Improvised Life » bedroom If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Tue, 09 Sep 2014 22:00:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 DIY or Buy: Attention Grabbing Geometric Headboards + Panels Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:00:59 +0000

These distressed, pastel painted wood panels from Urban Outfitters are enchanting, but why not use the idea as a springboard for a summer DIY project to install anywhere in the house or garden? (more…)

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House Tour with Life Lessons: Tom Fallon’s Shelter Island Cottage Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:48:16 +0000

Jason Penney

When our friend Tom Fallon’s Shelter Island cottage was featured in Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, we realized just how many lessons about home design and LIFE we learned from him over the years. Here they are, with pictures by Jason Penney.]]> 2
Industrial Materials for DIY + Home Improvements Mon, 28 Jul 2014 20:00:01 +0000

Sally Schneider

Even though we are complete laymen, we have a thing for industrial materials: the mysterious raw materials used by various industries that were traditionally off-limits to the public. Years ago, we learned that if we could find a source, we could buy them like anyone else. In those days, we used a Business-to-Business phone book to find zinc fabricators for an kitchen island top, or a guy to forge a table base out of steel angle irons. Recently, we had an adventure and lesson in the vast possibilities of rubber products (and made some big discoveries we didn’t expect). (more…)

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Rough-stitched Ripped Linen Pillow Covers Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:00:11 +0000


Just as we were wrapping our head around learning to use our new sewing machine, we noticed these big pillow covers on IKEA’S blog Livet Hemma

…which sent us hunting around Ikea USA to discover that it is selling 100% linen by the yard for 7.99 a 59″ yard in white and gray.

We’ve long been fans of washed, shrunk, ripped linen and these couldn’t be easier: (more…)

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Slung Cloths: Simple Ways to Create Private Space Mon, 30 Jun 2014 17:00:58 +0000

The quest for a restful night’s sleep can feel like an impossible dream, particularly for urban apartment dwellers or those who share tight living quarters and a noisy town. How to shut off the world – and the kitchen – to grab some privacy and nourishing shut-eye to help maintain emotional and mental balance, can be an all-important challenge. (more…)

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Cool, Practical Flat File Beds Tue, 17 Jun 2014 18:10:18 +0000

Pia Ulin for Lotta Agaton

Tobias Wong‘s inspired mattress on a grouping of pushed-together 2-drawer lateral files has long been an inspiration for our imaginings and phanta-designs for beds built on file cabinets. Remodelista’s recent Unexpected Uses for File Cabinets showed some pretty inspired possibilities in the realm of flat-file, those wide files meant for storing artworks and other big papers (although they’re useful for all kinds of storage). The most beautiful iteration we’ve seen was created by stylist Lotta Agaton out of classic white flat files. Agata’s day be shows just what a good idea a bed on flat files is, as do these… (more…)

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Serene Sheer Linen Bed Spread Mon, 02 Jun 2014 20:00:14 +0000

François Halard

We clipped another lovely, doable idea from the idiotic New York Times T Magazine article a few weeks ago about the Axel Vervoordt-designed “wabi wabi” penthouse at NYC’s Greenwich Hotel. 

A sheet linen bed spread. We thought right away of Rough Linen’s lovely Summer Cover, made of lightweight linen. We used one as a bed skirt and it is wonderfully sheer. (more…)

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Stacked Mattresses: A Bed Platform Made of Foam Thu, 08 May 2014 17:56:59 +0000

Christoff : Finio via

In our ongoing theme “The Annals of Bad Design” we’ve critiqued ultra-wide bigger-than-the-mattress beds that look cool — and allow for an instant spot for your drifting-off-to-sleep-reading—but make for scraped and banged calves when getting in and out of bed. New York based designers Cristoff : Finio devised a clever solution to this dilemma in their design for a teenager’s room in a Park Avenue Apartment. (more…)

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Bed on Boxes, Files, Shipping Pallets and Other Platforms Thu, 01 May 2014 08:19:47 +0000

This image of a charming plywood platform bed reminded us of the late Tobias Wong’s bed made of a mattress on top of a grouping of file cabinets.  No need for an OFFICIAL bed, of the grand style seen on every home blog and magazine. A good mattress on a flat sturdy slab is a simple formula. And that slab can be anything, from the floor… 

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DIY-ish Slab Wood Head Board Mon, 28 Apr 2014 17:00:22 +0000

Ashley Bruhn / Hither & Thither

We’ve been mulling headboards for a while, thinking how wonderful it would be to have a huge slab of beautiful wood as a headboard, perhaps slightly angled leaning against the wall. We found an image that matched what was in our head and followed the trail to A Cup of Jo and read part of the tale. Ashley Bruhn, blogger of Hither and Thither, and her husband found were on a vacation to Bali when they came across the 600-lb, 11-foot piece of Saur, a fast-growing, non-endangered hardwood, and had it shipped to California.  (more…)

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Kottke on Busting the Mattress Racket + Affordable Mattress Reviews Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:00:07 +0000

Recently, a friend asked if we would advise him on his bedroom dilemma. He had a bed that was only a few years old, yet found it unbearably uncomfortable. The deluxe $1300 mattress slumped in the middle, causing him to wake up with backaches.  Our poor friend had fallen victim of the incredible mattress scam, where bigger is better, and baffling high-tech names like Posturepedic and Microtek are de rigeur. “Give it away to someone who will be happy to have it” we said. “Get yourself a mattress that will work for you.”

Only we couldn’t advise our friend exactly WHICH mattress to buy, except for (more…)

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Cool Glass Side Table for Unkempt Books Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:06:00 +0000

Just about everyone we know has on-going piles of books they are in the process of reading somewhere in their house, whether it be along side the sofa (us), the bathroom (us), or on the bed table (MANY people). The New York Times Book Reviews’ weekly column By the Book asks writers what is currently on their night stands.

So we were intrigued by this glass night stand that acts as a kind of invisible corral for books, keeping them inline in a kind of unkempt way and giving them a decorative books as objet effect.  (more…)

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Birch Branch Canopy Bed Mon, 07 Apr 2014 20:00:08 +0000

On the heels of our post about using vintage columns as bed posts, we found images of Fashion Designer Samantha Pleet's Williamsburg Apartment. In it, a bed made of lashed together birch logs. ]]> 0
A Fab Makeshift Canopy Bed Thu, 13 Mar 2014 20:00:53 +0000

Costanza Algranti

While looking around at Constanza Algranti's curiously modern, recycled decor, we came across this image of her wonderful bed. We know nothing about it but what we see: it's platform made of recycled wood, the charming pink coverlet and pillow and best of all, the canopy rigged with wire or twine and draped fabric.]]> 0