Invest wisely when outfitting bedrooms

In part four of my series on decorating your home to look llike a model I’ll look at bedding and how you can use custom and ready-made bedding, even on a budget.

In my model home example, I spent 11 percent of my total budget of $49,430, or $5,437, on bedding. When designing a model on a budget, I spend the majority of the budget on custom bedding in the master bedroom. In the secondary bedrooms I use ready-made or a combination of custom and ready-made. When designing on a budget, I do not include headboards in the secondary bedrooms as they normally get covered up by pillow shams.

So, how did I design the bedding and where was the budget distributed?

Master bedroom: In the master suite there was a beautiful carved wood California king-size bed. If you don’t have a headboard or poster bed, consider setting the bed up higher; it gives a more impressive appearance and actually makes the room appear larger. Of course, if you already have one of the high pillow-top mattresses, you might need a ladder to get into bed.

When dressing the master bed, I had all of the bedding custom made. I used a duvet cover made from a beautiful tapestry fabric, leather tailored duster, three leather Euro shams, two king-sized shams, two standard-sized shams, two pillowcases and three accent pillows.

The duvet was filled with an inexpensive comforter, which is a trick you can do. You don’t have to buy an expensive down filler, just wait for a sale and purchase a bed in a bag and use the comforter as your filler.

You should splurge on your bedding because your room should be your sanctuary. This master suite was very rich and, yes, I spent $3,197, about 58 percent of the budget.

Guest bedroom: In the guest bedroom, there was a full-size bed. I like to spend a little more money for the guest room than the other secondary bedrooms. I often use custom bedding, but I found a great sale on a beautiful set; it was marked down 50 percent. So, for $875, I purchased a full comforter, shirred duster, four standard shams, five accents pillows, a throw and all of the pillow fillers. The bed was fully dressed and looked amazing for less than $1,000.

Girl’s bedroom: In the girl’s room there also was a full-size bed. Her room had a fun flamenco dancer theme; it was very bright and colorful. I used a patchwork quilt, two gathered dusters which were layered for a ruffled effect, two matching standard-sized shams, two pillowcases and two crocheted 18-inch-by-18-inch square pillows. Then, I splurged on pillows that were custom made out of old Mexican tablecloths and tapestries. The total cost was $685 and worth it.

Boy’s bedroom: The boy’s room had a full-size bed and I was a bit more frugal here and used all ready-made bedding. I purchased a comforter and sheet set all in an outer space robot theme. The total cost was $345.

Along with the material costs, I also had about $300 in shipping expenses.

Just like window treatments, bedding can be an investment. How you live in your rooms will determine where you will use custom bedding, if any. For those rooms where custom is not an option, here are some budget-conscious and creative ideas.

* If you like to sit on your bed, buy a ready-made comforter, two shams and an accent pillow; then have only the duster and two accent pillows custom made.

* If you like to sleep with your bedding, make a duvet out of matching sheets. Instead of using plain lining on the backside, make it reversible with another colorful sheet. Use your pillowcases as part of your ensemble, which makes your bed easy to maintain and make each day. This is one of my favorite real-life bedding options.

* Have an old headboard? Give it a new look with paint or make a slipcover from matching sheets. Sheets are easy to clean and all you do is sew up three sides and slip it over the top of the headboard.

* Layering pillows of various sizes and contrasting fabrics gives a bed a luxurious look and feel.

* And finally, don’t forget about the placement of your bed. If you have the room, angle it in a corner for an extra romantic feel.

As with everything in your home, make your bedding work for you.

Gail Mayhugh, owner of GMJ Interiors, is a professional interior designer and author of a book on the subject. Questions may be sent by e-mail to: Or, mail to: 7380 S. Eastern Ave., No. 124-272, Las Vegas, NV 89123. Her Web address is:

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