The Bedding Snob

Cultivating relaxation need not leave you starving for style …

Summer bedding essentials

Crochet Cotton Coverlet & Sham

It’s officially summer, so it’s time to swap your heavier bedding for warm weather essentials that will help you sleep comfortably cool. The first thing you’ll want to do is switch your thick comforter for a summer or blanket weight comforter. If you’re a very warm sleeper or live in a particularly hot climate, a coverlet will provide just the right amount of warmth, while also adding texture and style! To keep your out-of-season bedding free of dust and dirt, try our breathable Cotton Canvas Zippered Storage Bag- perfect for storing your down comforters!

Classic Seersucker

Light, breathable sheeting makes sleeping on hot summer nights more comfortable too. Linen and seersucker are summer classics for good reason! Linen is naturally moisture wicking to keep you cool and seersucker’s puckered stripes increase air circulation.

Nautical Cotton Pajamas

Now that your bed is ready for the summer heat, make sure you have weather appropriate sleepwear. Fabrics that are moisture wicking or are sheer and lightweight like cotton lawn, make the perfect summer pajamas!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day is this Sunday! If you’re not sure what to get Dad, we can help!

For the active dad- Does he love to go fishing or hiking? Give him the gift of memories and surprise him with a camping trip for the family! Click here for help finding camp sites.

Morning Camp by Bureau of Land Management via Flickr Morning Camp by Bureau of Land Management via Flickr

For the dad who loves to relax- Ever catch him snoozing on the couch? Make sure he’s extra comfy with a plush throw or cozy loungewear. If you’re not sure what color throw to get or what size clothing he wears, you can’t go wrong with a Cuddledown gift certificate.

European Cotton Fleece Blanket or Throw

For the dad who’s hard to shop for- Any dad will enjoy and appreciate a nice, home cooked meal! Check out allrecipes.com for some great ideas.

Steak & Chips by Mark Walker via Flickr Steak & Chips by Mark Walker via Flickr

Gifts for Grads!

NTU Graduation Week 2014 NTU Graduation Week 2014 by Nottingham Trent university via Flickr

Looking for the perfect graduation gift? We’ve got you covered! Bedroom essentials are always appreciated by college-bound students preparing to move into dorms and recent college grads getting ready for their first apartment. Here are some of our top picks!

Quality bedding in Twin XL can be hard to find at department stores, but not at Cuddledown! We’ve got Twin XL sheets, mattress pads and even featherbeds to turn those dreadfully uncomfortable dorm beds into pure bliss.

For college grads moving into new apartments, treat them to the luxurious, weightless warmth of a down comforter! Our 600 Fill Power Primary Down Comforter, voted “Best Buy Comforter” by Consumers Digest, and our 600 Fill Power Cotton Sateen Colored Down Comforter are great choices.

If you’re in Maine, our Freeport Outlet Store has a great selection of gifts (and some amazing deals) for your graduate! In addition to bedding and sleepwear, our outlet store has locally made goods, home decor, slippers and gifts you won’t find online or in our catalog.

Spring cleaning – linen closet organization

Busted! by Andrew d'Entremont via Flirck Busted! by Andrew d’Entremont via Flickr

It’s time for spring cleaning again! If cleaning your entire house seems like a daunting task, reduce stress by breaking it up and focusing on one area at a time. We’ll help you get started with some quick tips to organize an important part of your home – your linen closet. An organized linen closet will make finding the right sheets and towels a breeze, saving time and effort throughout the year.

1. Start by going through your closet and determine what you should keep, donate, re-purpose or toss. If you’ve been keeping random, mismatched pieces that you “might use” one day and haven’t touched in years, it’s time to part ways. After sorting through your stockpile, wipe down your shelves and let them dry before putting things back.

2. Label your shelves or storage bins by either the size or room that each towel or sheet set belongs to. By having designated sections within your closet, finding exactly what you’re looking for will be a snap.

3. Keep your sheet sets even more organized and easily accessible by folding the sheets, shams, pillowcases and duvet cover into one of the coordinating pillowcases. That way, you won’t have to rummage through everything, causing a mess in the process. Keeping your most-used items at eye level or below will also help prevent neatly folded stacks from toppling over as you take out specific items. Seasonal linens should be stored on the top shelves in dust bags.

Sleeping during allergy season

Sneeze by mcfarlandmo via Flickr
Sneeze by mcfarlandmo via Flickr

If you’ve got seasonal allergies, then you know that in addition to more sun and warmer weather, springtime is also the season of runny noses, sneezing and itchy/watery eyes. Allergy season can also lead to restless nights since symptoms don’t stop at bedtime, but with a few changes and some planning, that doesn’t have to be the case!

1. Use a HEPA filter in your bedroom to reduce the amount of pollen, dust and pet dander in the air. HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters work by trapping debris in a fine mesh filter as air passes through. And speaking of pet dander, it’s best to keep your furry friends out of the bedroom, especially during allergy season. That’s because their fur is a magnet for dirt and pollen.

2. Washing your sheets more often can also help reduce nighttime allergy suffering. If doing laundry at least once a week doesn’t work into your schedule, keep an extra set of sheets on hand. Showering before bed, instead of in the morning, will also help keep symptoms at bay and prevent the pollen collected on your skin and hair from transferring onto your sheets. For even more protection, use anti-allergy bedding.

3. Know when you need a new mattress or pillow. Unlike sheets and bedding, pillows and mattresses are much more cumbersome to clean, but still collect dust, pollen and even mold! Mattresses should be replaced every 7-10 years while pillows should be replaced more frequently.

How to choose wall art

coco+kelley by James Stephoto via Flickr

Immediately pull a room together or bring interest to barren walls by adding the right piece of wall art. If you’re not sure where to start, follow our three simple steps below!

1. Size- Use the size of the wall as a guide. A single small piece will look out of place on a large wall and a large piece may overwhelm a small space. You can also use several small pieces to create a collection that carries the impact of a larger piece.

2. Color- When choosing colors, think about the mood of the room. Cool tones, such as blues and greens, evoke calmness and relaxation while warmer tones are usually energizing and inviting.

3. Style- Ultimately, you want to choose pieces that you like and will want to look at. Therefore, whether it’s a modern or traditional piece, make sure it matches your own taste and preferences. Wall art also doesn’t strictly mean paintings and posters; try decorating with mirrors, framed fabric, clocks or anything else that can hang on a wall and interests you. A great resource for unique wall art is Cuddledown.com- we have lots of new wall decor and mirror options!

P.S. When hanging the art, it’s best to keep the center of the image at eye level. And if you’re hanging the artwork above your bed, sofa or table, keep the bottom edge of it 6 to 12 inches above the furniture.

How to keep Bamboo Towels soft and fluffy

If you’re a fan of our Bamboo Towels, then you know how luxuriously soft and absorbent they are. Like any quality linen, you’ll want to keep your towels at their best. To protect your lovely towels from detergent buildup, hard water and roughness, here are some simple tips to try.

1. Do not use fabric softeners- Ironically, fabric softener creates a waxy residue on towel fibers, causing them to become stiff and less absorbent. To get your towels nice and fluffy, try using dryer balls, clean tennis balls or our down fluffer rings.

2. Use the extra rinse cycle- Over time, detergent residue can also build up on towel fibers, especially if too much detergent is used. To prevent this from happening, use the extra rinse cycle and make sure your washer isn’t overloaded so that the towels have room to move freely. To remove detergent build-up, add a cup of white vinegar when washing and don’t forget the extra rinse cycle to keep the towels from smelling like vinegar!

3. Lastly, our Bamboo Towels should be washed and dried on lower settings, as hot temperatures can break down the fibers. We recommend washing with warm water and drying with low heat. Also, take care when using cleansers containing benzoyl peroxide, as it can cause discoloration in fabrics.

We hope these tips help and if you ever have any questions or comments about caring for your Cuddledown products, please let us know!

How much sleep do you really need?

Infographic via the National Sleep Foundation

Since everyone has differences in lifestyles and genes, the exact number of hours needed for sleep varies from person to person, but sleep experts have been able to produce a general guideline to use as a rule-of-thumb. Recently, the National Sleep Foundation updated its recommendations after two years of extensive research and examining more than 300 studies. The Sleep Foundation warns that getting too much or too little sleep on a regular basis is linked to, among other consequences, diabetes, obesity and poor judgment. In other words, make sure you get enough rest! Visit www.sleepfoundation.org to learn more.

DIY- Upcycling Bed Sheets

Love the color or print of your sheets, but no longer have a need for them on your bed (maybe you got a different size mattress or simply found a new set you like even better)? Instead of shoving them into the back of the linen closet, put them to better use with one of these fun upcycling ideas!

Wall Art- You don’t need to be a master painter to create your own beautiful wall art! All you need is a canvas, some staples and any fabric of your choice to create some lovely pieces- you can follow an easy tutorial here. Our customer Jodi did this using our Monet fabric, and they make great accents on her beige walls.

Monet Canvas From Sheets DIY

Monet Canvas Wall Art by Jodi

 

Reusable shopping bags- Another idea for upcycling your sheeting is to turn it into reusable shopping bags. Not only are you saving landfills from plastic bags, but you won’t have to buy the branded ones that everyone else at the grocery store has.

Cloth Grocery Bag by katbaro

Cloth Grocery Bag by katbaro via Flickr

Gifts- By gifts, we don’t mean presenting someone with your old sheet set, but turning it into something one of a kind! Mary, of Mary’s Custom Sewing and Design, turned our Antique Map quilted sham into a beautiful stocking for the holidays.

Antique Map Percale Stocking

Stocking by Mary of Mary's Custom Design and Sewing

Curtains- Fashioning your sheets into curtains is one of the easiest upcycles to do! It’ll also allow you to perfectly match your window dressings to your bedding. Click here for a tutorial on how to turn a duvet cover into lovely curtains.

curtain by Thomas Weidenhaupt

curtain by Thomas Weidenhaupt via Flickr

3 easy ways to wrap large gifts

One big bag of presents by Steve Baty via Flickr

Have a big gift that would be hard to hide using ordinary wrapping paper, like one of our plush comforters or lofty featherbeds? We’ve got your solution!

1. The easiest way to wrap a large gift is to use an extra large gift bag! If you want to make the gift even more special, try something reusable, like our Cotton Velvet Gift Bags. It’s like two gifts in one! They’re big enough to hold pillows, blankets and even comforters!

2. During the holidays, it’s easy to find inexpensive and festive vinyl tablecloths. Since the material is much stronger than wrapping paper, it will be easier to wrap a large gift without worrying about crinkles and tears in the paper. The large surface area will help you conceal that gift in no time! You could also look for holiday printed fabric at a craft store.

3. Another idea to conceal the gift is to put it in a discreet location and give the person an envelope with clues as to where it is. This will make the gift opening experience even more fun and exciting!

If you have any ideas for wrapping a large or oddly shaped gift, we’d love to hear about it in the comment section below!

Is your guest room ready for the holidays?

The fast approaching holiday season means spending more time with friends and family. If they’re coming from out of town, you’ll want to make sure your guest room is ready. Impress them by making it luxury hotel worthy with these helpful tips!

The most important part of any bedroom or guest room is, of course, the bed. To get the iconic elegant hotel look, go with an all-white color scheme. Erin Hoover, vice president of design for Westin and Sheraton hotels, explains, “The all-white bed created this halo effect — people thought a room had been renovated, even if it was just the bed that had been changed.” In addition to having an all-white color scheme, add a supportive featherbed, fluffy comforter, extra blanket and several pillows since people have different sleeping preferences. These bedding essentials give it that ultra-comfy hotel feel.

Another element to consider is refreshments. Making your guests feel comfortable doesn’t require a fully stocked minibar. Simply leaving out a water-filled carafe with glasses or an ice bucket with some juice and water bottles on the bedside table makes a big impression. That way, if your guests get thirsty during the night, they aren’t left with the awkward task of fumbling through an unfamiliar kitchen.

Lastly, if extra bath towels, toiletries and other amenities aren’t in plain sight, let your guests know where they are. It’s also a good idea to write down the Wi-Fi password and any codes they might need. This keeps guests from that uncomfortable feeling of having to ask for everything.

We hope you have fun hosting holiday gatherings and enjoying the company of your friends and family. If you have any helpful tips for preparing your guest room, we’d love to hear about them in the comment section below!

P.S. If you need any inspiration for creating a guest room reminiscent of a five-star hotel, visit a hotel or inn that carries our bedding, like the award winning Miraval Resort!

Eat your way to a better night’s sleep

Cherries by Luis Cerezo via Flickr

If you have trouble falling and staying asleep, changing the foods you eat and drink could be the solution. Plus, who doesn’t love a yummy snack?

1.  Tree Nuts and Peanuts- The unsaturated fat in nuts can help increase serotonin levels, which regulates (among other things) sleep. The next time you’re in the mood for an evening snack, have a handful of almonds, cashews, walnuts or pistachios to help you nod off at bedtime.

2. Tart Cherry Juice- In a recent study, participants who drank two glasses of tart cherry juice every day for two weeks slept 90 minutes longer on average than those who took a placebo. Cherries are a natural source of melatonin and a safe alternative to sleeping pills. So if you’re having trouble staying asleep, this might be worth trying!

3. Bananas- Bananas are a natural source of tryptophan, which the body uses to produce the important sleep regulators serotonin and melatonin. Enjoy a sliced banana on whole grain bread with natural peanut butter for the ultimate filling and sleep friendly snack!

4.  Honey- The glucose in honey inhibits the production of orexin, which regulates alertness.  For the perfect bedtime beverage, steep a cup of chamomile tea and add a tablespoon of honey. Chamomile is linked to an increase in glycine, which helps you relax and feel sleepy.

5. Hummus- Like bananas, the chickpeas in hummus are another source of tryptophan. If you often wake up in the middle of the night, try having hummus with fruits and veggies as a snack during the day. If you often wake up very hungry in the middle of the night, it may also indicate that you don’t consume enough calories during the day.

What snacks help you get a good night’s sleep? We’d love to learn about any tips or tricks you have – share with us in the comments section below!

2014 Fall Décor Trends

A change in seasons is the perfect time to update your home décor. Fall weather always welcomes warm color palettes and foliage accents, but if you’re looking for a twist, try one of these popular 2014 decorating trends. And, updating the look of your home doesn’t have to be a huge project. Simple solutions, like switching out your dining room centerpiece, changing decorative pillows or simply incorporating a few seasonal pieces can make a big difference.

1. New Neutrals- Nix the expected orange hues and focus on textures and shapes instead of colors this fall. Furs, knits and burlap are all very fall-centric and keep the neutral tones from falling flat. Our plush faux fur throw keeps you on-trend and also provides extra warmth!

katewalshbedroom by coco+kelley via Flickr

2. Vintage charm- Amplify the cozy feeling that comes with fall by adding pieces of furniture and décor that have a well-loved look (i.e. distressed, washed finishes and antique inspired designs). Our Vintage Inspired Marlowe Stars, Rowling Bookcase (below) and Riviera Mahogany Round Table are great options!

3. Turquoise- Whether you decide to add a few candle holders or paint an entire wall this gorgeous color, turquoise will fit in perfectly with the earthy fall tones you probably already have. It also adds a pop of color while maintaining the calm, cozy feel of fall. Our Trevi Sateen bedding lets you easily incorporate the popular color.

Check out our website for more home décor options. If you’re interested in do-it-yourself fall decorating projects, Southern Living and Pinterest both have lots of ideas. We hope you have fun getting crafty and decorating your home! Please feel free to share any of your decorating ideas or photos of your home with us, we’d love to see them!

Fall weather essentials

Fall Decorations by Sharon Mollerus via Flickr

Fall is back and despite earlier sunsets and cooler weather, it is a season loved by many. In preparation for the change in temperature, it’s time to put those shorts and swimsuits into storage and make room for toasty knits and soft fleece. To help you prepare, here’s a list of some of our top picks for fall weather essentials.

1. Cozy sweaters and slippers are definitely musts when it comes to staying warm. We love UGG‘s fleece lined clothing and sheepskin lined slippers, which are perfect for chilly fall weather. Slippers with durable outsoles also mean you don’t have to change shoes when running a quick errand or going out to check the mailbox.

 

 

2. Don’t forget about your furry family members. During the cooler months, it is especially important that your pets have comfortable beds to sleep on. If your bare feet ever get chilly walking on the cold floor, imagine trying to sleep on it! It’s also a great time for outdoor activities with your pets without having to worry as much about dehydration or heat exhaustion.

3. As temperatures begin to drop, it’s also a good idea to start adding extra layers to your bedding. Try slowly transitioning from warm to cold weather by adding cozy throws, thicker sheeting such as flannel or a loftier comforter. We love the look of mixing plaid flannel with adorably embroidered flannel sheeting.

4. Lastly, make sure to enjoy pumpkin flavored treats! We love pumpkin spiced lattes, coffee and pastries. If you happen to be in the Yarmouth/Freeport area (where our store and office are located), make sure to try the delicious pumpkin chocolate chip cookie from Clayton’s Cafe and Bakery! What’s your favorite pumpkin treat? It can be so hard to choose!

Crisis in the pumpkin patch by Rob Holland via Flickr

Stress relief in minutes

Green Tea by Martin Phox via Flickr

Excessive stress can cause many health issues, such as depression, weight problems and autoimmune diseases. With that in mind, it’s important to take proactive steps to reduce its toll. On days when there isn’t time for a yoga session or long, mind-clearing walk, try one of the following quick and simple methods. You can experience stress relief in a matter of minutes.

  1. Meditation is a great way to relieve stress and regain focus. Contrary to what many people believe, meditation doesn’t require sitting cross-legged on a floor in a silent room for hours. Simply close your eyes and focus on deep, even-paced breathing for five minutes while sitting in an upright position.
  2. Lavender has been known to reduce muscle pain, headaches and stress. The next time you need some calming relief, try using lavender scented lotion or lighting a candle infused with the relaxing scent. We also recommend trying our lavender scented luxury spa pillow for additional comfort.
  3. Green tea is not only high in antioxidants, it also reduces stress and increases focus. Brewing a cup is both quick and easy.
  4. Exercise aids in stress relief by releasing mood improving endorphins. When time is an issue, try short, Tabata type workouts. Research has shown that exercising for as little as ten minutes a day has positive effects on overall health.
  5. Massages are effective at reducing both stress and tension. Getting a good massage doesn’t require making a lengthy appointment at a spa. Chair massages, which range from 10-30 minutes, are often offered in shopping centers, airports and other convenient locations.

If you have any additional tips for stress relief, please share your ideas in the comment section below!

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