As part of her continuing series, our columnist Rita Konig offers advice on choosing bedlinen...
There are a handful of things that are really worth buying in the sales and one of them is bed linen. I have been buying linen for many years - and most of it while it was on sale; I would never have been able to acquire such a good collection otherwise.
Although I am a total sheet snob, I have never been terribly interested in thread counts but more about how things feel. Getting into bed at the end of the day is made so much better if you are climbing between really soft, crisp sheets. If you are looking for the best, in my opinion, the Italians make the finest linens. Most of mine are from the , which sells fantastic sets of percale sheets, linens by , and beautiful things from France and Italy.
is something of an obsession for me, one that my husband has sadly curbed - men do look slightly silly in a bed made up in pink hearts. Since I have rarely been able to afford an entire bed of , I have always been a great advocate of combining its pillowcases with plain white percale sheets from companies such as . I actually think this is a better look. I often buy the pillowcases in sales and occasionally I have found sets on . At the time of writing this, has divine baby pillowcases in a violet print on linen and pink clovers in percale that, on this small size of pillowcase, would be relatively easy to get past a beady-eyed husband. now has a concession at Harrods, which is not a bad place to head.
If sending sheets to the laundry isn't your thing, companies like and are good options. They make beautiful sheets in heavy linen that doesn't need ironing. It is a fashionable look that is all over ; I do love that Belgium-meets-Montauk look of bone-white crumpled linen on a low bed. also sells a version of it, as does .
There are two schools of thought on pillows. I have always been a standard and a square person, simply because I like leaning back and having the support of a square pillow. But two standard pillows is probably a neater look. One thing that's certain is it is worth spending the most that you can on pillows. I don't think you really want anything other than the softest white Hungarian goose down. Basically Siberian, Polish or any of those chilly Eastern European places are good.
The other thing that I like doing with crisp linen is having a vintage quilt or Welsh blanket on the bed. always has beautiful vintage French quilts and in the King's Road has an entire room at the back dedicated to vintage linens and quilts, which are perfect for mixing in if you don't like it all looking too neat and tidy. has beautiful vintage Welsh blankets from . at Battersea Park is also a good place for this sort of thing. has a stand and I have bought beautiful quilts from her at the fair in the past. You can also visit her stand every Friday at Portobello Road Market.
Taken from the January 2016 issue of House & Garden
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