UK Based Linen Brands

As promised, here’s a short list of small UK based linen companies with which I have fallen in love.

Peter Reed

romanleafpinksquaremain_mediumThese linens are the epitome of luxury: every piece is made by hand and expertly finished by highly trained craftsmen. Since 1831, Peter Reed has offered a bespoke service for the truly distinctive home as well as a small featured collection of designs. The company prides itself on delivering the highest quality and offers monogramming, logos, and a color matching service.

Cologne & Cotton

blue-candy-stripe-webWith several boutiques scattered around England and an online store, this brand is known for high quality soft cotton and tasteful simple embroidery. Cologne & Cotton offers bed and table linens, nightwear, baby products, bathroom towels, and as its name aptly states, the company also sells a range of beautiful scents from brands like Fragonard, Molinard, and Portus Cale. I probably should mention I snuggle up in their bed linens every night; this is my go to company since moving to London 🙂

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Whites of London

higham-plain-duvetcoverset-duckegg-0_2This brand offers luxury bedding, fine linens, and homeware online and is a great resource for quality products at an affordable price. I’m a big fan of their 400TC Duck Egg Egyptian Cotton set and to break up the colour, I tossed in a set of white oxford pillow cases and a bolster pillow (I like 4 pillows when I sleep and two large shams for when the bed is made up).

 

Lavender & Lily

e846b3_340107993e604a54a168f3bfac2f14dc-jpg_srz_498_402_75_22_0-5_1-2_75_png_srzThis brand is focused on sustainability and has curated a small collection of bedlinen, blankets and throws that are beautiful, simple, and unique. The collection of fresh whites, classic greys and warm taupes will help you create a calm and inviting space and you’ll sleep well knowing you’ve chosen an ethically sourced product!

roma-linen-set_1Heirlooms

I’ve previously raved about Heirlooms when I visited the company stand at Decorex and again at the Monaco Yacht Show. The brand creates beautiful pieces in England and their customer service is excellent. If you’re looking for top quality luxury, do check them out!

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As always, feel free to add your favorite brands in the comments section below…

Avoiding Those Tug O’ War Nights

Anyone who has shared a bed with a partner has undoubtedly experienced a moment when they’ve found themselves without any linens or covers to keep them warm and cozy. We all know that dreadful feeling when we look over at our loved ones and notice they have fully wrapped themselves into the duvet like a pig in a blanket, leaving you to fend for yourself. You contemplate prying the duvet off your partner, potentially offering a swift kick to the back in hopes they’ll roll over, or you consider a move to the sofa where you may find another quilt and a few more hours of shut eye. Let’s consider some other popular options, so you can avoid starting WW3 with your companion.

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  1. Scandi-Style: Two Duvets, One Bed – this method allows both parties to have their own duvet and removes the argument/battle factor all together. The Scandis are clearly the non-confrontational type and this really does solve the problem! Bed buddies can share a mattress but still have their own cocoons. One must simply master the overlaying of the duvets for morning cuddles and try to avoid gaps where cool bedroom air might enter the nest. It takes practice! For those of us who obsess over what a made bed looks like, consider a throw or blanket at the bottom of the bed like the tan one pictured above or the orange one below to complete the look.dbf67e3cb3408ef54854441a441f4677
  2. King Duvet on Queen Bed – This method decreases the chances that you’ll end up without any bit of the duvet, due to its obscenely large size. However, if your partner is particularly skilled at “sausaging”, they may be able to successfully wrap themselves entirely within it. The trick with this method is to grab hold early and chances are your partner will settle down with a good two-thirds of it, leaving you with at least enough duvet to cover your slice of the bed. Your bed will look plush, lush and incredibly luxurious with the overflowing fabric draped over it. In order to balance out the heaviness of the larger duvet, be sure to have a few big pillows on the bed to balance it out.
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  3. Flat Sheet and Duvet – Many Americans prefer this style of bedding and the flat sheet helps keep the duvet from slipping around throughout the night. Adding a simple flat sheet adds traction and not to mention aesthetic appeal to the bed. This means you have a completed bed look and functionality. You won’t have to clean the duvet cover as often, and the fitted and flat sheet are much easier to manage. It’s not the best solution to the tug o’ war, but it certainly will reduce the ability of your partner to ball up in the duvet. It’s worth a shot!586491_2_o

Any other ideas? How about going back in time to separate beds?! Feel free to share your ideas in the comments section below.

Some of My Favorite Bedding Brands Available in the US

Several readers have asked about my recommendations for bed and table linens and I’ve finally put some thought into it. I have had to narrow down my favorite brands in the US, the UK, and in France, as many are not available globally and mattresses differ in size across the globe. Please keep in mind that my definition of luxury centers around quality and craftsmanship. I have tried to focus on niche companies that have the best interest of their consumers, their employees, and our planet at heart. There are countless brands to choose from, but I hope my reviews will help narrow down the options as you create your perfect nest.

This post will focus on luxury linen brands available in the US. Please note a few of these brands will create bespoke linens and ship internationally. I will follow up with a post on UK brands in the weeks to come. Promise!

Léron

duet-ming-sheeting_collection_add219b1-9fab-49a7-8470-d70edd0e417a_largeLéron offers a small line of beautifully hand embroidered linens for the bed, bath, and table and also has a bespoke department. There’s custom and then there is Léron custom: everything is tailored to the individual and the level of personalized care and attention to detail is evident in their business philosophy.

Schweitzer Linens

riga_angelicaIf you are a born and bred New Yorker, there is a good chance you’ve heard of Schweitzer. The company has stores scattered around the Upper East and Upper West side as well as a catalog and website. Schweitzer delivers excellent quality and gorgeous detail at an affordable price. The linens are soft, durable, and will stand the test of of time. The company also offers a variety of throws, blankets, baby and children’s bedding, as well as fabric available by the yard.

Matouk

marsalis_bedEveryone loves Matouk for their fresh and modern interpretation of classic fine linens. The all-American company based out of Massachusetts produces beautiful bed sets as well and towels, gifts and home accessories. The brand stands for sustainable practices and delivers exceptional quality and design at a great price.

Leontine Linens

54c138eb9f37d_-_hbx-leontine-linens-1-57022814This New Orleans based brand has a cult following and is a favorite for all those who love monogramming. The company offers great designs but also has countless monogramming styles from which to choose. Bright colors, modern fonts, bold curly cues, it’s all here. With so many options to choose from, you’re bound to find exactly what you want for your home.

Peacock Alley

la-femme_ensembleThis Texas based brand has been around for nearly 40 years and delivers high quality fabric sourced from around the world and sewn in Dallas. The vision for the founder’s family-run, locally based company has not changed: Make and sell bedding and bath linens that are simple, beautiful, and impeccably crafted. Mary Ella Gabler understands the importance of detail and elements of craftsmanship. This boutique company is definitely one to know.

Boll & Branch

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Though the blog is designed to focus on luxury linens with elements of high quality craftsmanship, I understand some readers may be looking for more affordable options. Boll & Branch gets my stamp of approval because of their commitment to fair trade, sustainable practices, and quality textiles.

Do you have a favorite brand that I haven’t listed? Please feel free to share in the comments section.

Monaco Yacht Show 2016

The Monaco Yacht Show brought 125 super yachts, 40 luxury tenders, 580 exhibitors from 38 countries and nearly 40,000 visitors to Port Hercules in Monte Carlo over four days (Sept 28-Oct 1). The event was a huge success with a great turnout and even better parties. Exhibitors included yacht manufacturers and brokers, architects, and of course interior designers and luxury products for the yachting world.

Though I did get to spend some time exploring the super yachts, most of my visit was spent inside the exhibition tent chatting with interior design pros and reviewing (read: drooling over) stunning display stands of one-of-a-kind furniture, art, and home accessories.

valombreuseValombreuse stood out as the highest quality linens I’ve seen on the market. This Paris maison prides itself of providing 100% hand embroidered products, from complete bed sets to unbelievably constructed tablecloths and placemats. The level of craftsmanship was truly exceptional. The company has a showroom on the Champs Elysées and is available to visit by appointment.val2val1

fullsizerender-7Frette’s stand also had magnificent nautical colors on display and found creative ways of highlighting their bespoke service through beautiful sketches and illustrations of previous projects.

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Luxury superyachts and sailboats sit in the harbor as the sun rises during the Monaco Yacht Show (MYS) in Port Hercules, Monaco, on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016. Over 125 of the world's most luxurious yachts will be displayed in Port Hercules during the 26th MYS which runs from Sept. 28 – Oct. 1. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

A Day At Decorex International 2016

I had the pleasure of attending Decorex International 2016 on Wednesday September 21st and did I have a blast! The four-day event enables access to some of the best designers and manufactures in the world and was a true display of craftsmanship, creativity, and beauty.

Many of this year’s designers built unique display stands with gorgeous installations and it was great fun to walk around and experience so many different spaces.

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My personal favourite was The Sofa & Chair Companys installation that mimicked a luxury flat complete with bar area, dining space, living room, and master bedroom. The display was perfectly curated by the company’s team of interior designers and merchandising experts, who did a wonderful job of showcasing innovative products inspired by the latest design trends in this season’s neutral and serene colour palette of blue, gray, beige, black and elements of gold.

As they so well illustrate, what city flats lack in size can be made up for with high-impact style choices: bold and unique furniture pieces, a great colour palette, and textured décor can transform a small space!

img_1361Next, I spent some time admiring Heirlooms‘ fine linens. This English brand began manufacturing linens in their workshops in West Sussex in 1984. The company combines the finest materials and traditional craftsmanship to create linens of exceptional quality and lasting beauty. Heirlooms designs for the luxury consumers’ every need at sea, on shore, and in flight. I fell in love with a few beautiful safari themed nursery items and table linens that would work perfectly as a place setting for dinner on board a fabulous yacht.

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Lastly, I loved learning about the high quality textiles available for made to measure curtains, blinds, and bespoke upholstery at Prêt À Vivre. The company is London based and offers a nationwide measuring and fitting service as well as personalized guidance throughout the process. Prêt À Vivre has a huge range of exclusively sourced fabrics and offers a wide range of colours and prints. They also teamed up with French company Toile de Mayenne to supply their beautiful fabrics in the UK.

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I enjoyed a glass of bubbly at the 1508 London designed Champagne Bar, attended a LuxDeco sponsored panel discussion with Maurizio Pellizzoni, Matthew Jones, and Nicole Kluk about how the different areas of the creative community work together to produce bespoke spaces, and met with many company founders and creative directors. It was a packed schedule, but it was highly informative and fun! I even got to play with some English Sheep called “Exmoor Horns” brought to Decorex by the Campaign for Wool and I cuddled with a Springer Spaniel named Charlie.

img_0899Decorex also works to support a few organizations, take a moment to check out their websites and learn about the good they are doing: Goodweave and Fine Cell Work.

Next stop, the Monaco Yacht Show!

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The Importance of Quality Sleep

Today, we’re inundated with information about how to get a good night’s rest. An infinite number of magazine articles, websites, and blogs cover this hot topic regularly and it has become a growing concern among hard-working professionals who average about six hours and thirty-six minutes of sleep a night.  Are we getting enough sleep? What can we do to get better quality sleep? And what are some modern approaches to making the most of our time in the sheets?

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Not surprisingly, a good night’s rest starts with a comfortable mattress, pillows, and sheets. Focusing on individual needs and preferences is a must. Too many marketers have convinced consumers that quality comes down to thread count, when in fact, quality is determined on so many levels: the length of the fibers used, the type of fiber, the weave, and so on. Some individuals may prefer a higher thread count of a very thin fiber, whilst others may sleep better with a softer fiber and lower thread count which allows for more breathability. At the end of the day, just like fine art, it comes down to individual preference.

Here are a few tips for making the most of your time in bed:

  1.  Invest in high quality bedding. We spend over a third of our lives in bed – linens are not something to skimp on. That said, the great thing about luxury linens is that they don’t have to be inaccessibly priced. There are countless brands today that offer high-end bedding starting from $300. It is worth while doing some research before you invest. Industry giants, like Frette, charge thousands of dollars for a set of bed linens and claim to produce their products in Italy, but most are manufactured in China and simply finished in Italy. Many smaller boutique brands offer a higher quality for substantially less.
  2. Choose a pillow firmness that matches your sleep style. Down pillows offer the greatest luxury and, unless you suffer from allergies, they are considered the best choice. Stomach sleepers should choose a softer low profile adjustable pillow. Back sleepers would do well with a medium thickness pillow. Side sleepers should consider a medium-high thickness pillow. It’s all about cradling your neck and adjusting your spine to a neutral position.
  3. Choose a sheet set that’s right for you. Some individuals prefer the ease of a fitted sheet and duvet, whilst others insist on having a flat sheet and a blanket. Focus on what is comfortable for your needs and preferences.

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Image: Undolock