Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Where You Dream

We Americans have certainly fluffed our nests. We have layered our Simons mattresses with high-count sheets, cashmere blankets, down comforters, mohair throws, feather pillows and more pillows. Before we pull back the covers at bedtime, we must offload the stuff-ing. So, why do we dress our beds to the nines?
The short answer is Madison Avenue. We have been conditioned by advertising to picture a bed with piles of pillows and several layers of bedclothes. Artistically, the layers add visual interest to a bedroom, bringing color and pattern to an otherwise large plain surface.
Let's analyze the bed displays found at Nell Hill's, the Kansas City shop I wrote about in my last post. Most of the beds in the store, have a dramatic backdrop. In the picture below, a folding screen sits behind the bed, telescoping our focus from the larger wall to a narrower perimeter. The slats provide texture.
Next, in front of the screen is a headboard. Fabric covered headboards are currently very popular. On this charcoal headboard above, nickel tacks outline the frame, taking our eye in further towards the center of the bed. In front of the headboard, four rows of pillows stand in attention.

The bed below illustrates the pillow sizes.  The back row, closest to the headboard, are European-sized pillows. Because they are taller than standard pillows, they are perfect for the back row. Next, a pillow several inches shorter than the Euro pillow permits the back pillow to be visible. In front, of that pillow is a standard pillow. (Choose a standard, queen, or king width depending on your bed.) Finally, front and center is the narrowest pillow or pillows. For this row, you can use two boudoir pillows or a custom made long pillow to bridge the others.
Here is a diagram of pillow sizes.
Underneath the pillows, the sheets, the blanket, and a throw are visible. Properly, the mattress pad is covered with a fitted sheet, and then top sheet pulled up enough so it can lap over the blanket, coverlet or bedspread.

Next, the duvet is folded in half and covers the lower third of the bed. Often a smaller throw is tossed across the bed or left on the bench at the foot of the bed.

Finally, beneath the mattress covering the space to the floor is a dust ruffle.
Studying these displays, a bench, a love-seat, or a blanket chest often sits at the end of the bed and a chandelier usually hangs over top.

I must confess, I have been influenced by advertising, but haven't succumbed completely. I put pillows at the top of our bed, a feather duvet at the foot of the bed, and a dust ruffle that touches the floor. However, I have "cheaped-out" on the number of pillows and don't have a cashmere throw. What about you?  Have you been conditioned to feather your nest like the beds shown here?


  1. Maurie
    thanks for the analysis. Its all mind-numbing! Imagine taking all those pillows off every night and storing them.. somewhere... till dawn. Then loading up again. Its a bit silly really. I do understand the decorative intent of the layering of colour, pattern and texture etc, but I find it all a bit exhausting. Bring back a little simplicity I say.

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