The world is ending, the sky is dark, and as we pace between our too-few rooms from sunrise to sunset, the bedroom continually calls out in whispers. Respite, it promises. A new day. Or perhaps just a chance at temporary obliteration.
Bedrooms are sacred, liminal spaces. They shock in the morning, alarms going off and light pouring through the window and us thrown into our bodies as if from high above, remembering who we are and our endless to-do lists. They comfort on grey afternoons, you sitting cocooned in throw pillows and blankets, drinking tea and reading. And at night they remind us of those childhood moments when we feared the dark, the endless, the impossible/possible of it all.
And bedrooms say a lot about who we are. A minimalist with a no-screen policy and a bed made every morning. A devotee to the “scholar’s mistress,” that pile of books always accumulating next to you where a lover might be. A frou-frou fantôme spritzing pillows with scents that take us beyond ourselves. An irreverent cat-lover, everything covered in a mist of fur and bits of lemon biscuits.
So nights grow longer and our hearts grow hungrier and hibernating until spring doesn’t sound at all unreasonable. If we’re going to face the apocalypse from bed, let’s do it fashionably, shall we?
For those who are half-bird, who sing to themselves, who collect trinkets and memories and people. I love the maximalist designs of Emma J Shipley’s entire bedding collection, which bursts with flora and fauna and colour and the opposite of tact. This bedding interrupts you constantly and talks about itself too much, but you can’t have a party without it.
A quick note: I’ve recently relocated to the UK, so most of these links are to European shops. That said, many of the brands are international and you should be able to find them on both sides of the pond.
I love the Aubrey Beardsley vibes of this Marimekko line, which has duvet covers and pillows and throws plus other household miscellany that won’t help you get to sleep. It’s for those with “horror vacui,” or fear of empty places — those who listen best when they’re scribbling and whose fingers never stop moving. The spinners, the knitters, the sorrowful dandies with their infinite cigarettes. Pair it with black, black, black or vivid velvets and tassels and pom-poms.
The platonic ideal of the moody floral. For perfume junkies who love indole, for satyrs with grape-stained feet, for storm chasers and those who thrive in the second when beauty becomes terror and ripe dances with rotten.
Morris & Co is for those convinced their bedrooms are haunted, for people whose eccentricities have calcified into sculpture, for anyone yearning to get lost in a forest and bargain with the wolf. It’s ancient and sure and too-much and folkloric. Honestly, it’s a bit off-putting. I think that’s why I like it.
If Morris & Co is too much then this Paoletti Shiraz bedding is everything. It reminds me of kings and castles and swords and glory but also of growing up in a tiny Moscow flat with carpets on the wall. It’s not sure if it’s tacky or classy and it doesn’t matter. This bedding is for those with eyes bigger than their stomach, for those who start journals they don’t finish and who never throw away a love letter.
Throws make everywhere a bed; it’s science. This one’s for the hat-lovers with their fashionable boots, the mushroom hunters with bags bursting with chanterelles and the people who aren’t lying when they say autumn is their favourite season. Curl up on a couch or chaise longue or inside a blanket and pillow fort, knowing the cold and gloom will pass.
Simple black bedding made brilliant with texture. It calls to brooding poets, welcomes long nights filled with red wine and burning candles and sitting crosslegged on the floor, talking and laughing til your throat is hoarse, inventing terrifying midnight meals and plans that resist the judgment of morning.
Where most of Riza Peker’s floral catalogue is deep purples and bright reds, this collection is less greenhouse and more cemetery, flowers growing where they shouldn’t: out of fallen trees and in ravines creeping with fog that hangs low around your ankles and willow-wisps luring you deathways. It’s a bit We Have Always Lived In The Castle, or Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market. Or maybe even Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation, the flora almost familiar but never quite.