Invest in quality bedding and a timeless colour combination and you'll enjoy the sheets for years.
Don't skimp on bed linen. You spend at least six hours of your day in bed - so make it a luxurious experience that you enjoy.
Match bedding and furniture
Choose bed linens that harmonise with the style of the furniture in your bedroom. Limit the pattern palette to two contrasting patterns and a solid.
Creating a cool room
Create a cool, serene mood in the bedroom with solid-colour bedding in a palette of soft blue and white.
LEFT: Plum and brown accents tie the bedding to the lavender walls and espresso brown headboard and bed frame.
To keep the look uncluttered, cover the box spring in a white sheet to match the fitted sheet and tuck the top sheet and bed cover behind the bed rails.
The throw and duvet add softness while preserving the tailored appearance.
Play with colour and pattern
Lively bedding is an easy way to introduce colour and pattern into the bedroom.
LEFT: Tangerine and blue create a playful mood next to the wallpaper and headboard. A range of blues from dark to light provide the dominant theme, and orange supplies the accents. For an even bolder scheme, the pairing could be reversed, with orange as the dominant hue and shades of blue as accents.
The mix of patterns contributes to the lively mood. Checks, dots, circles, and diamonds play off of each other, held together by colour.
Notch up the thread count
Over the past few years, the notion of thread count has become increasingly influential in the choice of bed linen.
Technically speaking, thread count is the number of threads, both vertical and horizontal, in a woven sheet.
Another crucial element to the quality of a sheet is the thickness of the threads being used.
Finer thread generally create smoother, softer fabrics, and is part of the reason why high thread count fabrics are considered more desirable.
At the end of the day, the best sheets you can buy are the ones that you think look good in your bedroom and that feel comfortable against your skin.
Percale sheeting is the finest available. The high tread count gives the fabric a silk-like feel.
In cotton sateen sheets one weft thread weaves over several warp threads, then under one and over another several more. This results in a smoother fabric with a luminous sheen and a buttery softness. Expect luxury sateen sheets to have a thread count of 350 to 500.
Egyptian cotton comes from where the name suggests – Egypt. The humid conditions and rich soil in Egypt create the perfect conditions to grow long cotton fibers, and Egyptian cotton falls under the classification of an ELS (extra-long staple) cotton. Their long length (about twice the size of other cotton fibers) allows them to be spun into very fine yarns. These yarns are soft and lustrous yet are very strong and durable.
One thing remains true, consumer studies have found that the majority of people want 100% cotton sheets. Nature has given cotton attributes that make it a smother, softer and more comfortable choice. It’s breathable, so cotton sheets never feel sticky against your skin. Cotton bed sheets also provide year-round comfort. Cotton fibre provides cool comfort in the summer and holds a layer of warm air in the cold weather.
Add colour with pillows
Layers of pillows bring colour from the headboard down to the bed. Think of bed pillow arrangement as "pillowscaping." For an uncluttered look, prop large, square pillows against the ones you use for sleeping - the bed pillows hold the decorative ones at a pleasing angle. Then arrange orderly rows of pillows in contrasting shapes, coverings, and sizes.
Balance the pillow display with a plump duvet at the foot of the bed.
Contemporary bedmaking means dispensing with layers of pillows. Keep two or three for sleeping and add no more than three accent pillows to reinforce the colour scheme - otherwise you'll end up with pillows all over the place.
Mix and match bedding for personal style
Why confine yourself to the bed-in-a-bag approach? Instead of buying a matching set, mix up your own bouquet of sheets, pillowcases, and coverlets to make your own creative statement.
When you're stocking the linen closet, think variety. A set of sateen or percale sheets in your preferred colour scheme will keep the bed cool and comfortable in summer.
For winter, a cozy throw added to the bed will provide all the warmth you need for perfect sleep. It's also a good idea to have three sets of sheets: one on the bed, one in the closet, and one in the laundry. Rotating sheets makes them last longer.
Also invest in at least two duvet covers, one for summer and one for winter.
Proper care for bed linen
Always launder new sheets before using them to remove residual sizing, chemical odours, and finishes from the manufacturing process. Most sheets should be washed in warm water and mild detergent with like colours. Dry them on low to medium heat. Too-high temperatures will dry out cotton fibres.
[via meredith publishing]