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DECOR SCORE- Sleep Well-Centered, Like Royals and Thomas Jefferson PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rose Bennett Gilbert, Creative Syndicate   
Thursday, 22 March 2012 02:34

Q: We are in line to inherit a nice old canopy bed from my great aunt, but there's a rub: The bed is too tall for our bedroom because it is under the eaves on the second floor.

The way the ceiling slants down, so we can't put the bed against any wall. Before I pass this family heirloom on to someone else, do you have any suggestions?

A: Nowhere is it written that any bed has to be pushed up against a wall. Kings, queens and at least one American president have slept in beds that were positioned in the middle of the room. Centering the royal bed allowed courtiers to surround and attend their monarchs at every waking moment.

Thomas Jefferson, the architect president, famously positioned his bed under an alcove in the center of a room that had his study on one side and the dressing area on the other. That way, he could roll out with the sun (another famous habit) and right into his day's work.

Floating your canopy bed in the middle of your bedroom should prove equally inspiring. In the first place, you'll never get out on the wrong side of the bed. And as you see in the soft, frothy bedroom we show here, it can add a dreamy dimension by day, as well as night.

Listen to designer/author Phoebe Howard (we borrowed the photo from her smart new book, "The Joy of Decorating"). "The bedroom's amethyst and ivory palette (and) softly reflective surfaces — a Venetian mirror, mercury glass lamps, a mirrored vanity — create a fantasy bedroom ... but the real story is the bed, draped with gauzy, unlined curtains, that floats in the center of the room."

Bedroom essentials like the bedside table and small daybed at its feet not only "anchor" the floating bed visually, they also add the convenience and comfort, without which any bed would be just a little nightmarish.

Q: Does color have a subliminal code?

A: You bet. Designers have been using it forever to convey messages without words.

Red signals heat, blood, danger. Hence, we have "fire-engine" red and red stoplights and signs. White indicates purity and cleanliness — think of bridal dresses and nurses' uniforms. Black sends a mixed message, signifying both evil and mystery: Run! And come hither. Green, when it's bluish, means, "OK, let's go," but add yellow and it hints of decay, yuk!

So how would you use color to indicate fresh, organic, grass-fed, and wholesome?

We asked Hans Hess, inspired entrepreneur behind Elevation Franchise Ventures, LLC, the company that's determined to make fast foods good for the universe.

With a degree in physics from California Poly Tech and a master's from the Dallas Theological Seminary, Hess had an epiphany, he says, when he was working on Capitol Hill in D.C. He read a governmental white paper about the alarming — and growing — numbers of Americans who died needlessly because they'd become resistant to antibiotics via mini-doses derived from eating antibiotic-treated meat.

Elevation Burger restaurants — there are now 28 of them, mostly in coastal states — sell only organic, grass-fed, free-range beef (and fries cooked in heart-healthy olive oil). And you won't see the usual fast-food palette of reds, yellows and oranges. Hess himself created a color scheme that proclaims Elevation to be good for you — green, blue, white and brown —earth colors all.

Rose Bennett Gilbert is the coauthor of "Manhattan Style" and six other books on interior design.

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