Building the perfect bed- Part One: Components

Although I am not an expert on many things, I consider myself expert at building a comfortable bed.  In addition to managing my mother's fine linen store for years, I am by nature a Princess and the Pea.  From childhood I've enjoyed stacking up blankets and sheets and folding them in a way that pleases me.  I'm lucky enough to have a stash of beautiful bed linens passed along to me from my mother's trousseau, as well as things I've bought over the years myself.

Back in the late 1990's when the internet wasn't available through a smartphone I spent a lot of time helping all sorts of people come up with what "the perfect bed" was.  Obviously, individual tastes and preferences vary, but a friend who worked for the Ritz-Carlton gave me the short list of what the hotelier uses in their guest suites to create the perfect night's sleep.

Guest suite at the Ritz-Carlton

Guest suite at the Ritz-Carlton

This is what I learned:

Frette Hotel bed sheets and linens -- two flat sheets, two european square shams, two queen shams, two queen cases and duvet cover

Featherbed + featherbed cover

Four goose down queen pillows; two soft and two firm + pillow covers

Two goose feather european square pillows + pillow covers

Here's why:

- Sheets stay cooler when two flat sheets are used; this is why many European brands do not even make fitted sheets.

- A feather bed provides an additional layer of softness and luxury to any bed.  Always use a featherbed cover, as it is time consuming to wash a feather bed -- for obvious reasons.

- European square pillows stuffed with feathers are perfect for reading in bed -- the feathers provide good support without being immobile like poly or other man-made fillers

- Queen pillows are slightly larger than standard pillows, and a mix of firm and soft ensure you can dial your own formula in when it comes to sleeping pillows.  A goose down pillow has fewer allergens and scents than a feather-down mix and can be molded into shape by the sleeper.

The Ritz-Carlton also keeps room temperature cooler than usual, which is optimum for sleep.  All that delicious goose down will keep you cozy without getting sweaty.

Unsurprisingly, the formula has not changed.  What has changed, though, is your ability to order literally the entire bed with one click 

Once you've perfected your bed's skeleton, it's time for the fun part: decorative bedding!  There are as many different styles of decorative bedding as their are styles of clothing.  It's on you to decide what you're trying to convey when you dress your bed.  Some people like piles of blankets, others finish the bed with the thinnest of coverlets.  Pinterest is great for bedding inspiration, as is any shelter magazine you can get your hands on -- stay tuned for styling information and advice for a bedroom that will make you swoon!