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Nothing’s more divine than climbing into a comfortable bed at the end of a long day. But divine beds don’t just happen. In fact, it can take a good deal of planning and homework to turn an ordinary bed into a nighttime haven. Read on to learn how to make your bed more comfortable and set the scene for luxurious lounging. Here’s a hint—it’s all about layers, comfy blankets and glamourous touches.

First, Start with the Most Comfortable Mattress

The foundation of a good night’s sleep begins with a fabulous core—the mattress. If you’re waking up tired and achy there’s a good chance you need a new mattress, but be prepared. Mattress shopping can be a rabbit hole of information and choosing a comfortable is dependent on personal preferences. Before heading to the store, think about things like your sleep position, whether you prefer a firm or soft mattress, whether you and your sleeping partner have the same preferences, and how much you’re prepared to invest. After all, the mattress is just the start. Add-ons could include frames, adjustable bases and even complete bedroom sets. Whichever direction your purchase takes, don’t forget the mattress pad, which adds an extra layer of softness and protects your investment from dust mites and spills.

Softest Pillow or Firmest Pillow. Which is Best?

Choosing the right pillow is just as important—and as personal—as choosing the right mattress. Make a decision based on your sleep position; choose the softest pillow if you’re a tummy sleeper, a firm one if you’re a side sleeper, and a contoured pillow with added neck support if you sleep on your back. Depending on how you fall asleep, you may need more than one pillow. Side sleepers, for example, can benefit from a pillow placed in between their legs to keep the spinal column in alignment.

Learn How to Layer a Bed Like a Pro

The next step is finding the most comfortable bed sheets to add a layer of softness next to your skin. What you put on top of the sheets are a matter of personal preference and your sense of style. Depending on the climate where you live you may want a blanket on top of the sheets. If that’s too much heat, consider placing a throw blanket on top of your bed. Not only is it added warmth when you need an extra layer, but it’s also a great way to add a cozy yet chic element to your bedroom wardrobe.

Top it Off with the Most Comfortable Comforter…or Quilt…or Duvet

The top layer of your bed is where you make a style statement. For homespun appeal folksy quilts make a definite impact, adding color and texture to your bed. Comforters add a toasty layer of warmth and style and many are available with matching accessories to make decorating a breeze. Duvets and duvet covers are an elegant and practical option and cleaning is a breeze—just remove the cover and follow cleaning directions. Plus, changing the cover is an affordable way to achieve a new look without completely redecorating.

 Throw Pillows Add Style to Comfy Bedding Sets

 

Now that you have the basics, it’s time to add some pizzazz! Throw pillows in coordinating patterns and colors add interest, and, contrary to beliefs held by non-frou frou fans, they can be practical as well as pretty. Start with two bed pillows (minimum) on each side of the bed and go from there. Several stacked bed pillows in coordinating cases are attractive and functional. For a more whimsical look, place numerous throw pillows on top of the bed to showcase your sense of style. Or go all out and add some glam with eye-catching accessories that would make any diva proud.

And a final note—once you’ve crafted the world’s most comfortable bed, take a few extra steps to ensure a restful night’s sleep. Keep your room temperature on the cool side, use curtains to block out exterior lights, and turn off electronics like your cell or tablet. In fact, stay away from any kind of electronics—even the television—for at least a half hour before lights out.

Share your comfy bedroom space with us on Instagram using the hashtag #MyAshleyHome.

Happy Sleeping!

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Graduation season is here, and it is time to watch your family and friends cross the stage into adulthood. Some will be gearing up for college while others will be looking forward to the first days of their careers. No matter their destination, they are going to need a few essential items to help them get started. Here are 12 great gift ideas for your high school or college grad.

1.) DIY Survival Kit

Forget the flowers. Take a trip to the nearest dollar store for items to make a survival kit. Gather things like laundry detergent and energy drinks to create a generalized basket or tailor it to his or her major. For example, a nursing major would probably appreciate a kit with pens, bandages, lip balm, and hand sanitizer. An illustrator would most likely love markers, pencils, and sketchbooks. No matter their calling, be sure to set them up for success by including a book or handout on adulting.

2.) Dinnerware

Your graduate will need a nice set of dinnerware if they are moving into their own place. Chances are they will want to entertain guests at some point or the other. It is time to ditch the paper products in favor of quality dishes and utensils that will last through the years.

3. Smartwatch

Smartwatches, available from several different brands, have a number of uses. Keep healthy by tracking fitness, stay on schedule with reminders, and discreetly check messages.

4. Wireless Tracking Device

Although arriving fashionably late may be acceptable in social situations it probably won’t get anyone off the hook for class or work. And in the real world, lost keys are no excuse. Help your loved ones stay on time with a wireless tracker keychain. By syncing the tracker with the cell phone app, they will not have to worry about wasting time searching for lost keys. The tracker could also assist in locating stolen goods when placed in backpacks, handbags, and the like.

5. Best Mattress

Everyone deserves a great bed for restful sleep. Purchase the perfect mattress for your graduate and pay it forward in the process. A portion of every Ashley HomeStore mattress set purchase goes to Hope to Dream, a program designed to provide a free twin mattress, bed frame, bedding, and pillow (a $399 value) to underprivileged children.

6. Pillow

Throw pillows with catchy slogans make stylish gifts that tell a story. Choose pillows with words or phrases that will resonate with your grad.

7. Bedding

Help your grad build a bedroom loaded with personality.  Pillows, throw blankets, and other bedding accessories are stylish gifts that they’ll appreciate when it’s light out.

8. Cell Phone Battery Case

Most people always have a smartphone right by their side these days. Equip your grad with a cell phone battery case, so running out of battery power on the go will be the least of their worries.

9. Wireless headphones

For the music lover, your grad can jam out while walking to class, on break at work, or while exercising. Who wouldn’t love being hands- and wire-free?

10. Baskets

Organization is a huge part of adulting. Gift your graduate a basket or two for storing laundry and throws. They can also be used as decor.

11. Area Rug

Whether it’s a dorm or a first apartment, the gift of a stylish rug will help define their newfound floor space. Be sure to consider which size and material will work best.

12. DIY Calendar

For an economical and incredibly helpful gift, help your grad keep track of the days. Find a calendar template online, or make one from scratch if you are nifty with software. Insert sentimental photos for each month, print the sheets on card stock, and attach them to a chic clipboard.

Happy Graduation!

Make sure you check out our guide to #adulting on Pinterest.

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Outdoor living has never been more in. Between the amazing advances in weather-safe furniture and accessories, living outside is anything but roughing it.

Essential #1: Outdoor Seating

You can’t deny those old, hard plastic chairs are inexpensive But they’re also stiff, uncomfortable and sure to fade. Same goes for wicker. Think it’s time for an upgrade? Good. Because given all the options in outdoor seating, you can really be choosy.

Outdoor seating should not only fit the space but also serve your lifestyle. When you think of the perfect outdoor space, what comes to mind? A private escape? Party central? Family meals? Siestas in the shade? Consider how you really live.

Heated conversation: Love hosting cocktail hour? Raise the bar with a fire pit chat table. Comfortably cushioned swivel chairs enhance the flow of conversation.

Backyard BBQs: If your family is into cooking out, the next generation picnic table is where it’s at. Thick cushions make it abundantly more comfortable. Bench seating caters to the little ones.

Fun fest to snooze fest: Make room for everyone—or have it all to yourself. Sumptuous redesigns in outdoor sectionals are custom made for nap time and party time.

Sit a spell: A 3-piece settee/loveseat, chair and coffee table patio set might be all you need to turn an overlooked balcony or patio into a favorite destination.

Outdoor Essential #2: Weather-Proof Material

Living well outdoors calls for hardcore construction and easy-breezy care. Consider rust-proof aluminum furniture to withstand the elements. Make sure furniture cushions and accent pillows are covered in weather-resistant, fade-resistant fabric such as high-quality, eco-friendly NuvellaTM.

Talk about outstanding. Nuvella fabric looks and feels so good you’ll be tempted to bring it indoors. Fret not, it’s made to weather the elements.

Hurray for POLYWOOD®: You know those plastic milk jugs that end up in your recycling bin? What goes around comes around in a beautiful way with POLYWOOD® outdoor furniture.

Essential #3: Outdoor Rugs

Given the weather, you’d love to kick off your shoes and get comfortable. But bare feet and bare surfaces don’t always go together. With a surface-cooling outdoor rug, you can turn a cement slab into something fab, spare yourself from a splintering deck and create a pulled-together look for your outdoor living space.

On a roll: Outdoor rugs sure have come a long way, both in terms of design options and comfort level.

Outdoor Essential #4: Plenty of Shade

No awning? No sweat. If you really want to be made in the shade, you can’t live without the cantilever umbrella this summer. Sure, they can be pricey, but once you experience the difference…wow. Cantilever umbrellas are similar to tilt umbrellas, but with more range of motion. A foot pedal rotates the umbrella 360 degrees, while a slider mechanism pivots the canopy. And because the base is weighed down with 200 plus pounds of sand, you know it’s rock solid.

Everyday luxury: Cantilever umbrellas are the choice of five-star hotels. Enjoy the same luxury experience from the comfort of your backyard.

Most importantly, have fun getting into outdoor living!

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Ah, May. Snow and ice are almost a memory, warm weather beckons and suddenly we’re overrun with festivals, parades, picnics, and barbeques.

But as we indulge in these rites of spring, let’s stop for just a moment or two…

Because while May is the kickoff to summer, it’s also the month with two designated days to honor and remember. Memorial Day pays homage to the fallen, and the 3rd Saturday of May is Armed Forces Day – 24 hours set aside to give a shout out to service men and women in all branches of the military.

At Ashley, honoring homegrown heroes is so important to us that our founder, Ron Wanek, donated his talents and resources to build the Soldier’s Walk Memorial Park in Arcadia, WI. Millions of dollars and thousands of man hours helped create the 54-acre park that features a stunning half-mile journey through America’s military history.

The crown jewel of the park is the “Avenue of Heroes”, a concrete ribbon lined with 28 statues or monuments. Some are masterfully crafted renditions of famous memorials, all designed and/or sculpted by Mr. Wanek himself, that pay homage to US military leaders and the service men and women who followed them into battle.

The journey through America’s military past begins with the Revolutionary War and touches on all of the country’s wars and military conflicts. Each work of art is a tribute to bravery, service, and sacrifice.

In December, Soldier’s Walk became an official Wreaths Across America location. Ashley helped transport wreaths from Maine to various points throughout the US before ending the journey in Arcadia for the first wreath-laying ceremony at the park.

The Soldier’s Walk is a memorial for the fallen and those who never returned. It’s a thank you to those who’ve served and are still serving today. And it’s a living history that can help shape the leaders of tomorrow.

For more information about Soldier’s Walk, visit their website: http://www.soldierswalkmemorialpark.com/

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Some would say it’s something similar to what you’d see on the 4th of July: a whole lot of bold red, white and blue paired with stars and stripes. But there’s no need to stop there; true Americana style takes on hundreds of forms and is just as unique as the country it represents.

That’s why this year we turned to our fans, to see how they’ve flaunted their own Americana flair in their homes.

Vintage & Bold

What makes it uniquely Americana:

Distressed and weathered Marsilona queen panel bed
Sweet wicker basket
Clean, white bedding
Textured navy and white striped pillow
Inspirational Typography
Rustic & Sweet

What makes it uniquely Americana:

Rustic Whitesburg dining room table and bench seating
White wall panels with star cut-outs
Crisp florals
Geometric rug
Mixing a dark wall and light toned furniture for a stunning juxtaposition
Classic & Textured

What makes it uniquely Americana:

Elegant and distressed Demarlos upholstered bed with nail head trim
Mirrored Charlowe nightstand with a raw, acacia wood look
Gold and marble lamp
Softy striped bedding
Textured pillows

Can’t recreate a full look but still want to have a pop of style? Try these affordable statement pieces:

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If April showers bring May flowers, then it’s the perfect time of year to add a little floral inspiration throughout your home and into your closet.

Birds are chirping and flowers are blooming! Refresh your bedroom this spring by adding a floral printed comforter, quilt, or duvet. Feel free to mix and match the bedding pieces by incorporating solid colors that will compliment your blossomy selection. Love flowers, but not too keen on adding a splash of color to your bedroom? Then opt for a neutral floral bedding set that will do the trick. Another alternative to dressing up your place of rest is to add lots and lots of pillows – a combination of solids and floral motifs will add a pop of “spring” to your bedroom.

Bring springtime into your living room by swapping out solid color pillows for floral patterned ones to add a little flair. In the mood to add more multiflorous options throughout the room? Then opt for an ottoman or a patterned living room chair which will give you an extra dose of spring. Create a mini botanical garden in your living room by adding orchids, ferns, and other foliage as center pieces or to add on top of your sofa console table.

If your closet is still filled with winter clothing, it’s time to do a little spring cleaning. Ditch the sweaters and replace them with dresses, rompers, skirts, and tops that are bursting with botanical inspiration. The best item to add to your closet this time of year are maxi dresses due to their versatility and length. They are available in a variety of colors and patterns and can be dressed down for a casual day of shopping or a romantic date. The fabrics are light and breathable which is beneficial for when the temperature starts to rise. If you’re not into dresses, grab a floral top and tuck it into your favorite pair of shorts or skirt – have some fun by mixing solids and these flowery prints to create your own springtime wardrobe!

Want more springtime fashion inspiration? Follow @Islandgirlchelle on Instagram or visit: www.islandgirlchelle.com

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Create Your Dream Backyard Oasis to Relax

Is your next escape right in your own backyard? It’s certainly a possibility if you create a backyard oasis. Imagine a relaxing spot where you can get away, set all worries aside, sip a piña colada and connect with nature. Whether you have a small deck or a large tract of land, keep reading to find out how to create an oasis right in your own backyard.

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Find The Sofa And Loveseat Pair That’s Perfect For You

Whether you’re replacing furniture, moving in, or just looking for something shiny and new, we have the perfect sofa and loveseat pairs for any style and space.

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Grill Up Some Fun In The Sun This Memorial Day

Memorial Day is on its way. And you know what that means… If you’re lucky enough to have the day off, it’s high time for some chillin’ and grillin’ with family and friends. Ready to get this party started? Read on…

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In today’s design world, apparel and interior trends go hand-in-hand. We see a new trend on the fashion runways one day, and it’s popping up in home decor and furnishings not too long after that. One of those “catwalks to interiors” trends all over our radar is the color blush. It flooded the runways during New York Fashion Week last year in tones ranging from chalky pink to nude. Not to mention, it’s all over Pinterest, too!

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