There's nothing like waking up to a beautiful summer day while swathed in cool, crisp, daisy-fresh bedding. Unfortunately, not just any set of sheets is going to do the trick. Selecting linens is like selecting anything you invite into your bed: If you just pick the prettiest pattern and fall for slick packaging, you're in for a morning of sweaty regret.
We hit up designer Karin Shieh — co-founder of Crane & Canopy bedding — for some tips on waking up on the right side of the bed this summer.
"Linen, jersey and 100-percent cotton are all lovely fabrics for warm summer nights," says Shieh. "At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference. While linen and jersey both breathe and insulate well, they have some disadvantages. Linen is difficult to iron and wash, wrinkles easily and is not as soft. Jersey wears out quickly, stretches out and retains body odors." What you should never bed: polyester or polyester-cotton blends, which get sweaty and stick to your skin.
Be skeptical of thread count
Once the gold standard for posh sheets, "thread count" is now a suspect buzz phrase on par with "all-natural" and "eco-friendly." "In recent years, it has become a more meaningless marketing claim," says Shieh. "Thread count does matter, but only up to thread counts of 430. With higher thread-count, you get finer threads which results in a softer and smoother fabric. After thread-count reaches around 430, additional thread-count can only be achieved through 'creative' manufacturing methods — which do not add to a higher quality product."
But don't be afraid of a little color
"There is nothing as crisp or classic as the all-white bed. But for the warmer months, if you aren’t already beach- or lake-side, choose a color or pattern that sets the tone for summer," suggests Shieh. "Colors like Newport blues, chic yellows and seafoam green bring an element of happiness that contrasts against the summer heat."
Odds and ends
When it comes to pillows, Shieh suggests an odd approach: "I like to follow the 'odd number rule,' which removes symmetry and is more pleasing to the eye."
"Combining large repeat patterns with textures or smaller patterns can not only make a room appear larger but can also add character to the bedroom," she says. Pictured here is Crane & Canopy's Piper Blue collection ($30-$149, www.craneandcanopy.com).
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