The Final Frontier for Designers

Bedding industry looks forward to lucrative clientele stream in 2023.

Designer Bedroom

Get ready for a new feature series for 2023 titled “Beds by Design.” 

Why designers and why now?

When I joined BedTimes and Sleep Savvy in February 2022, I immediately noticed a trend of more designers entering the bedding industry in interesting and creative ways. Not only are they endorsing mattresses (think the Scott Brothers and Restonic), but they’re helping design the mattresses themselves — not to mention average, everyday designers buying mattresses for their clients, from individuals to commercial projects.

And let’s not forget the professional designers employed by ticking manufacturers to design the mattress fabric. Think Creative, Lava, Culp and BekaertDeslee, to name a few. At the March ISPA EXPO I interviewed several designers, most of whom had been influenced by the fashion industry. (What inspired the elegant bridal ticking collection at Culp? Chanel.)

At the July Las Vegas Market, I talked with Tom Murray, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Tempur Sealy International Inc., and he revealed the company had worked with designers for the new Stearns & Foster collection. “We have a new design council who we will partner with to make sure that people in the interior design circles have an appreciation for the beauty of the mattress,” Murray said.

At that same market, Kingsdown introduced its new design community ambassador, Kristi Hopper, founder and principal of Kristi Hopper Designs, a Dallas-based design firm specializing in residential and commercial design. At the October High Point Market, the company announced a partnership with StyleRow, a trade-only project management platform serving the luxury interior design industry.

“Kingsdown understands that designers typically influence 15-plus purchases of mattresses per year,” Hopper said. “And with 21,000 ASID members alone, this will no doubt represent significant business.”

Meanwhile, Shifman Mattresses has quietly rolled out its own to-the-trade designer program, complemented by a four-piece designer collection called Inspired. The line has been simplified with four distinct feels to take the guesswork out of shopping for a mattress, according to Alison Minella, Shifman marketing director.

“Designers don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about mattresses and construction. … They want to design,” said Bill Hammer, president of Shifman. “So, this collection is an easy way to design a beautiful bedroom, to give them the most important piece of furniture in that bedroom, which is the mattress.

“And the mattress is really under-emphasized in a lot of cases, because it’s all about the beauty of the room. But what good is a beautiful room, if the mattress doesn’t give them the comfort that the room is designed to give them?”

With all the buzz about designers, I thought, “Why doesn’t BedTimes spend more time covering design?” And Beds by Design was born. 

Full disclosure: This is not my first time reporting on designers and their influence on the furniture industry. I have covered designers in the furniture category for many years.

While they have influenced so many sectors of the furniture industry, bedding could be the final frontier for designers. How exciting! Stay tuned for more in future issues.

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