We spend on average a third of our lives in bed so why not make the effort to create a welcoming comfortable space for ourselves. There are many new trends in decorating and layering beds, furniture and decorative accessories. Below are a couple of useful hints and tricks if you are re-decoratin. g or moving to a new property.
Bedroom area rugs:
There are several ways to soften a bedroom and rugs are definitely the number one item. When visiting clients homes, I always suggest an area rug or bedside rugs for a bedroom. They bring a room together and make a bedroom feel more comfortable and luxurious.
Frame your bed:
When laying down an area rug in your bedroom, it should extend 36” or so all around your bed. Alternatively, you could just extend on the sides, leaving the foot of the bed directly on the floor. For a Queen bed you would need an 8’ x 10’ Rug and for a King 9’x12’.
Runners all around:
Many customers complain about the cost of a large rug when most of it is going to be hidden under the bed. Runners are a great alternative to use on either side or along the foot of the bed. Standard sizes are 2’6” x 8’ or 3’ X 5’
A new trend is to hang or lean mirrors either side of the bed. This will increase the bedside light when turned on, so be mindful of lighting size and bulb strength.
The pale grey or soft colours always work well in a Coastal setting. Be careful not to make bedrooms too dark as this will attract mosquitos. We all know how annoying the night time buzzing of a single mossie can be. Dark colours also evoke heat and unless you are turning up air conditions to arctic level, you want the least stuffy and most airy feeling possible.
See below this useful diagram for ideal lighting heights. Always take into consideration the function of a bedside light; its size compared to the availablity of space on the nightstand; is it just a night light, will you be doing lots of reading, is it a complimentary light source or the main source of lighting in the room. Also bear in mind when buying a bedside lamp if it has more than one light setting, how it is turned on and off and what side and strength of bulb it can accommodate.
Depending on the scheme of your room, you may decide to add a pop of colour to your room or opt for the lamps to work in harmony with the scheme.
Beds and Headboards:
This is another glaring issue I often see when advising on decorating a bedroom.
To make a bed more welcoming and comfortable, it is essential to layer the head of the bed. This should be done whether you have a complete bed, or a freestanding mattress on a bed frame. If possible ALWAYS add a headboard. This does not have to be expensive. Stand alone headboards can easily be made using plywood, covered in batting and upholstored with a fabric of your choice. In the past, I have designed slip covered headboards, which means that the headboard can be changed easily depending on your mood, colour of bedding or time of year.
Infront of the headboard, pillows should be layered. Depending on the size of bed, you can start with a Euro size (square) pillow; 3 for a king and 2 for a queen, and infront of that, shams and then pillows. Many people opt for a further accent or decorative pillow, that may pick up the pattern of the bedding or some other furniture elsewhere in the room.
We have had a lot of discussion about mattresses in the shop over recent months.
Many people are willing to spend thousands of dollars on the latest pillow top memory foam, moisture wicking offerings. That is absolutely fine and especially if you know which make and model you prefer. However, I have over the years discovered that this is not necessary. Many years ago, I stayed at the Anegada Reef hotel in the most comfortable bed. I asked Sue in the morning what was the type of mattress and she told me that she bought Imperial Mattresses from Island Department Store. Since then I have been buying these and recommending them to anyone who will listen with a couple of caviats. Make sure you have a good box spring. You may think it doesn’t matter – but I am telling you from personal experience that it does. Add a mattress topper or memory foam topper to the top of the mattress. Onto that I suggest splashing out for a pillow top mattress topper/protector before you put on your fitted sheet. Trust me, for a rental or to save many dollars in product, freight and duty costs this will save you thousands and give you a luxurious feel of a high end mattress.
Bed linens; Dressing the Bed
My final advice for a comfortable bed is the bed linen. Up until I moved to the BVI more than two decades ago, I thought the be all and end all for bed sheets was the thread count. That is not necessarily the case. Cotton content and blends are equally important but a high thread count in the tropics can mean a very hot and stifling experience. At House we sell a cotton bamboo blend of sheets which are the softest and most breathable linens. I always recommend a plain colour, of which you are less likely to grow board, is a better investment long term as it can be dressed and can co-ordinate with different interchangeable coverlets, throws and accent pillows. A duvet cover and light weight duvet is for some an essential. If you live in the hills or with A/C this will add a comfy cosy layer. Accessorise with different colour euro shams and decorative blankets and cushions.
I am about to start decorating my bedroom and will be sharing this on the blog in the next few weeks.
Thank you for reading.