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Creating the Perfect Bedroom, Cool Weather Retreat

The days are getting shorter and the nights are a little cooler! If you live in an area with distinct seasonal changes, making your bedroom inviting and cozy will be a priority. It will get you through fall and winter happier and better adjusted and don’t we all need that!

The Surrey Collection

Witford SF


A well equipped bedroom looks like this: two weights of comforters (one light weight for warm weather and one heavier weight for winter), one decorative duvet cover (it’s basically a giant pillow case that protects your comforter), two foam pillows for sitting upright or reading in bed, two decorative pillow shams, two extra soft 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. If you don’t have a head board, consider getting an upholstered one. They’re functional additions especially if you enjoy reading in bed. Most designers can have these made-to-order for you. They’re available in a wide range of prices and styles and are comparatively priced to wood or wicker ones.

Image above, Leotine Linens

1- Best quality mattress and box spring you can afford, queen size is best.
2- Winter weight and summer weight down comforters.
3- 400 thread count sheets, two sets.
4- Two firm pillows with decorative shams and …
5- Matching bed skirt.
6- Two synthetic feather pillows for sleeping.
7- Two 20 inch square or rectangle decorative throw pillows.
8- A soft throw for the foot of the bed.
9- An electric bed warming blanket to use seasonally..
10-High quality synthetic feather top mattress pad optional. The real feather top pads will poke you.

One of the best things you can invest in is an electric bed warmer. These are especially wonderful for aches, pains and arthritis. About fifteen minutes before bed, say for instance, right before you wash your face, brush your teeth and get undressed, turn the blanket on high or semi-high. When you crawl in, turn it down or off. It is apparently not a good idea to sleep with it on. I don’t know the ramifications with our circadian rhythms but I’ve read that they are not healthy for prolonged use. They are however, perfectly okay to use as a bed warmer before you get in bed.


A few things you should know. First you need your room dark and cool. Second, try and slowly adjust yourself to back sleeping without a pillow. I can hear the groans but trust me this is a huge game changer for those of us with back, hip or especially neck problems. Instead, put your pillow under your knees.

One little hack I created is instead of wearing a sleeping mask, I prefer a soft clean sock draped over my eyes. I promise you, there is nothing like sleeping in complete darkness and waking up when you’re ready rather than daylight waking you. I wake up completely energized this way.

Mark D. Sikes

And lastly, before you get out of bed, sit up and spend three to four minutes doing some light stretches. Roll your feet in circles. Bend your neck. Roll your shoulders. Stretch your arms above your head.


There are so many options on window coverings. In the bedroom your main concern will be light and privacy control. These issues should really be addressed before aesthetics because it’s been determined that a dark room is so necessary to get into the deeper levels of sleep. For some great info on sleep, read Arianna Huffington’s best selling The Sleep Revolution.

Plan on a room darkening treatment such as lined Roman shades, lined woven shades, or wooden blinds or shutters. To ensure darkness, 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.  

Jenny Steffens Hobick

I love a two layered window treatment such as floor length curtain panels over sheers or Roman shades.


Never rely solely on overhead lighting for the bedroom. Matching table lamps on the night stands each with it’s dimmer switch is great for ambiance and function both. Dimmer switches for lamps are available at better lighting stores. 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. I love this feature so so much.

Bed Sheets

White bed sheets are clean looking but a little unforgiving so plan on weekly changes. Or cheat a little and go two weeks, but not longer than that. I swear I sleep better when my sheets are freshly changed and smell good. It’s a great Friday morning tradition. It makes me feel pampered come Friday night. 

Bernard Wharton

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.    

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” too.


Choosing a mattress is a matter of personal taste 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 hypoallergenic products.

Decorating with Color

When decorating your own bedroom, keep in mind the room is for relaxation. Reds, oranges, and other vibrant colors are not conducive to rest. Color theory is a topic unto itself but follow these easy tips to understand how you can make color work well for you in your bedroom.

John Jacob

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. 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 gray accents look nice with neutrals too, if not overdone. In my own room 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 and creamy it is.

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 what it’s there for, to replenish your tired spirit. 

Restful tasks are best for the bedroom. I like reading in bed for enjoyment or general knowledge, not work documents; writing thank you cards and letters; Sunday morning coffee or Sunday evening supper. Keep television viewing and social media in bed to a minimum by scheduling it in advance and keeping your word with yourself to follow through.

To get my 3 to 5 Things Design Framework and 5 key home design decisions for health conscious and health challenged women, head on over to to my new download “Healthy at Home, 5 Key Design Decisions for Wellness Minded and Wellness Challenged Women”. 

In it you’ll find super easy to follow design solutions like tips on choosing flooring material; the most affordable way to remodel your kitchen, more goodness on creating a restful bedroom retreat, the newest in techy kitchen trends, and how to create workout spaces! See you there!