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  • Writer's pictureCaire

It's all about the bed linen

From chic bedside tables, to plants that will help you sleep, to impactful wallpaper, you've dedicated plenty of your design energy to creating a stylish and soothing bedroom. But when it comes to your sleep space—between picking the perfect paint colour and figuring out the right fabric for your curtain—you might be overlooking one of the most important ways to tie your bedroom together and make a major decor statement: your bed.

Quilts, coverlets, shams, skirts—choosing the right bedding to suit your design scheme can seem intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. To set your mind at ease, we've partnered with Matouk on their From Our Home To Yours campaign to share their 85 years of linen-making experience, so that you can find everything you need to complete the bedroom of your dreams.

The first factor that tends to trip people up when committing to bedding is getting too hung up on their preconceived ideas about styles. "I'm not trying to be irreverent when I say that I really don't believe in the go-to descriptions of 'traditional/modern' and try to stay away from them," says Mindy Matouk, creative director for John Matouk & Co. "I don't think that adding a pair of beautiful floral shams (or a classic monogram, for that matter) on your bed necessarily makes it a 'traditional' bed."

Still, if you're looking for a starting place, some broad themes can apply—decorative edging like embroidery or scalloping generally lends a more classical feel that can suit everything from a French countryside to a beachy Cape Cod feel (their Mirasol pattern was inspired by Palm Beach shop awnings, making it very coastal decor-friendly.) Meanwhile sleek lines, rich textures, and abstract patterns lean toward contemporary styles like midcentury modern and Scandinavian decor.

That doesn't mean you have to commit to an all-out scheme, though. "I can't remember a time when I've put a bed together that had every element of the bed matching," says Matouk. That's why every item in the brand's line is available individually; you can mix and match pieces.

"The duvet cover and euro shams are great places to bring in some color or pattern on an otherwise neutral bed, especially if they're folded down at the bottom when the bed is made."

Pillow shams are also an ideal option for making a big impact with minimal design risk. Afraid of going too bold with a botanical print duvet? Opt for shams instead and keep the larger bed acreage neutral. Want to transition your color scheme with the seasons? Find a sham design you like that's available in multiple shades—then, you can swap out your hues seasonally without reconfiguring all of your bedding. "I also love to throw a boudoir sham in that's kind of a fun wild card. They're pretty easy to switch out, so why not?" says Matouk.

Of course, the feel of your bed linens is just as important as the look, so use your sleep preferences to help guide your linen style. "Just because you like a 'modern' look doesn't mean you should suffer through a night freezing because you think that duvets are too traditional," says Matouk.

Cold sleepers and those who prefer a bit of weight can opt for a duvet in a light fabric, like cotton percale, for breathability in the warmer months ("The duvet cover should be made of fabrics that are as tactile and airy as the bed sheets," she advises) or swapping out a quiltinstead. "Quilts usually have the weight they need built right in." For cool months, swaddle down in a full comforter.

Prefer things a little lighter? "Skipping the comforter and making the bed with just a quilt or a coverlet and blanket is a classic and elegant look," Matouk says, though she adds, "I always suggest having a comforter on hand, even if it's in the linen closet."

For clutter-prone types and upcyclers, there's another form of bedding that can not only make over the look of your bedroom, but also its usability. "A bed skirt is only absolutely needed if you are covering up a frame, or if you want to use it to cover the space under the bed," says Matouk. She explains that a bed skirt can also help ground the bed in your space, which is handy for tall bedframes. "A box-spring cover is always a great alternative to the bed skirt, and gives the bed an airier, more casual look."

Perhaps most important of all when it comes to choosing the right bedding is committing to quality. "[Bed linens are] foundational elements that are going to be just as important for how they make you feel when you touch them as when you look at them," explains Matouk. For a luxurious feel that lasts and lasts, look for high-quality, long-staple cotton (a measure of the length of the individual cotton fibers) like the kind that Matouk has been sourcing from textile experts for decades.

"One of our favorite sets of linens is one we've had for literally 10 years," she says. "I love that our sheets are so enduring, and that they have the opportunity to be a part of a family story in that way."

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