The basics of bedding, sheets and the secret of how many pillows you do (and don’t) need. by Amanda Bedgood

Monday, July 1, 2013

bedding-101

There are few places in the home more beloved than the bedroom. That haven for rest and slumber. The place where, if you’re following doc’s orders, you spend a third of your life. It’s one of those places that should feel as good as it looks. That’s why we’ve tapped the expert in all things lux and practical, the man at the helm of Jeffery McCullough Art & Design Consulting, for a lesson in how to do it right.

His first rule when it comes to bedding is simple — “buy the best you can afford.”

“Good sheets should last for years. I have Yves Delorme pillowcases that are 12 years old and they just get better with age,” says McCullough.

Sheets that are well constructed can last years longer than their cheaper counterparts and lay the foundation for your bedding. For the best bet in choosing sheets many look to thread count — a common misconception says McCullough.

“I prefer 100 percent cotton percale sheeting to sateen, but some clients like sateen. Percale is “cooler” to the touch and more “natural” feeling. I only use percale for myself,” he says. “I don’t pay too much attention to thread count and think there is too much focus on that. To this point, I have no idea what the thread count is for my favorite Sferra and Schweitzer pillowcases, and it doesn’t matter because they are the best.”

Once you’ve found your favorite sheets, it’s wise to buy two sets along with several pairs of pillowcases — multiples offer the option for an easy switch that keeps the room fresh.

“Bedding is very important to the overall feel of the room,” McCullough says. “Bedding will make or break the design of a bedroom.”

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Photo by Robin May


He suggests choosing bedding that isn’t too loud. While it can make or break a room, it should be merely an element of the overall design — not the center of it.

“Beds are big and should not become the only thing one sees when entering a bedroom, which is what happens if bedding is too loud,” he points out.

Continuing along the lines of bedding “don’ts,” McCullough loathes bedding sets that matchy match from top to bottom.

“The only part of the bed that should ‘match’ is the duvet cover and shams,” he says.

The rest can be a combo of coordinating colors and prints. As for just how to construct this coordinating set up, he gives us a foolproof formula.

Four sleeping pillows for a bed shared by two, plus either a pair of shams or three euro shams in front of the sleeping pillows, a decorative pillow in front of the shams, a coverlet or blanket on top of the sheets and a duvet cover folded at the end of the bed.

To switch it up throughout the year, simply changing pillowcases on two of the four pillows will give you a new look.

Bedding by brand

 While some are devotees of high thread counts, bedding expert Jeffery McCullough says picking the right brand that’s high quality outweighs any rules of thread count. Check out his go-to choices for the very best in bedding.

Leontine Linens — New Orleans brand with a beautiful showroom on Magazine Street

Sferra — Find it at Neiman Marcus, Saks, Kuhl-Linscomb (Houston) or Indulge Maison Décor (Houston)

Yves Delorme — Kuhll-Linscomb (Houston)

Schweitzer Linens (New York)

Pine Cone Hill — Neiman Marcus or Kuhl-Linscomb (Houston)

Matteo — Kuhl-Linscomb (Houston)  or Indulge Maison Decor (Houston)

John Robshaw — Neiman Marcus, Saks, Kuhl-Linscomb (Houston)

Bedding Rules

? Do buy individual pieces for bedding rather than a set.

? Don’t mix more than three patterns on a bed (including the decorative pillow).

? Don’t drown the bed in decorative pillows. Pick one decorative pillow and either two shams or three euro shams in addition to sleeping pillows.

? Do buy the best bedding you can afford. High quality outlasts cheaper sheets and even feels better with time.

? Don’t focus on thread count. Look for quality brands instead.

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