By Javaughn Fernanders
Teddy’s Custom Interiors
50710 Princess Way, Granger
Cheryl L. King, NCIDQ certified
Assistant Professor/Program Chair
Interior Design Program
School of Fine Art & Design
Ivy Tech Community College
220 Dean Johnson Blvd.
South Bend, IN 46601
Phone: 574-289-7001 ext. 6367
If you could follow your great-grandmother when the landscape changed from lush green to autumn orange then to snow white, you might see her reach into linen closets, cedar chests or attics to retrieve thicker blankets, and down comforters in order to create warm cozy bedrooms in unheated spaces. In the same way we exchange our summer shorts for wool sweaters, our matriarchs switched out cotton quilts for featherbeds.
Today, designers and decorators encourage us to follow in our ancestors’ footsteps, and turn ordinary bedrooms into luxurious winter havens. Tucked in the back of Princess Way in Granger, Teddy Sage, owner of Teddy’s Custom Interiors, displays a variety of winter bedscapes for curious. customers.
“Our great-grandmothers had it right,” explains Sage. “They changed over to heavier fabrics to create a comforting even scrumptious atmosphere. This practice was a requisite part of the old way—using winter for rejuvenation.”
“Heavy, quality fabrics and fall colors play a big part in how we feel about our home and spaces,” reminds Sage. “When we take the time to do this for ourselves it gives back to us.” Like comfort foods in the winter, a well-made bed can allow for an opulent hibernation.
Cheryl King, Interior Design Chair of Ivy Tech Community College, explains that creating the bedscape has become more popular as Americans spend more time home for the holidays rather than traveling abroad. As bedding retailers supply designer sheets, shams and comforters, cocooning (constructing a winter hide out in your bedroom) is inevitable. Although most Americans don’t need to exchange bedroom linen out of necessity any more, revamping one the most important rooms in the house may improve our attitude and outlook during the greyest of days.
To develop your own winter bedscape, begin by introducing more texture and tone into the bedroom. Both experts suggest using rich colors that are reminiscent of Fall festivals and comfort foods. These may include reds, chocolate browns, deep oranges, golds and creams–colors that not only suggest comfort, but royalty as well. Then, start building from the inside out.
Begin with natural fiber sheets, like cotton, flannel or silk. Sheets with a high thread count are preferable. The higher the thread count per inch the finer the sheets. You can find anywhere between 180 and 1000 per square inch. King suggests one look for a balanced thread count and to be careful of extremely high thread counts. The higher the count the thinner the thread and if the thread is too thin the sheets could tear. Also measure the bed and the sheets to ensure a good fit.
When choosing blankets, again, natural breathable fibers work well. Old-fashioned wool blankets add weight and heat in the core of your cocoon. Look for neutral colors and store with cedar to prevent moths from sharing your lair. Wool should be hand washed or dry-cleaned. For those who find wool uncomfortable, try a silk blanket. Silk is luxurious, warm, lightweight and naturally hypoallergenic.
The comforter or duvet (whichever you choose to use) is the shell of your cocoon. Choosing the right pattern, color and material will give your room a desirable “toasty” feel. Teddy Sage recommends a herringbone comforter, which elicits a ski lodge feel. Try accenting the herringbone with lace or fur. Similarly tempting, is a royal silk filled-silk shell comforter. Since silk is strong and light (weighing in at almost 50% less of a down comforter) it is ideal for cuddlers who want less bedding but more heat. Finally, the old standard down comforter tucked in its own duvet, is still popular. Down comforters range in price and quality, so look for comforters with channeled or baffled construction which allow for equal distribution of feathers.
All the linen in the world cannot warm one’s attitude like soft, fuzzy, furry texture. Texture is just as important to setting up your lavish lair. As you think about using your room for letter writing, reading books and sipping chocolate, also think velvet, chemise, or faux fur. Even throws hand knit with bulky yarn add to the coziness of a winter bedscape. Customize your bed by adding textured separates and bigger or larger pillows. When complete, the bed will become the sanctuary of your seasonal hideaway.