Let’s go to bed.
I am a believer that your bedroom and even your guest bedroom should be both a sanctuary and fabulous. You spend 1/3 of your life in bed, so surrounding yourself with beautiful bedding easily enhances your sleep and your mood; Think incredible fabrics, linens, satins, silk, cottons and even faux silks. You should want the best night’s sleep every night, so why settle for a bed in a bag that 5 other people in your neighborhood could have? Save the bed in a bag for a college dorm.Customizing your bedroom can be the easiest room to design. Think of things that make you feel cozy and comfortable. Your bedding should feel like you or should be an extension of your best dream (yeah, I’m talking about that one with Jake Gyllenhaal). Your bed is the most personal and intimate place in your home. It is where you should feel comforted and safe.
When dressing your bed, there are several cover options, knowing the different bedding terms can help you so you won’t expect a duvet cover to hide the sides of your unsightly box spring. Some bedding terms are European and can get lost in translation. You know us Americans, we like to make things our own, so nothing is “standard” anymore.
Obviously, none of these bedding ideas are the law but these are the terms we use here at U-Fab to simplify your options.
This guide will help you when shopping or getting custom bedding made.
You start with the most functional element, your mattress. You can add pillow toppers or a feather bed to make even an old mattress feel new. Then pick your sheets, you can have real fun here, from choosing coordinating colors, or patterns to the rest of your bedding. Sheets are easily changeable so update them with the season, or your mood. Next are layers of quilts, comforters, or maybe a duvet. Don’t forget all of the pillows and shams.
When choosing what type of bedding is right for you, you need to think about how you sleep. Are you a hot or cold sleeper? In the summer months, I still use a duvet cover (to add color to the room) and just simply take out the filler. For those that like the feel of a blanket, a constructed quilt might be the best option. Here’s an overview of your options to help you make the best choice.
Coverlet –A coverlet/comforter is extra large in size to cover the entire top and all four sides of the mattress and hang low enough to cover the box spring and possibly the bed frame (depending on your bed frame). *Think of a hotel room “bedspread”.
A coverlet’s construction is similar to a quilt and is what most people would consider a comforter. With 3 layers, a coverlet starts with a woven top, a layer of batting (thin or thick) and a final backing (generally a woven cotton). Generally, coverlets are quilted. Coverlets are an overall bed cover and will cover your box spring and possibly your bed frame.
Quilts – Quilts can come in a variety of sizes and fabrics. You could have a smaller size quilt than could be used as a throw for a sofa or small chair. It can be sized for your bed. Quilts can be used as overall bed cover or just an additional layer for warmth. There is no standard size quilt as most quilts are handmade. However, you can purchase factory made quilts that are general bed sizes. But even with that, the sizing can be all over the place. Quilts are constructed just like coverlets, with 3 layers. However the middle layer is generally an interlining (a super thin batting) or thin cotton lining. Quilting is actually a technique of sewing 2 or more layers together. A quilt is the outcome of quilting. Quilting can also be referred to the creation of a quilt. Early settlers made them to bring color and warmth into their homes. Quilts can be simple created with a solid material or extremely intricate incorporating many different patterns, colors and designs into a single quilt.
Matelassé – Matelassé refers to the type of fabric and not a bed cover. Matelassé is constructed like a quilt but only 1 layer of fabric. It has been quilted or stitched to give the appearance of a quilted fabric. Matelassé can be woven by a fabric loom, quilting machine or by hand. It appears to have padding but there is none.
Duvet & Duvet Covers – Duvets are a European design made for an additional layer of warmth. They are also European sized. Duvets are intended for European mattress which are generally smaller (less thick) and require no box spring. *Think platform beds! Therefore, a duvet cover will not cover your pillow top mattress the way a quilt or coverlet would.
My platform guest bedroom shown with multiple sham options and multiple layers of quilts and duvets (linen duvet shown in 120-Kill-Slate)
A duvet’s construction is made like a quilt or a coverlet, with 3 layers. The different is that the middle layer is a loose fiber consisting of down or synthetic fiber. Duvet covers are nothing more than giant pillow cases. They can be closed by a zipper, buttons, or ties. Duvet covers are meant to be taken off and washed. Back in the day, duvets were often filled with wool or horse hair.
Duvets are intended to add an extra layer of warmth and not as a full bed cover (however, I use mine every night). Duvets are often folded at the foot of the bed (as seen in the stock photos and my rooms) or stored in a trunk or closet. Duvet Covers are also where the fun fabrics come in as the possibilities are endless. You can make your duvet cover reversible by using two different fabrics, one on each side.
Duvet sizes have evolved to be different sizes in different parts of the world. If you shop any of the big box stores, or even department stores, Queen duvets are displayed on a full/double bed (Sneaky, right?!) Here at u-fab, our sizes are the traditional European sizes. Duvets can still be full bed covers, you just have to know what you want and make a few adjustments. Just upgrade. If you want a full bed cover and you have a queen bed, then upgrade to a king duvet.
Okay, as with bed covers, there are many different types of pillows sizes.
Euro shams are decorative pillows that are used as a backdrop for the bedding. They were originally intended to serve as a cushion for your body while sitting up in bed, so your back would not hit the wood or metal headboard. There is supposed to be a standard size but Euro shams are generally 24-27 inches.
Euro shams are not needed for all beds. Shown here, my euro shams completely cover up my upholstered headboard. You can style your pillows differently if you would like to introduce more fabrics to your bedding collection.
(U-fab fabric shown Kelly Wearstler Urchin-special order)
Standard shams are decorative covers for your bed. They can be in a variety of sizes (twin, standard/double, queen and king). They can be made to match your bed cover or in coordinating fabric. Most standard shams have a flange. A flange is small flap of fabric that frames your shams.
Neck roll and lumbar pillows can round out the look and add another fabric to the mix. Throw pillows can introduce new colors and patterns while adding that luxurious look to any bedroom design.
In my bedroom, I keep it simple. No Euro shams or accent pillows, just standard shams.
When choosing the bed linens for your room, close your eyes and start dreaming.