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Decorate your Bachelor Pad: Top 5 Don’ts

All you really need is to know what you like and then follow a few simple guidelines to avoid the most basic pitfalls of popular bachelor pad décor.

Bachelor pads traditionally fall into two camps: the grimy pits and the clinically cold modernist temples. There’s loads of advice out there, mostly focused on getting the latter and avoiding the former – but what if you want to tread the fine line between? A bit of clutter never hurt anyone – plus it’s no fun having sleek, of-the-minute décor if you’re always stubbing your toes on sharp metal corners and your 15 ft bronze phallic sculpture’s doubled your contents insurance. All you really need is to know what you like and then follow a few simple guidelines to avoid the most basic pitfalls of popular bachelor pad décor. Look at magazines and design websites, get inspiration and go from there. Here are a few don’ts to keep you on track:

1. Don’t overload on earth tones

Browns, deep greens and rich blues: all lovely colours, all a bit dark and oppressive when used in excess. Paler blues, turquoises, reds and brighter greens are clean, fresh and look great with cream and coffee tones. Orange and grey also can be great for a more retro look. Lighten up a bit: you don’t want guests to feel like they’re trapped in a forest.

2. Don’t feel you have to have a Leather Sofa

It’s a staple of the bach’ patch, it’s wipe-clean, durable and über-manly: nothing says ‘successful masculine provider’ than a bit of dead animal. But there are numerous negatives: it’s really sweaty in the summer, it makes awkward squeaky noises and too much leather can seem aggressive, especially in black. Look for vintage brown leathers or dark fabrics rather than shiny modern plastic-y stuff.

Basically, before buying anything, think ‘What would Alice Cooper do?’ and then do the opposite.

3. Don’t go Space Age

Metallic details and glass table tops are easy-to-clean and futuristic looking – but too many harsh lines and silvery colours can make your space seem unwelcoming. You might favour a spick and span look but at least throw some colours, patterns and tactile fabrics into the mix.

4. Don’t have pictures of cars you don’t own / vintage aeroplanes

Sports cars and aeroplanes are streamlined, well put-together, attractive and powerful – that’s presumably the image of yourself you want to portray. But displaying pictures of them on your walls just makes you look a bit childish, very materialistic and may lead to unfavourable comparisons the dinky but serviceable little banger on your driveway.

There are plenty of funky, colourful prints that’ll work in any space. Modern, cheeky or abstract – shop around a bit and it won’t take long to find something you’ll treasure, rather than something that just fills an empty space on your wall.

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5. Don’t try and Disguise Smells

If your house smells, find out why and stop it smelling. Maybe it’s damp, maybe something’s rotting behind the fridge. Don’t buy flowery sprays in the hope that the problem will solve itself. And swerve potpourri: it won’t make women feel at home, it’ll make them feel like they’re at their grandma’s home.

How to Choose The Perfect Children’s Bed

Getting the right bed for your child is just as important as making sure they eat a balanced diet and get enough exercise.

Getting the right bed for your child is just as important as making sure they eat a balanced diet and get enough exercise. A good night’s sleep is vital for healthy growth and back problems later on can easily be avoided by buying a decent mattress.

Age

Age obviously determines where to begin when looking to buy children’s beds; if this is their first time out of the cot, then you may want to get a smaller “starter” bed until they get a bit older. If funds are tight, you could buy a standard single that’s big enough to use right the way through childhood as it’s better to have more room rather not enough.

Style

Older children will have more choice in terms of style including bunks, cabin beds with under-drawer storage and elevated loft beds which allow for play room underneath. This may have to be a compromise between the size of their room and how many toys they have.

Base

The difference between slatted and box spring support in beds is not huge but it may be sensible to go with springs for younger children as they can withstand the inevitable jumping on the bed more effectively.  The main thing here is safety; check that there’s at least five inches between guard rails and mattress height in bunks and loft beds.

Mattress

In terms of mattresses, there are several good options; innerspring types are among the most supportive while foam might be a little hard for a child. Consider carefully before using hand-me-downs as there may be a risk of dust mites and it is usually advised not to keep a mattress for more than 10 years.

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Children’s beds need to allow ample room to grow and they should come with a quality mattress. Of course, all children are different. It’s therefore a good idea to take your child along with you and test out what they find comfortable before buying.

Practical Beds Made Pretty

A bed is the most important piece of furniture in your bedroom

A bed is far more than just somewhere where you sleep. A bed is the most important piece of furniture in your bedroom; therefore if your bed is not a masterpiece of bed manufactory then you will be reluctant to show off your bedroom. My point is that the bed takes up most of the room in a bedroom, so therefore should be both good looking and practical. These two things tend not to coincide leaving you with a beautiful ornate bed that can only provide sleeping space, or a boxy bed that offers advantages such as storage, but looks as if it is made from an oversized matchbox. The answer to this dilemma is a divan bed with an excellent headboard. Nowadays divan beds are less boxy but still offer the huge pull of storage underneath. This storage can come in the form of sliding cupboards, pull out drawers and pull out boxes. The answer to any over cluttered bedroom. Then, when embellished with a stylish headboard, you end up with a bed to be proud of.

Headboards come in all shapes and sizes, so there should always be a suitable option. To make the divan bed look really attractive why not opt for a traditional leather headboard? They tend to come in dark leather in a square shape, once up on your bed they look both stylish and masculine; solving many debates between a man and his wife!

Another headboard option is one with three curves with the middle being the highest. This softer shape creates a calm effect in a bedroom and gives the bed curvature that it lacks in the base.

Finally you can constantly change your headboard if this is your liking. Changing a headboard on a divan bed is simple and effective. You could change it to match the seasons, or to simply give your room a new lease of life once in a while.  So in one swift move you will have both a practical and an attractive bed, exactly what is needed in ones bedroom.

How Light Affects Emotions

Doctors and psychologists are only really now beginning to understand how light can effect our emotions and moods.

Doctors and psychologists are only really now beginning to understand how light can effect our emotions and moods. A lack of light makes many people feel low and miserable and in some cases can even lead to a form of clinical depression known as SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is now believed that around 12 million people in Northern Europe actually suffer from this form of depression to some extent. Our bodies are more attuned to the weather and the seasons than we may think. Natural daylight regulates our body clocks and when we eat and when we sleep and also affects our moods and our energy levels. Until a few hundred years ago, most people spent a lot of time out of doors. Working hours were largely determined by daylight hours. People got up and started work at dawn and stopped and slept when it got dark. There was no electricity and lighting in the evening was from candles.

Lifestyles

These days most people work in offices with set working hours which are not dependent on the seasons. We no longer take cues from the amount of daylight that nature gives us. Some people have speculated that even though humans obviously don’t hibernate, the winter months were a time when our predecessors were a lot less active. Today, cutting back on our working hours during the winter isn’t an option because life goes on and so do we.

Lack of light causes our bodies to create more melatonin, a hormone which makes you feel sleepy. At the same time, levels of serotonin drop and this is what causes depression. Lights which simulate daylight are available for those who suffer from light-deficiency illnesses. If you find that you feel low during the winter months, one of these lamps can really help to boost your mood. Exercise such as taking a walk outside will help too.

If you feel really depressed and have feelings of despair, you should visit your GP. SAD can actually take a long while to officially diagnose and your doctor will want to eliminate other possibilities.

Lighting can change mood and knowledge of its effects is widely used in interior design, particularly in department stores and restaurants to create a particular ambience or atmosphere. Lighting, especially when it is combined with certain colours, can be used to create all kinds of atmospheres and subliminal messages which can even affect our social behaviours.

When electric lighting first came into our homes, we were delighted to have a single source of light in the centre of the ceiling of each room. Now things have changed. We use wall lights, dimmer switches and uplighters to create different moods in our rooms.

Soft and hard light effects are used in home interior design to add ambience and moods in different rooms. Soft light reduces shadows and is generally restful. Too much soft light in a house, however, can be dull and gloomy and it should be used with hard or direct light to create areas of brightness which emphasise texture and create feelings of activity. Lighting can be used in a house to create feelings of cosiness or to emphasise light and space.

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Too Bright

In much the same way that too little light can affect your mood and well-being, too much light can a have a similar effect. We have all heard stories about lighting in workplaces causing illness, particularly fluorescent lighting which has been linked to migraines. Constant bright lighting, including glare on computer screens, is bad for people’s eyesight and can indeed cause illness.

People who live in busy cities are being affected by light pollution. And you don’t have to live in a large city to see the effects of light pollution. Unless you live in a remote area, your view of the night sky is largely obscured by street lighting or light pollution of brightly lit towns and cities. Mostly what we see when we look up at the sky at night these days is an orange glow of reflected street lighting.

Too much light can cause insomnia, anxiety, hypertension and headaches. The best way to reduce the effects of too much light is you can sleep in complete darkness. Turn off all sources of light and don’t fall asleep in front of the TV. Invest in some blackout blinds and some quality curtains from Argos to block out street lights and the orange flow in the sky caused by light pollution.

Whether you are suffering from too much light or too little, there are things you can do. Get plenty of exercise as this can help regulate hormones in your body and try to keep regular hours, going to bed at roughly the same time each night. Try to get plenty of natural daylight but invest in a daylight lamp if you need one.