Come to Bed

When we look for New York living spaces, the one constant in advertising lingo is the "BR." Whether preceded by the number 1 or 3 or 6 or even the ubiquitous word "no," the focus is on the BR, the most essential component of all living spaces. And why not? We will sleep in our BR, we will eat in our BR, we will work in our BR and make messes in our BR, we will love and lose and live in our BR—for where else do we spend our time when we're at our most vulnerable, night after night, or day after day, during the hours in which we dream? And, just as we must pay for the BR spaces, we must pay to fill these spaces too. And an actual bed is just the beginning . . .


Joe Dallesandro, Patti D'Arbanville, and Geraldine Smith in Flesh (1968)
photo: Photofest
Joe Dallesandro, Patti D'Arbanville, and Geraldine Smith in Flesh (1968)


  • New York in BedSnuggling between the sheets with sex columnist Tristan Taormino, photographer Ryan McGinley, artist Glenn Ligon, and other New Yorkers, and finding out the answers to all-important boudoir mysteries like: Where'd you get those pillows? Do you smoke in bed?
  • Pillow Talk Profiles in the sack — More than you ever wanted to know about New Yorkers and their beds.
  • New York in BedToni Schlesinger on New Yorkers and their beds.
  • What could be hokier than a bed that falls out of the wall? In our town, however, sometimes apartment size leaves a lot to be desired—like space to place a bed. Since you convinced yourself that 150 square feet would suffice, you can take what you saved on rent and invest it at the Murphy Bed Center instead. Because a super-slick, spy-style Murphy bed will cost you. Prices start at $695 for a full-size mechanism alone; that's the hardware, not the mattress, and certainly not the material to hide the bed behind when it is safely locked in its upright position. A basic unit with case (the New Yorker style, natch) runs from $1,199 for a full size to $2,899 for a king. It's a good choice, though, because you can finish the case (which is made of medium-density fiberboard) any way you choose. A bigger splurge brings almost endless possibilities—sliding doors, folding doors, mirrored doors, shoji screens, bookshelves, recessed lighting, cherry wood, hydraulic closure, remote control! At the highest end, you can plunk down $14,000 for the enclosure cabinetry of your dreams. It sure is a good thing you saved on that monthly maintenance fee, eh? Phil Caruso, proprietor of the Murphy Bed Center, assures me that his beds will absolutely not open or close automatically, and they certainly won't move with people and or pets inside. Gives a whole new meaning to taking your bed-friend for a ride. (The Murphy Bed Center, 20 West 23rd Street, 212.645.7079,


    Often less expensive than traditional bed frames and mattresses, futons are good solutions for spaces that require single pieces of furniture to serve two purposes. And although a quick trip on New Jersey Transit to either New Brunswick or Princeton may remind you of that unfortunate association most have between futons and frat houses, the wares at White Lotus Home are anything but collegiate. Most futons you'll find on the market are made entirely of foam, which is squishy and unsupportive. White Lotus, however, handcrafts each futon out of layers of U.S.-grown cotton (and will insert a foam core in some futons used primarily as couches, since the foam does help some models keep their upright shape). Prices start at $265 for a double-size, non-boric, all-cotton futon with organic case. They'll even let you take a peek into their work studio to see how it's done. A friendly, family-owned company, White Lotus is dedicated to caring for their customers, employees, and the environment; their stores ooze a comforting charm—a welcome change from most mattress hawkers. They also make kapok, buckwheat, and wool pillows, wool mattress toppers, and sheets. And they carry a wide variety of artisan-crafted wood frames for the futons as well. Delivery and setup in New York are available, and all products can be ordered online if you can't bring yourself to escape the city. (White Lotus Home, 191 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey, and 202 Nassau Street, Princeton, New Jersey, 877.HANDMADE,


    Shabby Chic, Rachel Ashwell's Soho shrine to all that is slightly weathered, worn, and White Whisper, is stocked with the chic-est of bedding, of course—all stylized floral prints and softness for a pretty penny or two. But she's just debuted a more affordable line, Simply Shabby Chic for Target, as well. Still strewn with Blush Bloom(s), British Rose(s) and Lavender Jewel(s), these sheet sets start at a mere $39.99—less than half the price you'd pay in Soho for a single sheet (twin poplin fitted sheet, $92). (Shabby Chic, 83 Wooster Street, 212.274.9842,; Target, 8801 Queens Blvd, Elmhurst, Queens, 718.760.5656,


    So you spend a lot more time in bed than anywhere else, right? And if you calculate the cost of wearing that Marc Jacobs gold lamé dress ($3,950 divided by one wearing = $3,950 per use!) and then do the same calculation for his divine new cashmere throws (satin-edge blanket, $1,695; knitted thermal blanket, $2,450; Marc Jacobs logo throw, $995, each in light natural, lilac, ivory, or blue) that you'll want to cuddle up with every night of the year ($2,450 divided by 365 nights = $6.71 per use!). I'd say that that adds up nicely. (Dress: Marc Jacobs Men's and Women's Collections, 163 Mercer Street, 212.343.1490; Marc Jacobs Home products: Marc Jacobs Accessories, 385 Bleecker Street, 212.924.8126,

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