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DECOR ADVICE: Dress your bed to the 9s

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Up your game and reduce the chill this winter with quality linen, blankets and quilts. Whatever colours and style you choose, stay current by keeping things relaxed, piling on the layers and always opting for clean and crisp

Aiming for “casual elegance” – an effortless look that doesn’t try too hard – means not having to limit yourself to one theme colour or fabric when it comes to your bedroom.

“Texture and layering is a key trend for winter,” says Cape Town interior designer Nikki Zigras, owner of Studio Do Cabo. Begin with white sheets, which always look clean and crisp, and pile on extra layers to suit the season.

“Don’t be shy when it comes to mixing fabrics and patterns. Contrast mohair, wool or heavy Lesotho blankets with decorative stitched quilts and faux fur throws. A big trend at the moment is the fringed and sparkly Moroccan wedding blanket that adds a touch of Boho chic to any bedroom.”

If you aren’t planning an extensive makeover, you can still keep your space current by introducing a few jewel-toned cushions in botanical prints or velvet. 

These add a touch of opulence to your sleeping space, even if everything else is neutral. “For extra versatility, choose reversible duvet covers,” Zigras says. 

“This not only provides two options for the main design on show, it adds a fantastic additional feature to a bed when the top of the duvet cover is turned down.”

Picture: Josh Hemsley

Start from the bottom

When it comes to creating a cosy winter cocoon, piling on the blankets and hoping for the best is not the best approach. You will invariably overheat and kick off layers during the night, much to your partner’s chagrin. But you still want a warm night’s sleep, right?

Newsflash: the ideal way to make your winter bed toasty is to layer it from the bottom up. Once you’ve got it right, you can look forward to quality zzzzs – and save on electricity bills.

Mattress topper: Available in a variety of materials – such as latex, memory foam, polyester blends, feathers and wool – a mattress topper not only offers additional comfort to a slightly too-firm bed, it adds warmth too. Most slip over your mattress and can be secured at the corners with elastic.

Make a statement with textures and layering of bed quilts and coverings.

Sheets: Flannel fitted sheets, a looseknit fabric made from wool, cotton or synthetic fibres, add extra winter warmth. This bedding is measured in grams per square metre, or GSM.

A higher GSM means more warmth and better quality. “If you opt for cotton sheets, ensure they have a minimum 300 thread count,” says Zigras. Thread count refers to the number of horizontal and vertical threads in one square inch of fabric.

For a better quality bed linen, choose the highest thread count you can afford.

Duvets: A microfibre duvet inner is a good option for the South African climate. “Our winters aren’t as extreme as European winters, where a down duvet inner is a must,” Zigras says.

Without getting too technical, the “tog” is the term used to describe the thermal resistance of a material. Your duvet’s ability to keep air from escaping determines its thermal resistance, or tog. In winter, you want a 7-13 tog so your body heat is retained.

Blankets: A simple, mid-weight knit blanket over your duvet will provide added warmth, and it’s a great place to introduce winter colours to your bedroom. 

“Rich charcoal, moody navy or deep jewel colours can set a dramatic tone,” Zigras says. “Drape (don’t fold) a throw blanket at the foot of your bed to add interest – and a layer of warmth that’s easy to pull up as needed. Look for chunky knits, nubby linen or plush faux fur.

Soft pops of these textures will add depth to your look.”

Cushions: Mix cushions in different shapes, colours, designs and textures in a casual arrangement. If you want to go a little overboard, consider investing in a storage trunk or ottoman at the foot of the bed. This means these cushions have a place to go when you are getting into bed for the night.

Floor covering: “A cosy winter bedroom experience does not end with your bed linen and your blankets,” Zigras says. “Consider a small flokati or shaggy rug next to your bed so your bare feet have a cushy place to land on a chilly morning.”

Headboard: To prevent things from getting too feminine and floaty, a distressed leather headboard will add an element of masculinity to the room. Zigras says if you don’t want to commit to a particular colour or print, simply drape a statement throw over the headboard. This can be removed and replaced every few weeks.

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