The Bedding Snob

Cultivating relaxation need not leave you starving for style …

Snobbish Thoughts July 2011

Our Favorite Green Home Tips from Around the Web

Beautiful house

Beautiful house by bonaircat, on Flickr

It’s been a busy week here at Cuddledown with the launch of our new Fall product line and the exciting addition of Lilla P apparel to our site! So this weekend, we wanted to take it easy and blog about a fun topic that is close to our heart: going green! We love scouring the web for new ideas, and came up with this quick list of tips to help you conserve energy and make your home a safer place!

Reuse old materials for home improvements. From the National Trust for Historic Preservation
Tearing down that old shed behind your house? Save any salvageable wood for new projects. Older wood that is still in good condition can be used to create a beautiful refurbished wood floor.

“Wash your laundry in cold water instead of hot.” From SimpleMom.net It gets them just as clean and is easier on your wallet! While you’re at it, using a gentle, biodegradable laundry detergent is another great step towards minimizing that eco-footprint.

Choose carpeting, rugs, window treatments and other textiles made from natural fibers, such as cotton or wool, which are untreated and free of toxins, such as pesticides or chemical cleaners.” From TreeHugger.com
Many fabrics contain hidden toxins. Look for Oeko-tex® certified or GOTS certified organic products when shopping to be certain that the product you are buying is free of chemicals and safe for your and your family.

Truly turn off electronics. Plug your devices — the TV and DVD player, or the computer and printer — into a UL-certified power strip; switch the whole group off for the evening to prevent phantom electrical draw.” From GoodHousekeeping.com
Electricity that is slowly sucked up by plugged in electronic devices that are turned off is known as “vampire electricity”. Why waste energy when it’s so easy to unplug and conserve?

Apparel by Lilla P: It’s here!

Cuddledown ladies love Lilla P

Cuddledown ladies love Lilla P (owner Pauline Nakios, center)

We couldn’t be more excited to announce that apparel by Lilla P is now on cuddledown.com!  If you love super soft pima cotton, flattering fits, and rich colors (really, who doesn’t?), we think you’ll be smitten with this line. Worn here by Lilla P owner Pauline Nakios and some of the women of Cuddledown, you can see how stylish, versatile, and comfortable these pieces are.

For a fun, behind-the-scenes look at the apparel shoot for our fall catalog, our Lilla P and Cuddledown video will give you the inside scoop. To watch the video, simply scroll down the page and click on the video by name. Enjoy!

Dana Moos: Maine Powerhouse

Blueberry Malted Waffles by Dana Moos via Flickr

Blueberry Malted Waffles by Dana Moos via Flickr

There are those that endeavor to do it all.  And then there are those who just go and do it.  Dana Moos fits into the latter category.  Innkeeper of the Pomegranate Inn, located in Portland’s picturesque West End, and realtor specializing in Maine hospitality real estate, Ms. Moos has a flair for spectacular photography, & a passion for food.  Being a hobbyist photographer & amateur baker msyelf, I’ve found Dana to offer incredible inspiration for both.  Add to that she’s also the author of the new cookbook, The Art of Breakfast (have I mentioned that breakfast is my most favorite meal?), well, I think it’s safe to say that I’ve found a new idol.

As I mentioned, breakfast is my favorite meal.  I’ve been known to indulge in “breakfast for dinner” without shame (my 3-year old thinks it’s awesome to have waffles in the evening).  And now I can add to my repertoire from Dana’s stunning collection of recipes. The only question, of course, is which to try first? Malted PancakesMaine Blueberry Malted Waffles with Grand Marnier Maple Syrup? Dark Chocolate Sauce on Banana Stuffed French Toast?  Or perhaps these decadent, mouth-watering Cinnamon Rolls?  How’s a girl to choose?  Clearly the answer is simple: make them all!

 

Sneak Peek of Lilla P: Chic, Casual, and Comfortable

Lilla P Ruffle Neck Dress

Lilla P - effortlessly stylish, supremely comfortable

Okay, so it isn’t here yet, but we are so excited to introduce the new line of Lilla P clothing we will soon be carrying that we had to slip in a little preview!

Lilla P offers a line of incredibly chic clothing that is also incredibly comfortable.

Deliciously soft pima cotton, cashmere, and modal fabrics in flattering cuts with unique details make these pieces a pleasure to wear.

The Lilla P items soon to be found on Cuddledown.com include casually elegant everyday tees, a versatile, wear-anywhere dress, and super-soft cashmere blend cardigan with an unexpected style twist.

Stay tuned! We will have more to come on Lilla P soon, and there just may be a fun Lilla P contest (hint, hint) on our Facebook page in the near future.

Cuddledown’s Summer Sheets on Sale – ends Sunday!

Given the steamy hot weather, even up here in Maine (which makes us cranky because many of us don’t have air conditioned homes!), this is the time for sure to sleep on the lightest, most breathable sheets! Luckily, we’re having a sale now on some of our summer sheets, but it ends this weekend! Check out the lightweight linen, breathable percale and almost sheer, featherweight voile – perfect for staying cool and comfy in bed!

Rio Paisley Voile sheets

Rio Paisley Voile sheets

Before & After = INSPIRATION!

My own before & after of the master bedroom in our former house

I don’t know about you folks, but I am definitely a sucker for some good “before & afters.”

As far as I’m concerned, it’s one of the best ways to get great inspiration.  Sure, looking at decor magazines is fun, but when you see that someone can turn something completely awful into something completely wonderful, it gives a girl hope that she can do it herself, y’know?

Of course, so much of it depends on what it is you want to make over & of course, your budget.  But sometimes you just need a good before & after to realize that maybe your kitchen needs to pop a little more or that your mudroom could use a smidge more organization.  So where do I go for my inspiration?

I was rather excited to stumble upon a whole blog dedicated to before & afters.  Meet Better After – a place where readers submit all kinds of fantastic remodels, renovations, & simple DIY makeovers.  I love this simple project that turns a kitschy taco holder into a retro organizer.   And this teeny closet turned groovy book nook shows just that with a little imagination, wasted space can become not only functional, but also fabtastic.

Other great sources for before & after inspiration are Design Sponge (how much do I love that creative lock/knob coat hook setup?) and Apartment Therapy (I adore kitchen rennos – especially ones that are low-budget and primarily DIY) .  But perhaps my favorite of all is Young House Love.  This ingenious couple have turned DIY into an art form and are widely known for their attention to detail and thorough step-by-step instructions (including pictures!) for how they remake a space.  They did an amazing job of turning their first house into a praiseworthy home (it’s amazing how paint can dress up brick & paneling) & have upped the bar with their newest home adventure (I am totally dreaming of a “grellow” kitchen now).

So, are you itching to pick up a hammer, or maybe drag out the drop cloths & get painting?  If you do, be sure to take some before & after pictures!

Decorating a dorm? Five key style tips

Ahhh, college. Studying, friends, late night pizza, and … tiny dorm rooms. Though it can seem daunting, it’s absolutely possible to transform a small space into a fabulous (and functional) abode. If your son or daughter is headed off to school this fall, here are a few tips to help them make their very own cozy nest.

1. Organization is key. This is especially crucial in small spaces where things have a tendency to get cluttered easily. By using bins, totes, or stylish containers, you can transform a small space into a chic retreat.

After-Closet with panels open by nolaclutterbusters, on Flickr

After-Closet with panels open by nolaclutterbusters, on Flickr

2. Repurpose antique furniture. Thrift stores, antique shops, and even yard sales often have unique pieces that won’t break the bank. By simply adding a coat of paint, you can hide furniture flaws and give older items a fresh look.

Simple antique chair painted white by Horia Varlan, on Flickr

Simple antique chair painted white by Horia Varlan, on Flickr

3. Find creative uses for space. Try “lofting” or raising your bed to make more storage space underneath. Or, if your storage areas are exposed, you can disguise them with curtains or beads – très chic!

Bright ideas,  courtesy of HGTV.com

Bright ideas, courtesy of HGTV.com

4. Add mirrors. Giving the illusion of a larger space, mirrors instantly add dimension. Plus, they work well as inexpensive wall treatments.

photo interior design oxford rogue designs by rogue designs, on Flickr

photo interior design oxford rogue designs by rogue designs, on Flickr

5. Make sure your room is comfortable. This is by far the most important element of a great dorm room. By having soft bedding and plush pillows, you’ll be more apt to sleep well and wake up feeling refreshed.

Advertisement Eco-Friendly Chic, courtesy of HGTV.com

Advertisement Eco-Friendly Chic, courtesy of HGTV.com

Tell us, what’s your advice for creating a stylish dorm room?

Summer: The Season for Outdoor Naps

Green grass, warm breezes, and long, lazy days are just a few of the great things about summer. Since we’re feeling a little bit lazy ourselves today, we thought we’d skip the chatter and just post some pictures of one of our favorite summertime activities: outdoor napping! Sure, nothing beats a comfortable, colorful bedroom oasis, but when the season is right, sometimes a good, long doze on soft grasses with the summer sun shining down is simply irresistible.

Take a break

Take a break by Selma90, on Flickr

The Orangery

The Orangery by HerryLawford, on Flickr

In Royal Fort Gardens

In Royal Fort Gardens by dichohecho, on Flickr

Picnic at Žilvinas farmstead: Grandma sleeping

Picnic at Žilvinas farmstead: Grandma sleeping by Aurelijus Valeiša, on Flickr

cat sleeping in the grass

cat sleeping in the grass by alanflai, on Flickr

man-relaxing-in-the-grass_8954-480x359

man-relaxing-in-the-grass_8954-480x359 by Public Domain Photos, on Flickr

Forty winks

Forty winks by Funkdooby, on Flickr

tuckered out Abby

tuckered out Abby by MelvinSchlubman, on Flickr

Too hot to sleep? Try these cooling sheets!

Voile Paisley Bedding, Rio

We’re lucky that we don’t have too many uncomfortably warm nights in Maine, but the past couple of evenings have been pretty toasty. If you (like us!) find it hard to sleep in hot, humid weather, consider trying out these types of lightweight sheets.

Ultra light Italian voile is a great choice for warm climates. Though these sheets are lightweight, they are soft and durable for long-lasting comfort.

Silk Sheet Sets

 

 

 

Silk sheets are another popular option. Gentle on your skin and hair, these sheets are a good choice if you often find yourself waking up with “pillow crease marks” on your face. Plus, they wick moisture to keep you comfortable all night long.

The sheets above, along with our pure silk sheets, are now on sale so you can sleep soundly all summer! For more information on selecting sheets for any season, watch our Choosing Sheets Guide from our video library. Or, if you’re curious about the different types of weaves used in Cuddledown bedding, our Fabric Weave Guide will tell you all there is to know! Please note that you just need to scroll down the page and click on the videos by name to watch.

 

Cuddledown employees take the stage!

Stage Door Sign

Stage Door Theatre Breaks in London by AndyRob on Flickr

It’s the perfect time of year to enjoy outdoor concerts, shows, and theater productions.  If you’re in Maine and are looking for a great weekend activity, check out these performances featuring talented Cuddledown employees!

On Saturday, July 16th, Danielle Vayenas will be the special guest soloist with Divas World Productions, performing in Boothbay Harbor. Danielle, a lyric soprano, has sung with many groups in Maine and New England. On her introduction to vocal performance, she says:

I didn’t start singing until a bit later in life; I studied piano in elementary school and played flute all the way through college (in marching and concert/symphonic bands), but only sang for fun at home. I got into singing by joining a college choir in my last year for an extra credit. When I moved to Maine, a colleague convinced me to audition for a local choir, the “Choral Art Society,” in Portland. Eventually, I started doing musical theater in community performances, and through that found a voice teacher, whom I’ve been studying with for more than 10 years. I now sing as a lyric soprano, and have auditioned and performed as a soloist for groups such as PORT Opera, Oratorio Chorale of Maine, Midcoast Symphony, Heartwood Theater, etc. I have also performed with groups outside of Boston (Longwood Opera, Paul Madore Chorale, and the Salem Philharmonic). I love singing all types of music, from opera to oratorio/concert to Broadway musicals.  I would love to do more in the greater Portland area, and hope I’ll be able to sing in more local concerts in the near future!

For a night of floral-themed music, come see Danielle this weekend at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. The concert begins at 7:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public. For reservations, call 207-633-4333 ext. 115.

Starting July 22, Rebecca Rinaldi will be playing the lead of Mama Rose in the City Theater of Biddeford’s production of Gypsy. Rebecca caught the acting bug at the age of eleven and has performed ever since, majoring in opera performance in college and working as a music director. On her interest in musical theater, Rebecca says:

I have been musical since the age of eight, playing the violin, French horn, and percussion. However, I didn’t seriously start singing until I went away to college, where I majored in opera performance.  I began theater, though, at the age of eleven.  My brother was performing in a show called Here’s Love (which is based on Miracle on 34th Street), at one of the local theaters. They needed more people to be in the ensemble of the show, so he asked me to join.  I immediately became addicted to theater, and have been performing in shows ever since.  I have been in a huge array of shows such as The Music Man, Singin’ in the Rain, Into the Woods, Blood Brothers, Swingtime Canteen, Little Shop of Horrors, Ragtime, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Steel Magnolias, Enchanted April, Sweeney Todd, and the list goes on.  I have also been the music director for a multitude of shows in the area.  Performing is my passion, so I am thrilled that I get to do it on a regular basis.

Thanks Rebecca! Performances of Gypsy are on July 22, 23, 29, 30, 31 & August 5, 6, & 7. Tickets are currently on sale at City Theater or by calling the box office at 207-282-0849.

5 Quick and Easy Bedroom Makeovers

Summer is here, the days are longer, and the weather is nice and warm. If you feel like your bedroom decor has gotten “stale”, but don’t want to waste precious summer days tackling a renovation, here are a few quick tips to easily change the look of your bedroom without spending too much time and effort.

Freshen up with a new throw pillow and blanket

Small touches, like a distinctive new throw pillow, duvet cover or shams, can quickly transform the look of your bedroom. Shop around for bedding that matches your walls, curtains, artwork, or furniture to create an instantly coordinated look.

Bay Window Plants  6-10-05

Bay Window Plants 6-10-05 by gailf548, on Flickr

Add some green! Scattering plants in attractive pots around a room will not only improve the air quality significantly, but will lend a fresh, clean look.

rearranged room

rearranged room by ramsey everydaypants, on Flickr

Rearrange your furniture. Simply moving things around can create the feeling of an entirely new room. You can even swap furniture out from different rooms in your house to really mix it up.

Capçal del llit

Capçal del llit by king nikochan, on Flickr

A unique headboard will give your bedroom an eclectic look. Check out 12 Creative Headboards on HGTV.com, or 15 Build-Your-Own Headboard Ideas on DIYIdeas.com for easy tips on how to make your own headboard.

IMG_1904

Capçal del llit by king nikochan, on Flickr

This last one is probably the most obvious, and is also the most labor-intensive: paint the walls a new color. Yes, it’s a pain to move the furniture around to accommodate for painting, but the results will be worth it if you choose a color you love!

Need more ideas? GoodHousekeeping.com has an even longer list of easy bedroom makeover ideas that may inspire you to action!

Sleep on Silk To Save Face

Silk Sheets

Pure Silk Sheets

There is nothing quite like sleeping on pure silk. It’s soft, sensuous, and luxurious. But it doesn’t just feel great to sleep on – it also has significant health and beauty benefits!

So whether you indulge in a small luxury like silk pillowcases, or splurge on a complete silk sheet set, you will be doing your hair and skin a big favor!

Oh, and did we mention that our silk sheets happen to be on sale for 30% off right now?

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