Come to Bed

NO SLEEP TILL BROOKLYN

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the Brooklyn Designs show, a festival of some of Brooklyn's finest working furnishing designers. Look for bedroom-related objects from Susan Steinbrock, whose hand-painted cotton twill and silk fabrics look like they've been watercolored, and are available by the yard; Erin Wilson, who makes hand-dyed cotton quilts of almost frantically simple, brightly colored geometric shapes; Bubbly Babies, which crafts pillows, rugs, and linens for the wee ones; and 10 Essentials, which makes just 10 pieces of furniture—simple, sculptural, and appealing to only the most essential of needs. Their bedside table is probably the best piece in their entire collection. Also of promising note, a lecture titled "Working With a Designer for the First Time" and a panel discussion explaining "Commissioning Work—Easier and More Affordable Than You Think" will be held at St. Ann's Warehouse during the fair. (Brooklyn Designs, April 30, May 1-2, St. Ann's Warehouse, 38 Water Street, DUMBO; Brooklyn Designs Gallery, 37 Main Street, DUMBO, 718.875.1000, ext. 146; brooklyndesigns.net, susansteinbrockdesign.com, erinwilsonquilts.com, tenessentials.com)


Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8 (1960)
photo: Photofest
OH, SHEET
Joe Dallesandro, Patti D'Arbanville, and Geraldine Smith in Flesh (1968)
photo: Photofest
Joe Dallesandro, Patti D'Arbanville, and Geraldine Smith in Flesh (1968)

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Related:
  • New York in Bed Snuggling 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 Bed Toni Schlesinger on New Yorkers and their beds.
  • The biggest variable in besotting your bed is sheets. Options abound around the city and via a brisk mail-order business. Let's start at the top: Pratesi, of course, for an exquisite and expensive take; splurge on the store's cheapest line—the cotton print—which starts at $430 for a full/queen-size top sheet or $1,120 for a full/queen set (top sheet, fitted sheet, and two standard shams). They did have a sample sale earlier this spring . . . so get ready now to pounce next year. Garnet Hill's fairly priced sheets excel in the pattern department. Catches this season include the most perfect plump Pineapple Percale, a punchy pattern that looks like it was stamped onto a background of pink (a double sheet, flat or fitted, is $35, a double/queen comforter cover is $85), and the Picasso-esque Guitar Shop Percale pattern.

    Another bright spot: the Marimekko offerings at Crate & Barrel. While the Raita stripe line is a bit summery for any other season, and the Pisara pattern looks like it was tie-dyed, the Peoni line, a creamy colored set, is quite classy (full-size sheet sets are $74.95). For a real bargain, though, head straight for T.J. Maxx. When I was young, I couldn't have been more mortified that that was where my parents would drag me. Mother does know best, in this case, though, as a recent trip revealed Ralph Lauren odds and ends at $49.99 for a striped quilt, a red-and-cream Laura Ashley toile queen-size sheet set for the same price, and a mauve floral Tommy Hilfiger comforter for $29.99. While their stock is, of course, hit or miss, it's hard to argue with a bargain. The biggest bargain of all also takes me back to Jersey, although this time quite literally: Among Ikea's wonders (and there are many), it's hard to beat their linen prices. Adorable finds start at $3.99 for pillowcase sets and never rise higher than $39.99 (for some quilt covers). (Pratesi, 829 Madison Avenue, 212.288.2315, pratesi.com; Garnet Hill, garnethill.com; Crate & Barrel, 611 Broadway and 650 Madison Avenue, 800.967.6696, crateandbarrel.com; T.J. Maxx, 620 Avenue of the Americas, 212.229.0875; Ikea, Elizabeth Center, Elizabeth, New Jersey, 908.289.4488, www.ikea.com)

    MAKE YOUR BED(DING)

    Fancy schmancy sheets a bit out of your price range? Or maybe you just feel like doing it up yourself. Pals Cal Patch and Diana Rupp will help you at their Make Workshop studio, nestled sweetly on the Lower East Side. The girls run this school/design studio/craft club that also serves as a knitting supply store (specializing in artisanal yarns) and a retail and wholesale showroom for local artisans. Not sure how to D.I.Y.? Want to D.I. With Others First? Score. The school offers tons of classes including Intro to the Sewing Machine (one two-hour class, April 28, $60), and Embroidery (one two-hour class, April 30, $40), and, from time to time, workshops in appliqué, block printing, hand quilting, Kool-Aid dying, afghan knitting, and even a home decor course where you'll walk away with a fringed pillow and matching café-style curtains. Not your grandma's stitching bee: Look for a free (with RSVP) outdoor stitching circle the first Friday of every month, once the weather gets warm. A related option if you really want to D.I. By Yourself—make your bedding in bed, even—is to order a neat little kit from Jenny Hart's Sublime Stitching. Her Purty Pillows Pillowcase Kit comes with an embroidery hoop and needle, seven colors of six-strand embroidery floss, diagrams, instructions, four packs of Sublime Stitching patterns, and two standard white pillowcases for you to create your masterpiece. (Make Workshop, 195 Chrystie Street, #502, 212.533.9995, makeworkshop.com; Sublime Stitching, sublimestitching.com)

    EVENING WOOD

    Plain, plain, plain, plain, plain, plain Jane. She wants an innocuous piece of unfinished wood furniture. So she waits and waits and waits and waits, and oh, well, there's no need for her to wait really. She could easily run to any of the 10 locations of Gothic Cabinet Craft in Manhattan, the eight stores in Brooklyn, the four in the Bronx, the seven in Queens, or the one on Staten Island and snatch up a nifty Galaxy Platform Bed (full size, $209), or even a Galaxy with underbed drawers on metal glides (full size, $248) if she's feeling like going all out! Truth be told, there's absolutely nothing wrong with such poetic simplicity, especially at such a good price. (866.255.3567, gothiccabinetcraft.com)

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