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With the right drapery and linens, you can create a master bedroom to rival a starlet’s

04-2.jpgHave you ever noticed that in every romantic movie the leading lady always has the most enviable bedroom? It seems flawless: the perfect bed, the right lighting, and above all, the most gorgeous draperies and the most sumptuous linens imaginable.

Of course, with a set design crew and unlimited resources, it’s no surprise that these master bedrooms look like masterpieces! That’s Hollywood for you.

But not to worry. You too can become a leading lady and have the glamorous, comfortable and elegant bedroom you’ve always dreamed of—without the paparazzi following you to Starbucks! All it takes are striking colors and fabulous fabrics to create a sacred space.

New Orleans Living asked experts Elaine Cullen of the Curtain Exchange and Lee McKee of the Linen Registry how stylish draperies and luxurious linens can really complete a bedroom. With this expert advice, you’ll be going Hollywood in no time!

One thing that can really heighten the style of a bedroom is the bed—the focal point of the room. Luxury linens are so inviting and warm that they really amp up the surroundings. McKee says that since the bed is the central focus, you should treat it like it’s the only thing in the room. “It makes a statement about your personal style,” she says. “Maybe your style is minimal or traditional, tailored or frilly, simple or elegant.” But it’s not just the style of the bedding, but the quality that counts as well. “One thing people always notice is quality,” says McKee. “It speaks volumes.”

As with curtain color, the color of the linens is essential to creating a stylish bedroom. But how do you choose when you have no idea where to begin? McKee says that it all depends on what you want. “Some people want all white, others want color. The client and I talk about lifestyle and preferences and this directs my suggestions.”

Then, after coming up with a combination, you can take the samples home to see how everything looks in the room. “Don’t be surprised if you have to do this a few times before finding something that works,” advises McKee.

But if all else fails, she says, a surefire way to add “pop” to a monochromatic bed is to use a colorful needlepoint pillow and throw blanket. Easy enough!

You want a comfortable bed that you can just fall into at the end of a long day. So when you think comfort, what do you think of? McKee insists that cotton and linen are where it’s at, but agrees that silk, wool and manmade fabrics like rayon and Lyocell can also be delightful alternatives.

“I like to play with texture and pattern when doing beds because each line has its own personality and uses these components differently,” McKee says. “When blended, the result is a sumptuous, approachable bed. The goal is to create a bed [you] would want to spend time in.”

Thread count

Ah, the $64,000 question: What thread count is enough—300, 400 or 1,000? The numbers seem to go on and on.

McKee believes that too much has been made of thread count. The term, she says, is industry jargon and has been overused in the mainstream market. “What you should be looking for is the quality of fabric,” she says. “You want to buy cotton sheets made from a long-staple cotton, such as Egyptian cotton. Long-staple cotton resists pilling.”

But personally, McKee recommends buying sheets at or above a 200 thread count because the higher the thread count, the warmer it will feel.

“The weave is also important, such as percale, sateen or jacquard,” says McKee. “For example, a 200 thread-count Egyptian cotton percale sheet will have a crisper feel than a 400 thread-count sheet made of the same cotton.”

A stylish curtain or drapery hung beautifully with the right accessories can really enhance the look of any room, especially the bedroom. In the words of Cullen, “A room without curtains is like a poem without words.”

And she’s right. Draperies can completely change the look of your bedroom. They add texture, drama andmake it look put together. “Curtains are what truly refines a window, and they impart a cozy nest feeling to a bedroom that you will never achieve with blinds,” says Cullen. If you want to rev up your bedroom’s style, add some curtains.04-3.jpg

Color is key to getting the exact look you want. “Matching your curtains to your wall color creates a very contemporary look, while a sharp contrasting curtain will add a lot of drama,” Cullen says. “Cool colors will create a feeling of calm in the room.”

Sheers are always an option and they “are now available in a wide range of choices,” says Cullen, “including elegant Irish linen, embroidered voiles, bold geometric prints.”

Fabric and texture
When you think of drapes, don’t forget fabric and texture. There are thousands upon thousands of fabrics that can add another level of depth to your bedroom.

“With lots of fabric options out there, nothing says luxury better than silk, whether it’s crisp silk taffeta that adds a ball-gown feel to your windows, the matchless sheen of a silk dupioni or the graceful drape of raw silk,” says Cullen.

Georgina Callan, founder of the Curtain Exchange agrees. “Silk adds luxury and glamour to a room, something cotton cannot hope to do,” she says. “Even subdued raw silks seem to impart the history, the ancient process of making silk and elevate the fabric with an inherent elegance.”

So if you want drama, go with silk.