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When my boyfriend and I decided to move in together earlier this year, I was so excited to decorate a new space. In our case, we found an adorable one-bedroom apartment in a 1910 brownstone filled with plenty of vintage features (like a fireplace and the original trim!) and some of the fun quirks associated with an older building (creaky, uneven floors and a tiny kitchen). Though I took the lead on styling, my boyfriend had some strong (and unexpected) opinions on the décor front. For example, all-white bedding was an immediate no (reminds him of a hospital), his Black Keys poster and Tony Soprano painting had to come (I can live with that), and his take on top sheets are decidedly anti. Now that one I had to overrule; #teamtopsheet for life.
Despite my design experience, I needed to call in the professionals to help me create a bedroom we both loved. Enter Parachute, the California-based bedding company known for fluffy duvets, top quality sheets, and textured linens. They offer free virtual styling sessions for anyone looking to have their design or styling questions answered, whether you want to create the perfect undone bed look from scratch or work a new color into your existing space. After your session, your stylist sends you a personalized look book filled with ideas to help solve your design woes, perfect for the person who can’t decide between all of the bedding on their site (aka me).
Over Zoom, Mindy walked through my current space to get a sense of my style and asked a ton of insightful questions like whether we’re hot or cool sleepers, what hues we’re drawn to, and how many pillows we like to use at night. I was even able to show her the navy upholstered bed we were looking to buy, to give her an idea of our vibe.
Though I had a general idea of what I was looking for (a cozy duvet, fresh sheets, and some accent pillows), King helped narrow down my focus and reminded me that not only did I need to think about aesthetics, but also utility.
“It’s always two things — how you want it to look but also how you need it to function,” King explained. “For some people, they might really love the look of a linen but they sleep a certain way where we’d recommend a different sheet.”
It’s always two things — how you want it to look but also how you need it to function.
One of my biggest design concerns was making sure my décor didn’t try to compete too much with all of the original architectural features of the new apartment. Without going totally vintage, I wanted everything to feel like it fit.
“Keeping everything kind of minimal and neutral in those spaces if there is something very special like intricate woodwork or stained glass, not introducing elements that compete with that,” King explained. “Sometimes we get questions about décor and advice about styling shelves or side tables. It’s really hard for me to say ‘Oh, use this vase.’ I just don’t ever advocate for buying things just to buy them. I really think it should be meaningful. It’s kind of a cliché, but do you think it’s beautiful? Is it useful to you? If not, don’t get it.”
I just don’t ever advocate for buying things just to buy them. I really think it should be meaningful. It’s kind of a cliché, but do you think it’s beautiful? Is it useful to you? If not, don’t get it.
After our session, I received the link to my online lookbook the next day. King pulled three bedding sets plus accent pillows to fit our needs. If you have more questions or want to go in a different direction, your stylist is available to suggest additional options and answer any concerns. Though the gray duvets she chose were lovely, I was hoping for a warmer color palette in the bedroom. She helped me choose a cream-colored (not pure white!) duvet with some lovely texture, and paired it with an ochre lumbar pillow to add further warmth to our cool-toned bed frame.
All-in-all, I would recommend this experience to anyone looking for guidance whether they’re designing a bedroom from scratch or just looking to freshen up a space.
“I’ll tell people the truth,” King says. “Stick with what you love and what you’ll use and spending that money wisely. I think that’s the way to avoid regret when it comes to some of these bigger purchases.”
See below for some of my favorite Parachute finds from the virtual session:
Editor’s note: Parachute provided samples to the writer, but all opinions are her own.