7 Bedroom Design Trends for Tweens and Teens

Teen bedroom

via Lucy and Company

Teetering between childhood and adulthood, a teenager’s bedroom can be challenging to decorate as it looks more to the future than the past. Not only a place to sleep and do homework, it’s also a space to hang out with friends and create memories.

Looking to strike the right balance of function fun and individuality? Check out these 7 bedroom design trends for teens and tweens. Click HERE for the full story.

Beyond the Bed: Hudson’s Bay Point Blankets

Hudson's Bay point blankets are sold in the US by LL Bean

Hudson’s Bay point blankets are sold in the US by LL Bean

If it’s possible to have a blanket crush, mine is on the Hudson’s Bay point blanket. A high school friend had a pea coat made out of a Hudson’s Bay point blanket, and I’ve never forgotten about it. Nothing short of awesome, I loved the its heft and candy-colored stripes.

Unfortunately, the coats are no longer made, but the blankets have been in production for centuries. If you love them as much as I do, here are some ways to show off your blanket not just during the winter, but all year long. Hudson’s Bay point blankets make great upholstery and more.

Hudson’s Bay point blanket history

Hudson's Bay Company logo

Hudson’s Bay point blankets have been in production since 1670, and were aboard the ship Nonsuch when she sailed to Canada’s Hudson Bay on a speculative voyage for fur trading.

The blankets were desired by Native Americans because they hold heat, even when wet, and were easier to sew than animal skins. They later became a main source of trade. Although the blankets are associated with Canada, they are actually made in England!

Blanket stripes and colors

The blankets are made in solid colors of red/black, green/black, white/black, and a two-tone brown, but the multi-stripe is the most popular. According to Woolrich Inc., holders of the exclusive license for Hudson’s Bay blankets in the U.S., the multi-stripe’s four stripe colors (green, red, yellow and indigo) were chosen because of the quality colorfast dyes available at the time the multi-stripe blanket was introduced, around 1800.

However, for Native Americans these colors had symbolic meaning; “Green is taken to mean ‘new life,’ red often stands for ‘battle’ or ‘hunt,’ yellow relates to ‘harvest’ and ‘sunshine,’ and blue represents ‘water.’”

Points – what do they mean?

“Points” are the thin two or four-inch long black lines woven into the blanket. (You can see them in the top image). They represent a system developed in the 18th century to indicate the finished overall size of the blanket.

Over the centuries the sizes of blankets have changed, particularly during the 20th century as beds became larger. Blankets of 2-1/2, 3, 3-1/2 and 4 points were most common during the fur trade era. Today, blankets are made in the following bed sizes: 3-1/2 (Twin), 4 (Double), 6 (Queen) and 8 (King).

A twist on tradition: Hudson’s Bay blankets as upholstery

Hudson's Bay Point sofa via Sit and Read

via Sit and Read

Hudson’s Bay point blankets look superb installed as upholstery fabric. The simple, linear lines of mid-century modern furniture, in particular, work well with the stripes of the blanket. This fetching sofa was made by Brooklyn-based Sit and Read.

Hudson's Bay point blanket chair via NuBe Green

via Pinterest

Hudson's Bay point blanket ottoman via Homestead Seattle

via Homestead Seattle

Mid-century modern furniture not your thing? Hudson’s Bay point blankets cover the traditional side of things too, like this demure ottoman.

And this old wicker rocking chair wrapped up in a point blanket couldn’t look cozier.

Pillows!

Hudson’s Bay, the store associated with the Hudson’s Bay Company sells a bunch of point blanket products. One of my favorites is this multi-stripe chevron throw pillow.

via Hudson's Bay Company

via Hudson’s Bay Company

Hudson’s Bay point blankets can be purchased in the US at:

LL Bean

Woolrich

Do you have a Hudson’s Bay point blanket that you’ve repurposed – or just plain love? Please share your story!

 

Paint Your Bed for a Colorful Night’s Sleep

Better Your Bed (and Body) With Bolsters and Neck Rolls

Get physical support and decorative elements for your bed in one fell swoop with long, tubular pillows artfully arranged.

The rule of thumb is that the quantity of accent pillows on a bed shouldn’t exceed the midpoint of the bed’s length.

Whereas many hail from “the more, the merrier” school of thought, many others see half a bed of pillows as excessive. But varying the types of accent pillows on the bed to include bolster or neck roll pillows can keep pillow mania under control while still keeping you on cloud nine. Click HERE for the full story.

Get in the Swing of Things with a Swinging Bed

Give your bedroom a style lift with a fully or partially suspended bed — or one that just mimics the look.

Who hasn’t enjoyed a breezy summer nap on a porch swing or in a backyard hammock? If only you could re-create that feeling in your own bedroom. Well, it’s time to wake up to the suspended bed.

From fully to partially-suspended examples and even beds that just look like it, click HERE for the full story.

11 Creative and Thrifty Ideas for Bedside Tables

9 Ways to Dress a Four-Poster Bed

Suzani Style

source unknownA kaleidoscope of color and pattern, the suzani is a decorative tribal textile from the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan. Made as part of a bride’s dowry, suzanis were traditionally used as decorative wall hangings, bed covers, table cloths, and prayer mats.

Suzani is derived from the Persian word suzan, which means “needle”. They are made on a light-colored cotton or silk base which is heavily embroidered with colored silk thread. Popular motifs include moon roundels, flowers, fruit (typically pomegranates), leaves, and birds. Suzanis are usually made in two or more sections and stitched together to create a finished piece.

Suzani fever has woven its way into our homes and hearts. As a traditional wall hanging, a suzani creates a spectacular alternative to a headboard, such as Paige Morse’s bedroom design shown below. Likewise, suzani bed covers and throws offer an artful bedroom focal point.

Some designers repurpose the textile by cutting it and creating new forms. Suzanis are installed on upholstered seating, like the settee above or as bold throw pillows, as seen in Jessica Helgerson‘s living room design.

With size limitations and (understandable) hesitation to alter hand-embroidered textiles, an alternative of fabric printed with suzani inspired patterns allows for greater design flexibility. Wide-width fabric allows for upholstery of larger furniture pieces such as sofas, chairs and headboards to achieve a similar look.

Colorful and ever so global, suzani style celebrates the beauty of life through traditional pattern. Be bold and check out some favorites below:

via Hillary Thomas Designs

via Hillary Thomas Designs

via Anthopologie, Inge Chair with Vintage Suzani

via Anthopologie, Inge Chair with Vintage Suzani

via Deborah French Designs

via Deborah French Designs

via Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

via Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

via Tara Bussema

via Tara Bussema

via Chr Dauer Architects

via Chr Dauer Architects

via Vani Sayeed Studios

via Vani Sayeed Studios

via Paige Morse, photo by Sarah Greenman

via Paige Morse, photo by Sarah Greenman

via Emily Chalmers, photo by Debi Treolar

via Emily Chalmers, photo by Debi Treolar

via Heydt Designs

via Heydt Designs

via Katie Leede & Co.

via Katie Leede & Co.

via Steven Favreau Design

via Steven Favreau Design

via Garrison Hullinger Interior-Design, rug by Kush Handmade Rugs

via Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, rug by Kush Handmade Rugs

via calicocorners.com, Oh Suzani Fabric Collection

via calicocorners.com, Oh Suzani Fabric Collection

 

via Thibaut, Suzani woven fabric

via Thibaut, Suzani woven fabric

via F. Schumacher & Co., Konya Suzani

via F. Schumacher & Co., Konya Suzani

I couldn’t resist to go out in style…..

via O-Suzani Boot Co.

via O-Suzani Boot Co.

Related links:

Calico Corners

Chr Dauer Architects

Deborah French Designs

Emily Chalmers

F. Schumacher & Co.

Garrison Hullinger Interior Designs

Heydt Designs

Hillary Thomas Designs

Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

Katie Leede & Co.

Kush Handmade Rugs

Paige Morse

O-Suzani Boot Co.

Steven Favreau Design

Tara Bussema

Thibaut

Vani Sayeed Studios

*Marla Mallett sells antique and contemporary suzanis

The Finest Kind: Swans Island Company

_1-signThere’s an expression in Maine used to describe something of top quality or appreciation – finest kind. Maker of iconic blankets, throws and other delights, the Swans Island Company of Northport, Maine is worthy of this vernacular accolade. Swans Island is so special because it invests the time and skill to make products by hand, and make them well.

I had the pleasure of meeting with Bill Laurita, president and general manager, to learn about the company’s time-honored process of making blankets, scarves, yarn and accessories.  Bill also gave me a personal tour of their space. Housed in a 1780s cape style home with exposed beams and wood plank floors, the showroom’s ambiance resembles a cozy bed and breakfast more than a company headquarters and workroom.

Glass jars filled with natural dyestuffs, such as red madder, various roots, and cochineal, which is actually a little insect that yields a powerful crimson-colored dye, greet visitors at its front entrance.

Bill then filled me in about fleece.  Explaining the cross between a Lincoln and a Merino sheep, at first I thought he was starting off with a joke.  Humor aside, the outcome of this encounter in animal husbandry is the famed Corriedale, bred for its soft fleece. Corriedales vary from light to dark in color.

Swans Island’s prized fleece is washed in organic soap and spun by an spinnery in Putney, Vermont.  Bill pointed out this process maintains the lanolin in the wool, which gives the yarn its softness. In contrast, harsh synthetic washing strips the lanolin from the fiber and weakens it. Fleece is then spun on varial spinning frames, which creates wonderfully diverse yarn with a slubby thickness. Fleece is spun as natural-colored, a blended grey made of white and dark fleece, or a chocolately brown, coined as ‘rare’.

A beautiful shot of the showroom

A beautiful shot of the showroom

The cones of yarn are sent back to Swans Island, where they are formed into skeins. If the skeins are to be dyed, they’re done so in small lots.  It’s time-consuming, but dyeing in this way produces yarn with the greatest loft, or fluffiness and is the least intrusive method.  Bill pointed out, “The company’s decision was to go with what’s the best way to do this, not the cheapest.”

Each dye batch is one-of-a-kind, with a wide range of tonal value and color variation.  Bill explained how much dye the wool takes and the disparity between dye materials themselves are affected by weather, annual rainfall, and soil conditions, to name a few. Design by nature, so to speak. Color variation is actually desired by Swans Island, as uniformity is associated with synthetic dyes and dreaded commercial sameness.

Sometimes a color comes out other than what it was intended to, but Swans Island considers it a happy accident and sells it as a second.  With a repertoire of 30 standard colors, I was fortunate to see Tony, one of the dyers, stirring a vat of cutch (an Asian plant) and logwood that was to be over-dyed with indigo overnight and then dipped in an iron bath.  Custom colors (custom anything, really) is possible.

Dye material on display at entrance

Dye material on display at entrance

Laura, one of the weavers, was midway in skillfully weaving a blanket on one of four air-assisted hand looms. The hand looms create an over-under weave to slowly bring the piece to life. “It’s a simple weave that creates a simple product,” Bill added.  What’s not simple are the 3,456 hand-tied knots that have to be contended with when changing over the machine.

Laura will also over-weave the logo in by hand, which is an abstracted, blocky abbreviation of the company’s name.

Traditional striped and checked woven patterns are Swans Island’s mainstay. Checked patterns are actually winter weight, a double-weave blanket that creates air pockets, like a quilt.  The pockets act as insulation, creating heat within the pockets while wicking moisture away from the skin. Summer weight blankets are soft, light and airy – perfect for cozying up on a porch on a chilly evening.

Weaving isn’t the final process. In charge of finishing, Louise straightens the edges, pick out chaff (little bits not removed in cleaning of the fleece) with surgical tweezers while Becky trims up the logo and adds any customized hand-embroidery.  The piece is then soaked in water, spun out and blocked on an antique lace stretcher to dry. Linen storage packaging with built-in aromatic cedar planks are the final destination for these modern-day heirlooms.

Swans Island Company has deep roots – not just in Maine, where it’s been in operation since 1992, but rather in its honor of nature and tradition.  “It’s infused into everything we make.”

link: Swans Island Company

making skeins

making skeins

skeins

skeins

dyed samples

dyed samples

_5-tying

Laura weaving

Laura weaving

detail of logo

detail of logo

blanket on stretcher for finishing

blanket on stretcher for finishing

A view of the main showroom

A view of the main showroom

Natural grey throws

Natural grey throws

Rare wool throws

Rare wool throws

Variegated solid throws

Variegated solid throws

Sweater and knitting yarn

Sweater and knitting yarn

Crates of knitting yarn

Crates of knitting yarn

Baby blankets and pillows

Baby blankets and pillows

Throw pillows and elegant shawl

Throw pillows and wrap

Elegant packaging

Elegant packaging

Front door to Swans Island Company's 1780's farmhouse showroom

Front door to Swans Island Company’s 1780’s farmhouse showroom

Bed Head: Allure of the Canopy Bed

via David Michael Miller Assoc.

via David Michael Miller Assoc.

With all of the princess-themed merchandise, it’s no wonder that the canopy bed is on most little girls’ wish lists – the perfect princess bed. In reality, the “princess” reference is actually quite accurate.

Making their appearance in European medieval times, canopy beds were a creation for purely functional reasons – warmth and privacy for the aristocracy.

In castles and manor houses, the lord and his family slept in the same room as the servants.  Space sharing offered security and heating numerous spaces was impractical. The canopy bed offered visual separation from the servants, who slept on wooden pallets or benches.  Curtains originally hung from the ceiling, but evolved in adding a frame to the bed to support a canopy, or tester, which also helped in keeping the bed area warm.

Today, canopy beds are associated with luxury with a wistful air of romance. The height of the frame adds a vertical element room. Creating this  quasi-enclosed space psychologically provides a sense of comfort and security – a room within a room.

Not all of canopy beds are covered in cloying ruffles or copious swaths of netting. In fact, allure persists whether there’s any fabric accoutrement, or just the bare frame itself.

Check out some favorites, from traditional to contemporary; feminine to masculine, and in between:

via Eco First Art

via Eco First Art

via Sara Russell Interiors

via Sara Russell Interiors

via Joseph Walsh Studio

via Joseph Walsh Studio

via Ilaria Miani

via Ilaria Miani

Venetian style canopy bed via Veranda's House of Windsor

Venetian style canopy bed via Veranda’s House of Windsor

Pagoda Bed via Eclectic Interiors

Pagoda Bed via Eclectic Interiors

via Tracy Murdock Interiors

via Tracy Murdock Interiors

via Fabrizia Frezza Arch & Ints

via Fabrizia Frezza Arch & Ints

via Alessandra Branca

via Alessandra Branca

Outdoor canopy bed by Ego Paris

Outdoor canopy bed by Ego Paris

via the Picket Fence by Jan Barboglio

via the Picket Fence by Jan Barboglio