It’s Snuggle Season – 10 Ways to Love Your Bed!

House Beautiful has a column every month called “I Love My Bed.” It’s a hoot to peek under other people’s covers, isn’t it? Maybe you shouldn’t answer that. Anyway I wrote the one in November about designer Bunny Williams, which you can read here. I did not actually get in bed with her, but we did speak on the phone.

I thought you might like to hear a few more thoughts on how to love your bed, which you absolutely should do. Especially now that it is snuggle season and lots of bedding is on sale now.

Bunny Williams bedroom, courtesy House Beautiful magazine
Bunny Williams and her bed, and Lucy, who matches the faux fur comforter folded at the foot. Courtesy House Beautiful magazine

Sometimes bedrooms are given short shrift in the house because they aren’t “on display.” Chances are you spend more time there than anywhere else in your house, and about one-third of your life sleeping. Hello? Your bed and bedroom are important.

Bunny’s bedroom is all shimmery and soft. Basic arithmetic will tell you that Shimmery + Soft = Sexy + Beautiful, and a bedroom should be that.

The Serge Roche mirrored bed is glamorous and jewel-like. The polished cotton comforter is satin-y, and the faux-fur throw is soft and yummy, as are the 872 pillows. The wallpaper is soft metallic gray, like a wintry New York sky. She told me her new favorite thing is a down blanket–lightweight, just warm and cool enough. She gets ’em at Bed, Bath & Beyond. (hmm, a good gift idea.)

Bunny Williams headboard applique detail
Detail of Bunny Williams headboard applique by the atelier of Naeem Khan

The applique headboard is about the prettiest thing I have ever seen, but I am a fool for applique. This was done in fashion designer Naeem Khan’s atelier in Paris (where I met him years ago at a fun dinner with Susan Gutfreund, Cathy Whitworth and friends at Le Boeuf sur le Toile. He was, and is, lovely and so talented. Treat yourself to a look at his clothes, here).

Bunny hangs out in her bed. It’s her command-central. She makes a breakfast tray for herself every morning, toodles back to bed with it, and starts her day–reading the papers, making calls, etc. before going to the office.  That won’t work for everybody, but it’s a nice ritual.

Personally, though I love my bed, too, I do not hang out in it. I think bed is for sleeping and sex, but that’s me. I cringed at Sue Shellenbarger’s article “Taking the Office to Bed” in the Wall Street Journal a while ago. Seems to work for many, though, and her piece includes products that are office-bed-friendly.

Bunny is also a huge animal lover, and she lets her dogs in the bed. She said her dogs go to the beauty parlor frequently. Which kinda went without saying.

I do not let my dogs in the bed, except for my late, treasured Portuguese Water Dog Albert who was scared of thunder. So on a stormy night, I’d relent. Our current canine, Stella, has recently acquired a very chic cheetah-print Wally-Bed, which I bought at Bunny’s shop, Treillage, in New York. Stella loves her bed, too.

Bunny also has personal and sentimental things in her room and by her bed, a loving touch to herself and to the loved ones and memories they represent.

The point: Having a bed and bedroom you love is an attainable element of beauty and luxury. A room you love to wake up to each morning is a great way to start the day. And you’ll sleep better knowing that. I guarantee it. Here are some ideas:

1. Start with the practical. You want a good reading light, by lamp or sconce; and a big enough bedside table to hold what you want – books, phone, pad and pen, clock, lamp, water.

2. Good sheets. Now available at Target, so no excuses.

3. Good pillows, at least 2 on each side, also available nowadays at discount stores.

4. A lightweight blanket or comforter (like Bunny’s down blanket) and something furry or fluffy folded at the foot of the bed.

5. Good mattress. Obvious, but if you are putting it off, you are compromising your sleep and therefore your health. What’s more important? Put it on layaway if you have to.

6. Clear the clutter. Make a mess somewhere else if you must (though I’m not advocating it), but clean up your damn bedroom. What’s good about waking up in a mess? Your day gets off to a messy start. Order brings calm; calm brings clarity; clarity brings what you need to think, say, and do to be the best you.

7. Eliminate electronics. It is said they interfere with sleep patterns. If it blinks, buzzes, or broadcasts, get it outta there. If you can’t remove it – the TV for instance – cover it with a pretty scarf or a towel at bedtime.

8. Set the temperature at 68 to 70 degrees for optimal sleep. Everything you read says this.

9. Put pets in their own beds. I know, I know… but pets in the room, and most certainly in the bed, do almost always interfere with sleep. (Our compromise is a really comfy bed (Wally-Bed) the dog loves … in our bedroom… I also feel protected by her, fierce beast that she is.)

10. Wind down before you lie down. Watching TV with people getting beat up, tortured, murdered, etc. is not my idea of winding down. Just saying. If you do watch that stuff or engage in some other less than relaxing activity, try to make a space between it and sleep. When you do get in bed to sleep, feel the indulgence of it – the sheets, the pillows, the snuggliness. And think how good it feels and how thankful you are for it.

If you want to read more about Bunny Williams or see more of her work, see of course her website, and also this post by Patricia Gaye Tapp on her Little Augury blog. It’s a few years old but very informative.



  1. Good morning Frances,

    I am loving reading your blog – each and every one. My question to you and your readers is: have you actually found a pillow that you love, and if so, where and which one? THANK YOU!


    1. Thank you, Anne, for your kind words and your question. Pillow of course are such a personal matter. One likes squishy while another likes soft while another is allergic to down. Not to cop out – but your best bet is to go to a store with a huge selection and play Goldilocks til you find the one that is just right. I prefer down with a bit of firmness, but there are some very good synthetics on the market these days too. If anyone has specific recommendations, please let us hear them. Frances

    1. Yes Whitney – and I must say I think the clutter issue is huge because it amounts to visual “noise,” and noise – unless it’s “white noise” – is not conducive to rest. Thank you for raising a very good point. F

  2. I loved your article when I read it in House Beautiful and love to see the picture again. And I agree with all your advice! Thank you. I think I will head for a nap after lunch. Up late driving teenagers last night.

  3. In response to Anne’s pillow question, I too have been in search of the perfect pillow, which I’m sure is a purely subjective thing. However, I’ve always loved fluffy hotel pillows, as do many people. You can search online for hotel pillows; they’re usually a combination of goose down & other feathers, and they can be pricey. But I recently came across some at Costco, of all places, that I love. They came in a package of two for only $20, and they feel luxurious. You can just sink into these pillows. Ahhh…

  4. What a wonderful post!

    Bunny knows everything about “how to make a perfect bed”!

    We built our house in Montecito 14 years ago; and almost everything in it (light fixtures, architectural features; we picked from John Rosselli; or Treillage!)

    One’s bed is so, so important!

    Lovely post! Thank you!


    ps today is my birthday! (just have to say it! My husband’s is Monday; and our 35th anniversary is Tuesday!)

    I love your blog! Thank you!!!

    1. Dear Penelope, Thank you, and Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary!! My you are a busy girl in February – you’re going to need your wonderful bed in more ways than one! (tee hee) Enjoy, x, Frances

  5. Hello sweet Frances. I always enjoy your blog and this one especially (the bedroom is my favorite room). 😉 Now, I want to know what sheets at Target do you recommend? I prefer really, really soft sheets, no sateen, ugh. I hope you’re doing well.

    1. Hey sweet Julie, and thank you! As for the sheets at Target – it has been a while since I was there, but they had a huge selection and there were sample of each so you could each one. They had great pillows too – really! Hope you are well too – so good to hear from you. xo F

  6. Frances, Thank you for the great post, tips, and scrumptious bed. You have been busy. I just read your article in Veranda-Fresh Start. I would love to stay in that guest room!!

  7. No matter where I travel coming back to my own bed is truly being home. My king mattress pillows bed linens and bath products are my spending extravagance and I do not feel one iota of guilt. I enjoyed your article and you and Bunny are the best. I collect her books and love her gardens as well.

    1. I am with you Gigi, and I applaud your self-love! I daresay the world would be a better place if more people allowed themselves the simple and sensorial pleasures of luxury and comfort at home. Thanks for doing your part, and thank you for your kind words. I will look forward to hearing from you again. Frances

  8. francis, how the hell are you? camille yow told me about your blog….its great. you always write the best pieces in the magazines..lots of style. things in atlanta are great, but slow. norman

    1. My goodness, thank you Norman! High praise coming from the gifted and talented Mr. Askins, and I am most flattered. x! Frances

  9. Thank you for your blog. i enjoy all your information you give. I found you when you did the Bee Cottage series. Just loved that. Since then I find your blog everyday. Are you loving California? Quite a change from the east coast. Keep up the good writung and pictures.Would love to see more interiors of your new home.

    1. Thank you so much for writing, Maude, Maude, and for your kind words. I will indeed get some of those home photos out one of these days! Frances

  10. Greetings from Charlotte! I splurged on some 100% linen Italian sheets recently. What a treat! Marshall’s has them occasionally, and I finally pulled the trigger. They also have had some nice Pratesi sets recently. I really enjoy your blog and appreciate the time that you give us to do it! Cheers!

    1. Dear Betty Lou, thank you for writing and for the tip on Marshall’s sheets – WOW I had no idea! Best to you, Frances

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