Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Science of Sleep Space

They say the bedroom is the key to the soul. It's where life happens, like the living room only with more personality. More intimacy. People never bother to put slipcovers on their beds because, really, who are they trying to impress? The bedroom is something that belongs to you and only you, or you and your partner respectively. It's a birds eye view into who you are, simplified. But in the design world, the bedroom is a battlefield. It's a rabbit hole stuffed with posturepedic mattress pads and personalized sleep numbers. When it comes to decor, there are pillowcases and decorative pillows and shams and blankets, not to mention the lowest common denominator of the comforter. But really, what is all this shit and more importantly, is it really necessary?

I've lived my whole life with two X chromosomes, and I still couldn't tell you what a duvet cover is without Googling it. Granted, I'm not exactly high society in breeding. I also couldn't tell you which side of the plate the salad fork goes on and what the appeal is in having a Pomeranian except as a doorstop. But bedroom anatomy has always fascinated me. It's a strange and interesting way to mask who you are, in both a decorative and personal sense.

I've grown up in a place where bedrooms were both taboo and gathering grounds all in one. Whenever venturing across the street to visit my friends in elementary school, we would romp around the house endlessly, hiding in the pantry and exploring every nook and cranny in that tiny bungalow. Yet, even on the most spontaneous of visits, that bedroom door was always closed and locked tightly. I wasn't even allowed the grace of a peek, and for that matter nor do I think their own kids had ever seen inside that iron maiden of a room. To suburbanites, the bedroom is for sleeping. Anything else is simply out of the question and possibly harmful to their reputation as outstanding citizens.

Conversely, in my house the bedroom was the heart of the house. I would always spend Saturday mornings hopping from my bed to my mothers, cozying up and watching cartoons while eating Apple Jacks straight out of the box. Our bedrooms represented us. Mine was always teetering just on the edge of messy, with posters tacked to any available wall-space and books strewn across the floor like a Bradbury battlefield. My mother's, on the other hand, was always a complete mess, and we usually had to share the bed with stacks of papers and boxes. She slept on one side and her college-ruled counterpart slept on the other, yet despite the crowd of cardboard and pulp, her room always felt just right. Cozy and welcoming, always warm, even on frigid mornings, and this in itself gave me comfort.

There's a certain message behind the concept of the bedroom, both physically and emotionally. It's the kind of place that is always reserved for the best room of the house, the most spacious and glorified sector of any apartment of bungalow. In this, it's obvious that we put a pretty high importance in this one, simple room. It's where we decorate as we please, some opting for a JC Penny's floor model of a bed, others wanting only a mattress slouched on the floor with some comfortable sheets thrown over it. The better of the two is really a matter of personal preference, which is what makes the bedroom so great. You can be whoever you want to be. You can be yourself. You can be someone else. This room, his crazy little room, is all yours, and very few will have the audacity to criticize you for it.

Bedrooms are human, and although many gnaw endlessly on design catalogues and floor plans trying to map out decorating choices, I say fuck feng shui. The real heart behind the room is something personal that bedspreads and allergen-tested sheets can't penetrate. The bedroom has history. It has life. This room, this little piece of doubly-expensive drywall, this is us. And that is something that even those reserved suburbanites cannot deny.

Friday, January 4, 2008

New Resolution

I'm one of those superstitious types that believes the key to a great new year is a great beginning. I try to spend every New Years Eve somewhere magnificent; swinging concerts, quiet home parties with sparkling juices and champagne glasses, empty patios with tiny lights strung up like billions of electric galaxies. The beginning of the year signals the beginning of a new chapter in life where anything could happen.

Yet despite all of New Years Eve's effervescent glory, what really matters is what happens after that. The new year gives us a perfect opportunity to fine-tune ourselves and "become the change that we want to see in the world" through a college-ruled list of resolutions. Even if it's something as everyday as "lose weight" or "stop smoking", it's a perfect start to becoming more comfortable with yourself and, in turn, a happier person.

My resolutions for this fabulous and furthering year are simple, almost mundane, but hardly strict: Get back on the organic bandwagon after jumping off in pursuit of Sloan's famous ice cream and Pret a Manger brownies, be more simple with my paychecks, travel instead of saying that I'll travel next holiday, etc. It's nothing as gallant as "lose weight," but I hold a firm belief that if I lose any more weight I'll quite possibly disappear from the face of this little Earth.

We're only four days into 2008, and already it seems like a pretty swinging year. Barack Obama has swept the Iowa caucuses, my boyfriend has, somehow, found a Wii and snatched it out from under the watchful gaze of a steady soccer mom, and the usual heat-stroke of a winter in South Florida has dissipated into a fifty degree wonderland. But more importantly, everyone seems
happy. Some distant planet must have gone retrograde, because it seems like love is all around. I don't think I have to mention what a rare occurrence this is, especially right after the often-stressful holiday season, but here it is nonetheless, rejuvenating folks with a smile and a cup of joe.

I have a funny feeling that this is going to be a very good year, even with the craziness and maddening thrills that are bound to happen. I'm hardly an indigo child, but I've got impeccable faith in this hunch, even if it's just paperback fiction. The funny thing about the new year is that the only way to find out is to buckle yourself in, sit back, and enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Where It's At

What does it mean to really be curbed? Curbed is not about being deterred from what you are. It's not about turning the other cheek and chaining back your inner-child. Curbed is about the twists and turns in life. It's about the zany and sparkling underbelly of arts, culture, and society as we know it. To be curbed is to drive through life with one wheel scraping along the unexpected and another teetering on normality. To curb it is to park in the middle of the highway and walk the rest of the way. It's about the journey, the road, and the people you meet along the way.

Curbed is about how culture affects us and what we can come up with next. It's about the good, the bad, the crazy and the calm. It's about being asinine and getting away with it. It's about being cool, and putting a definition on what cool is anyway. It's about taffeta dresses and finding a Wii and the next episode of Lost and falling in love.

Curbed is about everything silly. It's about being undecided because you can't figure out what you love the most. It's about the Lego blocks of society, insignificant on their own, although a choking hazard, but when put together they can make this huge and magnificent picture of where we stand.

Quintessentially, Curbed is about people. It's not a culture blog. It's a culture jam. Culture blogs itself on its own because, really, it
invented the blog. Curbed is the American Beauty-esque lifestyle that we can all relate to, even though it seems so hard to define. It's milkshakes and baseball games, Donald Trump and Youtube. A high school course on culture, society, and what makes the modern world go round.

Curbed is us. It's here. We are a curbed culture, and when you look closely there are people curbing it all around.