116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Six months after the derecho, we're still displaced from our bedroom. Our room has been unlivable and the door has been closed for so long, sometimes I forget it's there. We're lucky to have another room to use in the meantime.
We are getting closer to having a finished room and happy to have had the ceiling hole repaired before the latest polar vortex. New carpet and baseboard, replacing nightstands, hanging curtains and a deep cleaning are the major items left to complete.
The headboard and a lot of our bedding was lost to water damage on and underneath the platform bed frame. I've been looking at impeccably dressed beds and dreaming of styling a new bed.
The best development in bed design has been the reduced use of box springs because of the popularity of platform frames. For as long as I had a box spring, I needed a bed skirt to disguise it. It was difficult to keep the bed skirt aligned on the box spring. Even if it wasn't the ruffled variety from my childhood, the bed skirt seemed to just hang there collecting dust. Thankfully, beds look a lot more streamlined now and bed linens are put to better use on the sleeping surface. It's a canvas to express yourself. Mix-and-match bedding is more typical now rather than the bed-in-a-bag era. This allows for a lot more creativity, texture and personalization.
Dressing a bed is all about layering. Sheets, blankets and pillows are the wardrobe for dressing a bed. The possibilities within those elements are boundless. Fabrics for sheets include cotton, knit, flannel, percale and linen. Natural fibers such as cotton and linen breathe better than polyester, which is found in microfiber sheets. It's all a matter of personal preference. I like flannel sheets in the winter, but a similar warmth can be achieved with cotton sheets and a fleece blanket.
On top of the sheets could be a blanket, bedspread, comforter, coverlet or duvet. A handful of words for the same thing? There are differences.
Blankets can be used on their own or to add texture or color to a bed. A bedspread is a thin, decorative covering over the entire bed that usually touches the floor. Comforters are heavier coverings in solid colors or patterns that are filled with fiber or down and sewn on the edges. A quilt falls in the coverlet category; another decorative covering, the coverlet doesn't touch the floor or cover the pillows. Duvets are like comforters except they have an unfinished surface and require a removable, decorative covering. Duvet covers may button, tie or zip at the bottom edge to allow for easy cleaning and style changes.
Accent pillows may be the most contested part of the bed. Some may argue that they are unnecessary, object to the number of pillows or question where to put them when it comes to bedtime. Pillows draw attention, raise the profile and are the fastest way to update the bedding.
Place euro pillows, which are oversized squares, against the headboard or the head of the bed. These are decorative pillows that have a removable cover, perhaps called a sham. Sleeping pillows go in front of those. Accent pillows, which may include a tubular bolster, are the final set.
The hope is that the different layers create an inviting and comforting place to sleep. After all, over the years, people spend about a third of their lives sleeping. It might as well be on a bed that's enjoyable to see every day. What's more, the routine of making the bed in the morning has mental health benefits.
Remaking the bed can be the first accomplishment of the day. This is a win Iowans may not claim. People in the Midwest and West are the least likely to make their beds, according to a 2011 poll from the National Sleep Foundation. This is a small boost that can make a meaningful difference.
Erin Owen graduated from the interior design program at Kirkwood Community College. She has worked as a commercial and residential interior designer. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org