Sleeping Beauties

Luxurious bedding and soothing bedrooms imbue a sense of calm and comfort.

Asked to name the most private room in the home, most people would probably think first of the bathroom rather than the bedroom because that source of warm and calm waters, gleaming fixtures, and sensory indulgences represents unquestioned seclusion. And yet the bedroom is really the most private of all rooms. Visitors to the home may have good reason to seek out the kitchen, the dining room, or the bathroom, but the bedroom is recognized as off-limits. The inner sanctum is the home within the home, the ultimate personal retreat in all seasons.


Masterful Remodel

Before this transformation, the room felt dark and heavy.

Unexpected ceiling structures, treatments, colors, and details have the power to surprise and delight. But by raising the ceiling and bringing a light, neutral tone to the walls, this bedroom was completely transformed. Round glass topped end tables were used to soften the angles of the room. The finishing details of a nail-trimmed, upholstered headboard with an ultra-thick dark brown espresso frame, grounds the room and mirrors the new master suite cabinets. New wood floors and plush bedding with multiple layers of silks and velvets complete the look. Custom remodel and furnishings by Nelson Designs, LLC. 

Painting a distinctive self-portrait of its inhabitants, the bedroom is the repository of and sometimes a shrine for all sorts of idiosyncratic necessities, amenities, and treasures. Thus it becomes the place where people can be most at ease in their surroundings and themselves. And while the bedroom accommodates a myriad of functions, it is unique among rooms because it alone holds the bed, the place where people begin their mornings and end their evenings. Although you may be willing to compromise style for comfort elsewhere, people are not all that willing to settle when it comes to their beds. There, comfort is not a luxury—it is a necessity. And that comfort is largely manifested in the sumptuous visual and tactile textures of bed covers. Whether contemporarily minimalist or nostalgically layered, tone-on-tone or multicolored, luxurious bed linens both define the bedroom’s ambience and reassure its inhabitants’ senses and spirits.

Time was when luxury bedding items were fashioned only from linen, from which derived the cover term “linens.” Real linen, woven from flax fibers, was the earliest vegetable-derived fabric, and extraordinary pure linen sheets and pillowcases can still be found today. While linen is durable and harder to soil, retains less moisture, boasts unparalleled color absorption, and manifests unrivaled comfort, it requires more care than do contemporary fabrics that blend linen with, say, silk and cotton; such fabrics are easier to care for, yet they afford virtually the same comforting visual and textural qualities as classic linen.


Style and Synergy

This thoughtfully designed bedroom brought his and her antiques together in a space that resonates a reassuring ambience of the bedroom-as-retreat. The homeowner worked with Dea Ann’s Drapery for custom drapery and bedding to the finishing touches. The natural plain, one hundred percent linen from Belgium, with its very crisp hand, was an ideal option for the tailored drapery. The bed shams and accent pillows with mini premade corded edges were fabricated from a raisin color polyester Turkish taffeta.


Lace- and cutwork-edged bedding has sometimes been associated with the fussy and the feminine, but that was not originally the case and, happily, is not the case today. In sixteenth-century Europe, men of nobility and wealth outdid their female counterparts in wearing clothing lavishly adorned with expensive hand-made lace; Henry III of France boasted one outfit festooned with some 4,000 yards of the stuff. Lace’s fall from grace came about courtesy of the French Revolution, which made it dangerous to wear fabrics of the aristocracy, and the Industrial Revolution, whose machines made lace affordable to commoners.


However, lace is enjoying a renaissance. The shabby chic look and feel in furnishings has engendered an accompanying craze for vintage linens featuring lace and its predecessor, cutwork, even though such ultra-soft, warmly textural items carry cautions as to care use. Fortunately, many textile firms are resurrecting the cachet of timeless linen-and-lace patterns and prints that coalesce coziness and elegance; manifested in easy-to-care-for contemporary fabric blends, today’s beautiful, ultra-comfortable linens are readily available in sheets, coverlets, bed skirts, duvet covers, and pillow shams for layering with abandon.


Squared Away

Cozily cloistered, an inviting guest room demonstrates two significant but simple design concepts: the re-envisioning of an object’s function and the use of a geometric motif as a unifying element. Having discovered that one of the new carved, mahogany doors intended for the front entrance was a little too short to use there, the homeowners instead installed it as a headboard of this bed, and its pattern of squares became the central motif for a wealth of room elements, including the bed’s quilted silk coverlet and decorative pillows.

Imaginative re-envisioning can also include recycling pieces that no longer serve their original purpose. The dining room had initially been the venue for the Scandinavian-design oak cabinets that flank the bed. Now glass-fronted and fitted with reading lamps, they serve an accommodating and attractive new function. And the storage trunk at the left was rescued many years earlier from a neighbor’s trash pile and refurbished. Two classic design ideas equal one extraordinary guest room.


Your bedroom is the perfect place to indulge in layers of textures—smooth silks, comforting cottons, and soft velvets. Fine fabrics and calming colors have the power to transform or intensify the character and ambience of the most private of rooms into a space of ultimate comfort, a place for sweet dreams.


Top photo: Inspired by the appliquéd Matauk linens chosen for this lovely guest room, the homeowner worked with A&M Superior Upholstery to select fine Brunschwig & Fils fabrics from the Le Jardin Chinois Collection. The Lhasa Blue pagoda patterned tufted chair and duvet complement the Asian influenced furnishings. The silk upholstered bench and side chair, white linen drapery, and assorted pillows and bolster, add subtle, yet stylish finishing touches.