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Episode 508: Get Away!
Heavenly Bed
It's Bedtime!

In thinking about getting my bedroom ready for the perfect weekend getaway, I sought out the expertise of Joanna Goodman, of "Au-Lit" Fine Linens. Joanna has all the answers on how to turn a standard bed into a fantastic one.

According to Joanna, if you are starting from scratch you should begin with the duvet and pillows. When purchasing a duvet, you want to look for white goose down. If you're allergic there are synthetic products available that can achieve a down-like quality. Good for children and cottages, synthetics are washable and less expensive than down. However, as Joanna points out if you're looking for the best the white goose down duvet is the way to go. Seek out those made using a box construction so that the down stays in each square.

The weight of the duvet that you choose is important. There are three weights: light, for summer; mid-weight for all four seasons; and a deluxe weight for cottage country (or if you're the type of person who is always freezing). According to Joanna, the mid-weight is the most popular.

Similarly, with respect to pillows white goose down is the ideal. However, if you're allergic look for those products made from synthetic materials. Again, there are different weights so if you like a firm pillow get a thicker one and if you like a soft one, get less down inside.

Once you've got the duvet and pillows taken care of, the next thing to consider are the sheets. A "percale" is any sheet with more than a 200-thread count per square inch. This results in a heavy, crisp, cotton shirt-like fabric. In comparison, the 400-thread count is much finer. There is also cotton satin, a different sort of weave which gives you sheen. Many people presume that the higher the thread count, the better the fabric. However, Joanna herself prefers sleeping in a 250 percale. The trick is to decide what's best for you. Are you a satin doll, or do you like heavy, crisp cotton? It's all about the feel and the texture, and it's a personal thing.

Style is also very important when putting together your bed. When choosing top sheets, box-spring sheets and all the bells and whistles, try to coordinate them with the colour scheme of your room. As well, according to Joanna, high-end accessories such as monograms, are currently very popular.

As far as I'm concerned, I'd be totally prepared to start off with the sheets and bedding and repaint everything based on that. However, the choice really is up to you. After all, it is your dream bedroom. The nice thing about being able to consult with an expert like Joanna is that you can walk into her store, look at a huge selection of items and allow her to help you decide what would make your bed just perfect.

Special Thanks: Joanna Goodman, Au Lit Fine Linens, Toronto, ON (416) 488-9662