1: European (also called "Euro") Square Pillows: Used for support while sitting up, they also help to give dimension and depth to your pillow arrangement when placed behind your sleeping pillows.
2: Sleeping Pillows: Got to have these! Many people find that standard size pillows are best for sleeping with as they tend to fit your head a bit better. This is a matter of personal preference though. The firmness you choose will be important for your comfort and quality of sleep. Our recommendations for choosing a good sleeping pillow.
3: The Comforter (or Duvet): It's difficult to overstate what a difference a quality goose down comforter, with a nice lightweight duvet cover, can make to your sleeping comfort. Make sure that you select the size that is appropriate for your bed. You don't want so much comforter that the sides will drag on the floor. Our "Light" warmth is a good choice for year around use for most people, but we do offer a wide range of warmth levels, from Ultra Light to super warm and fluffy, to keep you comfortable in almost any environment. Our down comforter warmth guide.
4: The Featherbed, or Mattress Topper: Provides an cushy cloud of support. Not necessary for a well dressed bed, but for some an absolute necessity for a good nights sleep!
Now the fun starts! You can keep your design statement simple, or elegant, whimsical or dignified, dandified or... you get the point. The design possibilities are endless. You can have 1 design for year around use, or a design for each season, or mood. Just follow your heart and do what looks good and feels good to you.
1: The Mattress Protector: Unseen and not design related, but still important; the mattress protector does just what it's name implies; it protects your mattress from soils and stains. We like the St. Dormier wool mattress protector. It is made with a quilted New Zealand wool top, which helps to keep you cool in the Summer and warm in the Winter, and it is machine washable.
2: The Bed skirt: Some beds may not need a bed skirt, but if yours does, bed skirts are available in "tailored" or "ruffled" styles. The bed skirt shown above is a "tailored" style. Bed skirts typically come in 3 "panels", one for the bottom, or foot, of the bed, and 1 panel for each side. The "panel approach makes it fairly easy to adjust the drop of the bed skirt so that it will fit your bed perfectly. The design you choose will usually be the same design as your fitted sheet, but again... your bed, your rules.
3: Fitted, or Bottom Sheet: Egyptian Cotton (long staple or Extra Long Staple), in sateen or percale is a great choice for comfort and ease of care. Linen is very nice for warm weather sleeping comfort. Silk sheets offer a world of sensuous indulgence. The only real rule for fitted sheets is pocket size: Choose a pocket size that is about 3" to 5" deeper than your mattress.
4: Flat, or Top Sheet: A "well dressed" bed probably requires a top sheet. However, there are some rebels out there (who, me?) that feel the duvet cover works wonderfully as a top sheet, and do not use a separate top sheet. Others can't sleep without one. Here's a "pro tip": King size top sheets will fit both King Size and California King Size beds.
5: The Coverlet:: The coverlet is like a bed spread, only smaller. Some people tuck the coverlet in, others let the sides hang. It is intended to give your bed a finished look when the duvet is folded back. Another essential for the well made bed, and another that we personally do not use. We don't want the coverlet between us and our fabulous duvet and duvet cover. Ugh.
6: Decorative Pillow Shams: Used to cover support and accent pillows, you can utilize color and texture here to really help your design "pop". Shams can be had with or without the "flange". Some are available with zipper closures, some available in an envelope closure.
7: Decorative cushions: Another way to add accents to your design.
8: Pillow Cases: The pillow case usually matches the design and color of your fitted and/or top sheet. Or you can get a little wild and crazy and have some that match your sheets, and others that match your duvet cover. Pillow cases can come with an "open" closure (open at the end of the pillow case, or an envelope closure, like shams.
9: The Duvet Cover: Last, but definitely not least, the duvet cover (often confused with a duvet), is perhaps the most important choice you will make when putting your bed together, aside from the duvet itself. Choose a color and design that will pull the colors of your sheets, shams and pillow cases, and your bedroom, all together. Even more importantly though, choose a duvet cover that is lightweight and soft. We'd recommend the Sferra Celeste, any of the Schlossberg of Switzerland bed linens would be a excellent choice, as well as any of these offerings from St. Geneve. For the absolute lightest and softest duvet cover that we know of, in the whole wide world, consider the Sferra Giza 45, in percale.
And Then There's Real Life
Where we ask: What do you do when your best friend developes an affinity for eiderdown and fine bed linens?
Or, when your other best friend just loves you soooo much?
So much for fancy beds! But we're all as comfortable as can be.