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And So, To Bed… Everything You Need to Know About Cozying up Your Bedtime Retreat


Some people love winter. I’m clearly not one of them, but I admire those who do because they’re hearty individuals, able to bloom where they are planted. We less spirited souls need a number of creature comforts to get us through those bleaker days.


Here in Northern California we live in a climate with distinct seasonal changes so I try to make my bedroom versatile and supportive for every season. I have a remote controlled, extra quiet fan and light weight comforter for warm weather, and for cold weather I have a heavy weight comforter and a much prized electric bed warmer.


Most beds benefit from the following components:
one light weight comforter for warm weather
one heavier weight for winter
one decorative duvet cover (it’s like a giant pillow case that protects your comforter)
two foam pillows for bolstering
two decorative pillow shams
two down or synthetic-down sleeping pillows
two decorative rectangular throw pillows (also called kidney pillows because they support your kidneys when you sit against them)
one throw blanket for over the foot of the bed
and one bed skirt
above via DECORPAD.com
If you don’t have a head board, consider getting an upholstered one. They are comfortable additions if you enjoy reading in bed. Most designers can have these made-to-order for you. They are available in a wide range of prices and styles and are comparatively priced to wicker headboards.



Window coverings come in many options. In the bedroom, your main concern will be light and privacy control. These issues should be addressed before aesthetics.


In the master bedroom, minimally plan on a room darkening treatment such as lined draperies, Roman shades, or lined woven shades. To ensure darkness with any type of shade, have them measured and installed to be big enough for exterior mounting. If you mount them inside the window frame, the gaps will allow light to seep through.  Add an additional inch or two in width for better light control.


above via VOGUE

Unless you live in a mansion or an ornate Victorian, keep window coverings in the master bedroom tailored and tasteful.


Table lamps on the night stands are standard fare. Putting them on dimmer switches adds a nice, atmospheric touch. Dimmer switches for lamps are available at many lighting stores. I happened to have found mine at IKEA though I don’t usually shop there. And I might add, they didn’t last long. Try your local lighting stores first. If they don’t carry them, ask if they can order them for you.  The lamp dimmer concept is great because you simply plug the dimmer cord into the wall and plug the lamp into the dimmer cord. In this way, you can control the level of light as well as access the dimmer cord’s on/off switch without even sitting up in bed.

above via DECORDESIGNREVIEW.tumblr

Bed Sheets

I love white. White paper towels, white napkins, white t.p., white towels, and white sheets. White is clean looking and versatile. And I love the faint smell of Clorox on my linens. When my sheets are freshly changed and smell good, all seems well with the world. A cozy bed is really an investment in yourself because you and your mate are the only ones who will enjoy these small luxuries. It’s a nice way to express “self-care”: to make you both feel pampered and appreciated.

The softest, most comfortable sheets are Egyptian cotton or Pima cotton. A 400 thread count is sufficient for a quality, comfortable bed sheet. Anything higher is overkill. Remember there is more to sheets than just thread count. If the cotton is poor quality, they will wrinkle. And who has time to iron their sheets or hang them outside to damp dry? 


Choosing a mattress is a matter of personal requirements but my favorite, most luxuriant night sleep is on the Simmons Heavenly Bed System pillow top mattress and box spring, the one Westin Hotels use. The mattress thickness is about 12 or 13 inches and the box spring, about 8 to 9 inches. They are available for special order. I also love a high quality down pillow but the next time I purchase a pillow, I’m going to explore animal friendly, hypoallergenic alternatives.

To understand your own mattress needs, please visit this helpful post at WebMD.com.

Rating firmness to softness, on a scale of 1 to 10, a 5 or 6 is good for most people. Pay attention to coil count too. A coil count of 390 is sufficient for optimal back support and comfort. WebMD.com also states that if you’re waking up with low back pain that disappears within 15 minutes, this could indicate the need for a new mattress set.



above via DOMAINEHOME.com
The Bedroom with Color
When decorating your own bedroom, keep in mind the room is for relaxation. Bright reds, oranges, and other vibrant colors are not conducive to this and for some reason consumers love a red bedroom. Instead, try using softer touches of red as seen in the guest room below.
above via DOMAINEHOME.com


Keep the amount of colors in your bedroom to a minimum. Stick with restful colors like greens, blues, and violet. Muted versions of warm colors like peach, pink, and yellow also work nicely if chosen well. When doing rooms with neutral color schemes, try to think outside the box.
above via DOMAINEHOME.com
Neutral design schemes in formal settings have been overdone. Instead, add interest to your neutral scheme with rustic antiques and textures, as seen in Swedish and Belgian design schemes. White and black accents look nice with neutrals too, if not overdone. Because the bedroom isn’t a work place, you can get away with darker paint colors.  In my own room however, I went light with Pratt and Lambert’s Accolade paint called “Half and Half”. It’s a warm white which normally wouldn’t be exciting but you wouldn’t believe how pretty it is.

above via INVITINGHOME.tumblr

In the bedroom, less is more. Incorporate tactile elements like soft throws and pillows, pre-warmed sheets in the winter, and light dimming options for bedtime. The quality of furnishings in the master bedroom should be notably better than in the children’s and guest rooms. Choose quality fabrics, original artwork (or good reproductions), and unique furniture and accessories. Keep surfaces clean and dust free. Enjoy your retreat and remember why it’s there: to replenish your tired spirit. 
And so, to bed.
above via MARKSANDFRANTZ.com
above via THEFULLERREVIEW.tumblr