This is the first of a new series of monthly posts where I’ll be highlighting my top 10 picks for the home that I’m obsessed with right now! Hope you enjoy!
1. Pottery Barn Grand Embroidered Duvet Cover & Shams
Crisp white cotton percale with three-stripe embroidery detail make this bedding chic and timeless. I just ordered this duvet set for my bedroom with monogrammed shams and I LOVE it! The best part? The collection is on sale! $79.99 for a full/queen duvet and $19.00 for a standard sham.
2. Nate Berkus Dhurrie Rug with Fringe from HSN
Nate Berkus can do no wrong in my book! His fabulous dhurrie rugs for HSN are stylish and affordable. I also ordered this rug for my home and can’t wait to receive it! Prices start at $74.95 for a 2′x9′ runner. Available here.
3. High Street Market
High Street Market is one of my absolute favorite Etsy shops and offers chic vintage finds for the home. I’ve been browsing their goods for a while and recently made my first purchases – a stylish brass pineapple box and a crystal Wedgwood paper weight. The customer service couldn’t have been better and my pieces arrived quickly and very well packaged. The inventory at High Street Market is updated often so visit the shop here to see what’s new and be sure to also visit the fabulous and inspiring High Street Market blog!
4. Jonathan Adler Greek Key Letterpressed Note Cards
A bright pink and blue color scheme add a modern twist to these classic letterpressed note cards with Greek key motif. $14.95 for a pack of six cards.
5. Linen Tea Towels from 5 O’Clock Crows
I just discovered this Etsy shop and am obsessed with their linen tea towels that are hand dyed with batik patterns in fun, bright colors. A great way to add color and style to your kitchen! $21.00 per towel.
6. Greek Key Nut Bowl from Williams Sonoma Home
Can you tell I have a thing for the Greek key motif? This stylish glass bowl has a brass Greek key base and is perfect for entertaining! $28 available here.
Love fresh flowers? You can have beautiful floral arrangements delivered to your door as often as you like with this innovative subscription based floral service! I’m so tempted to sign up! Right now H. Bloom only serves the New York area but hopes to expand to other markets in the future. Subscriptions start at just $35/week and you can get more info here.
Mirrors are a great way to add dimension to any space. This stylish option from Ballard Designs features a quatrefoil pattern with an antique gold leaf finished frame. $89.00 available here.
10. Blue & White Tea Jar Lamp from Wisteria
I can never get enough of classic blue and white porcelain and this tea jar lamp from Wisteria is just perfect. The drum shade provides a modern contrast to the very traditional Asianscenic pattern. $299 at Wisteria.
This just in…Fashion designer, CFDA President and all around style icon Diane von Furstenberg is launching a home collection! She is collaborating with Springs Global, a worldwide supplier of bed, bath and home fashion products. The licensing deal was announced yesterday and Von Furstenberg’s collection of home accessories, bedding, bath and tabletop items will debut in select department and better specialty stores in Spring 2011. The designer’s first foray into the world of home was in the 1970s when she partnered with Sears on a line. That program did close to $100 million in sales, according to HFN. Von Furstenberg also partnered with The Rug Company in 2006 to design a line of signature carpets. I can’t wait to see her new products when they hit the market next year! I hear the line will be very textile driven, just like her fashion collections and I’m sure it will be as chic and sophisticated as she is!
Above, Diane Von Furstenberg’s designs for The Rug Company. Top photo by Douglas Friedman for Harper’s Bazaar
Edmond’s Bardot Bedding Collection
I have a minor obsession with beautiful bedding and was excited to learn that Italian linen purveyor Frette recently launched a chic new brand extension called Edmond, named after the 150-year-old company’s founder Edmond Frette. The Edmond line has a more youthful and relaxed vibe than Frette’s conservative main line and is aimed at a younger, aspirational customer. Think eclectic mix and match bedding separates in a variety of animal, ethnic-inspired and geometric prints.
Edmond “Trio” bedding. Top sheet, $200, bottom sheet, $155 and pillow case, $75
The line also includes solids that are a modern take on the classics like the Trio sheeting, shown above, which features a bold and graphic black border outlined in red. The Trio sheet set is my personal favorite from the collection. Aside from sheeting, the Edmond assortment includes blankets, throws, sleepwear and toss pillows.
Blankets from the Edmond line. From Top: “Kasbah” Blanket, $995; “Domino” Throw, $1200 and “Horizon” Blanket, $800. On bottom is the “Anastasia” blanket from Frette’s main line, $5000.
You can see more from Edmond by visiting Frette’s website here. I have to say though, my only gripe with the line is in it’s price point. Frette is positioning the line as “accessible” but I’d argue that Edmond still falls in the luxury bedding category. Perhaps a $1200 Edmond blanket is accessible compared to the $5000 blanket from Frette’s main line but is it really? Pondering this question also got me thinking…how much is too much to pay for bedding? Would love to hear your thoughts!
Photos via Frette.com
Image: Fox Nahem Associates
A friend recently asked me how I keep my white bed linens so crisp and white so I thought I'd share some of my top tips for laundering your white linens here.
Wash your white linens separately. Mixing them with non-white laundry or with dissimilar textures (such as towels) can often cause pillage.
Always wash in cold water. Unless your linens are heavily soiled, there's really no need to wash on any temperature other than cold. High heat can break down the fibers in your linens, thus reducing their durability and lifespan. Plus, cold water is washing is the most energy efficient method…an added bonus.
Use only mild detergents. Regular detergents contain fragrances, dyes and harsh other chemicals that slowly eat away at the fibers in your delicate linens over time. Eco-friendly detergents such as Method's Squeaky Green Laundry are a great option because they're made from plant extracts and are generally much safer and gentler on your laundry. Another option is to use detergents that are made especially for fine linens. Le Blanc Linen Wash and The Laundress both make great products for laundering your linens.
Never use bleach. Bleach also eats away at the fibers in your linens and can cause a gradual yellowing of your whites. If your linens are extremely soiled, spray any stains with an enzyme based cleaner (good ol' Shout often does the trick) which will help lift stains and then launder in warm water. Also add an enhancer to the wash which will help boost the cleaning power of your detergent. I swear by OxiClean Free. As the name suggests, it's free of fragrances, dyes and harsh chemicals and is great for stain fighting when added as a laundry booster. I also use it to revive my whites whenever they start to look dingy. It works wonders!
Avoid fabric softeners. They will decrease the absorbency of your linens and I find that they also seem to make your sheets feel filmy.
Use a mild drying method. Line drying is best but if you don't have the time or the outdoor space for line drying, tumble dry on low. It may take longer but this will preserve the life of your linens. If you don't mind the extra step, I also recommend removing the sheets from the dryer while damp. Shake them out, then let them air dry. This will prevent wrinkles from setting in.
Iron your sheets! It's a huge pain in the you-know-what, but it's the only way to achieve a crisp, clean and polished look like in the photo above. It's best to iron while damp, and if your sheets have any embroidery, iron them on the reverse which will make the embroidery pop. If you don't have the patience to iron your sheets thoroughly, then cheat a little (no one will ever notice!). Simply iron your pillowcases and the top half of your flat sheet which is typically the only part that's exposed. (I wouldn't skimp on ironing your white duvet though!)
I hope you find these tips helpful!
A while back I was shopping the organic bedding section at ABC Carpet and Home and I stumbled upon the most beautifully dressed bed covered in Indian paisley printed bedsheets by Raksha Bella
–a new brand that I was thrilled to discover. Raksha Bella is an eco-friendly line of 100% certified organic cotton bedding that is hand block printed using non-toxic, low impact dyes. The line is produced by a group of fair trade women workers in India who are recovering from poverty. Raksha Bella was founded by Carrie Peters who is truly passionate about sustainable design and what I love most about the brand she has created is that it embodies the idea of sustainability in every way possible. Even the company’s San Francisco Bay office is “green” both in its design and its operations. (The office is run on solar power and includes an organic vegetable garden out back.) I reached out to Carrie recently to learn more about Raksha Bella and she was kind enough to fill me in on how the brand started, where it’s going and also share her insights on sustainable design. I hope you enjoy the interview.
What is Raksha Bella in a nutshell?
Our company’s name is also its creed- Raksha, pronounced (ra-k-shaw), meaning protection in Sanskrit, and Bella, the Latin classic for beautiful. Appropriately, Raksha Bella’s philosophy is to protect what is beautiful with our devotion to hand-made organic textiles.
What inspired you to design a line of bedding?
I was a decorative painter and I started getting concerned about the paints I was using. I began to research and use non VOC paints before they reached the mainstream marketplace. That led me to researching more ‘green” products for the home. Textiles became a main focus for me, especially the plight of organic cotton and what’s happening overseas. I took a trip to India and fell in love with the artisan world there, and saw a great opportunity to heal the planet with my love for pattern, design and color and my passion for sustainability in a place that really needs it.
How are your textiles are made?
The cotton is grown in certified organic cotton co-ops in India, milled in a GOTS certified mill in Dehli, then printed by hand with wood blocks in Jaipur with low impact AZO-free dyes, and cut and sewn by women self employed by the Grameen banking system for the poor who are recovering from poverty and empowered by their work.
Why was it important to take this humanitarian approach to your business in addition to simply being “green”?
I believe that eradicating poverty is the next step to sustainability. I believe that empowering women, who are raising the next generation, is a way to make culture changes more sustainable. Women make cultures thrive, vibrant, alive. Without happy women, happier children are fewer. They are our future. They hold the promise to change that is most effective because they grow up with the values needed to full and more long term change.
What does sustainability mean for you?
Sustainability for me means long term, healthy tending, maintenance, adoration and protection of the planet and people.
How do you practice sustainable design in own life?
Most of my home is painted with non VOC paints, I collect all extra water and pour it onto my potted plants and I have solar panels on my home. I love the Center for Creative Reuse and Recycle—a local favorite–all reused and recycled things people throw out—its so incredibly creative.
Are there any other “green” brands for the home that you love besides your own?
Peace Industry rugs & American Clay.
Do you have plans to introduce any new patterns or products any time soon?
Yes! We have our new loungewear collection coming this June/July designed in collaboration with Erica Tanov, and our new prints for our bedding line. For fall we are playing with texture and the ancient and beautiful Japanese dye technique Shibori.
A big thanks to Carrie and in case you were curious about the new products, here’s a sneak peek at some of Raksha Bella’s new bedding patterns and loungewear. These should be available on the Raksha Bella website
in a couple of weeks!