Your bed is arguably the most intimate spot in your home, and, when it comes to interior decorating, it deserves special attention. Whether it's dressed in simple, muted colors, or piled high with romantic pillows, the way we decorate our beds says a lot about our personalities, our vulnerabilities and even our dreams. With a little thinking and a few creative ideas, you can put together a warm, inviting bed that you can look forward to sinking into every night.
Sizing Up Your Frame
To begin, take a good look at your bed frame. Does it fit the room? If you're still using the bare metal frame that came with your mattress, is it time to upgrade to something better? Think about the way you sleep; if you like to hang your feet off the end of the bed, consider skipping a sleigh bed or other frame with a solid footboard. On the other hand, if your bed looks lost in a large master bedroom, a sleigh bed, four-poster bed, or other large frame can provide a good focal point for the room. If you share your bed with a significant other, make sure to get his input as well, and be prepared to make a few compromises if necessary.
Now, choose your bed sheets. Silk and linen feel lovely, but they require special care and are expensive to maintain, so think hard before you buy them. Cotton is always a good choice, and it's available in just about every price range. If you feel like splurging, go for high-thread-count cotton sheets; they feel better on your skin and stand up to years of use. Choose sheets in solid colors or thin stripes for a classic look, or patterns to go more bold. Embroidered pillowcases lend a romantic touch. Keep in mind that pillowcases go through a lot of wear and tear, so you may want to buy a spare set and keep it tucked away for when the first set starts to look a bit tired.
Covers and Layers
Blankets, quilts, duvets, coverlets and bedspreads--the choice can seem endless and bewildering, but take comfort from the fact that there's no one right way to dress your bed. Above all, keep practical considerations in mind. If you live in a climate with a cold winter, a down comforter with a duvet cover will keep you warm at night without smothering you. If the temperature tends to vary at night --- and especially if you live in a place without central air conditioning or heating, and are more at the mercy of swings in temperature --- buy a number of thinner layers, such as all-season blankets and cotton quilts, so you can add or take away as necessary. This also produces a softer, more changeable look, one that you can vary with the simple addition of a colorful coverlet folded across the foot of the bed.
Playing with Pillows
Decorative pillows are a popular choice for dressing a bed, and it's here that you can really play with different effects and go as crisp and formal or playful and romantic as you see fit. Soften a wood or iron headboard with two square Euro pillows in decorative shams. (Euro pillows also come in very handy for reading in bed.) You can prop your sleeping pillows against the Euro pillows for a crisp, dynamic look. For a final touch, place small decorative pillows in front of your sleeping pillows, either in patterns and fabrics that coordinate with the Euro pillows or in fun and surprising colors that draw the eye. By swapping out different pillows and shams, you can have a bed that changes its character according to your mood.
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