Chic Bed Linens

James T. Murray

Departures’ guide to new, innovative, inspired and chic bed linens.

Although the majority of time spent between the sheets may be with your eyes closed, it’s important that waking moments are equally satisfying. As such, we have linens—in all their decorative glory. Whether monogrammed, embroidered, bordered, printed or plain, linen selection is an extension of personal style. With so many options, we’ve narrowed it down to six companies that represent the ultimate in haute bedding.

Léron: The Quilting Dots with Border sham can be custom-ordered in any color and delivered in six weeks. $325; http://www.leron.com/.

Olatz: The Roma white and purple linen sham with a layered double border is handmade in Italy. $515; olatz.com.

Pratesi: This Boudoir sham features the Ecologico print, a pattern introduced in 1973, shown here in lunar gray. $190; 212-288-2315.

Frette: The subtle geometric design on this Pereneire boudoir sham was inspired by fossilized sea creatures. $195; frette.com.

Julia B.: This citron and eggplant sham was embroidered by hand. The designer also replicates heirloom linens. $360; juliab.com.

D. Porthault: The Renoncules blue boudoir sham is a hand-embroidered version of an archival print from the 1960s. $195; 212-688-1660.

%new_page%

Ask the Expert: Bed Linens with Deborah Sharpe

Owner, Deborah Sharpe Linens

Are dust ruffles a requirement or a relic? And other rules of modern bed etiquette.

Dust ruffles never go out of fashion, though I prefer tailored bed skirts—they’re far less fussy—especially in linens, white piqués and silks.

Blanket versus duvet is another concern. I use a silk charmeuse quilt from my new line and then fold a duvet at the end of the bed like a throw. If you need the duvet, you pull it up over the quilt. It’s the best of both worlds!

I’m never afraid to mix prints and colors on the bed—especially with throw pillows in different shapes and sizes. I start with crisp white percale sheets with a charcoal-gray double hemstitch and then add a simple cashmere, linen or cotton blanket. I mix in a patterned quilt for color and finish with an oversized throw pillow made from geometric Pucci fabric in charcoal and dove gray, plum and black.

A great way to personalize your bed is with monogramming, either hand-appliquéd or -embroidered. I monogram napkins, matelassé bedcovers, pillow shams, bath mats, jewelry rolls—anything and everything! Right now I love large single-letter monograms on a Euro sham instead of the traditional three letters. It’s a fresher look.

I’m also happy to see a new emphasis on lightness and what feels good on the body with bedding. A few years ago, designers were making duvet covers out of heavy upholstery fabrics, and it was so uncomfortable that it became passé.

One lasting misconception is that thread count determines the quality of sheets. That is not true at all! Rather than obsessing over thread counts, people should look to the weave and the finish as true indicators of quality.

Deborah Sharpe Linens opened in L.A. last summer at 307 N. Martel Ave. For more information, call 323-933-9869 or go to deborahsharpelinens.com.