Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Dust Ruffle and Bed Skirt Controversy

Do you remember way back in blog time in 2008 when Joni from Cote de Texas did a post about skirted tables that started a huge debate that ultimately led to podcast she stars on called "The Skirted Roundtable."

Holy dust ruffle!
Charlotte Moss

Well clutch your pearls, there seems to be another great controversy brewing regarding dust ruffles and bed skirts.

Joni's lovely deep drop bedspread

It seems that not only are bed skirts (I hate the word dust ruffle - why would anyone want anything described as dust?) out of fashion with the Lonny-Rue-Apartment Therapy set, but they are unsanitary too with worries of attracting bed bugs.

A tailored bedspread with a deep drop skirt

Glam bed skirt - Temple St. Clair

Mmmm.. Personally I have no dust ruffle in the guest bedroom because the iron four poster bed did not require one visually. The bed in our master bedroom does have a dust ruffle. This bed has a headboard and a metal bed frame and box spring, and I don't think it would look very good without the bed skirt. I even tried the white bed spread with the huge skirted drop ala Joni, but found it too cumbersome. Damn I should have sold it on eBay sooner! Now who will want it?

Eddie Ross used a tailored bed skirt
in this pretty traditional bedroom

I came across the following article by Sara Ruffin Costello:

A headboard with a bed frame needs a bed skirt

"So the other night I went over to my friend Miles Redd's house for a TV party. Curled up in his seraglio-inspired space, I took in the visual splendor—the towering four-poster mirrored bed with striped silk taffeta upholstery, the wall-to-wall caramel cashmere underfoot, the yards of couture curtains across simple French windows and the endless originality—which all added up to a tailored, comfortable, no-grandmother-in-sight inner sanctum.

Fishing for free decorating, I submitted to my old friend, "How can I get a little piece of the Miles magic?"

Miles Redd's bed sans bed skirt
But what's up with the padding?

"Oh, please," he said. "This old shoebox?"

"Well, yes..."

And then, with the precision of a brain surgeon, he said, "An exposed box spring is like a fly in the soup...unsightly. Cover your box spring with a decadent fabric...touch of luxe darling...every room needs it, especially the bedroom."

I sat up and took note. By God, I realized, the filthy, pointless dust ruffle of '80s Shabby Chicdom is dead. Long live the tailored box-spring cover!

Ditching the dust ruffle diminishes your chances of bedding down with bugs. (A floor-grazing bed skirt is like a hospitable stairway for bed bugs.)"

Miles Redd - This Old Shoebox

Well! What do you all think of that???!!! First of all that tag line: So the other night I went over to my friend Miles Redd's house! Well smell her! In a good way of course.

Miles Redd four poster bed

Four poster beds look good without a bed skirt. The proportions of the bed suit this choice.

Miles Redd used a dust ruffle! Alert the media!

Bed with headboards and box springs seem to need the bed skirt to give it a finished look. Of course a platform bed with a mattress only, would look ridiculous with a bed skirt.

Miles Redd in Domino
The bedroom that launched the careers of blog decorators
Swoon! J'dore! Copy!

Modern interiors seem to fare better without a dust ruffle. Even the word is too granny for the hip decorating spawned by Domino.

But what about the majority of the world dwelling in suburban traditional homes with traditional bedrooms, or gasp, bedroom sets?

Can a dust ruffle or bed skirt be done right, just as Joni thinks doing a skirted table can be done right? You hardly see skirted tables anymore except at events and weddings. Will the bed skirt become as extinct as the table skirt?

Tom Scheerer's stainless-steel bed doesn't need much
besides crisp sheets and a white cotton slip cover for the box spring

Will they give up their bed-in-the-bag that includes the matching dust ruffle? Can they get behind a box spring slip cover?

No dust ruffle for Jonathan Adler and Liberace

Will there be bed skirt and dust ruffle burnings to alleviate the bed bug pandemic!!!! Will there be a new podcast show called "The Dusty Ruffle" or "The Skirted Bed"?????

Betsey Burnham doesn't use a bed skirt

Chime in! Bed skirts yes or no! Discuss! Dust ruffles over and out?

Martha Stewart don't need no stinking bed skirt or box spring slip cover

Kelly Wearstler doesn't have her slip showing

Even shabby chic can go skirtless

Apartment Therapy eschews the wrapped bed

Go HERE to see the whole article.


Acanthus and Acorn said...

Another great debate! I do like the look of a tailored bed skirt in certain situations. I think if a metal frame is present, there is no way around it.

A covered box spring is such a great, clean look for several bed styles. Dust ruffles and long bed spreads are so pretty, but not my freaks my inner Felix out!

Regarding the bed bugs issue...If skirts are an issue, is it just a matter of time before upholstered beds and headboards are no longer desirable!? I hope not...!

Margaret said...

Favoring the tailored box spring look. I've opted to use a fitted sheet to get by, as there weren't any other options on the market without custom upholstering.

The worst: the dust ruffle attached to a bedspread (a la Fingerhut!)

Skirted tables can only be done when using designer textiles, not with a cardboard table and yard sale tablecloth (not that I'd know!).

Renee Finberg said...

ruffled anything sort of sends me right off to a place i don'e want to be.
unless it is for a little girl.

i like them nice and smooth like mr.redds duster.


Irene said...

What wonderful advice. I'm going up to wrap my box springs. thanks Val.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

I live in a small house with a husband who was a large collection of rugs that he collected while serving in Saudi Arabia during the first desert war (que cheers and God Bless America anthem). During the warm months, which of course in Phoenix is most of the year, the rugs get stored under the bed. I need to hide this. Son's room has his Thomas the Tank set on rollers that slides under his bed, hiding it! I craft in my guest room so there are several plastic totes with supplies. Yep, hiding everything under skirts.
So, this is one gal that would bid on your white bedspread.

Kerry said...

Naughty of me but I like it both ways.Skirts and none.

pve design said...

I have an image from Shaker Town that I love - no bedskirts, but then when I see one of those billowy bed-skirts, they look like they are having a ball - I guess there is a time and a place for both.

Rachel said...

I think the days of the "bed-in-a-bag" are over... however, I think there's still room in this life for a nice bed skirt!

I agree with you - it totally depends on what type of bed you have. Four posters and platform beds, or beds with footboards, can get away with no skirt. But if you're like me and have a bed frame attached to a headboard, then a bed skirt is a must! I actually really like my bed skirt - it allows me all sorts of hidden storage under my bed!

La Petite Gallery said...

Really do like the boxspring cover. It makes it easy to vacuume under the bed right?

pretty pink tulips said...

I've been in a major dust ruffle mode the last 5 years. Before that I had some box spring covers made - and they are taking up a lot of room in my extra closet. Maybe I should pull them back out? But, then I'd have to find a place for all the things under the bed! And around and around we go!!

Jane said...

Ruffles Freak Me Out. And that fat wrapped AT Bed is pretty interesting too. And how do you vaccuum underneath and near?

Love the tailored examples and agree they only work with certain kinds of beds. Again, I feel they catch dust though just like any vertical fabric. Maybe it doesn't matter if it is easy to remove and wash.

inner_child said...

Holy Chintz! Why do people sweat this stuff? First the bed bug issue. Bed bugs start in the mattress. If you visit a hotel with them you will bring them home! Once you park your suitcase on your mattress, moment over, bedskirt or no, you've got bedbugs.
As to whether to skirt or not to skirt. If your bed looks good, then no skirt. But, frankly the average Hollywood bed frame and average department store box springs, not gonna make it on the pages of Dwell. Cover them with something that makes your heart go pitty-pat! Frankly, I prefer a skirt to upholstery style coverage because I am not letting a queen size or bigger box spring gator roll me to the floor, I'll never get up again!

Sketch42 said...

Well, I love a tailored bedskirt.

BUT- if you buy an entire bed, not just a headboard you dont really need it. If you buy just a headboard its a MUST.

You know I also love and HAVE a skirted table.

wholesale furniture said...

now I'm still living in my parents' house, but someday I want to make a new home and live with my wife. I really love it when I found this blog, because I dream of having a nice house interior design. this blog makes me inspired.
Thank you very much

VictoriaArt said...

I do fine without all this, but there will always be a market for the skirted everything.

VictoriaArt said...

I do fine without all this, but there will always be a market for the skirted everything.

red ticking said...

to each his own... love the post !! xx

Linda in AZ * said...

* Wonnnderful posting, Val, and much "food for thought"...

PERSONALLY, I think the bed, AND the space it's IN, dictate what will most likely look best/be most suitable... annnd, what's most appealing to the eyes of couple SLEEPING in it is MOST important of all!

We use a very tailored, natural linen, not "JUST" to hide seasonal rugs UNDER it, but MOSTLY because I personally LIKE the look, and it LOOKS BEST with our particular bed...

Again, great posting n' something to THINK about!!!

Warmest & thanks,
Linda in AZ *

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

Well, I have always had a bed skirt and don't see this changing anytime soon since I have an ugly metal bed frame that is only worthy of being hidden. Well-written post!

Design Elements said...

wonderful posting...much to thing about it...I like like the boxspring cover

Cote de Texas said...

but to start a war you have to have someone yelling how much they had dust ruffles (always dust ruffles to me). don't forget first decorno wrote about how much she hated skirted tables, then i wrote that i loved them. that weekend was unreal - the comments were flying back adn forth like crazy. i still love a dust ruffle - as long as it is right for the bed, like the 4 poster or a platform are no dust rufflers.

Lauren said...

haha love this! i think there's a time & place for both....

Right now I have my boxspring covered but desperately need a bedskirt bc my mattress is on the cheape metal frame with the wheels showing. it's so bad...

But, If I can get away without a bedskirt & just a boxspring cover, I usually do.

Lauren said...

Um, I need a bedskirt to hide all the clear storage boxes I have tucked under the bed!

I like all three ways it depends on the space...I even like a ridiculously full bedskirt if the other linens are kept really simple and monochromatic.

my favorite and my best said...

depends on the bed.
there are no rules though.

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

I've been pondering this same issue lately--it's like you read my mind! I would love to get rid of the dust ruffle on my bed but never thought about getting a box-spring cover. Interesting!

Great discussion here, as always.

Katharine Fuchs said...

I love both but for the average Jane it is hard to find a fitted sheet that doesn't look loose and awful over a box spring. Box springs are so light and cheap, they should sell them pretty.

Material Girls- Emily said...

Hey Valorie! Do you have an email subscription tool on here? I wanted to subscribe to your blog through email but couldn't find it! Gracias!

Anonymous said...

Oh me Oh my I am in love with Miles Redd - This Old Shoebox, so gorgeous! What beautiful postings you have.

*Chic Provence* said...

bedskirt in the winter, take it off for the summer. or not. as Corine says, to each his own!

great post dear Valorie!