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    Make Your Bed!

    tuxI have always considered the bed a sanctuary; that most intimate of settings where we lose all of our defenses. It is where you recoup from a long day, reconnect with yourself and find your center. In my humble opinion, the bed is the single most important piece of furniture in your home, yet people treat it like an afterthought when it comes to dressing it.

    Countless times, I have walked into otherwise stunning homes and found the bed swathed in bedding circa the client’s first apartment. Even if you can’t afford a design professional, the secret for giving any bedroom an instant upgrade is to focus on three main items: killer bedding, a fantastic side table and statement art. Following this edict, you can transform a basic white bedroom into a bright and fresh sanctuary ready for afternoon naps and lazy weekends.

    Let art be your guide. People tend to select artwork last, while I prefer to draw inspiration from a piece. A charcoal drawing, for example, was a find from a local auction. When simply matted, it created a dynamic focal point above the bed. With this visual anchor cast, we pulled the coral from the drawing and used it in our bedding from local company Crane & Canopy.

    styleFind your design balance. Since the bedding and artwork are such strong statements in the space, let the bedside table take a backseat. The clean, crisp lines and masculine feel of a white steel and birch wood nesting table were the perfect foil to the bedding. Lighting in the form of a glass and wood mushroom lamp, and a colorful punch from a vintage vase, finished off the table. An air plant added to the vignette was the final touch to a whimsical bedroom update that is vibrant, youthful and, most importantly, packed with color.

    Mix it up. Don’t be scared of pattern! This bed shown here was inspired by the juxtaposition of solids and patterns. Combining patterns may sound scary, but the results are always worth it. A trick was to pair a large-scale patterned pillow with a smaller print and finally a solid. The mixing of patterns resulted in a relaxed look that is upbeat and unexpected.

    Taking care of your bedding. To maintain your bedding and keep it looking fantastic, Crane & Canopy owner, Karin Shieh, recommends that everything be zipped and buttoned before being placed in the wash. “Cold water and the low setting on your dryer are your friends,” says Shieh. She explains that both will prevent your linens from wrinkling. Shieh also reminds us that “as tempting as it may be, don’t overstuff your washer or dryer. It always results with a date with your ironing board.”

    When shopping for bedding, consider thread count, materials and weave. For a lustrous and smooth feel, look for fabrics that are 300 to 450 thread count, made from 100 percent extra-long cotton, single ply and woven in a sateen weave, Shieh advises.

    So it’s time to make your bed, lie in it and, most of all, enjoy it!

    Courtney Lake is the interior designer and lifestyle expert behind Monogram Décor (www.monogramdecor.com) and its celebrated blog, “Courtney Out Loud.” His work and writings have appeared on television and in writing including “The Wall Street Journal,” “The Nate Berkus Show,” the “San Francisco Chronicle,” “Life & Style Magazine,” “RUE Magazine,” “Real Simple,” “This Old House” and “7×7 Magazine.”