and caramel are big colors for the bedroom, as is
mixing and matching patters. This bed is at
Ferguson-Phillips in Wichita, Kan.
you havenít updated your bedroom in a while, you may
find that some key elements have changed while youíve
may have bedroom furniture thatís so old ó because
high quality furniture lasts a long time, and thatís a
good thing ó that itís not being sold in sets
anymore, at least not at Ethan Allen. The look is more
eclectic, says Katie Small, design center manager at the
Wichita, Kan. store.
no longer do people sleep under heavy down comforters,
even as we head into the coldest days of winter. Most
people kick the duvet off the bed, says Brenda Cody of
is the ideal time to assess your bedroom and take steps
to refresh it, which in turn should refresh you. Redoing
the bedroom according to current sensibilities will take
into consideration not only decor, but health and
perhaps even some elements of feng shui, the ancient
Chinese practice of harmonizing the elements of the
environment. Here are four key ways to re-feather your
your furniture is still serving you well but you want to
"feel fresh and new, the best way you can do that
is to change the headboard," Small says. "You
donít have to match."
vast majority of headboards sold these days are
upholstered rather than made in plain wood, Cody says.
Either way, a headboard adds the first layer of color or
texture to what youíre creating visually on the bed.
Small says it also adds much-needed height.
headboards with a bed skirt are no longer in fashion,
Cody says. Instead, beds either have head and
footboards, or a headboard with a platform rather than a
design, if youíre one of those people who donít have
a headboard, you might consider one for another reason.
Americans, weíre focused on the mattress and getting a
good nightís sleep," Cody says. "If you donít
have the structure, you donít have as much support. I
think it makes a big difference."
a sturdy headboard is considered good support for your
body during sleep, just as a chairback supports you when
youíre seated, according to the principles of feng
bed is the No. 1 piece of furniture that makes the most
impact on your life in terms of where itís placed, and
the headboard for sure," says Robyn Stevens of
Robyn Stevens Feng Shui in Kansas City, Mo. "You
want it to be solid wood" ó or an upholstered
headboard thatís solid ó "and when youíre
laying down, the headboard needs to be above your head.
You know, some of the modern ones are shorter."
subconscious needs to feel safe when weíre sleeping,
and the best way is to make sure the head is
protected," Stevens adds. That also includes
putting the bed in the proper place.
you want your headboard against a wall. You want it
facing the door. You donít want it in the door, but
you want to be able to see the door. Ö Think about
Tony Soprano: Nobody is ever going to sneak up on that
guy," she says.
under the bed is considered bad feng shui, because it
hinders the movement of energy around the body. But it
doesnít take feng shui to know that too much stuff
around us does not make for a restful feeling.
AND EASY-CARE FABRIC
people are discovering that sleeping cool is one of the
ingredients for sleeping better. And even while the
dictates of design call for dressing the bed in layers
ó sheets, a light blanket or coverlet, then a duvet or
other throw at the bottom of the bed ó Cody says that
most people sleep under only the sheet and coverlet.
we find the majority of the time is even when people
have this many layers, they never pull up the duvet.
Nobody likes to be hot."
no longer sells heavy down comforters. "A lot of
our companies are doing much lighter-weight
duvets," Cody says. People also like the lighter
down blankets, which also can be placed into duvet
matter what the weight of the coverings, Cody says, look
for lots of texture in them, and in shams and throw
pillows that add more icing on the cake. In addition to
natural fibers, look for new fabrics that are easier to
think most companies now are taking into consideration
the feel and the care of the fabric. Ö Weíre even
getting synthetic silks and polyester silks that are
washable," she says.
of allergy concerns, some people like to regularly wash
bedding in hot water and dry it on a hot setting. Such
people should stick with cotton, Cody says. As far as
fabrics for sheets, high-end cottons are still the
choice; microfiber is too hot.
may like to sleep cool, but they also like to turn down
the thermostat to save on energy. That can leave the
bedroom too cold for comfort.
way to warm it up is with an electric fireplace. You can
find them in modern lines or traditional looks, in
free-standing hearths, hanging on walls and even
recessed behind a wall of rock, tile or stone.
not locked into just having the cabinet
appearance," says Jeannie Herpolsheimer of Warming
Trends in Wichita.
fireplaces are like a space heater but with ambiance,
she says. Or, in one option that a real fire doesnít
have, if the air is warm enough, you can have the
ambiance of the flames without the heat.
fireplaces come with remotes and some with timers. You
can adjust not only the level of heat, but also the
height of the flames and the intensity of the embers. A
free-standing fireplace takes no installation.
plug and play. You take it home and plug it in,"
Herpolsheimer says. "One thing I like for a bedroom
application is a downlight feature that you can use as a
nightlight without the flame."
a unit that hangs on the wall, like a long vertical
cabinet, itís best to have an electrician put a plug
behind the unit to avoid a hanging electrical cord,
units will heat a 14-by-14-foot room. Recessed models
can provide more heat. Smaller electric stoves also can
be found at some home stores.
heating element is an electric blanket or mattress pad.
If you wake up stiff in the morning from arthritis, the
Arthritis Foundation recommends cranking up the blanket
or mattress pad before you get up. The warmth will help
you roll out of bed more limber. And you donít have to
sleep warm the whole night for the benefits.
improve allergies, and therefore sleep, try dusting the
bedroom more often and washing your bedding in hot
water, which kills dust mites. Dust mites love humidity,
and according to WebMD, an electric blanket can reduce
humidity on bed surfaces.
be sure you donít have a health condition that
precludes an electric blanket. Also keep the blanket
from bunching up, as it produces a safety hazard.
when you use any type of electrical heater, be sure to
follow the manufacturerís instructions to avoid a
fire, and be aware of any overload it puts on your
electrical system, says Stuart Bevis, battalion chief of
fire prevention for the Wichita Fire Department.
electrical wires from too many space heaters caused a
fire in Wichita on Dec. 21. Space heaters should not be
placed any closer than 3 feet to any combustibles, and
they should be plugged into a power strip or electrical
outlet, not an extension cord.
COLOR TO IT
looks this year are romantic but also streamlined, Small
says. A French provincial look at Ethan Allen, for
example, has a Scandinavian sensibility that gives it
cleaner, more modern lines. "Itís very light and
fresh," Small says. And while monochromatic looks
have been big for a while, new ones are more elevated
is a big bedroom color, Small says. Although, the more
traditional blue and white never goes out of style. Gray
is still big, a neutral that accentuates a pop of color
such as a soft celadon.
if you want a calming feel as well? Add some pink to
your bedroom, one of Pantoneís colors of the year
(along with blue). Coral and salmon are considered
and tones of coral are the most soothing," Small
says. "Itís amazing how a little bit here and
there elevates the calmness of a room."
patterns and pay attention to scale while building your
layers. "The most crucial decor element is layers.
Itís like dressing ourselves," Small says.
lest you feel like you canít afford to always keep up
with trends, they do transition cleanly from year to
year so that you can build in new things, like a rug or
bedding, without having to redo everything, Small says.