has come a long way since then and kids don't need the book and paper storage that they used to.  Plus, they're probably working off of a laptop instead of desk top so storage for the tower and keyboard are unnecessary.  Something sleek and streamlined is where this piece of furniture is headed in kids rooms.

Extra, comfy seating.  Like we mentioned earlier, kids in middle school and high school like to have their friends over to "hang out" (in their rooms), so the more places for friends to sit is always a plus in any teenager room.  This could be fun bean bag chairs, little moveable ottomans at the foot of the bed, a window seat, or even a bunch of oversized pillows in the corner that everyone can just lay on.  So yes, seating matters.  And the more diverse, more fun it is, the better!

As far as current color trends for teenage rooms, we're still in the grays but with a pop of something fun.  Kids still like the bright, fun colors and patterns--whether it's beach inspired or has to do with their favorite movie or video game, they're still kids and most want something a little more playful and whimsical.

Sometimes parents dread decorating their teenagers room.  When they're that age they have a lot of opinions and can be pretty determined in what they want.  Let them have a space that they can call their own, though.  As adults, we like our rooms to be a little hideaway and escape, why not let our kids have the same thing?

The Bedroom | If These Walls Could Talk

That title is a little more dramatic than this post will be, but i thought it was fun. Haha!  Contrary to what you might be led to believe this post is about, it's not about the dirty little secrets of the bedroom.  It's about bedroom walls and how to make them speak volumes in the design of the space.

Bedrooms are personal.  You have a lot of liberty and leeway with these spaces because they are really meant for your eyes only.  Because of this, you don't have to hold to the typical form and function of common areas.  Of course, you want it to flow and be easy to manuver in, but you can think a little more outside the box when it comes to the style of the space.

Depending on the size of the bedroom, you may not have a lot of room for furniture--aside from the necessary items--bed, dresser, nightstand, so styling it with accessories or other items that would sit on top of furniture could be difficult.  In cases like these, we recommend using your wall space.  For many, the first thought that comes to your head is, oh!  paint it a color!  And, yes, that is one option, but there are other things you can do with wall space as well.

One great way to use wall space is to add some sort of applied molding or paneling.  Applied molding can be used to accentuate a piece of furniture--like a bed.  Build up the shape of the headboard on the wall with applied molding so the bed really becomes a feature.  Or, you can frame out certain items.  Frame out your windows and doors, or even just add square paneling for architectural detail.  Applied molding is classic and versatile, so even if you change the color or look of the space, the molding can transition with it.

Of course, we always recommend wallpaper.  Wallpaper can really add a punch of style, color, texture, and/or pattern.  It can be applied inside of the moldings, to a single wall, above or below a chair rail or even just in a closet or niche.  Again, it's temporary and fairly inexpensive and can really transform your bedroom.  You can also pick a really interesting pattern if it's going in your bedroom--as long as it's something you like, it can work!

Similar to wallpaper but a little easier to apply is wall decals.  Wall decals have become increasingly popular recently, especially in kids rooms or nurseries.  They come in all sorts of shapes and can be used anywhere--ceiling, furniture, walls.  They're easy to applied and easy to remove but quickly add pattern to a dull space.

Many of you have seen these in the kitchen as a backsplash option or even on a ceiling, but 3-dimensional tiles can also be applied to a wall.  Again, like wallpaper or decals, they can be used to create a focal point or accent wall in the space or even in a smaller application to accentuate a piece of furniture or highlight an architectural detail.  There are many different ways to apply them, and all are pretty simple.

Murals have been long known as the giant pictures on walls, but you can also use your own photography as a sort of mural.  Large (actually, giant) black and white photography can be a really cool artistic feature to add to a room.  Maybe it's a photograph of a place you've visited or maybe it's just somewhere you'd like to go.  Either way, it's significant.  So blow it up and use it as art on your wall and you've instantly made your room into something uniquely different and specially for you!

Like we said at the start, bedrooms can be very creative spaces.  They don't have to hold to norms of the common areas of the home so you can let your unique self show through a little more.  We hope this post gives you a few ideas for how to make that happen!