Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Perfect Bed in 5 Simple Steps: Part 1

It is estimated that you will spend 33% of your life sleeping. I don't know about you, but I plan on living an awfully long time, so that means I will be sleeping a good 30 years or so before I bid farewell to this earth. Now I'm no princess, but a hard mattress has been known to make me lame and grouchy come morning time, so my husband and I invested in a Sleep Number bed years ago ... a purchase which we STILL celebrate on a daily basis. Comfort matters.

But there is something else to consider.

Now, I'm a bed-makers daughter, which means that I have a love-hate relationship with bed-making. The rebellious teen inside me wants to leave it undone
Because. I. Can.
However, messy covers come nighttime will not do, so often my bed has to straighten up and fly right. I have noticed a delightful by-product of this little habit, and it sort of reminds me of the old adage that putting on your lipstick makes you more productive in your day (I also subscribe to this). I have come to realize that walking into my bedroom and seeing a fully made, perfectly plump bed is it's own little dose of encouragement that says, "You are put together. You have accomplished something. You can conquer the world!!" OK, maybe that last part has nothing to do with what my bed says to me, it's just how I think. ;)

The point is: the visual aspect of your bed can be very important to your home and how it presents itself to you and your guests. If you want to have one of those beds you see on TV but don't know how to get it, here are 5 simple steps to the perfect bed.

Step 1. Mattress padding. Take a good hard look at your mattress. If it is not completely awful (as in you remember jumping on it as a kid back in 1975), you can probably salvage it with either a bit of padding, memory foam overlay, or even pillows. Even if your mattress isn't sagging or giving you problems in any other way, I highly recommend a mattress pad. Just one more thin layer can really make a difference overall, even on a brand new mattress. This would go beneath the fitted sheet.

Step 2. Sheets. Don't get too hung up on thread counts. What matters is the quality of the fiber. We recommend Bamboo Viscose for ultra-softness, or Bamboo Viscose blended with 100% Organic Cotton. These fibers get softer over time and will give you the best wear. To get that luxurious bed made for a Soap Opera, break out the iron, turn up the music, and spend a little time -- just you and your sheets -- ironing out your differences. And notice I said "sheets" (plural). Having a well placed and tucked flat sheet between you and your bedspread or coverlet will make you feel that you are in a hotel room at a fancy resort. Which leads me to  ...

Atlanta Interior Designers & Decorators Liz Williams Interiors  : :   Kristen Wolf Design

Step 3. Bedspread or coverlet. The next layer may be a bedspread or coverlet, usually a flat blanket with a bit of a drape to it (although some choose to simply have the flat sheet play this role). This can either be a solid color or a pattern, depending on the whole look you are going for (consider what it will be paired with), and can either be tucked or left untucked. This will depend on the style of bed you choose, and whether or not you have chosen a bed skirt for underneath the mattress. Choose a lighter fabric for summer, and a heavier fabric for winter.

Bunny Williams : : Terrat Elms Interior Design

Step 4. Duvet or comforter. Now it starts to get really fun! This layer really adds oomph! to the whole look of your bed. Fold the duvet or comforter in thirds and lay it across the foot of your bed. It will look high to you at first, but once you follow the next step it will all be balanced out. Instead of a comforter or duvet, you could also drape a throw across the foot or corner of the bed for a more casual (but still luxurious) look. If your bed has a bit of molding as the one on the right does, you could pull the duvet all the way up, tucking it with the sheet as it's done here, and allow the throw to balance out the foot of the bed.

Step 5. Pillows. There is no faster, better way to create a plump pallet than with layers of pillows. Start with the ones you'll sleep on, top with ones of equal size covered in either coordinating sheets or euro-shams, and then top with throw pillows that add a little personality to your overall bedding statement. The visual volume you create at the head of the bed will balance out what you've done at the foot of the bed in Step 4. Some bed pillows come in king size, which are longer, to bridge the gap between the sides of the bed. I prefer a row of 3 regular sized pillows instead, to give the bed a little more of a compact look.

Part 2 of this post will talk about the design, color, and texture elements of the perfect bed.