By LAURI GROSS
Carolyne Bloch likes to say, “If you don’t sleep well, you don’t live well.” As the design coordinator and manager of Block Bros. at Home in Pepper Pike, she should know. Carolyne and her husband Paul, the owner and president, are considered leading regional experts on the history, design and care of the luxury bed. The store has been in business 48 years.
Carolyne said, “Your bedroom should represent a peaceful sanctuary and be calming; Your safe place to be with family.”
Deborah Danals, buyer, interior designer at Leopold’s Fine Home Furnishings in Breckville agreed, and added, “Today’s designs for bedrooms are trending toward peaceful, beautiful spaces.”
Get ready for fall’s chilly weather with new bedroom furniture and/or luxury linens to stay cozy. Carolyne said, “Our bedding, towels, comforters, pillows and decorative accessories are reminiscent of the finest resorts in the world. We can find the right style for each individual by focusing on the biggest piece of furniture. In the bedroom it’s the bed, then everything else is easy.”
Leopold’s has been in business more than 161 years. The family-owned store can furnish any room in your home, with plentiful bedroom selections, about which Deborah said, “Casual lifestyles are indicating lighter woods, grayed stains and white painted finishes with a soft patina. Using wire-brushed woods adds an additional dimension to case pieces. Metal hardware is often antiqued brass, blackened bronze or brushed
In homes with built-in storage spaces and walk-in closets, “the traditional bedroom pieces are often now only side tables and an outstanding bed,” Deborah added. “Upholstered beds are continuing to be on point,” she said, as she explained many options for customizing the look, including the bed height; adding wood trim; numerous fabric and leather upholstery choices; design choices such as tufting, button tufting, quilting and nail-head trim; adding mirrored elements or shagreen (a type of rawhide consisting of rough untanned skin); and adding drawer storage.
“Side tables are currently higher to accommodate pillow-top mattresses, and may feature seeded glass, antique mirror, metal, open shelving, drawers and doors,” she said. “A newer design style is achieved by not matching the side tables but coordinating them.”
At Block Bros., shoppers will find items from Celso de Lemos, a Portuguese company which Carolyne said, “has such amazing designs in coverlets and coordinating sheets.” Also, look for this company’s towels called Abyss, which were named the longest lasting and most absorbent in a test against 30 other luxury brands.
Block Bros. also carries products from many Italian companies. One, SDH, invented a fabric for sheets made out of beech wood trees. Carolyne said, “It’s responsibly sourced and new trees are planted to replenish the forest. It is all organic and certified to be chemical-
There’s also Sferra (started in Venice in 1891), known for beautiful traditional designs inspired by the renaissance and classical antiquity. Carolyne also gets couture designs from the Dea factory outside of Florence, and she offers some exclusive patterns made only for Block Bros. that feature hand-cut fabric and hand embroidery. Another popular choice, Carolyne said, is the U.S.-based Scandia, which she said produces, “the world’s best down comforter and pillows.”
Another made-in-America company that Carolyne loves is Matouk. Their fabric and designs are an absolute go-to and they just partnered with Schumacher family with beautiful flowered designs; So refreshing.”
Philadelphia-based artist Kevin O’Brien, and his co-designers, create beautiful, colorful, and unusual designs. Carolyne said, “We are excited to see his new fall collection of hand-painted velvet pillows and throws in sumptuous shades of wild berry, raspberry, copper, gold, mango and many others.”
Other ways to change up the look of your bedroom this fall include adding an end-of-the- bed bench. “It’s a lovely and useful feature,” said Deborah. “Even a small chaise or loveseat can be used at the end of a bed. Changing small accessories — like adding a warm soft green luxurious throw on the end of a bed or switching pillows and pillow shapes on the bed, or replacing an area rug — can create a new look for your bedroom,” she added.
Don’t forget to also upgrade your mattress. Deborah said Leopold’s features White Dove mattresses. She added, “Some mattresses are still traditionally made, while others have pillow tops, inner coils, gel, foam, luxury bamboo and separate motion and adjustable frames.”
It’s also popular to shop online for a mattress that comes in a box no bigger than a coffee table. You’ll find brands including Casper, Helix, Leesa, Lull, Nectar, Purple, Tuft & Needle, Zinus and more. Since these companies can’t offer an in-store test drive, many let you return it for free if you aren’t happy after months of sleeping on it. Instead of springs and coils, most use specialized foams and gels. Read the online descriptions carefully and choose features that are important to you. When your mattress arrives in the box, it will need anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours to decompress and expand to its full thickness. Then add your new bedding and give it a whirl.