Taking It to the Mattresses
The keys to creating a dreamy bedroom
Photos by Charlie Neuenschwander
When you thoughtfully examine the reasons for your home design choices, it’s likely that you’ll find a desire to express your tastes, alongside the tendency to gather objects you love. Ideally, these coalesce into an environment that welcomes guests, projects the style you want and makes you happy. While most rooms in the house have the double duty of maintaining an outward face and an inner purpose, it could be argued that your bedroom (visibility during short tours for guests aside) is the one part of your home that is the most private, the one room that is completely yours.
The bedroom may also have the highest purpose: intimacy, sleep, retreat from the rest of the world. Eating is important, and so is bathing, but the impact that a good night’s rest has on your life is tremendous. If your work life requires eight hours outside your home, and you have obligations that send you elsewhere during the day, your bedroom may be the most used room in your house – it should be the most comfortable, and the most calming.
Enabling your bedchamber to serve its purpose as fully as possible doesn’t have to mean a huge time or financial investment, but you should look at the key qualities that will make the most impact. We’ve collected some expert suggestions for tools, techniques and touches designed to help you in your quest for getting a good night’s rest, in style.
The cornerstone of your boudoir is the bed, and the soul of that piece of furniture is the mattress; no matter how sturdy the frame, or soft the bedding, your mattress provides the foundation for your sleep experience. When you have that right, everything else is icing on the bedding cake, so to speak.
The Oklahoma Mattress Company (915 NW Fourth) has been in business since 1913, providing people with handcrafted, made-to-order mattresses and toppers. Longevity aside, the business’ success can be measured by the number of satisfied customers from around the United States — not just the OKC metro — who call regularly on owner Jim Hunter for his expertise in all things mattress-related.
“In the last several years,” Hunter says, “mattresses have gotten more expensive, but decreased in quality.”
Hunter explains that the characteristics of a good mattress depend on the individual who will be sleeping on it. Walking into a chain mattress store and testing several varieties on the hard-to-soft spectrum may seem like customization, but Hunter takes his mission seriously, and the results are nothing short of amazing. (Full disclosure: I am the amazed owner of an Oklahoma Mattress Company mattress and topper. The genesis of this article was my experience with OMC and the blissful, enriching sleep I’ve gotten since.)
Mattresses can be constructed completely with cotton or latex, or with a combination of both, depending on your needs. OMC can also work with memory foam, if it’s better suited to your situation. If you’re wondering what the difference is, the short answer is that latex is breathable, and natural. Memory foam is not.
Toppers made from latex are available, as well, and can fine-tune your mattress for individual comfort, plus allow for customization for couples. A topper for one side only can help if your partner needs a little more cushion than you like, or vice versa.
There’s a comfort guarantee with every mattress Hunter sells. If you get it home and find that the density you thought would be ideal isn’t going to work, they can adjust the fill. The goal is to provide you a mattress that will last for years.
While the average mattress salesman may have some stock answers for you to the questions that have been raised in recent years about various components and how they affect us while we sleep, nothing really replaces talking to the man that’s going to oversee your mattress being made. Hunter is a wealth of information, and something akin to a magician when it comes to determining a great fit for each person.
“I enjoy talking with people, and helping them figure out how their mattress needs to suit their physiology,” he says. “Everyone needs something different. Our bodies need resistance, but we shouldn’t hurt after sleeping. We should be rested, restored.”
An adjustable bed can also be an answer for getting a good night’s rest, and Oklahoma Mattress Company offers those, as well. In fact, their prowess as mattress-makers could be equaled by their aptitude for constructing high-quality adjustable beds that are stylistically unobtrusive and space-conscious, allowing you to have comfort that doesn’t come at the expense of aesthetics or floor space.
Hunter also offers a surprisingly simple tip for the bedding-buying process that could save you money, and help you optimize your sleep implements.
“Don’t buy a pillow until you buy a mattress,” he counsels. “They work together, and the mattress is the most important part. Your body will adjust to all of them, but the pillow, topper (if you need one) and mattress should all work together, for the alignment your individual body needs. Build on what the mattress does for you.”
The major role of the mattress is something that Paige Smiley of Bella Vici agrees with; “I didn’t sleep well for years,” she says, “and then I decided to invest in a good mattress, and it made all the difference.”
Bella Vici (1 NE Second) is an Oklahoma City-based design firm and retail supplier, providing home help for metro residents from overall conception down to minute detail.
“We do everything from building to decorating interiors,” Smiley says. “We can facilitate it all, or help with finishing touches.”
Smiley agrees with the practicality inherent in remembering the bedroom’s purpose, and in starting with the primary piece of furniture, the bed. After obtaining a good-quality mattress, the question arises of linens and their part in the furtherance of restful sleep.
While clients always have their own preferences for what they want in any room, bedrooms included, Smiley shared her personal methods for building the perfect snooze room.
“I made a little bit of a different color choice in my bedroom,” she says. “It’s a warm, brownish gray, and I find that it, along with blackout drapes, helps to make the room dark enough for me to really relax. I think it promotes deeper sleep.”
Many people are looking to set up a bedroom that looks like a magazine page, and while Smiley loves the clean lines that look great in a photo shoot, common sense and functionality fuel her personal bedroom set-up.
Comfy bedding is also the rule — knit comforters, cotton sheets — as well as another practical touch: minimal decorative pillows.
“I’m not a big pillow person,” Smiley says. “They just end up on the floor.” While that may not have much to do with sleep, it does keep evening and morning routines simple, which can help maintain your doze chamber’s vibe as a place where you relax as much as possible.
“I don’t like to make my bed,” she says, “so this keeps it easy.”
Whether you find simplicity relaxing or take comfort in the richness of Marie Antoinette-level accoutrements, focusing on quality basics such as a sound mattress, comfortable bedding and an appropriate amount of light should help you make the most of your bedroom’s purpose.