We spend up to half of our lives in bed. Here’s how to make that time comfortable and well designed.
By Samantha Simma
A FEW WORDS THAT RUN through interior designer Kristin Fay’s head when she starts to design a bedroom are comfort, inviting, peaceful, serene, calm. “You want to be able to relax and decompress in your bedroom,” she says. “The point of the room is for you to sleep and recharge. You want the room to have a calm energy, whereas living rooms and kitchens are more high-energy areas.” With this in mind, the first piece of furniture Fay picks out is the headboard/bed frame.
“Bedrooms will differ in the number and placement of their windows, the color of their walls, the artwork and accessories, lighting and views, and dozens of other details,” she says. “But every bedroom has a bed. That is why a headboard and bed frame are the first things I think about. After these are picked, we’ll build the rest of the room around them.” For bedrooms that are used every night (as opposed to guestrooms), Fay likes upholstered headboards. “They’re cozier, softer, and inviting,” she says. In guest rooms where people might only be sleeping for a week or two at a time, Fay sometimes suggests headboards made from wood (she likes reclaimed barn wood) and a live-edge wood platform bed frame. “For long-term, I think comfort is a good guide, but it is fun to mix it up in rooms that aren’t used as frequently,” Fay says.
While the headboard and bed frame are the first items Fay considers, there are two things that are more important to how well a bedroom functions: the mattress and the pillows. These get covered by linens so they don’t affect what a bedroom looks like, but “correctly supporting your body is the number one most important ingredient to deep sleep and, consequently, a great next day,” says Jennifer Fay, owner and founder of Linen Alley, a Jackson shop that sells all things bed-related. (She’s also Kristin Fay’s sister-in-law.) Jennifer says that pillows and mattresses, as well as the sheets and bedding that cover them, should be looked at as investments. “When you go for high-quality products, they can last a really long time.”