“Sleep is the best meditation.”
– the Dalai Lama
Have you ever had one of those weeks where you feel like Friday is Thursday because it’s all just been such a blur? That’s me this week after returning from an incredible week at High Point. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen some of the highlights on my Stories, but there’s honestly so much more I haven’t posted yet because the pace at Market is just so full-on. I led a Design Influencer’s tour on the Saturday for the loveliest group of designers; moderated a panel on Sunday with Barclay Butera, Julia Buckingham, Scot Meacham Wood and Nicole White; and hosted a Wellness In Design event with Cisco and Crypton on Monday. Add in all of the showroom visits, dinners, media moments and parties and it was a bit of a designer ironman event. That said, it was one of those trips where I ended up having the most profound conversations with everyone I sat next to – from waiting at the airport to my flights each way to literally every event I attended in between – so it was an awesome week and super validating in many ways.
Along with all of the inspiration, I also managed to get myself a sinus infection (probably unwittingly collected it on the flight down) and am still working on breaking up with it. I may or may not have a funny story to tell about my reaction to some sinus meds I took one day, but I’ll save that for another time. Suffice it to say, today still feels like Thursday to me, so I hope you’ll all forgive me for sharing my Week 4 update a day late.
CUSTOMIZING AN ORGANIC MATTRESS FOR A DREAMY NIGHT’S SLEEP
I cannot tell you how happy I am to be sleeping in my own bed again! The beds at The Proximity are honestly great, but they still don’t hold a candle to my luxurious Obasan mattress, and I’m so excited to finally tell you about it. It took me a long time to decide on the right mattress for our bedroom. I was like Goldilocks, trying out as many organic mattresses as I could at the various trade showrooms and design shows. To my surprise, many of the organic mattresses out there were either greenwashed (containing just one element that was organic yet being branded as totally healthy while secretly not) or just not comfortable. My goal was to find a mattress that contained no metal springs based on Dr. Klinghardt’s research about metal conducting electricity into our bodies and disturbing our sleep cycles, so anything with an internal coil system was immediately off the table. From there, I wanted organic rubber-derived latex foam, organic wool to replace the toxic fire retardants that are sprayed on all conventional mattresses, and organic cotton for the cover. That list narrowed my search pretty quickly, and when I added in the goal of a sustainably made product that was as local as possible, there were really only a few options left.
Gratefully, my friend Ashli from Whittington introduced me to Obasan and I immediately knew I’d found what I was looking for.
“Customization is undoubtedly one of my favourite design luxuries.”
Not only does Obasan check every one of my boxes – locally made in Ottawa from organic latex, wool and cotton with no metal springs – they also customize each mattress to the way you sleep. Customization is undoubtedly one of my favourite design luxuries, just like I believe personalized medicine is the way of the future. No two people are exactly alike, so what works for me might not work for you. Obasan’s founder Jean Corriveau understands that very well, and has created a system that allows you to refine your mattress for the perfect night’s sleep, every night.
When your Obasan mattress arrives, you’ll receive several rolled components. These make for less waste in packaging and also make the mattress much easier to deliver.
Once unfurled, you’ll see that each component is clearly labeled.
To begin assembly, lay out the organic cotton and wool mattress cover over your Obasan foundation and insert the firm base layer first.
The mid layer is the customizable layer where you can choose between soft, medium or firm density foam in 6 different zones (head, torso and legs on both sides of the bed).
For some side sleepers, soft at the head, medium at the torso and firm at the legs works well. We tried that and I honestly felt like the Princess and The Pea because I could actually feel a slight slope downwards towards my head based on the gradient in density. Yes, my “canary in the design mines” body is sensitive, but given that Dr. Klinghardt recommends a slope downward towards your feet to encourage drainage of the glymphatic system (lymphatic system for your brain), we next tried firm at the head, medium for torso and soft for feet. Again, I felt like a fairytale character, because my feet felt strangely restless with this configuration. After several nights trying every possible combination, I realized that my body simply needs a totally firm mid layer from top to bottom, so Jonathan sent us 4 more grids to complete the mid layer with only firm latex foam. At last, Princess Goldilocks had her perfect mattress (I say “Princess Goldilocks” because I basically felt like all the fairytale characters combined at this point!).
Once you’ve established your perfect configuration of the middle layer, you add the top layer and zip up the organic cotton and wool cover for a perfect finish.
Having had the opportunity to truly experience my Obasan before writing about it, I can tell you with absolute confidence that this is a luxuriously high quality mattress that will enhance your health and wellbeing with an incredibly comfortable, non-toxic night’s sleep. Knowing that sleeping on a standard, flame retardant-soaked mattress is essentially like sleeping on a bed of gasoline, our Obasan mattress gives me so much peace of mind, and I can’t wait to get both of our boys sleeping on one as well.
GOTS CERTIFIED ORGANIC SHEETS SO SOFT YOU’LL SKIP YOUR PYJAMAS
After going to such lengths to ensure we found the healthiest, most sustainable and comfortable mattress possible, we couldn’t finish it with just any sheets. I had honestly been searching high and low for some time for GOTS certified organic sheets that looked and felt luxurious.
You see, there seems to be this misnomer in the design world that if you want organic products, you also want a really relaxed and casual aesthetic. If you know me, you know I’m a luxury designer always looking to marry a continental European influence with a layered sense of story and a bit of edgy glamour, so wrinkly linen-blend sheeting just doesn’t work for me. For my future cottage, perhaps, but definitely not for this sexy, moody master makeover.
Enter White Terry by my friend Nicole Bernstein.
Nicole and I met over a year ago, and I knew immediately that I’d found a kindred spirit. Like me, Nicole is passionate about caring for the planet. She’s also passionate about creating beautiful, healthy homes that nurture wellbeing. As a New Yorker who married a Canadian and transplanted to Toronto, she found herself shocked at how few options Canadians had for gorgeous organic bedding.
Not one to sit idly by waiting for someone else to fill the gap, Nicole leveraged her passion and her business degree and dove headfirst into creating a luxurious, organic, sustainable collection of bed linens. She’s gained a huge amount of buzz in a very short period of time with her effortlessly elegant product (think Jessica Mulroney and Jillian Harris sleeping on these sheets), and for good reason. Nicole understands that we want it all: luxurious bedding that’s as healthy for the planet as it is for our families. She’s even thrown in free express shipping across the US and Canada, because who wants to wait on this goodness arriving at your door!
Ultimately, my only real decision on the sheet set and duvet cover is the colour.White Snow is a classic, crisp hotel white, but I’m favouring the Warm Sand which is a very subtle off-white. That hit of warmth will just play so nicely against the radiant tones of the York wallpapered ceiling and the King’s House Tulu rug. I cannot wait to add this layer of luxury to our already organic bed for an even healthier, happier sleep sanctuary!
There’s still so much to do this coming week as we round the corner to the finish line on this One Room Challenge. I have art to create, original art to frame, nightstands to install and style, lighting, decorative pillows and additional textiles to install, and all the loving finishing touches that will make this master bedroom sing. Be sure to check out what the other ORC participants are up to and check back with me next Thursday for a lot of delicious details.
In the meantime, happy weekend!