Everyone has their own idea of comfort, even our border collie who wants nothing to do with the plush dog bed I bought him last year. Instead, he carves out his own nooks depending on his mood, such as his favorite spot within the confines of a three-way mirror in the master bedroom.

One of his newly designed niches has him wedged between a sectional, a dining table and an ottoman in the living room. It’s like the canine version of a man cave.

When a loud noise sends our poor pooch fleeing, he often heads straight for his buddy, a stuffed animal Golden Retriever next to my side of the bed. He then rests his head on its legs that become a makeshift pillow.

This support system seems to offer comfort on many levels.

Then there’s my husband’s idea of comfort, which is different from my own. During a recent visit to a friend’s house, he was deliriously happy in a leather recliner that faces an 80-inch TV.

By comparison, the modest flat screens that inhabit our home look like iPads. And no matter how deep some of our sofas may be, none of them recline or are covered in leather.

But they’re comfortable for the rest of the family and the dog seems to take my side on this one.

Besides, if we had a leather recliner in our home, I don’t think I would get anything done. When I find myself in one at our new movie theater and the film isn’t thrilling, I’m sound asleep in no time.

So for now, a leather ottoman provides a place to prop our feet when reading or watching TV on the sofa in the living room. It may not be a recliner, but it ups the comfort quotient.

At our house, the old mattress debate never gets tiring. While it’s definitely time to replace the one in our master bedroom, my husband insists it’s still comfortable.

Our daughter got a new mattress when she upgraded from a twin to a queen size bed. Yet, she thinks that our old one is the more comfortable of the two.

Maybe it’s a matter of wanting what you don’t have, because I think hers is fit for a princess.

We’re still trying to find the perfect pillow. I’ve learned the hard way that pricier varieties are not always worth the splurge. Sometimes I combine two different styles in my quest to get a good night’s sleep.

Although there may never be a one-size-fits-all version of luxury, every family member deserves to have a comfortable place to relax and unwind, including our pets.

Of course, our daughter often curls up on the dog bed to read while the dog stretches out on everything but the one piece that was meant for him.

That’s another lesson in trying to define comfort; only the end user knows for sure. It looks like Goldilocks was on to something after all.

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at

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