When considering the basic bed-linen, you might choose to look for old, good-quality linen sheets in specialist shops or markets, or decorate newer cotton sheets with a simple stitched motif or a row of buttons. Along the edges of plain sheets or duvet covers, the addition of a striped piping or a border of appliqued shapes can transform and give character to a neutral surface. Imagine a row of coloured cut-out zoo animals or letters of the alphabet in line across the end of a child’s duvet cover.
While basic sheeting may be unpatterned and — typically — white, covers, quilts or valances present a good opportunity to introduce colour and pattern. Imagine striped-cotton quilt covers over white cotton sheets, or linen in faded gentle colours mixed with antique patchwork quilts — or perhaps with a bold contemporary duvet design (provided a colour link is established).
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Whether for a tiny baby’s cradle or a massive lit bateau, warmth should be an immediate consideration. For cold nights, consider chunky warm blankets in bold checks, either as additional throws or in the place of quilts or duvets.
Bed valances — or wonderfully named ‘dust ruffles’ — can conceal unattractive bed bases or provide curtaining for under-the-bed storage. These are made to fit individual beds, usually with pleats at each corner, and could be made in the same fabric as the main bed cover or in a contrasting material. For added detail, include a border along the base of the skirt in a different fabric or braid. Alternatively, you could box pleat the whole skirt.
4 Striped and checked fabrics have been mixed and matched in this bedroom, but limiting the colour scheme to blue and white means the look is crisp and clean rather than jumbled. By day the canopies strung across the beds provide extra shade from the incoming sunlight; by night they create a cosy, cocooning effect.