Q: I love the clean look of fresh, white bedding like hotels have, but my two sweet black Lab mixes shed. They don't sleep with me at night but we do cuddle when I read, and I know they get up there when I'm away. I wash my bedding weekly, but the duvet cover looks dirty even after a day or two, and it's a pain to change so often. Do you have any other ideas to help me?
A: This is a great question. A clean, freshly made bed is an easy luxury to give yourself every day, and, obviously, your fur babies think so, too. I'm sure you've thought about closing the door or banning your dogs from the bedroom, but who wants to do that? And if they're anything like my two Labradoodles, they probably would whimper outside the door until you let them in anyway.
The easiest thing to do is to have a few extra flat sheets — in white, or any color you might want. Use them as a bedspread and change them out as needed. Or, for a more polished look that takes about five extra seconds, take another inspiration from hotels: Instead of a standard duvet cover, use a triple sheet method of protecting the insert. It's called "triple sheet" because you're using three sheets on the bed instead of two. Add the fitted and flat sheets as you normally would. Then lay out your duvet insert. Add another flat sheet on top of the insert and tuck the sheet around the edge of the insert near the head of the bed. Fold the other flat sheet over the insert. Now you have two sheets protecting the insert's edge. This is also great for guest beds because it saves time and it's easier to launder sheets than an entire duvet cover. Having a collection of fun top sheets is a great way to change the look of your entire bedroom.
You could also have a collection of washable throw blankets in a darker color, as an accent to your white bedding and to use when your dogs are on the bed. Charcoal gray is very hot right now and would hide your dogs' fur.
And, if you do end up changing the duvet cover, here's a 30-second trick: Lay the clean duvet cover inside-out on the bed, spread out the insert on top, reach through the opening in the cover and grab the far corners of the fabric and the insert, one in each hand, then shake it all out.
Good luck, and for other inspirational ideas on how to make your bedroom feel more like a hotel room, see my blog.