You may remember Victoria de la Camara, our Style Editor, from her Rue Confessional in our July 2014 issue. As Victoria explained, she’s spent much of her life moving across the globe – and in our opinion, she’s gained quite the reputation for good taste along the way. Victoria recently decided to put down roots in Madrid to be closer to family. As she settled in, she offered her style-savvy help in decorating her parents’ beautiful home. Today, Victoria shows off their bright bedroom – but not before giving it a few updates.
My parents have traveled their whole lives. They’ve moved from one apartment to another every three to five years, making flash design decisions, or frankly, decisions with very little design. So just last year, nearing retirement, they decided to give their home a major update: the first to go was their tired bed and the so-old-that-it-could-probably-be-considered-vintage comforter. I insisted that they purchase a full bed-frame for a more cohesive polished look, and helped them blend some of their long-time prized possessions (my dad’s desk he inherited from his father) with their love of clean, Scandinavian style design.
After doing some research, I came across Parachute Home – luxury bedding basics at a seriously reasonable price (much like an Everlane for your bed). We scored their gorgeous white percale duvet cover, shams, and a cashmere throw to complete the look. Impressed with the quality, the style, and the overall experience of Parachute’s bedding, I caught up with founder Ariel Kaye, to find out the facts behind great bedding.
Here are some surprising things that I learned from our conversation:
1. Thread count is a myth: “You can’t get more than 400 threads per square inch,” Ariel says. “Anything past that is a manipulation of the thread itself – layering one on top of the other, creating a rougher texture.”
2. Because some high thread count bedding has this fabric manipulation, it might not be as breathable as something that is 400 threads per square inch or lower.
3. Many mass market companies make up for a low quality fabric by adding chemicals such as formaldehyde to make them feel softer right out of the package. That is also why they might feel rougher with use.
4. Not all organic bedding is truly organic – the cotton itself might be organic but chemicals can be added later to improve softness. It’s important to find out about the whole process to make sure you’re getting something that’s healthy.
5. The best bedding focuses on the quality of the cotton itself (long staple Egyptian cotton will give you the highest quality) and how the thread is woven.
6. The difference between percale (breathable and soft) and sateen (shiny and luxurious) is the weave, not the type of thread.
She also had a few great tips on how to take care of your sheets:
1. Half load your washer and dryer to get a smoother, wrinkle-free result.
2. Put your sheets on a delicate cycle. A high heat will break down the fibers over time, leaving you with bedding that won’t last.
3. Never use stain-free detergent or bleach. The chlorine will not only be bad for your sheets but also for your skin.
4. Take your bedding out of the dryer while it still has a very slight dampness to it. This will air-dry out the wrinkles.
With great bedding in hand, I styled the bed three different ways.
1. The highly layered luxurious way – top sheet, coverlet, and duvet folded at the foot of the bed.
2. The laid-back way – no top sheet, duvet untucked, four pillows placed vertically, and a throw at the foot of the bed.
3. The simple tailored way – no top sheet, duvet tucked in, four pillows laid flat on top of each other, euro pillows in front, and a throw at the foot of the bed.
Check out the slide show for more details!
Shop the story: 1. Sheet Set // 2. Bed // 3. Lamp // 4. Shams // 5. Throw // 6. Side Table
What do you suggest for strength…..ive read that the lower the count, the more ‘abuse’ a linen can absorb; is that true? Im sure other people with bed friendly dogs etc would benefit from this type of info. Thanks
Great question! Most high thread count sheets are sprayed with chemicals to make them softer which also means that they become less resistant with wear once they wash out. Go for sheets that are long staple Egyptian cotton (the best quality of cotton) that have the least amount of tampering with the fabric. Then wash them at a low heat with less detergent and no softener to have them last longer. For example, Parachute’s bedding is 300 thread count and they are great quality! Maybe try with a few pillow cases of the same color as your current bedding to see how they last before you make a decision.
Thanks for all the useful info….I’m ordering a top and bottom sheet…..cant be any worse for wear than the LL bean / target stuff 🙂
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Hi, I liked this post. I would love to know whete can I get the picture above the bed. Thank you!