Baby, it’s cold outside
Winter is when your bedroom becomes a comfort zone. And when you are a house or flat sharer, it is also your personal retreat, explains Barbara Chandler
Thread count on the label charts the density of fibres per square inch. Just remember 200 is workaday, 400 is good quality, and 700 upward seduces into luxury.
M&S now has a choice of 10 fibres/ blends for linens. Top of the range is Supima satin, the world’s finest cotton with 750 threads — duvet covers from £85-£145. Pure linen has 400 threads. Duvet covers £59-£99.
John Lewis bedding department has an impressive bar of 24 “feel-me” samples for duvet fillings, and racks of different pillows to try. A new brand of cotton called Genuisa has a 1,000 thread count that feels like silk.
Winter whites, creams, taupe and soft greys are soothing and serene. Classic white bed linen is the linchpin, enhanced perhaps with touches of metallic threads. Dark colours are dramatic yet forgiving. Download the Dulux Visualiser app to your phone or tablet, and experiment on screen.
We are spoilt for choice in the linen departments of our big London stores. Harrods homeware department is stunning, Liberty is famous for its prints and John Lewis endlessly helpful. Keep the patterns low-key and peaceful. Put a large natural fibre blanket at your feet to pull up for extra cosiness, and spread a big creamy-white sheepskin rug on the floor to sink your feet into.
VELVET AND WOOL THROWS
Fashionable velvet is soft and sensuous. Once Milano, a small firm run by two Italian women in the UK, specialises in fabulous Italian linen. Its velvet blanket in gold or burgundy (135cm x 200cm) backed with 100 per cent linen is £408 (once.milano.com). Wherever you find yourself, spread out a soft wool throw, they are just about the cosiest thing you can snuggle up in. Choose gentle heathery shades or plaids.
Wool is billed as the perfect bedtime fibre, adjusting naturally to body temperature. Immerse yourself in The Woolroom’s woolfilled duvets, wool mattresses and even a wool bed. Its lovely throws are currently reduced to a bargain £44.99 (thewoolroom.com).
Buy well-made lined curtains to keep out cold and noise — John Lewis can make them in seven days. Its experts will work out fabrics, headings, tracks/poles and so on. It’s a popular service so try to shop off-peak.
Ready-mades are even quicker and most shops stock them. Measure up carefully and take a snap of your window with you to the store. Luxe website Amara has a selection for immediate delivery (amara.com).
from the top, Vix throw, £65; Jilly yellow cushion, £35; Peggy throw, £75; Topaz throw, £60; Jilly green cushion, £35. All from Habitat (habitat.co.uk)
Left: black Geo duvet cover and pillowcases, £24-£109; Cube side table in white/ grey marble, £199; solid basketweave throw in midnight, £79 (westelm. co.uk)
Inset: velvet blanket, linen-backed, £408 (oncemilano.com); kingsize Winged Caldey headboard in pure cotton, from £658 (the headboardworkshop.co.uk)
Sale: The Woolroom throws are £44.99 (thewoolroom.com)