A brave new mood of eclecticism has overtaken the design world in the past few years and, naturally enough, found its way into the bedroom. We’re turning away from the predictability of bedding sets and expressing our individuality through layers, textures and an ever-growing appreciation for the sensuous feel of fine linen. Colours are mellow, soothing, easy to live with and inspired by nature; relaxed sophistication is the key.
The trend for bedroom layering is itself multi-layered, embracing a daring mix of different textures, fabrics and colours. Pillowcases no longer need to match the sheets – and increasingly the top sheet is different both in colour and composition from the lower one. To create our one-of-a-kind boudoirs, we’re also dressing our beds with linen drawn from a disparate range of collections and brands.
The desirably dishevelled look concocted by magazine stylists has never been easier to achieve at home. Beds are rich with texture, interesting colour combinations and a mix of fabrics that are only partially “pulled together”. A crumpled throw, slightly lopsided bedspread and asymmetric pillow arrangement bring a far more relaxed mood to a bedroom than military precision and hospital corners.Texture & pattern
Texture is all-important this season. Though thread count used to be the most reliable way of assessing the quality of bedding, we’re now more inclined to rely on our sense of touch. “Choosing linen is a tactile experience,” says Rachel Jackson-Hoare of children’s bedding specialist Patersonrose.
River Nile Linens understands linen choice is all about personal preference and has a wide range of bedding, including “the crispy ‘hotel feel’ of our percale cotton or the soft and silky luxury of our pure Egyptian cotton”. A white waffle cotton blanket brings a subtle texture and tone to the bedroom.
Harrowset Hall combines rumpled linen with plush velvet and beaded cushions as well as comforters and throws in metallic silver for unexpected gleam. Look for bedding in natural textures, such as shagreen and seagrass, at Cavit & Co and opulent faux fur throws in raccoon and leopard at Decor Living. Introduce an extra layer of unpretentious texture by knitting a throw or cushion cover. Use jumbo-sized needles and four strands of wool for an effortless, chunky effect.
From faded florals to bold graphic designs, an interest in pattern remains. The Seneca range, available at leading linen stores, has bedding that references handcrafted global influences such as ikat patterns and kalamkari prints. This season’s bedlinen from Frette – an Italian brand synonymous with comfort and luxury since 1860 and stocked here by Cavit & Co – takes its inspiration from shells, fossils and sea plants from the coastline of the Italian isle of Capri.
Natural and raw fabrics are to the fore, with linen, cotton and wool retaining their dominance. Egyptian cotton and Supima cotton remain popular at Seneca, as do Portuguese marcella and matelassé bedspreads – favoured for their lightweight construction and ease of care. A relaxed appearance is all part of the charm of the stonewashed Vida collection of linen, also available at Seneca; it’s prewashed, preshrunk and doesn’t require ironing.
Wallace Cotton’s Paula Wallace advocates the use of pure cotton or linen “as natural fibres are wonderful at responding and adjusting to your body temperature”. She recommends snowy white goose down as a light and long-lasting filling for duvet inners and pillows. For bedding with a utilitarian, variegated finish, consider chambray in soft blue or charcoal.
River Nile Linens, which focuses on generously sized luxury sheets in fabrics such as pure Egyptian cotton, makes bespoke linen for unusually sized beds and offers a personalised embroidery service. See Cavit & Co for Italian wool throws by Cecchi e Cecchi, sumptuous silks and cashmere blankets as well as duvet inners and pillows filled with Arctic goose down.
Harrowset Hall has hypo-allergenic duvet inners filled with organic silk fibre that can be used as a layer under quilts and bedspreads. They also stock hard-wearing pure linen sheets.
Patersonrose offers a range of linen and accessories for children. Their colourful fun designs have longevity – no fairies or dinosaurs – and encourage mixing and matching from different ranges. A palette of Resene paint colours for bedroom walls has been chosen to coordinate with each collection.
The major bedding houses have noted the emergence of a soothing range of luminous natural colours. Ideally, their delicacy is complemented by the occasional burst of a more intense hue. At Cavit & Co the palette is silver, cream, pale grey, carbon, pewter and crisp white. At Harrowset Hall: sepia, cream, ivory and shades of blue. At River Nile Linens: white and French grey. Seneca has dove grey and plum tones and Wallace Cotton has charcoal, soft grey, crisp white, taupe, green and Mediterranean blue.
Sleepyhead’s national sleep survey found that 61 per cent of us sleep in a queen-sized bed; king-sized is next most popular. It also emerged that many people share their bed with a partner of a markedly different weight.
A bed capable of correctly supporting such diverse partners is vital. Sleepyhead’s new SwissTek mattress sets a “new benchmark in pocket-spring comfort and support”, minimising roll-together and partner disturbance. For more information, see sleepbetter.co.nz.
And Patersonrose’s Rachel Jackson-Hoare says we’re upsizing our children’s beds, choosing king-singles for younger family members and queen-sized beds for teens. If size matters, a good night’s sleep just keeps getting better.
For more images click on the "photo gallery" link above.
Allium Interiors - (09) 524 4242
Anami - (09) 307 1593
Bianca Lorenne - 0800 242 567
Cavit & Co - (09) 358 3771
Chambers Linens & Gifts - (09) 376 6479
Cooper and Trelise Cooper - (09) 366 1962
French Country Collections - (09) 376 6440
Harrowset Hall - (09) 524 4452
HouseHold Linens - (09) 378 9310
Linen House - (09) 478 4999
Siena - (09) 377 7555.
Sheridan - sheridan.co.nz
Wallace Cotton - wallacecotton.co.nz
Make-up by Samala Cosmetics; Hair by Casey Kenny and Brittany Ngawhika from Morgan & Morgan Urban Retreat; Model Gina from Red 11
Story: Shelley Bridgeman
Photographs: Belinda Merrie
Stylist: Tracey Strange Watts