Technology as Furniture: Will the Future Haunt You?

When an individual or couple sets out to redesign a room of their home today, they will typically consider the essentials, such as a couch, chair, bed, tub, or toilet, depending on the purpose of the space in question. Of course, there are always accessories to choose as well, including artwork, vases, pillows, throws, and mirrors. But the decisions are pretty standard for the most part. A new article in Extreme Tech online magazine explores how we think of the simple accessory and how that may change drastically in the years to come.

The “Magic Mirror” as it is being coined was released as a protocol by Neiman Journalist Lab, a New York Times’ subsidiary. It stands a chance of completely altering the primary thought of homeowners when redesigning bathrooms, bedrooms, and more. For now, the design is being marketed as a new reflective surface for the master bath, capable of surfing through the internet-based news at a simple verbal request. Perhaps more importantly, this bathroom-friendly model is able to work as a backup to an individual’s pharmacist, pulling up information on medications placed before it. Do you need a refill? If it can be purchased over the counter, this truly magical mirror will pull up relevant coupons, so you are sure to get a good deal.

So, what does this mean for the future of home design? Will technology soon be woven into every thread of our lives? Could it be that tomorrow’s sofa, recliner, or even the ultra plush bedding that we plop into at the end of the day could incorporate the artificial intelligence necessary to be connected to our homes in an entirely new way? No one can be quite sure. The researchers, engineers, and technology experts are constantly working to create new and exciting ways for Mainstream America to be ever-connected.

For now, the Magic Mirror is preparing for its public launch, and the hope is that the international market will embrace it, making it the new standard in bathrooms around the world. The only problem remaining is how to get family members out of the bathroom each morning.

Slow Furniture: Relax, You’re Home

“I wonder if I can grow a chair.” It is with the most strange, fantastic thoughts that the most incredible art is born. Peter Cook – or Pook, as he is called – has always loved nature and gardening, and this stray thought took root in his mind. Instead of carving furniture from wood, Pook wanted to grow it from the ground. Through years of trial and error, he and his partner, Becky Northey discovered that by using plum trees from shoots, they could indeed grow furniture. Strange, fantastic, and the ultimate in “green” furniture,” these artists have created truly remarkable pieces.

It is hard to resist instant gratification; we can have anything we want virtually instantly. We have on-demand television, streaming movies online, we can upgrade to overnight shipping for our products. Pooktre, as Cook and Northey are known, purposely create “slow” furniture. You are not waiting weeks for a piece to arrive; you are waiting years for it to grow. In a blog post in the New York Times, Andrew C. Revkin writes that in projects like these “time and efficiency are secondary to peace of mind and a sense of making something out of something less.” You can see other stunning examples of living furniture at the Mother Nature Network.

The simplest materials yield the best results. This is the premise by which Natura and other organic mattress makers operate. While they don’t grow the mattresses right from the ground, they do the next best thing. The Natura Prima mattress, for instance, features plant-based foam (instead of typical petroleum-based foam), organic Pure NaturaWool, and all-natural cotton. This greatly reduces the amount of chemicals and other non-renewable resources that go into traditional mattresses. And when the lifetime of the mattress has expired, it is recyclable and biodegradable.

You might be willing to wait a decade or two to grow a bed frame; but don’t sacrifice your muscles, joints, and mood to one more night on a poor mattress.

Redesigning Your Master Suite?

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

Budget for Bedding. When preparing for a kitchen remodel, nearly every industry leader will suggest that a large portion of the budget be set aside for cabinetry. It wouldn’t seem that it would be the most notable expenditure during such an undertaking, but it is a very important element in making a kitchen flow properly. Similarly, a Master Suite redesign can include many different things, but the biggest favor that you can do for yourself is to set aside a realistic amount of money for the bedding. Discount bedding optionsmake this portion of the project a little less taxing; the bed is the most used item in a bedroom. It is also where a person spends a huge portion of his or her life, so making a good choice now can greatly impact how you view the room tomorrow.

Don’t Forget the Bathroom. According to Kitchen and Bath Design News, the bathroom is treasured more dearly than ever before. That statement makes perfect sense as one stops to consider the many amenities that are available for bathrooms today. From shower curtains to toilet, tub to faucet, there seems to be a million different options for making your bathroom fit your personality. A proper Master Suite will feature a Master Bathroom and that is an area that should never be overlooked – for it can be a truly beautiful escape after a long day.

Keep it Clean. Regardless of the room of your house that you are currently working to overhaul, one of the greatest things you can do for yourself is to make sure you employ furniture pieces and design elements that make the space easier to keep clean. It has been found that incorporating organic, natural elements can cut down on toxic fumes in the home and can even contribute to fewer illnesses and reduced allergy symptoms of household occupants.

Kids Bedroom Sets and Décor: The Teen Room

When it comes to kid’s bedroom sets, when they are younger, you can stay pretty well in control of the overall look and style of the space. As kids get older, they want to be able to make their own decisions about styles, colors, themes and more. As a parent, there comes a time when it is necessary to allow the kids to explore their options on their own, with a bit of input from you, of course. During the teen years, you may need some additional ideas and tips to help you both find a compromise.

Ideas for the Goth Girl

In some situations, you may not agree on the overall theme and look that your child enjoys. Gothic looks, for example can be somewhat worrisome for some parents. If you are looking for a way to compromise on this theme, consider the use of wrought iron headboards. This is an easy way to add the dark iron color to the space without overpowering it with a negative vibe. She will enjoy it and you will like the ornate detailing on some of these pieces.

The Kid That Needs Space

Kids have stuff. They have video games and sports equipment. They have friends who like to hang out. They likely have at least a few thoughts on how their space should be organized so that they can have all the room they need. Consider investing in platform storage beds in this instance. This is a great way to add more storage to your child’s bedroom so that he can place a few chairs in the room and spread out with friends. Simply allow him to use the storage underneath the bed for clothing and his stuff and remove a dresser from the space.

The Boy Who Wants the Grown Up Feel

In some cases, teenage boys want to feel more grown up. You can often help them to find that right fit in furniture by checking out some of the wrought iron and wood bed combinations available. This is a great way for them to have that adult feeling room while still having a tasteful look for the space. Compliment it with matching dressers and other furniture for the space.

You Want Support

One thing that you do not want to compromise on when it comes to your kid’s bed is the support they get from their mattress. When kids become teens, it is necessary to upgrade their mattress to one that offers more support and comfort to them. A good option for this is the Beautyrest World Class Mattress or similar options.

No matter if you are looking for something affordable like metal beds or you want something that adds storage space to their room, teens want to have a role in the selection process of their furniture. Take some time to check out a few new pieces for them. You may find that these are some of the best investments you make for their future, too. Then, extend to them some level of creative freedom over the rest of the space.

Design-Minded Couple Makes Millions Rethinking Furniture Choices

The Daily Herald recently ran a piece online about Brooke Giannetti, creator of the very popular Velvet & Linen blog. Though her design aesthetic might not speak to everyone, Giannetti has made a splash in the design world because of her ability to mix and match old and new in a way that is truly eye-catching.

In this news piece, Brooke responds to questions about her love of Patina and how that can make a space feel so much more homey and inviting. It is absolutely true that the old and new are meeting in fun and exciting ways in recent years. Many homeowners are finding the beauty in yesteryear’s junk.

Giannetti recommends painting a room with “natural, muddy colors” to make it feel more serene. Many design experts agree that this is a very welcomed palette, especially in bedrooms. A new organic mattress can be brought in and supported on an antique bed frame and be a very beautiful way to set the tone for the room: natural, peaceful, and serene. Matched with the right Hillsdale dresser or chest, the patina of the bed frame can be met in beautiful contrast as well.

For many people, it is difficult to move away from the matchy-matchy of sets and ensembles, but truly beautiful works of art incorporate pieces that aren’t exact matches, but that mesh well. Antique iron frames with plush ivory bedding and a soft, washed sage wall can be even more striking than the modern lines and cool finishes of all new pieces. Finding ways to incorporate used items can “…give you the feeling of being connected to the past,” Brooke reminds us. She is absolutely right. Old and new have made us who we are and they can also work hand-in-hand to create the beauty around us.

If you love the look of patina, then you may also love Giannetti’s blog that will provide excellent ideas for mixing and matching to create the perfect home for your family.

Decorating for Spring

Spring is reason for celebration! It is also a great time to revamp your home’s décor. After a long, colorless winter, it is time to refresh, revive, and renew our homes and spirits. Start by incorporating a little of Mother Nature’s finest into your home. Displays of fresh blooms are always cheerful and always elegant. Next, make a change in your fabrics. This is an easy, non-permanent change that will do you a lot of good. Take down heavy winter drapes and put up more luxe, sheer curtains,comforter sets, bamboo blinds, or rice paper shades to take advantage of the strengthening light.

Update your accessories; anything heavy should be moved to a closet for when you want a closer, cozier feel. Spring should be airy and light. Can you trade in your couch pillows for a pair in light pink, green, or even lilac? How about switching a fuzzy area rug for a cool canvas one? These are all very simple changes, but they make a tremendous difference in your décor. Look for inexpensive ways to incorporate spring into your home. Fill a planter with fresh flowers, line egg cups up on your desk in place of a stuffy organizer, or even dye some Easter eggs and have fun. Changing your décor can help lighten your mood as well.

Baby! Nursery Décor

Victoria Beckham vehemently denied spending $3.2 million on her baby-to-be’s nursery. That’s absurd. She only spent $9,700! Still, for most parents, that would be money better spent on diapers. According to Winnipeg Free Press, Beckham spent almost $900 on a bassinet and about $2500 on a changing table while shopping at exclusive baby boutique, Petit Tresor. But can you create Posh’s posh nursery look on a budget?

Victoria Beckham reportedly has created a “shabby chic” nursery with French inspired furniture. The nurseries of the rich and famous tend to have a very specific theme. Christina Aguilera’s nursery for son Max, for instance, has a dream theme with a giant, 11.5-foot moon, a round crib, and fun murals. Kelly Rippa chose a fairy tale theme; Ricky Martin has an airplane décor; and Jennifer Lopez’s twins have a sort of royalty-in-training motif. You can see other celebrity nurseries here.

Themes can be wonderful – but if you have a normal person’s budget, it can be costly. When your child outgrows Peter Rabbit or puppies, you have to redo the entire décor. One way to avoid this is to choose a color that will grow with your child and be neutral enough to transition – without being dull! Light greens and blues are classics that work beautifully. Another tip is to use multipurpose furniture. You can find cribs that convert into toddler beds, and then into regularchildren’s beds. And one more for you: use removable wall and window decals to add age-appropriate touches that can easily be updated.

Taking another approach, you may want to think about how your nursery feels instead of how it looks. Is there a wide variety of textures for curious babies and toddlers to explore? If you have hardwood floors, think about a soft, high pile area rug. Add texture to the walls with a quilt, and don’t forget the toys! Besides being a plaything, these are the quintessential nursery accessories that will change as your child’s interests change.
Even if you don’t have a $10,000 budget (which is pretty modest by celebrity standards), you can create a lovely nursery for your baby. Take Mariah Carey’s advice: “I wanted to create a beautiful, tranquil, cozy environment for the babies.” You can do this no matter what your budget, or what the size of your baby’s room.

Another Person’s Trash Can Really Be Your Paired Treasure

There has been a new movement in home design recently, which highlights the ability of talented eyes to mesh old with new; hard with soft; warm with cold. But, it doesn’t take a four-year college degree, twenty years of experience, or even unlimited access to the hottest design shops. Trash to treasure takes on a whole new meaning for this décor trend.

Not long ago, MSNBC ran a piece on finding things of beauty and worth when shopping garage sales. Though summer may be drawing to a close in many parts of the country and with it goes the season of roadside specials, the internet has made it possible to get the same sorts of deals year round. Ebay, Craigslist, and similar sites provide you this access. Following the tips of the online article by the news giant, you can be just as successful in finding the “goodies” online that can be mixed and matched with new furniture and accessories.

A new king-sized BeautyRest Mattress and nightstand can be beautifully accented by an antique wrought iron headboard or a new bar and barstools can have added drama by hanging old lanterns overhead. Even the simple act of adding modern shades to a found lamp can create a piece of interest.

There are a few things to keep in mind when buying something used – whether in person or via the web. Pricing things out in advance can often save you a lot of money. Smartphones make it easier than ever to do this while on the go. If you see something of interest, with the push of a button you can get the information you need to negotiate wisely. Discussing price is always recommended. While Ebay changes the format a bit, on Craigslist, at garage sales, and even in antique shops, there is always the option to haggle for a better price. The less you spend on the older element, the more you will have to spend on the new pieces to complete your décor.

Adding Whimsy to the Bedroom

Even the most practical of us has a whimsical side – or we should! There is nothing wrong with letting your guard down and letting your imagination take over, and the perfect place to do that is the bedroom. Your décor should not only reflect your personality but also your dreams. Starting with a great set of classic or contemporary bedroom furniture is an excellent idea, but where should you go from there?

Start with your fabrics. If you’ve saved money by choosing discount bedroom furniture, then treat yourself on a splurge. Whether window treatments, new upholstery for that old armchair, or high quality bed linens, luxurious fabric makes a tremendous difference in the look and feel of any room. Try different textures or patterns; fabric is a safe way to integrate both of these into your décor. Opt for a color you wouldn’t normally try or mix patterns. Paint is another easy and relatively inexpensive way to incorporate a more fresh, fun feel into your room. Try using two shades of the same color and painting alternate stripes, or even try a pattern. Project a pattern – floral, paisley, or anything – and trace it. Paint it; colors are up to you, but two tones of the same color offers a subtle look that is charming and easy on the eyes. What better place to let your inner personality shine through.