Feb 252011
 

bath

The word “Zen” is used in popular culture in many ways, but its real meaning is often obscured under layers of confusion. Zen is a lineage, or school, of Mahayana Buddhism. The religion is most prevalent in Japan, but Zen practitioners can be found in other countries around Southeast Asia.

The “Protestantism” of Buddhism

Zen developed as a reaction to more hierarchical, ritualistic forms of Buddhism that were developing in other parts of Asia. Zen practitioners called for a return to Buddhism’s most basic principles, leaving behind some of the ostentation that was forming within other Buddhist schools. Like early Protestant Christians, Zen practitioners wanted a return to the basics of their faith.

The Zen Style

As a result of this call for simplicity, the exterior style of Zen looks and feels very different from other types of Buddhism, such as what is commonly called Tibetan Buddhism. Zen monks and nuns favor simple, neutral-colored robes over the brighter maroons and saffrons in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism. Their temples, too, have a clean, open, simple look and feel that contrasts sharply from the intricate ornamentation of a Tibetan Buddhist temple.

Zen Ideas for the Home and Bathroom

If you like the look and feel of the open spaces, clean lines, and soft earth tones of the Zen style, consider simplifying your own home into a Zen-like sanctuary. Here are some tips for your making your home more Zen-like:

  • Get away from bright, loud colors and go with tans, chocolates, blacks, and creams instead
  • Use light-colored woods, especially bamboo
  • Decorate the walls sparely, with prints that convey a spiritual meaning
  • Reduce heavy drapes and fill the house with natural light

For your bathroom, try these tips:

  • Use bamboo towels for eco-friendliness and comfort
  • Bamboo bath rugs and bamboo bath mats are also available
  • Trade in the hot pink bathrobe for a tan or cream-colored bathrobe
  • Keep decoration minimal, and use a shade-loving house plant to add a splash of color

Ultimately, Zen is a spiritual tradition and a way of life, not a decorating style. However, you can encourage your inner peace by letting your inner sanctum copy Zen’s design principles.

 

Feb 192011
 

towels

Even during a down economy, stadium vendors and hawkers of souvenirs manage to make a living. As the Associated Press reported after the Super Bowl, one of the most popular items being sold outside the Cowboys Stadium before the Super Bowl kicked off were towels – specifically, Terrible Towels.

Who would want to buy a Terrible Towel? Apparently everyone did. The towels were selling at a much faster pace than the foam cheeseheads, according to stadium vendors. The Terrible Towels, though, were not made for Packers fans, but for Steelers fans. A gold-colored yellow towel, it says simply, “terrible towel” on it. The towel also came in black, with gold “terrible towel” printed on it.

The towel has a long history; designed by radio broadcaster Myron Cope in 1975, the towel has become a tradition for Steelers fans for a generation. One popular gimmick is to take the towel on vacation and snap a picture of it in odd spots. Photos of the towel have been taken on Mount Everest and in outer space.

The last laugh, however, goes to the Packers once again. Not only did they create their own green “Titletown Towel”, it also so happens that the Terrible Towel is, like the Packers, produced in Wisconsin! Furthermore, Gregg McArthur, who produces the towels in his Baraboo, WI, factory, is a deeply devoted Packers fan.

Did the Wisconsin-made towels, which are meant to curse the other team and convey the Steelers wrath, actually turn on their owners and hex the Steelers? Surely, there’s probably at least one rabid Steelers fan out who thinks the answer is a resounding “yes”.

Feb 162011
 

bath towels

Clean, soft bath towels are items we crave after a hot shower or bath. However, we don’t always get what we crave if our towels are not washed properly or of poor quality.

Here are top 5 tips for caring for bath towels.

1. Don’t Hang Dry

You will need to avoid hanging your towels on the line, and instead, put your towels in the dryer for at least thirty minutes. Although hanging your towels on the line is most energy efficient and least expensive, it doesn’t make for a soft towel.

2. No Fabric Softeners

Avoid fabric softeners. Too much of this product creates less absorbent towels. Absorbency is part of what you want with a soft towel. Wash your towels periodically with vinegar to strip away built up fabric softener.

3. Don’t Overfill Your Wash

Stuffing too many towels in your washer is a bad idea. Your towels will wash evenly and then dry evenly if they have room to move around in the wash.

4. Shake, Use Medium Heat and Fluff

Take your towels out of the washer and shake them a couple times before putting them in the dryer. It is important to dry your towels on medium heat, not high heat. Fluff your towels before you fold them.

5. Start with Good Quality

It is easier to care for bath towels when you buy superior quality towels to begin with. Splurge on Supima, Egyptian or Turkish cotton towels for the best towels. In addition, these towels are not only soft when you buy them, but they get softer with each wash.

Feb 122011
 

leopard1

Teenagers of America, prepare to roll your eyes at your parents, and possibly shout “Gross!”: Mom and Dad might be coming home from their next romantic getaway with matching, leopard-print bathrobes.

Kimpton, an American hotel chain founded in the early 1980s, always strives to offer its guests plenty of comfort and style – they call themselves a “boutique hotel”. This time, they might have outdone themselves. Their current special is a “robe-mantic” retreat.

During the month of February, the hotel chain will offer overnight accommodations for two, along with a $25 credit for hotel dining and, yes, two matching leopard-print bathrobes. The idea is to increase their couples traffic in time for the Valentine’s Day holiday.

Keep the Bathrobes

At many hotels, nice warm, fluffy bathrobes are often on offer – but you’re not supposed to keep them. If you’re in the habit of stealing hotel towels and other amenities, be warned that when it comes to bathrobes, hotels intend to keep them. Some hotels will charge you up to $150 when they discovered you’ve pilfered their bathrobe.

Not in this case – those leopard-print bathrobes are yours to keep.

Teens, you might want to leave the living room now before your parents start fake-growling and clawing at each other.

Feb 092011
 

pool1

Before planning pre-wedding celebrations that are hosted at the beach, alongside of a pool, or inside of a hot tub location, remember to order the new soft cotton towels or bathrobes that are needed for this type of event.

Luxurious monogram cotton bathrobes and towels or hand towels are always thoughtful friendship gifts that will be used and appreciated by the special people who were invited to your pre-wedding events. Monogrammed bath towels, terry robes and kimono wraps are reasonably priced gifts that your friends can use daily for years. Unlike the other types of wedding party trinkets, these luxury bath accessories are fun and sensible gifts.

Monogramming normally includes two or three letter choices that represent individual names. For wedding parties, it is possible to have these eco-friendly gifts monogrammed with the texting abbreviations for special favorite friends or laughter. The three spaces provided on an order form for monogrammed bathroom accessories can be used to create towels with scout troop or date numbers and other gifts with unusual meaningful initials.

Feb 072011
 

cruise

Cheap cruise trips are rapidly becoming the uppermost choice in high-quality family vacations. For one price, travelers are treated to lodging, food, and use of all amenities on the ship, including their full-service gymnasium and spa. Like all lodging facilities, the tub mat, towels and luxury linens are supplied in the price of the trip; however, not all passengers are happy with these industrial versions of bath accessories.

While planning your fun-filled holiday on a cruise ship, it is always appropriate to bring your own soft bath mats, bath towels and luxurious Turkish bathrobes to use in your cabin or while you are out in public visiting the shipboard spa. Personal eco-friendly monogram robes and lightweight waffle bathrobe styles are fashionable to carry on a cruise ship. These colorful organic cotton bathrobes/towels, kid’s robes, and hand towels speak well of your family while they are used at poolside or in the exercise center.

Cruise travelers often spend time on their clothing choices and fashions while they are traveling to exotic locations. There is no need to wear the scratchy shipboard robes while there is room in your luggage for fashionable terry towels and the stylish professionally monogrammed robes that are so comfortable to wear. Most cruise ship lines offer a self-help laundry service for travelers to use when their swimsuits or personal top-of-the-line bamboo towels need to be refreshed.

Feb 032011
 

Organic Mats

Along with bathrobes, hand towels and bath towels, bath mats have been around for a long time. There is, however, far more to the simple tubmat than meets the eye, and those interested in reading up on the history of the mat will, no doubt, be fascinated by what they uncover.

Today the luxury bath mat comes in several styles, including the reversible bamboo mat of combed Egyptian cotton and bamboo rayon and the incredibly soft Supima bath mat, available in such interesting colors as merlot, chestnut and marine. Far less luxurious and eco friendly, however, were the Marsden or Marston mats that were popular during World War II, which were made of perforated steel and which were used to build temporary landing strips and runways.

Mats have been around for thousands of years – the hand-woven funeral mats on display at the Pecos Rio Grande Museum in Arizona were created between 2,000 an 5,000 years ago – and, as today’s quality mats can testify, cotton bath mats are now made with an extremely high degree of sophistication. The Organic bath mats, for instance, are manufactured in Portugal of 100% certified organic cotton, while the Elegance bath mats are made of long staple Turkish cotton and are equally at home in the bathroom or the upscale spa.

Although some mats are made from the tough brown and white coir fibers found in coconut husks, luxury bath mats, just like quality bath robes, towels and kids robes, are made from materials such as organic cotton, rayon and supima cotton. For those who like matching sets, Terry Velour Turkish bathrobes and towels can be paired with made-in-Turkey Supima mats while a Kimono Waffle bathrobe – complete with fancy monogram and made from 65% natural cotton – can be combined with a machine washable Pure Cotton bath mat to make the perfect bathroom linen set.

No matter what the history of the mat actually is, today’s best dressed bathrooms should all sport quality bathmats, and, as high quality mats are eminently affordable, why not buy a different color mat for every day of the week?

Feb 012011
 

bath

Luxurious oil-rubbed bronze bath fixtures and spa accessories are very popular consumer products this season. This type of bronze finishing is chemically enhanced to simulate the naturally aged-bronze patinas that are found on items in antique stores and museums. The shapes of these metal products are new and modern in appearance; however, the luxury finishing treatments that are applied on top of the metals can make them appear to be old.

Are the oil-rubbed bronze bathroom fixtures a good value?

The appearance of traditional bronze bars for towels or hooks for robes includes a shiny finish. As bronze ages, the shine deteriorates into a non-glossy darkened surface patina that still includes a shimmering hint of the base-metal colors underneath. New oil-rubbed bronze metals display elegant Turkish bathrobes / towels, common cotton bath towels and all other styles of consumer or industrial linens with excellent stunning visual results.

The best way to describe rubbed-bronze finishes is through a comparison to the luscious variety of browns that are found in chocolate bars. The soft chocolaty surface layer on the oil-rubbed bronze fixtures is often gently illuminated by using copper or a copper-like metal during the manufacturing processes. Consumers everywhere are thrilled with their new shimmering bars for hand towels, hooks for kids’ robes and other types of fixtures.

Value: Interior design experts are always searching for appropriate metal parts and fixtures that are long-life products with an ability to remain fashionable throughout the constantly changing trends in consumer products. Oil-rubbed bronze fixtures will stay fashionable for a long time while they display eco-friendly Egyptian towels, monogrammed towels or waffle bathrobe sets and all manner of terry bathroom products. The new sturdy oil-rubbed bronze bathroom fixtures and accessories are fashionable long-life products.