You’ve just bought a brand new mattress and now it’s time to buy the bedding. Where do you start? At Au Lit Fine Linens, we always start from the inside out. In other words, what matters to us the most is the quality of your sleep. We always recommend down-filled duvets to start. Nowadays, most down products are hypo-allergenic, so unless you have severe allergies or asthma, there is no comparison to down when it comes to your duvet. Down adapts to you body temperature, so it’s not too hot in the summer, but it keeps you warm and cozy all winter. It won’t cause you to sweat either, like synthetic duvets. (Having said that, synthetic duvets are washable and thus great for toddlers or up at the cottage where it can be damp.)
From the Inside-Out
Remember when you are choosing your duvet, this is a purchase that will last a couple of decades. A good duvet is an investment! You get what you pay for, so if you think you are a buying a pure goose down duvet at a bargain basement price, think again! There are no laws governing the down industry, so if you have found $99 down-filled duvet, beware! It is probably stuffed with a mixture of chicken feathers and clumps of dust. (We’re not kidding.) Choose pure goose down – either Canadian or European – and make sure there is a high-thread count shell that is soft and quiet, as well as baffle-box stitching to prevent the down from clumping at the bottom.
Pillows are all about personal preference. You should know that the more feathers there are, the firmer it will be. If you like a soft squishy pillow, go for 100% down. And even within the pure down pillows, you can select from soft, medium and firm fills. Don’t forget to buy pillow protectors, which protect against dust mites.
The featherbed is a luxury item that became popular in upscale hotels. It resembles a duvet, but it is always filled with feather (for firmness) and it sits on top of the mattress and goes under your mattress pad & fitted sheet. Sleeping on a featherbed is like sleeping on a cloud, and contrary to what you might think, it does not make the bed any hotter for sleeping.
Completing the look
Now that you’ve bought all your fillers, it’s time for the fun part: dressing up the bed! When it comes to decorating the bedroom, we get asked all the time whether to start with the linens or the wall colour. We always suggest starting with the linens, because it’s much easier to find a paint chip that matches your bed, rather than the other way around.
Your bed is the centerpiece of the room and should be the launching pad of your decor. Look for linens in a palette you can live with long-term. The reason neutrals have been so popular in high-end bedding is because they are classic and subdued and you won’t get tired of them. Fortunately, the neutral palette has expanded beyond white and cream to include taupe, sage, coffee, gold and deeper shades like cocoa and grey, as well as pastels such as ice blue, aqua and celadon. If you want to be more daring, choose a neutral foundation and then add pizzazz with decorative shams, throw cushions and quilts in more vibrant colours. Eventually, if you do grow tired of these bolder pieces, they can easily be replaced at far less expense than starting from scratch, and you’ve still got a beautiful bed that coordinates with virtually any colour.
Also, know your taste. Know your taste. Trends come and go, so follow your heart. The “Ultimate” bed is a lifetime investment. Quality linens will certainly outlast the current trends. (Check your wardrobe to discover your favorite colour!)
Bring your Measurements
When you go shopping for linens, know your measurements. You should know the depth of your mattress (they vary from 8” – 18” in thickness!) If you have a king size mattress that is deeper than 12”, you will need to get jumbo or super-king sheets and mattress pads, as well as a jumbo or super-king duvet. The days of consistency in mattress depths is long gone. Even the widths of mattresses are starting to change as a way to accommodate these deeper mattresses. So it doesn’t hurt to know the width and length as well. And you should also have the bedskirt measurement handy, which is from the top of the box-spring to the floor. This way, you can custom order the skirt so that it fits perfectly. If you are spending a reasonable amount of money to outfit your bed, each component should fit perfectly.