Meg and Mike Carroll, the owners of Bedside Manor, have guided their clientele to more restful slumber for 25 years. During that time, they've refined not only a highly personalized customer experience, but the perfect recipe for resting easy.
Photograph by Jim Prisching
From a very young age, we express who we are through our bedrooms. As children, it’s the room that holds our most precious possessions; as teenagers, our bedroom walls become a catchall collage of every interest and icon that we aspire to embody; and as adults, the bedroom is our sole sanctuary from the hectic pace of the day. Unlike any of the other rooms in a home, which reflect the interests and habits of the entire family, bedrooms are the domain of individuality.
“That’s where the dedication and knowledge of our staff comes in,” says Mike Carroll, co-owner of Bedside Manor in Lake Forest. “They not only have to address what someone is looking for, but also their individual personality.” And given the amount of options available at Bedside Manor, it’s now possible to shape your relaxation environment to perfection.
Though they began specifically as a retailer of brass beds and Amish quilts 25 years ago, Bedside Manor quickly became the North Shore’s destination for luxury linens when they began importing top-quality, handcrafted European bedding. Over the years that followed, Mike and Meg, his wife and co-owner of Bedside Manor, refined what it meant for discerning adults to sleep in luxury.
One indicator of quality is thread count, meaning how many threads are woven into a single square-inch of fabric. And, though the barometer of high quality fabrics begins at a thread count of 180, everything sold at Bedside Manor has a thread count of 250 at the very least. But the most important component of luxury linens is the quality of the cotton. Would you like bedding made of linen, Egyptian cotton, organdy, or sateen? Egyptian cotton is the current benchmark of quality. And each kind of weave creates a unique texture. A percale weave is crisp and long-lasting; damask integrates satin and matte textures into one sheet; jacquard adds an element of pattern by manipulating individual warp threads; and matelasse creates a raised pattern on the fabric visually similar to the appearance of a quilt. The only way to truly tell which weave and thread count best suits your individual personality is to visit one of their locations and feel it for yourself. Unlike other industries, the sensory aspect of bedding is crucial and relies heavily on firsthand experience.
“There’s a lot to it. We have 70 different vendors. There’s more than meets the eye,” Meg says. “When you come in the store, we try to show representations on all the different bed displays, but there’s a lot to unearth. We really spend a lot of time getting to know each customer.”
Many people find themselves changing their bedroom with the seasons, and it’s not just a matter of bringing out that extra blanket for winter. Much like the clothing industry, bedroom fashions are ever-evolving. Right now, the hot ticket bedroom accessories are coverlets and decorative pillows; adding a splash of color or pattern to the pre-existing ensemble really makes the bed pop. But if you’re looking for a real change, Bedside Manor offers in-home concierge services with designers that come to you and create a brand-new space from the furniture to the window treatments, each aspect refined by the wealth of their knowledge and defined by your unique personality.
With their specialized knowledge of linens, they recently expanded their services to include the bath as well as the bedroom. A wide range of towels and bath mats are now a part of their collection. And beginning this holiday season, you can also find the finest in table linens added to their repertoire. As Bedside Manor continues to grow, so does their abundance of accessories, from small furniture to candles to pajamas, they’ve got it all—even their own private label of hyper-exclusive linens like the 460 Percale White Collection, made from Egyptian cotton with a thread count of 460. But they make sure to also carry selections at every price point.
“There’s so much to offer here that we can fill up your linen closet with basic white sheets and white towels, or you can come in and accessorize your bed with a few new pillows, a couple lamps on your end tables, a throw rug, and your room will be refreshed. Or we can do the whole thing,” says Meg. “We can do that for your bedroom, we can do that for your bathroom, and now we’re going to do it for the table as well.”
“But it is all based on our knowledgeable staff,” adds Mike. “A staff dedicated to making sure that the customer is serviced properly. That’s why we’ve been around for 25 years. We continue to have new customers, but we also have those loyal customers that keep coming back 25 years later.”
With a quarter century of excellence behind them, it’s not hard to see why Bedside Manor’s motto is “Setting the Style for Sleep.”
Bedside Manor has four locations in Lake Forest, Winnetka, Chicago, and Hinsdale. For more information, visit them online at shopbedside.com.