About Nyla Free

Passionate about design and focused on Interiors. She has a love of travel – her bags are always packed and ready at the door.
www.nylafreedesigns.com

Choosing Tile

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Tile can be intimidating when you start mixing and matching. It’s easy to select one and roll with it everywhere. Getting creative with your tile choices will yield a much more interesting base to your kitchen or bathroom, so go on! Don’t be afraid to play with size, pattern and texture when choosing tile. Keep to a neutral palette to allow the tile to speak for itself.

In this bathroom renovation the tile is contrasted with a dark stained walnut vanity. The main floor tile was a discontinued marble that we scooped up for a deal. An offset pattern with the marble created more interest with this simple tile.

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Murano glass mosaic backsplash and shower wall insert fell under the splurge category and well worth it. It sparkles and shimmers from the natural light that floods the space.

 

Using natural materials was the main criteria when choosing each tile for the bathroom. From there we made our selections based on size and location. The end result is calm and serene with just the right amount of interest. A perfect place to start and end your day.

Reality Check: Choosing Wallpaper

With so many options, it’s hard to pick just one. Whether you’re aiming for bold pattern or subtle texture, interior designer Nyla Freehas advice to help you choose the right wallpaper.

Step 1: What’s your Style?
Go beyond paint and introduce your walls to pattern, texture and colour. There is a wallpaper for every look, style and budget—from traditional to modern, casual to glamourous.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 2: Paper Type
Bathrooms love wallpaper. However in a wet environment, vinyl paper is recommended. Textured papers such as grasscloth, hemp or flocked are ideal for slightly imperfect walls.Papers with a foil or shiny surface will highlight flaws, so use on the smoothest surfaces only.

Step 3: Consider Scale
Evaluate the size of room and choose a pattern to complement the space. A large scale pattern with bold colour may overpower a small space such as a powder room, while a neutral, mini print is lost in a large room.

Step 4: Order Samples
As with paint colours, it’s important to view samples on site during the selection process. Gently adhere a 24″ x 24″ sample to the wall in order to get a true sense of its look and feel.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 5: Single or Double?
Wallpaper is typically priced as a single roll but sometimes sold in single or double rolls, an important detail to note prior to ordering. Single rolls cover an area of approximately 25 square feet whereas double rolls cover close to 58 square feet.

Step 6: Take Down
Gone are the days when painting over wallpaper was easier than removing it. Papers are far easier to remove than they once were.

Step 7: Roll Over
Let your passion for paper go beyond a straight wall. Why not paper the lower portion of a wall, say 42″high, and add a chair rail? Or, combine two patterns by using one on the ceiling.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 8: Quick Estimate
To calculate requirements (though always rely on a professional before ordering) add the length (in feet) of every wall to be covered in paper (include window and door openings) and multiply this number by the height of the ceilings. Divide the total by 25, the typical square foot coverage of a single roll, and you’ll have the quantity of single rolls needed. Pattern matching or unusual circumstances are not considered here so having your installer provide an accurate quote is recommended.

Step 9: How it Seams
Seams are inevitable when working with wallpaper, but a professional installer will hide most of them. Grasscloth is difficult to seam match, so prepare clients for the inevitable “artisan irregularities.” Patterns require careful matching and therefore use greater yardages of paper.

Step 10: Admire the Results
Congratulate yourself on choosing such a stylish finish for your walls. No doubt, with furniture installed, you’ll be able to admire the dramatic difference wallpaper makes to the finished space.

 

Reality Check: Custom Closet

Step 1: Assess Your Needs
Personal clothing preferences and knowledge of the precise way you love to get dressed —socks and pants first, top last —paves the way to successful closet design. A passion for wool sweaters requires abundant shelving space while an obsession with dress shirts signals a need for additional double height hanging.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 2: Aim High
Take advantage of every square inch of available closet space and build floor to ceiling cabinetry. Labelling boxes or bins with content details makes the hunt for that once-a-year Derby hat a breeze, even if it’s on a top shelf.

Step 3: Deep and Wide
Varying shelving depths maximizes space and function. Hanging storage requires 26″ of depth while shelves for folded items are best when limited to 16″. If you are updating or changing closets, it’s a good idea to measure the existing linear footage of hanging space and adjust accordingly. If possible, allow an additional 12″ for anticipated shopping sprees and door crasher sales.

Step 4: Beware—Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Misplaced workout gear? No more excuses. If you can’t see it, you won’t wear it, so position popular items at eye level for easy access and store offseason pieces up high. Open storage is essential for keeping tabs on a frequently changing wardrobe.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 5: Light it Up
Natural light in a closet is ideal, allowing you to distinguish between black and blue socks before heading out the door. When a window or skylight is not an option, invest in a quality lighting plan to eliminate the dreaded ‘dressed in the dark’ look.

Step 6: Measure Up
Put that tape measure to work and note lengths and depths of items to store. For example, men’s dress shirts require a minimum height of 40″ and long dresses generally need 70″-72″. Shoe sizes vary, but a minimum depth of 11″ is ideal.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 7: Adjust as Needed
Seasons change, and so does fashion. Thank goodness for adjustable shelves that offer the flexibility to store boots and flip-flops without wasting space.

Step 8: Take Stock
Purge seasonally to weed out clothing not worn during the past year. Donate gently used items, and consign finer pieces, to gain closet space and peace of mind.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 9: Group Like Items
Relieve early morning frustration by stacking and hanging like items together. Colour coordinating facilitates quick location of favourite items and keeps the closet neat and stylish looking. Remember, an organized closet means easier outfit planning.

Step 10: Hang It Up
Prolong the life of garments by using appropriate hangers. Use padded ones for delicate items, plastic for dress shirts, and sturdy wooden hangers for jackets and blazers.

Reality Check: Custom Sectional

“Choosing a custom sectional isn’t all play,” says professional designer Nyla Free. A big investment piece like the sofa requires careful consideration. Follow our step-by-step guide to choosing right the first time.

Step 1: Define the Space
Sectionals are used in a variety of spaces—family friendly to modern sophisticate. In open floor plans a sectional can define the conversation or TV watching area, creating a distinction between spaces. For maximum curl-up comfort, aim for a seat depth of at least 42″. To accommodate an adult conversation zone, then a standard seat depth of 36-38″ and a seat height of 18” facilitates ease of sitting and standing.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 2: Perfectly Sized
A custom sofa—sectional or otherwise, allows the consumer to select virtually any size to suit the space. Before you shop, draft a room plan to determine the optimum length, width and depth required. In small spaces, avoid wide arms which eat up available seating.

Step 3: Comfort Zone
Feather, foam, down, or dacron? It’s as critical to understand what’s on the inside of a sofa as it is to love what the outside looks like. A combination of feather and down gives a soft, cloudlike feel to back cushions and decorative toss pillows. Foam and dacron provide firmness to seats. Designers often choose a “sandwich wrap” using a combination of foam wrapped in feather and down to create comfort and shape retention.

Step 4: Fabric Selection
Movie nights, sleep overs and cushion forts require fabric to stand the test of time. For extra durability look for polyester blends, wool, or even an outdoor fabric. Choose linen, velvet, rayon or silk blends for rooms with lower traffic and less action.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 5: Piecemeal
Because sectionals come in at least two pieces it’s important to identify where each component connects. If the back of the sofa is visible to the room, make sure it has a clean and visually appealing break from section to section.

Step 6: Measure Twice
Avoid tight squeezes and potential disappointment by measuring ceiling heights, stair widths and corners prior to ordering. Large pieces of furniture require extra care during delivery, whether you live in a house or condo.

Step 7: Cushion Control
In general, a single bench style seat creates a more modern look. But it can be difficult to turn and fluff a large seat cushion. Do adjust seat widths to accommodate specific needs.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 8: Sit Test
It’s advisable to pay a visit to the upholstery shop when the sofa is about 75% complete. At this stage, the sofa is ready for a “test drive” and it won’t be too late to modify cushion firmness or arm and seat height. Ask your upholsterer if this service is available.

Step 9: All in the Detail
Piping, nail heads and a wood base typically provide traditional styling. Looking for something more modern? Add top stitching, metal legs and boxed cushions. Be creative and confident when selecting finishing details to create a custom sectional perfectly suited to your design needs.

Step 10: Ready to Enjoy
Whether you’re popping popcorn, cuddling beneath covers or relaxing with the Sunday paper, a well-made sectional is an investment as versatile as your favourite sweater.

 

Reality Check: Buying Original Art

Whether you’re new to the process or a longtime collector, purchasing art is thrilling. Step into the world of artists and galleries with interior designer Nyla Freeand revive those tired walls.

Step 1: Birds of a Feather Flock Together
Art galleries are commonly located tightly within particular neighbourhoods, making them a strolling destination and an excellent way to enjoy an afternoon. The more artwork you see, the more you’ll define your tastes and interests.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 2: Don’t Be Shy
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Frequently, gallery owners keep inventory beyond what hangs on the walls. It’s perfectly fine to inquire about a favourite style and even a price point that works for you.

Step 3: Buy What You Love
Listen to your heart when purchasing artwork. If a piece elicits an emotional reaction—a childhood memory, family vacation, or perfect moment—you’ll know you’ve found something worth purchasing.

Step 4: Attend Openings
With a party in full swing and a glass of wine in hand, a gallery’s intimidation factor is diminished. In addition, it’s a great way to meet the artists and hear about their process and inspiration. Ask to be added to the mailing list of favourite galleries.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 5: No Need to Match
Matching artwork to decor is not wrong, however it isn’t necessary either. Adding interesting combinations and little surprises reflects confidence, infusing a room with personality.

Step 6: Collected Approach
No matter the period or style, collecting art requires time and education. Enlist the help and advice of art enthusiasts and dealers who can help you build on your knowledge.

Step 7: Gallery height
Hanging photographs and paintings too high creates an unwelcome distance between the viewer and the artwork. Installing pieces at gallery height (54″ to the centre of the artwork), or designer height (6″-12″ from top of furniture item) is best.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 8: Budget Wise
Think of original artwork as an investment in your home, something that increases your living enjoyment. Prices vary widely and frequently there are payment plans available. Shop college and university art sales to get great pieces at relatively low cost.

Step 9: Bring Art Home
Indecisive about a particular piece of artwork? Most galleries allow pieces to go out ‘on approval’, allowing you to view an item in the space before committing to a purchase. Some galleries offer a rent to own option.

Step 10: Open Walls, Open Mind
If you love a particular artist but have a specific concept in mind, you may want to commission an original piece. It’s fine to make a suggestion but often it’s best to allow for artistic freedom. The result may differ from your original thought, but speak more profoundly to you in the end.

Reality Check: A Kid’s Bedroom

From crib to bunk to full-sized bed, kids’ bedrooms change often. Nyla Free says forget the themes and embrace your child’s interests and age to create a child-worthy bedroom that feels just right.

Step 1: Age Appropriate
Think bold and graphic prints for teens and whimsical patterns for little ones. However, before budgeting, consider that most children feel the urge to redecorate every three to five years.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 2: Light Control
A dimmer switch sets the mood for bedtime and provides a soft nightlight when required. Covering windows with blackout lined drapery keeps sunlight out when it’s time to sleep.

Step 3: More than a Bed
Bedrooms aren’t just for resting tired eyes. Add a cozy chair for reading, desk for homework and ensure appropriate floor space so there’s room to stretch out and play.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 4: Make it Personal
Display photos of friends, keepsakes and personal artwork to create a unique showcase, honouring individual style. Make sure to include a space for bragging rights, where involvement in activities and sports is given its due.

Step 5: Storage Wars
Bring the words ‘neat and tidy’ to the forefront of your kids’ minds. Make cleanup and organization trouble free with bins and buckets, bookcases and boxes.

Step 6: Think Longevity
Purchasing classic pieces now saves money later. Bedding and paint colours are easy changes to make as kids grow, but you’ll thank yourself in years to come for investing in furniture with staying power.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 7: Save and Splurge
Incorporating vintage finds like a telephone stand as a bedside table adds interest and doesn’t break the bank. Splurge on investment pieces such as a good quality bed they’ll have for years and statement items for impact.

Step 8: Boost the Fun Factor
A stylish mix of patterns, colour and texture ensures a ‘not so serious’ approach to children’s room design.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 9: Room to Grow
Adapt to growth spurts and ever changing needs by purchasing furniture to grow into. A queen size bed will see young scholars through college while a full size chair snuggles two kids early and one as she grows big and tall.

Step 10: Involve the Kids
Get the creative juices flowing by asking about colour preferences and hobbies. Invite kids to participate in selections by narrowing down options to two choices mom can live with.

Reality Check: Holiday Decorating

“Decorating for the holidays,” says interior designer Nyla Free, “needn’t be stressful.” For clients, Nyla finds the key to success is paring down and brightening up.

Step 1: Choose a Colour Scheme
Enhance existing décor by choosing complementary colours for holiday ornaments. In this case, icy blues sparkle against the warm neutral tones of the client’s contemporary furnishings.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 2: Target Select Areas
Avoid the “no surface is safe” approach to holiday decorating by carefully targeting high impact areas. Beyond the tree, give the dining table a festive makeover.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 3: Keep it Seasonal
Extend the life of “holiday” decorations by using an abundance of seasonal elements including fresh greens, pine cones and festive branches which continue to look great beyond New Year’s Day.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 4: Playful Design
A variety of baubles and ornaments mingle festively in this striking yet simple centrepiece. Fill glass bowls or vases for a similar effect.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 5: Bring Out the Good Stuff
There’s no better time to dust off the china, iron the linen napkins and polish the placeholders. Setting a festive table creates excitement and lets guests know they are special.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 6: Tree of Life
Ornaments are typically collected and accumulated over a lifetime and family members often have their favourites. Make sure to hang cherished pieces in prime locations. After all, it’s the memories that really make your tree one-of-a-kind.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 7: Fresh Foliage
To add a traditional touch to holiday décor, dress the mantle or coffee table with fresh flowers such as paper whites or amaryllis. For a more modern approach, place live branches of fresh berries into a tall glass vase.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 8: First Impressions
Welcome family and friends with a large wreath at the front door. Fill available planters with greens, berries and mini-lights. Think of it as a gift to the neighbourhood.

Step 9: Sparkle and Light
The warm glow and twinkle of mini-lights, beaded garlands and thick candles provides welcome detail that makes shorter days and cooler temperatures just a little more pleasant.

Step 10: Sit back and Relax
Pour a hot cup of cocoa, light the fire, play some favourite carols and wrap yourself in a warm blanket. The holidays pass all too quickly. Enjoy.

Custom Area Carpet

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Creating a custom area carpet need not be an expensive endeavour. Finding the perfect size, style and colour takes time and budget is typically high on the list of things to take into consideration. There are ways to achieve the perfect look while not breaking the bank.

Reality Check

Broadloom is a great source for custom area carpets. Typically 13′ in width, this gives a wide range of size options to fit any room. Wool is highly recommended and often found in quality carpets with interesting patterns and colour variations.

Whether bold and geometric, textured or traditional, broadloom has many possibilities to bring new life to a space.

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A selection of graphic patterns in a subtle ivory and cream colour combination.

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Go bold and geometric with classic black and white.

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Look no further for colour and pattern with a combination of both in these broadloom options.

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Combine wool and sisal for texture that appeals to both a modern and traditional space.

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Give warmth and texture to a modern space with an area carpet that is soft in colour but high in depth and dimension.

There are several ways to edge a custom area carpet made with broadloom. Braided cord, self banding and contrast trim all help to frame and add a finishing detail to the carpet. Consider adding a banded edge in cotton canvas or leather in an array of colour options which gives higher impact with a wider finished band. Finish the width edge with a fringe instead and create a more traditional feel.

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Lastly, consider asking stores about possible remnants or off-cuts from previous orders. Great deals may be available and customization is still an option at a reasonable price.

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All carpets from Colin Campbell, Calgary showroom.

To read Nyla’s full step-by-step article on custom area carpets, check out Reality Check: Custom Area Carpet, Issue 4 September/October 2011.

Reality Check: Custom Area Carpet

Step 1: Assess the Space
To maximize value, it’s critical to assess a carpet’s ability to meet the needs of the user. Is the space comfortable and casual or empty-nest formal? Casual rooms work well with loop pile while more formal settings typically feature tight, cut pile. Consider soft and plush for a child friendly space and low pile for pets.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 2: Determine Size
One advantage of a custom carpet is its ability to be any size or shape. As a general rule, a larger area carpet gives the illusion of more space, embracing the full seating area. Save money, by cutting broadloom goods off the roll to produce an area carpet of virtually any size.

Step 3: Why Wool is Best
With wool’s inherent ability to repel stains, maintenance is easy and durability is high. Wool is resilient and vacuums like a dream, making it a great match for children and pets. For staircases, nothing has more lasting power. Manufacturers often blend wool with complementary materials such as silk to add glamour or cotton to create a more casual look.

Step 4: Select Pattern
Unlike a ready-made carpet, where pattern and colour are predetermined by the manufacturer, a custom version has virtually unlimited options. The task is to select a pattern that suits the interior. For modern or contemporary rooms, designers often choose geometric or abstract patterns to inject drama and style. In traditional settings, patterns such as Persian, Aubusson, ikat and dhurrie are more appropriate. While an area carpet doesn’t need to “match” the room, its style should complement the interior.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 5: Choose Colour
With the pattern determined, it’s time to select colours using ‘poms’, which are sample-sized tufts of carpet. Often, colours from existing fabrics are repeated in the area carpet to create a seamless flow. Conversely, it’s possible to create a dynamic piece of artwork for the floor, by selecting contrasting colours to draw attention to the design.

Step 6: Strike-Off Sample
Once pattern and colour are selected, a strike-off (sample) is produced for the client’s approval. It takes approximately four weeks for the designer to receive the finished strike-off and many more weeks (sometimes up to six months) before the finished carpet is ready for installation. Although it’s not a fast process (like most design tasks), it’s thrilling to create a one-of-a-kind area carpet when budget allows.

Step 7: Pulling it Together
With the new area carpet in place, furniture and style are added to the room in time for the client reveal.

Reality Check: Custom Millwork

Piles of ‘stuff’ and no place to hide. What´s a designer to do? Built-in cabinetry is a popular solution says Dabble design contributor Nyla Free, but it’s also a pricey undertaking. Make sure you get it right the first time by following our step by step guide to custom millwork.

Step 1: Determine the Purpose
Shelving can be built virtually anywhere, so deciding what needs to be stored is the key to getting started. TVs, books, toys and clothing all have certain considerations when planning depths and heights in your shelving. So determining which items, how many, and what their sizes are takes you to the next step.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 2: Measure the Space

Whether it’s one wall or many, careful measurements must be taken in order to proceed with laying out the space. Measuring the wall along with window, door, outlet and switch locations is essential.

Step 3: Consider Details
Want to store books? You’ll need a minimum of 13” depth. However larger art or ‘coffee table’ books may require more depth. If hanging clothes or seasonal coats, allow 24-28” for closet depth. Need a place to organize stacks of paper? You’ll need 20” of depth for legal files and 14” for letter. Research toy bins and storage boxes according to your needs as they come inall shapes and sizes and your shelves can be customized accordingly.

Step 4: Sketch it
Put pencil to paper to determine the merit of your initial idea. A quick sketch allows you to visualize the new storage space before it’s built. Do you need open shelves, closed doors, cubbies and drawers? What will yours look like?

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 5: Call your Carpenter
You’ve got a plan and you’re ready to go. Time to call a carpenter and review details. There may be structural limitations that affect the overall design so consulting an expert eliminates surprises down the road.

Step 6: Deciding on materials
Painted cabinetry gives you the option to choose any colour. You can paint MDF (medium density fiberboard) or wood. MDF, although less expensive is easy to chip and harder to repair. Wood is a pricier option but one that will last and is more forgiving whether stained or painted.

Step 7: Review with electrician
Outlets or switches on the wall where you’d like to add a built-in are no problem as they can easily be incorporated into the back or sides of the unit. Consider adding lighting to the top or even front face of the bookshelves as a decorative detail. Ensure the TV’s outlet is in the desired position and make sure to account for speaker height and depth.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 8: Detailed drawings
Ask a qualified interior designer to provide construction drawings, as they are an essential element to any built-in cabinetry project. Make sure all drawings are reviewed onsite with the cabinet maker to ensure best possible results.

Step 9: Time for the tools
With details firmly in place, construction can finally begin. Some carpenters build off-site and install upon completion. Others build in or close to the room and install as they go. Review your cabinet maker’s methods before project commences and you’ll avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary interruptions.

Step 10: Place items and enjoy
With construction complete and the dust swept away, let the organization begin.

Custom Millwork

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Reality Check

Dabble design contributor Nyla Free takes you step-by-step through the pricey but ultimately satisfying process (hey, you end up with shelves that perfectly fit all your reading materials and extras, like lighting and photos) of building custom cabinetry.

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Designer Nyla Free knows exactly where to find the book she’s looking for in her perfectly organized built-in cabinetry. ‘The key to getting started on this project,’ says Nyla, ‘is deciding what needs to be stored.’

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‘Take the plunge by measuring the space,’ Nyla advises. ‘Then sketch your ideas on paper so you can visualize before you build.’

Another superb suggestion from Nyla: Consider adding lighting to the top or even front face of the bookshelves as a decorative detail.

To read Nyla’s full step-by-step article on millwork, check out Reality Check: Custom Millwork, Issue 3 July/Aug 2011.

Reality Check: Choosing Bedding

Step-by-step guide to a designer’s process

Step 1: Start with a plan
Even with a task is as seemingly simple as choosing new bedding, there are multiple considerations. If a duvet is required, how big should it be and is it made of faux feathers or the real thing? How many sets of sheets are required and are they all one colour or coordinating shades? If the bed requires a skirt, which type? Some love the heft of a coverlet while others appreciate the weightlessness of a throw. How about Euros and sleeping pillows and the topic of much debate between couples, decorative pillows?

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 2: Take measurements
To make accurate decisions while shopping, it’s important to gather vital information before leaving the house.

Measure:
Mattress height.There’s no such thing as standard anymore and you’ll want sheets that fit without a struggle.
Bed skirt height. Measure from the top of the box spring to the floor, with bed skirt resting ¼” above the floor.
Width and fall of mattress. To determine the correct size for a coverlet or duvet, measure up the side, across the mattress and down the other side to ensure an adequate ‘drop’, with fabric dipping just below the frame of the bed.

Step 3: Sheets—more than numbers
A high thread count is never a sole indicator of quality. Instead consider thread count in tandem with material content and construction. Sheets made of 100% natural fibres such as cotton or linen are best. Egyptian cotton is coveted for its strength and the length of its fibres. A tight weave indicates quality construction and more lasting value.

Step 4: Thread count
When you do consider thread count, remember it’s a preference game. Love a soft satiny or sateen feel? Then you may prefer a higher thread count with fibres that have been polished. Some prefer a crisper hand, similar to a men’s shirt, in which case the thread count will be lower. If you buy from a reputable dealer, it’s a simple matter of preference.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 5: Get touchy feel-y
Since bedding is next to your skin, it’s essential to open the package and cop a feel. Just ask the salesperson first.

Step 6: Under the covers
A duvet is a popular option for covering the bed. A quality down duvet is the priciest option but it provides lasting value. Look for a lofty appearance and baffles or stitching which keep feathers from bunching up in a single spot. Avoid synthetics for true quality and comfort.

Step 7: Pull focus
If you want the bed itself to be the room’s focal point, a patterned duvet cover or one in a colour that contrasts with walls is a great choice. Mix large patterns with small ones, florals with geometrics and fill in the blanks with solids and textures.

Photography by Lori Andrews

Photography by Lori Andrews

 

Step 8: Load up the layers
Who doesn’t love the look of snuggly layers? To add visual depth and practical warmth, top the sheets with a duvet plus a coverlet or throw. Fold at the end of the bed for decorative impact when not in use.

Step 9: Pillow fight
There are no real rules when it comes to pillows, though some find loads of toss cushions a nuisance. Function is first and foremost, so spend time trying out the feel of sleeping pillows and remember, you don’t have to choose the same type as your spouse.

Step 10: A good night’s sleep…