Q: How Can We Make Guests Feel Welcome In Our Home?
If we listen to the angel on our left shoulder, we definitely want to make guests feel welcome and stay with us in our apartment or house. But pay attention to the devil on our right shoulder, and we come up with designer Irwin Weiner's tip for keeping visitors from wearing out their welcomes. He and fellow designer Nicola Chernicoff pour themselves some wine, relax in a great toile-covered guest room, and share their advice for how to add fine hotel amenities to your guest room, why pillows can be a problem, how to experiment with color when decorating small rooms, the valuable no-wrinkle sheet tip, Nicola's advice for maximizing guest room sleeping comfort, and Irwin's unique design for squeezing ample bed space into a tiny guest room. And, of course, you'll get his devilish tip for unwelcoming house guests!
Bedding & Linen Favorites
You and your guests deserve the finest linens and bedding. First, if you're spending a third of your life in bed, why not splurge on great linens? Second, your guests also deserve the White Glove treatment when it comes to linens. Here are some of our favorite linen and bedding sources:
Denyse Schmidt Quilts leads off our favorites. Combining authentic folk design with kick-ass artistry, Ms. Schmidt's quilts and pillows are the toast of the bedding category. Some of her quilts and pillows are shown below (quilt names, in order, are Drunk Love in a Log Cabin, Tulip Tree Applique, and Snake Charmer).
Last, but by no means least, are the raves we have for Pratesi linens. Look at their exciting Louvre/Checks combination and their beautiful Classic Chain pattern below!
Do-It-Yourself Painted Headboard
Now is the perfect time to think about freshening up your interior space. With a splash of color here and a new piece of furniture there, it's easy to redecorate your space for spring. Here's an easy, budget-conscious DIY design idea to help get you started.
Paint Your Own Headboard
Chances are if you if you purchased your bed frame as part of a bedroom set, the headboard is already included. If you don't want to put forth the extra cash, especially after paying for a pricey mattress, no problem! Painted headboards are a great way to add a pop of color to your bedroom.
Step 1: Measure the width of the head of your bed and mark it with blue painter's tape from floor to ceiling. Now, choose your color based on your desired color scheme. You obviously don't want it to be the same shade as your walls, but it should complement that color.
Step 2: Once you have your color, paint the wall, staying within the blue painters tape. Once the paint dries, if you choose to do so, you can detail with paint or with some removable wall decals from a company like Blik. For as little as $40, Blik makes easily removable wall decals in fun shapes like bookshelves, chandeliers, birds, etc. If this sounds like too much work, don't worry and leave your wall a solid color.
Step 3: Simply position your bed up against the painted wall, prop up some decorative Euro pillows in coordinating colors and patterns, and you have yourself a headboard. You might want to take this opportunity to invest in a new comforter or duvet in fun, light, spring colors. You'd be surprised at what a little bit of paint and some new bedding can do for your space!
The Duo Collection from Matteo features bedding is inspired by sea-swept coastal homes and cozy log cabins.
Gift Fair Bedding Update
Gone are the days of boring bedding! There are great new options in linens and bed fashions we found at the recent New York International Gift Fair in NYC.
Luxury bedding gurus Sferra have a huge hit on their hands with their sassy, fresh, and value-priced line of bedding called Eighteen Ninety One. We were impressed with the many takes on style that the 1891 collections offer, and fell in love with a perfect collection for the coming fall: Blue Eyes. There's a bit of the glam Rat Pack feel behind the deep walnut backgrounds and geometric patterns on the printed cotton sateen duvet cover and shams. The photo below shows the bed all tricked out with Martin Sheets and pillowcases, the strong Bishop Quilt and shams, the rich pleated Garland bed skirt (great color contrasts!), and Sferra's Volare, Bojangles, and Lawford decorative pillows.
We were quite impressed with the bedding patterns and coordinated looks from the linen newbies at Ferran in New York. Kathryn Ferran Kayajan's sense of color and design shines through an amazing line (see some of her beautiful embroidery and surprising, fresh patterns in the photo below). Go to the Ferran website to download their catalog and inquire about purchase locations for their bedding, robes, totes, and raincoats.
Much has been written about the importance of organic bedding to promote a healthier night's rest, and we can heartily recommend the Plover Organic line of home textiles. Their style sense is a cut above the rest of the crunchy-granola natural linens set, focusing on charming and sometimes "Grandma Quaint" hand-printed patterns (see photo below, and their heavenly Red Roses pattern at right), and their eco-responsible manufacturing is impressive.
We were charmed by the young couple behind the Isabella Collection, a fine elegant bedding company that has been redefining Old World elegance in their collections. When we say "elegant," we mean layers and layers of elegance! And layering is what any Isabella line is all about. You'll see what we mean from the following photos showing fully-dressed beds in their Eva and Francesca lines.
Raves for the Due Collection from the home furnishing icons at Matteo (see top photo and photo below). They've taken the sensibility of a rustic log cabin or a beachside coastal home and translated it into a bedding and linens line that totally coordinates, with understated and simply elegant patterns (Americana, Lace, and Fleur). Sheer design perfection.