How to use our own bed linen for Interior designing and decoration – Tips and guidance


Wealthy medieval households spun and wove their own bed linen which was stored in huge oak linen presses smelling sweetly of wood ruff and lavender. Bed linen was considered so precious it was included in wedding dowries and wills; rich travelers took their sheets and pillows with them when they went to stay with friends. And while embroidered silk ‘over sheets’ adorned royal beds, practical linen sheets went underneath. Satin sheets were reputed to have made a brief appearance in Tudor times in Britain through the auspices of Anne Boleyn who brought them back from France.

 However, cotton sheets were not introduced until the end of the eighteenth century and remained white throughout the nineteenth century, although the edges were often elaborately embroidered and trimmed with lace and ribbons. It was not until the 1960s that deep- dyed colors and sumptuous floral printed cotton bed linen first appeared; duvets from Germany and Scandinavia were also introduced and revolutionized styles in modern bed linen. 

Styles and fabrics Bed lien should be seen as part of the whole bedroom scheme. Colors, styles and patterns in duvets and pillowcases should match, complement or contrast with other bedroom furnishings such as the curtains, blinds or a bedspread.

It also helps to think of successful combinations: pure, crisp white cotton sheets with delicate lace, scalloped or picot edges always look marvelous against rich mahogany or walnut bedheads and Empire-style beds. Flower-sprigged cotton duvets and valance frills are pretty and practical on a divan in a young girl’s room or a spare bedroom. Sheets and pillowcases patterned with bold cabbage roses can complement a white lace and crochet bedspread or perhaps co-ordinate with a smaller geometric trellis, a striped bedspread and matching curtains or an Austrian blind. 

Sofa beds in a living room, study or one- room apartment could have a set of bed linen that 160 complements the upholstery: midnight-blue sheets and pillowcases with a light quilt in a bold paisley pattern could either match or co-ordinate with the sofa covers. By making your own bed linen, you can add special decorative touches, making it truly individual- details such as tucking and cording in a contrasting color for pillowcase and sheet borders. 

Borders of coordinating fabrics or plain fabrics in a contrasting color also look attractive. A time-honored favorite is to have plain sheets and pillowcases discreetly monogrammed in satin stitch with your initials. A few embroidered flowers, leaves or bows do wonders for a plain white pillowcase corner.