We spend one-third of our lives sleeping, so it’s only natural that we should crave a sleeping space that looks and feels inviting. In a year when comfort in one’s own home has taken on more importance than ever before, we thought we’d turn to some experts for tips to help ensure that our bedrooms both feel and look their best.
After all – isn’t good sleep hygiene part of a proper self-care routine?
Living Spaces designer Shelby Greene said it well when she noted that “we paid attention to our homes more than ever this year. We took more time into making home comfortable, exciting, and different than the average “perfect” interior. Mixing in old pieces to give your home more interest and experimenting with different layers of style, gives your home a great representation of your lifestyle and personality so that we are constantly surrounded by what we love and what makes us feel at home.”
That personality and experimentation, however, often ended with the public rooms of our homes.
So we turned to Ritu Rana, founder, and CEO of McLean, VA-based Down Cotton, a bedding company that specializes in premier Egyptian linens, to discuss how to not just liven up our bedroom from a design standpoint, but how to create an intentionally healthy and luxurious space that will serve us not just during quarantine, but for years to come. Perhaps (we can dream, after all) it can even replace the beloved hotel experiences that we’ve missed so much while being grounded this year.
She was kind enough to participate in this exclusive Pursuitist Q&A.
During COVID, we’re spending more time now in our homes than ever. How do you go about making your bedroom a true sanctuary?
I couldn’t agree more; the bedroom is the most important room in the house. People need a space to be by themselves, no matter how social they are. It is a place to relax, a place to call your own. It is very important to keep these things in mind when designing the bedroom.
Here are a few key tips:
- It starts with the color of the walls. Choose subtle and soothing shades. The gentle hues of blue, green, and lavender are considered calm and serene. The ceiling is the fifth wall in your room. So don’t overlook it. Choose a lighter version of the wall color for the ceiling as it gives the room a feeling of comfort and intimacy. You may add other architectural elements such as beams and moldings.
- Lighting plays an important role in setting the right ambiance in the bedroom. Use soft accent lights to illuminate the walls and small lamps for reading. Use dimmers to adjust the lighting.
- Use the right type of curtains for your windows. To allow natural light, you may use soft sheer curtains combined with roller blinds to block morning light.
- Keep your bedroom simple by choosing furniture according to the size of your bedroom. You don’t want to buy a heavy, large bed for a small bedroom. On the other hand, furniture that’s too small will look lost in a large bedroom. Make sure that you have plenty of storage. You may use bedside tables and a trunk at the foot of the bed to store extra bed linens.
- For me, a perfect bedroom is never complete without a small and cozy sitting area. A window seat under the bedroom window would be the perfect place to sit and read.
- Last but not least, indulge in luxurious linens. Go for premium bedding fabrics such as Egyptian cotton and viscose bamboo sheets. Soft and buttery sheets add an element of comfort and luxury to the bed. Go for sheets with thread counts of 300 to 600 as they are the softest. Avoid anything above 600 thread count.
I’m really missing hotels – namely great bedmaking and turndown service. Any tips for making my home bedroom feel more like a hotel bed?
Well, we all are. And as we won’t be traveling anytime soon, we don’t know for how long we’re going to miss them. But we can certainly enjoy the same comfort and luxury of a hotel room right in our bedrooms.
You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to make your bed feel like a hotel bed. A few simple tips will do the trick:
- It all starts with your mattress. Most of the luxurious hotels tend to use pocket spring or memory foam mattresses. While there are a few people who love the bouncy effect or a spring mattress, many people prefer memory foam mattresses as they offer proper back support. You may choose the right one depending on your preference. Go for a deeper mattress to make your bed look more aesthetic.
- The second most important thing is the bedsheets. Go for a crisp, White set of 100% cotton sheets that are of sateen weave and are between 300 to 600 thread counts. Down Cotton’s Hotel Collection sheets are specially made for luxury hotels. They are made from 100% Egyptian cotton sateen fabric and feature a 400 thread count construction. They are everything you need to enjoy the comfort of a 5-star hotel bed in your home.
- Pillows play an important role too. Make sure that you have at least 2 pairs of fluffy goose down pillows. Throw in a couple of fiber cushions. There’s no harm in having extra pillows so that you get to choose what you’re comfortable sleeping on.
- Create layers with a goose down comforter and duvet cover. Go for a fluffy and lightweight down comforter. White 100% cotton duvet covers not only gives a hotel-style look to elevate your bed, it also protects your down comforter.
- You may place a neatly folded throw blanket at the bottom of the bed to add some color and vibrancy.
What about sheet care? I like to iron mine, but I know that not everyone is quite this dedicated. Should I do anything else special?
Bed sheets need good care and maintenance as properly cared sheets tend to last longer. Wash your sheets at least once a week and make sure that you wash them separately. It’s ok to wash them in warm water but if you own bamboo sheets, it is better to wash them in cold water.
Although it may be tempting, avoid fabric softeners as they will damage the sheets in the long run. Alternatively, you may use baking soda to soften your bedsheets. Baking soda not only makes the sheets soft but it also gives you clean, odor-free sheets.
I agree that not everyone likes to iron their sheets. Most of our customers complain that their sheets are too wrinkly when they come out of the dryer. But you know what? That’s something that cannot be avoided as 100% cotton fabric tends to get wrinkled in the dryer. The only way to avoid wrinkles is to air dry your sheets which is not always a feasible option.
Should my sheets be like my wardrobe – seasonal – and if so, how?
That’s a good question. Just like we don’t wear clothes made of the same fabric all year round, the same goes with bedding, too. Our sheets should change with the season as not all fabrics and thread counts are suitable for different weathers.
For example, during the colder months, sheets and duvet covers with a higher 500 to 600 thread count work the best. High thread count linens are thick and heavy; they offer the required warmth and comfort when combined with a goose down comforter with a fill-power of 700 and above.
On the other hand, during the summers, you might want to try thin and lightweight sheets as they are more breathable. Natural bamboo sheets and 100% cotton sheets made from 300 to 400 thread count are the best for warm weather as they are highly absorbent. The lightweight and breathable fabric absorb sweat and keep you cool and dry.
Are there any linen and bed trends, so to speak? Or bedroom design trends to know of?
While we are still seeing high demand for classic white and ivory colors, one of the latest bedding trends is gray color bedding. Just like white, gray is a neutral color and can be paired with a lot of other shades. It is the most sought after color of the millennials as they prefer a more contemporary looking bed.
It has also been observed that people are gradually shifting towards natural and organic fabrics. Due to the rising awareness towards the environment and sustainability, more and more people have started to prefer bedding made from sustainable fabrics such as viscose and rayon from bamboo.
Should readers wish to upgrade their bedrooms after reading, we’d suggest opting into Down Cotton’s Lifetime Membership, which entitles you to a 30% discount on all purchases – the membership is free after your first purchase! Looks like it’s time to splurge on these Bamboo towels…