spoiler alert: this month’s rendition of the dhny a-list only has one name on it, because when it comes to dreamy mattresses and incredible sleep, i’ve found a clear winner. before i reveal the name behind the brilliance, i want to point out an observation i have made with clients…

our clients like to invest in their sofas, and they should. furniture that bears your weight, holds down the design of the room, and withstands daily use should be an investment piece. however, i’ve found that when we start talking about the bedroom design, the mattress is where clients feel tempted to skimp. i understand why — you don’t really see it every day. it’s not something you can look at and feel rewarded by your investment.

but think about it like this…

your sofa probably gets an hour or two of use most days… but your mattress gets several hours of use literally every night! one-third of your life, by researchers’ calculations. don’t you think it’s important to make sure that one-third is the best it can be? i do!

project: bespoke bachelor pad credit: emily gilbert photography

how does great quality sleep improve your life?

you and i can both feel the difference that a good night’s sleep makes on our energy levels and quality of life, but what does it actually do for us on a biological level? i’m no expert, but a quick look at some literature from harvard medical school’s division of sleep medicine revealed that sleep helps…

  • boosts your immune system
  • lower cortisol levels (the stress hormone)
  • fight off weight gain
  • increase energy levels
  • improve cognitive function + productivity
  • improve memory
  • increase exercise performance (you know, if you’re into that)

that’s good enough for me! which brings us to…


a mattress that is finally worth its salt

alright, which brand is leading the way? this company has been around for decades. their products are handmade from natural materials (horsehair, linen, pine, etc.), without plastics, vocs, or harsh chemicals. and when you sink into one of their mattresses, you really will feel that you have only just discovered what sleep is really all about.

i’m talking about hästens.

hastens mattress classic blue white check

credit: hästens

no, this post is not sponsored by them. no, there aren’t any perks in it for me if you go purchase one of their heavenly mattresses for yourself. i simply want to share my experience, because — no joke — i have been blown away by them. hästens claims to make beds that will change your life, and this is one of those rare situations when a bold claim is dead accurate.

more proof, in case you need it: the guilty-pleasure netflix hit emily in paris made hästens the main feature of an episode… and hästens didn’t even know! if you ask me, free product placement in the 21st century means you’re doing something right.


a design field trip to the hästens sleep spa

my experience? i helped several clients purchase hästens beds, per their request, before i ever investigated them myself. but at some point, you can’t ignore all the glowing reviews. i booked my 1-hour appointment at the hästens nyc sleep spa  — “sleep spa?” sign me up! —  to see what the fuss was all about. (p.s. they also have locations in greenwich and la… in case you’re thinking of treating yourself.)

when the big day arrived, my hästens sleep associate greeted me at the door with fuzzy down-filled booties and a manner as calm and soothing as you would expect from a sleep specialist. ohhh yes, just a few steps in the door, and i was already head over heels swooning with their customer service! i’m a big believer that luxury isn’t always about a product; it’s about an experience. they do it right.

hastens down-filled boots restful sleep luxury

hästens down-filled boots (image credit)

from there, we entered the spa area, where soft music played and mattresses hugged the edges of the room. we had the entire space to ourselves, and i was guided through trying several different mattress types (soft, medium-firm, firm, extra firm) to find the right fit. my hästens guide even gave me some sleep position tips for lumbar health and deeper sleep. i won’t say no to that!

now, you’re probably thinking that it would be awkward to test out mattresses with a perfect stranger. sleep is a pretty intimate thing, after all. but it actually wasn’t — i felt like i had my own personal sleep coach (great bedside manner, ha). once we had found the right fit, my “coach” gave me a soft sleep mask and left me to enjoy the mattress for the rest of my session.

i’m not ashamed to say that i fell asleep right there in the spa. and i’ve been recommending their beds ever since.

dhny tribeca interior design bedroom masculing gray dark blue wallpaper restful sleepproject: financiers pied-à-terre in tribeca credit: emily gilbert photography


creating a bedroom designed for incredible sleep

your mattress isn’t the only way to usher in a better night’s sleep for years to come. design also plays a role. for example, certain colors feel more soothing and restful than others. soft textiles, like velvet and cashmere, will put your mind and body at ease before you ever slip under the duvet. other design elements, like the room’s flow and lighting, also contribute to your quality of sleep and are elements we can control.

this is where i love to get strategic and creative, bringing in textures and materials that feel as comfortable, sophisticated, and cozy to your eyes as your mattress is to your whole body. if you’re tired of a bedroom that makes you feel… well, tired, let’s talk, my friend.

until then, i will leave you here to crush on one of my favorite bedrooms to date…

5th ave apartment dhny interior design bedroom for sleep restful peaceful elegant

project: chic 5th ave. apartment with central park views credit: emily gilbert photography


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