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Advice for DesignersPrimary BedroomUnderstanding Undertones

Why I love this How to Decorate Podcast

By 07/09/2017July 20th, 201771 Comments

So I’m an 80s child and lately we’ve discovered Apple Music for our iPhones. At Christmas, Terreeia and I treated ourselves to a new portable Bose stereo which, of course, are now wireless, and then we started creating Playlists on our phones.

I created an 80s playlist which I listened to for a while in my car, but then got sick of it pretty fast.

Raise your hand if you love ABBA? I used to be embarrassed that I still love their music so much, but I’m over it.

Anyway, last year when I was in Charlotte, my good friend Lisa Mende attended my Specify Colour with Confidence workshop, (she wrote about it here on her blog).

Lisa is a maven and a great connector! She knows everyone and she has the kind of personality that makes you just want to be in her space no matter where it is. She has also decorated some amazing show houses, here’s one of her rooms:

Then, during her interview with the three gals at Ballard (below), she mentioned my Understanding Undertones System and how along with using my Large Paint Samples, they practically choose the colour for you.

After conducting thousands of colour consultations, where I first discovered the three undertones of beige and then as time passed, all nine undertones, which now complete my colour wheel, I noticed that I used the same collection of neutrals over and over again.

That’s why you pretty much need just the 50 in my Core Collection, the bonus collection is the VIP collection which includes many of the most popular greens and blues. None of these colours have been randomly selected, they have been carefully curated over years of working with colour.

Anyway, I even received a direct message on my Instagram from a designer in Vancouver who said, Maria, I knew you were famous but now you’re really famous because Lisa Mende is gushing about you on her podcast with Ballard. Listen to the podcast here.

And stay tuned, when I get to Atlanta for one of my workshops in October, Karen, Taryn and Caroline will be interviewing me for the podcast! Then I’ll really be famous, hooray!

Anyway, That’s when I started listening to podcasts in earnest, while driving.

The problem with video is that it needs your full attention, there are so many videos that go unwatched sitting in my emails.

Podcasts are a multi-tasking medium. You can even listen to podcasts while doing your housework.

The only issue with listening while driving, is that I find myself looking up furniture they are talking about or even some design terms I don’t know at stoplights – eeeek.

When Miles Redd talked about decorating his parents house and how he switched out his Mom’s lampshades to Empire shades, I was like, Whaaaat? In all my years of decorating, I’ve never heard of this shape referred to as an empire shade. He says he prefers Empire shades to drum shades which are more modern. So in case you don’t know either, here they are:

Glass Urn Table Lamp | Casa Florentina Table Lamp

I’ve suddenly become a big fan of Ballard furniture listening to all these podcasts as well. My shopping list is getting long. (I hope Terreeia is not reading this)

When Suzanne Kasler talked about her outdoor collection with Ballard along with her best-selling indoor/outdoor Campaign chair, I screeched to a halt to find it on my phone:

Campaign Chair

Sometimes I get asked what dining set should replace one that looks like this:

In case you have something similar and are looking for an upgrade, this one from Suzanne Kasler is the one:

Suzanne Kasler

Then, when Ballard’s bedding expert Beth Mars Dean talked about the preparation that it took to gt a bed ready for a photo (minimum half a day) I felt validated because that’s how long my fabulous assistant Kelly Parkinson took to iron all the bedding for a photo shoot we did in May (below).

Beds are really hard to photograph.

Here you can see a sneak peek of the laundry room I designed for this house (above). And here’s a sneak peek of the bed:

Pretty wrinkle free don’t you think? Thank you Kelly!

Crystal Hasell’s home (Studio Director and Owner of Studio B, follow her here on Instagram)

See the bed above? Beth says she covers her mattress in duvets FIRST before she does anything else. Minimum two sometimes three duvet’s depending on how thin the mattress is.

Look closely at the mattress above? See how poufy it is? And she says she uses two flat sheets, you can see that the flat sheet has been draped on top of the fitted sheet for the final shot.

When I heard that on the podcast, I laughed because it’s the very reason this photo (below) did not make it into my portfolio when I had this project photographed last year.


It looks like I strictly have a flat sheet on top of the bed because that’s exactly what it was. The duvet cover looked better folded on top of the bed and it worked for this shot (below). But not for this photo (above).

Interior Design and Styling by Maria Killam

My favourite conversation was when they talked about how many people make their bed everyday?

When they conducted a poll with their podcast listeners, the percentage of people who made their bed every day, was very high (I think it was around 80%) but listeners of a decorating podcast, care about decorating.

If you care about design and decor but you don’t make your bed, then all is lost one of them said, haha. And it’s true, I’m the one who cares, so I make the bed every morning (below).

Maria’s Master bedroom (see my full house tour here)

Why have a room that looks like it’s right out of the Four Seasons if you don’t even make the bed? That is exactly right!

Let us know if you make your bed every day!

And now that we are on the topic of beds, I am on the hunt for sheets that feel like some of the hotels we stay in.

Crisp yet soft? How much do you have to pay? This is what I’m wondering. I already know that thread count is not all it’s cracked up to be. I once bought some sheets with a very high thread count that instantly pilled.

I’d love your opinion!

Related posts:

 How to Work with Bedroom Carpet You Don’t Like

How to Specify Colour in a Bedroom or Closet

5 Ways to Transform your Bedroom Right Now


8 pins


  • Monica says:

    Boll and Branch. Period.

  • JaneB says:

    I love this post I am
    NOT a designer. I recently discovered a line called Lime and Leaf with the best sheets I’ve ever used. Way better than some advertised on other podcasts, sold at Restoration or Pottery Barn… they look and feel great and drape beautifully on top of it. Bed makers might be really glad to know about them.

  • Lisa B says:

    I have quite a few items from Ballards and have shopped with them happily for years. They have beautiful pieces. I also (mostly) make my bed every day, but recently read an interesting article on how it is better to let your bed / sheets breathe by leaving it undone. Thanks for the podcast suggestions – I’ll be sure to check them out. I’m a huge fan of audiobooks and these will be a great alternative.

    @JaneB – I need new sheets. Thanks for the Lime and Leaf suggestion.

  • Heather says:

    If you want the best sheets in the world, the ones used in exclusive European hotels, Google Ferguson Irish Linens. They are expensive. They require special care if you want them to last you your lifetime. All sheets are flat (they explain why), no fitted sheets. One wants the top line made only in European sizing. And right now they offer 20 percent off, plus the dollar is in favor. One orders and then waits for them to be made. Nothing better than the very best real linen sheets in the summer.

  • Mary-Illinois says:

    As soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning I make the bed. The room just looks better…even if it needs dusting.
    I hope one of your readers comes up with a good source for sheets. My problem is they are usually sold as sets. I use a queen fitted but like having a king flat. Crane & Cannopy is the only place I’ve found that sells pieces separately. Sadly, the sheets are just ok.
    I discovered the How To Decorate podcast when I was on dog walking duty this past Spring. Those girls are fun to listen to & they have great guests. And I think I also sent you a DM on Instagram about Lisa’s interview. I can’t wait to listen to your interview!!!

    • June says:


      Wow! What an idea–KING top sheet. I’m always “running out of sheet” on my side. That would solve it. Thanks for the tip.

      Regarding sheets in general, I don’t use fabric softener as I like the crisp feel. And the feel of a smooth, starched pillowcase against my cheek is fantastic…at least to me!

    • Cyndia says:

      Try RedLand Cotton. The thread count is deceptively low, considering this is one of the best sheets I’ve ever tried, and they’re sold in sets or separately. Locally grown Cotton and locally made.

  • Susie says:

    One of my favorite podcasts, also! They have great guests and a fun format. One episode I enjoyed very much was with their furniture guru from Ballard. He had a lot of great insight about furniture manufacturing and quality. I would like to say I make my bed everyday (99% of the time, anyway), but today was not one of them. My husband and I spent the day slaving over a kitchen backsplash installation. No need to make it now, because I’m ready to jump back in. With an ice pack for my back.

  • Kim says:

    I make my bed every morning. Even if I’m in a hotel on vacation, I just can’t NOT make the bed, lol. To me it makes the room more inviting. As for sheets, I’m a recent convert to 100% bamboo. Never thought I’d switch from cotton or linen but after reading multiple reviews about bamboo I ordered some. I LOVE them and never want to get out of bed! Super soft and sleep cool. Finally a sheet that doesn’t burn me up at night! These wash very well and with no pilling. I tumble dry on low and immediately put on my bed so there’s no wrinkling. I’ve had them for about a month now and couldn’t be happier. These are the ones I have, in white:

  • Lorri says:

    No surprise that you were mentioned on the podcast, Maria You’ve been working on this for years!

    I think drum shades are still the best choice for lamp bases and are very thin and vertical – it balances them. But I love that Empire shade.

    A couple of years ago, I was living in a rental that was being photographed to be put on the market. The real estate agent was keen to have the house photographed while we still lived there, because our furniture was so right for the house. NOW, I know why the bedding in one bedroom photographed so funny! It was the only bed photographed from the side.

  • Lorri says:

    I forgot to comment on sheets. I recently read that thread count is not the magic bullet people think it is.

    I would read reviews from purchasers and also look up articles where they’ve tested several sheets.

    Here is one source – – but if you type “Best Sheets” into Google, you will get lots of similar results where multiple products have been tested.

  • Jill G says:

    I am a big fan of podcasts, but I did not know about this one! I will check it out. I listen while on the treadmill, walking, etc. About my bed…I do not make my bed everyday because I hate my master bedroom and don’t think it is pretty even with the bed made. I plan to overhaul it this year, but at this point I will wait until I attend Maria’s class in Atlanta this fall 🙂 I researched sheets a few years ago and learned a lot. I decided on some from Garnet Hill that I really like. However, I recently bought some organic cotton sheets from Target for my guest room. When my MIL (who buys expensive sheets) slept there recently, she wanted to know the exact brand because she loved them so much!

    • I also love Garnet Hill and Target sheets. I have the Threshold percale. They’re crisp and cool, even a little crackly at first but they do wrinkle pretty badly. The Garnet Hill sheets are very nice, crispy, and a good weight. They don’t wrinkle as much as the Target ones but are not quite as crisp. Both quite good. Oh yes, we make the bed everyday! Usually my hubby does it! ?

    • Kris C. says:

      I am a diva when it comes to sheets, and I gave Target’s organic sheets a try. We had them several months and really liked their softness and lay, before, oddly, they pilled on only the top half where my husband sleeps. I’m thinking the fabric of his sleep shirt made this happen, but regardless, I hate the fact that they pilled and am so disappointed because otherwise I love these sheets-and their price point- so much.

  • Sonja says:

    I make my bed every day!! Just like brushing my teeth — I wouldn’t leave home without doing it? No clutter, no mess = an uncluttered, more joyful me. Don’t sheet the bed!! Haha… I can’t say enough about Ralph Lauren Dunham Sateen sheets (silky, soft). Purchased at Homesense, very reasonably priced (king-size $70). I’ve heard that IKEA sells comfy sheets and Brooklinen is recommended too (tho I don’t know $).

  • Lisa Mende says:

    Thanks for the mention!! I do love your color boards and you! The girls at Ballard are the best! oxox

    • Great post! I’m listening to the How to Decorate podcast with Beth Mars Dean as I type this.

      My favorite store for sheets is Between the Sheets in Southern California. I have never been disappointed! Consider luxurious sheets a good investment, since they feel amazing, breath beautifully, and last for a very time.

      I am a decorator and I do NOT make my bed every day! Bad habits die hard! Our bed gets made beautifully every time the bedding is changed, though! And it is my husband’s love language to have a clean, crisp bed before he goes to sleep, so when he is not traveling, I try to make the bed before he walks through the door at night.

    • Lorri says:

      Lisa, I looked at your web site and that kitchen you designed that was featured in Traditional Homes was AMAZING!!!

  • Angela Taylor says:

    I make my bed every day but I allow it to air out for an hour or two first. As a former nurse, I always make the hospital corners;) The only sheets I would NOT recommend would be Martha Stewart. I purchased identical flannel sheets one year apart, and the difference in size is very apparent. MS quilts are not the best quality either. I have had more luck with Ralph Lauren bedding.

  • Mary says:

    It’s not just the thread count but the number of plies of the thread itself.

  • Carol says:

    Maybe its not the sheet brand your looking for but what its made from? May I suggest that
    the next time your in a hotel see if you can find a tag on them and check it out.
    My favorite sheets are an old set I bought from Walmart years ago….like 20+. They weren’t
    fancy thats for sure but the more I washed and used them the better they feel. I think it
    was some kind of poly/cotton blend. But they dont make fabrics like they used to anymore either. Notice how much better the fabric is in your older clothes than what you buy now.
    I think it has something to do with manufactoring leaving the United States.
    My niece gave me a set of fancy Egyptian cotton sheets for Christmas a couple of years
    ago and they dont feel as good as that old Walmart set.
    So I guess you would say…..old sheets are my favorite….lol

  • Judy says:

    Sheets: Sferra brand from Italy. Crazy expensive but Tuesday Morning stores in the States often have some. In Washington, go to the Bellevue Tuesday’s. It’s a higher rent area and the Tuesdays reflects this in their stock. My best score were King $1,000 retail for $110. More typical might be $150.
    I’ve had guests strip down the bed to find the tag to discover what brand the sheets were! (I bought their linen sheets once – big mistake. Beautiful but not soft enough.) A designer who specializes in yachts told me about them. Long staple, Egyptian cotton – perfection!

  • Lynn says:

    Boll and Branch. For no regrets.

  • Allyson Paris says:

    A new podcast for me! Thanks, Maria! I love podcasts but hadn’t heard of this one, until now.
    I like white, cotton, hotel quality sheets and I found them at a reasonable price – Macy’s Charter Club Damask sheets and duvet covers are my new favorite. They are often reduced twice when they have their home sale making them quite affordable. My guests love them too. Enjoy!

  • Andrea says:

    My big problem with my bed is I need a custom bedskirt. I have my queen size bed on risers and I need the bedskirt to have a drop of around 18 – 20″. I change my duvet cover often – usually sometime of botanical print and I just want something that is neutral that will go with my sky blue carpet and a revolving group of duvet covers. Cotton, linen, lined, unlined???? Any great ideas?

    I am terrible about making my bed. It always looks great the day I change my sheets and for a day or so afterwards – then it turns into a mess!

    • mrsben says:

      Not knowing your bed frame type, mattress height or the way your bed is dressed; would the use of a 22″ ‘extra deep’ pocket fitted sheet accommodate your need? Just a thought. -Brenda-
      Footnote: Deep Pocket = 15″ whereas Extra Deep Pocket = 22″ … a difference of 7″.

  • sharon a. says:

    I dont think i have NOT made my bed maybe 4 times in my life since I have been married….and that is 50 yrs.! I think it is depressing to have an unmade bed….!

  • sharon a. says:

    I also agree about the Sferra percale sheets….so incredibly wonderful. They last quite a while (and I let them go till they are ready for the rag bag). I cant say enough about the quality and luxurious feel. I wash them, then tumble dry for about 2 min. then put them on the bed and let them dry….they dont need ironing this way. Once dry, make the bed.

  • Maria,
    Try bamboo sheets & pillow cases and you will never go back to cotton…
    Bamboo is soft and luxurious

    Hi Maria,
    Try Bamboo! It is soooo soft and luxurious! I love it!!!

    In fact last time I went to Las Vegas Market the maid at the hotel stole my king pillow & Bamboo pillow case.. Honestly, It was plain white and their linens were white tone on tone stripes standard sizes pillows… No way she could have mistaken mine for theirs. Know she is enjoying the softness under her head each night… Luckily, I have more : )

    Love the tour of your home. So cheerful, colorful and bright!!!! LOVELY!!!

  • Richard Douglass says:

    Hahahahahahaha ABBA. When you are all alone do you become the dancing queen? Never EVER be ashamed of the music you like. Unless it is . . . (censored). I am a 50s kid and have my own preferences, which include a super wide range that goes from Glen Miller to Bach to Eric Clapton. I am old enough now not to care whether someone likes anything about me at all.

    Meanwhile my house is gradually going late 1930s retro. And would go faster if I got around to taping and mudding all the new drywall.

    I am trying to find the white that goes with all the great colors in the 1940-42 Sherwin Williams Paint and Color Style Guides. In those days if you ordered white you got white. There are no white paint chips in these guides, because everybody knew what it was. Sherwin Williams headquarters in Cleveland does not even have that chip. Probably because it was lead based.

    I may have to show you those guides some day if you care to come down to the Seattle area and look at them.

    I like that wonderful campaign chair, but like everything else I always go for the vintage or antique ones.

    Thanks for all the great color posts over the years. What I have learned is that I will never be a color expert, but now I know who to call when I am ready. If you are not way too famous by then.

    Kent, Washington

    • Kathy says:

      Most paints were oil-based then, so white had a slight yellow or brown tone to it, perhaps something like antique white. Swiss Coffee and Navajo White in Benjamin Moore is pretty close to old paint. Cream was also popular and went well with the muted triadic colors popular at the time–magenta, seafoam, blush, muted turquoise and aquas. Look at old magazine ads, illustrations (old Dick and Jane books are good), ceramic tile, barkcloth and wallpaper for inspiration. Even brights, like the cheery prints used on table cloths and in kitchens and tourist souvenirs were somewhat muted, although perhaps colors have faded or yellowed with age.

  • Gery says:

    Thank you for the podcast info. I buy the Hotel collection from Macy’s when they go on sale (now). They are crisp, yet soft enough at 600 count. I pay around $375.00 all in, for extra deep (so it pulls over the mattress topper without breaking my fingers) Cal king. They are Egyptian cotton, made in Portugal. I just wish they were organic.
    I have tried other brands, but find they are not crisp enough at 600 count. And yes, I make my bed every day, because my Mother taught me to. She was right because it’s prettier, and it’s a snap to make with only 2 pillows.

  • Linda says:

    Yes, I make my bed every day. Sheets? No clue. Husband likes flannel year around. He says because,they are so soft.

  • Fran W. says:

    I’m a stickler about making the bed properly and can’t even go to the kitchen for a cup of coffee until it’s all done. I bought some Hotel Collection sheets last year at Macy’s that I like, but I’m always on the look-out for great sheets (and towels). I can spend hours looking at them in department stores. Great post!

  • Carol Ann says:

    Thanks for the introduction to the podcast. I was not familiar with it. The bed is always made in our home and half the time, my husband makes it. We always make the bed when away on holidays too.
    As for sheets, I discovered Cariloha bamboo sheets several years ago and still absolutely love them. Only available in the US and Caribbean, although can probably be ordered online in Canada now.

  • Cammie says:

    Maria, I buy Shabby Chic sheets – the Target line, (not the one’s from Rachel Ashwell’s designer site that are more pricey). The sheets are “thick” and soft from the start, but with time become buttery soft and are always crisp. They are also generously sized. The designs and details are beautiful as well. I make my bed every day just as my grandmother instructed:)

  • Jean says:

    Great post! Can’t wait to check out the podcast. I make my bed every day and have even been known to pull up the covers in a hotel if I’m staying in the room for a bit. I also appreciate all of the suggestions about sheets. I find that I prefer a percale which seems to matter more than the thread count. I tried Brooklinen but the flat sheet seemed a little skimpy. I’ve got my shopping list started….

  • Andreabra says:

    Of course you’re famous, deservedly so, because of the hard work you’ve put into offering a useful design service and an entertaining and knowledgeable community on your blog. Yours is the first I’m reading today (on my birthday!) Thanks for a great blog!
    I simply have to make the bed every morning or I feel like unwashed! I even gave my husband my bed-making tip this morning: when you step out of bed in the morning with your foot on the ground, before taking a step, pivot (good basketball term)! Make the bed in a jiffy and you have the first win of the day! Well, second, because you got out of bed.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Haha that’s great, and Happy Birthday Andrea! Maria

      • Karen says:

        Hi Maria,

        So lovely to read that you will be featured in an upcoming podcast! Congrats!

        As for sheets, I finally found what works for us after doing some research: 100% Egyptian cotton sheets! Once you have them, you won’t settle for anything else. There’s a trick to finding them, because, even if there is just a small percentage of Egyptian cotton threads in the weave, the manufacturer can label the sheets as Egyptian cotton. You must search out 100 % Egyptian cotton on the label, then, there’ll be no going back! I’ve used varying numbers of thread count, but that really doesn’t matter as long as it’s 100 % pure Egyptian cotton. Good luck.

  • Carole says:

    I checked the fabric content on sheets I liked at a few hotels and they were all Cotton/Poly. For crisp and cool I prefer Target Room Essentials or Threshold cotton/poly over the more expensive high thread count cotton. Percale will give you cooler sheets but they need washing for quite a while before they soften.

  • Victoria Kennedy says:

    I make my bed every day and I need new sheet too so I will be reading all the comments! Maria, you’re awesome. Thanks for blogging!

  • Tracy says:

    I love love love a well made bed. Every morning I make my bed and enjoy it, including the fluffing of my duvet and all 10 pillows that adorn my bed. I have a bit of a pillow issue, but who doesn’t love a good pillow!?!? Hahaha I’ve finally found the best sheets for me after going through so many various brands. Hands down, Pine Cone Hill Classic Hemstitsch 100% cotton. I love the cool crisp feel If them. Feels so luxurious!

  • Roberta says:

    Hi Maria! I love my Eileen Fisher washed linen sheets from Garnet Hill!! Get them on sale when they have free shipping and you’ll save a bunch!

  • Arlie says:

    Thanks for the great article on decorating podcasts! I have always made my bed every day, as I love the feeling of coming into the bedroom and seeing it looking pretty. (And my mother taught us to do this!)
    Three weeks ago, I ordered deluxe percale cotton sheets from Au Lit Fine Linens in Toronto. The sheets are smooth, cool and crisp. They have a great selection of colours and I chose white! I live in Canada so the delivery was quick. Your blog is so interesting and well-written and I love the photos!

  • Rebecca Gonzalez says:

    I like Bloomingdales house brand sheets Hudson Park. 100 percent cotton, thin and cool. I don’t think thread count is crazt high (just regular high) but I have been burned by high thread count before (heavy and hot sheets). Buy Hudson Park on sale only. . January white or 4th for best deals.

  • Kelly Clark says:

    Just heard a commercial for Boll and Branch sheets that piqued my curiosity. It said 3 US presidents use these sheets. I’m sure they’re pricey since they were offering $50 off and free shipping.

  • I love a well made bad too! I try my absolute best every day to get it done, even if it’s at 4 in the afternoon. It can sometimes be a challenge with a one year old but it absolutely makes a difference with how your room looks, and even how you go about your day. More effort right from the start!

    And, good to know that in photos the beds have a million different items on them to make them look so puffy and cozy. I’ve always wondered how their bed photos looked so awesome, and mine look so bleh.

  • Lucy HAINES says:

    Maria, First of all I want to congratulate you on your upcoming notoriety! We already thought you were famous. I never listen to podcasts but now I will!

    Such interesting subjects on your blog. I love them! As far as making your bed every day, I just do it out of habit. I love looking into my room and thinking it looks more like a designer put it together! As far as sheets I am not a brand snob and have always bought “no iron” sheets. I do like the bamboo sheets and want to try them. I go by the hand of the fabric and not the thread count.

    P.S. Excuse my other post because my computer acted up. Sorry!

  • Rhonda says:

    Check out they have the most amazing linen sheets, nothing else compares. They also sell amazing linen pinafores which are great for cooking and gardening.

  • Mary says:

    Sferra make lovely sheets – but they are quite expensive. I’ve had a set for years and years but the still look good. I always make my bed – but you’ve got to leave it to air for a while – so get ready to go to work and make it before you leave. My friend always rips the duvet off the bed as soon as she gets up to let the bed air because she says bed bugs like a nice warm damp place to be!

  • Sheila says:

    I think one of your True Colour Experts, Laurel Bern, talks about the perfect machine for pressing linens: the mangle. Maybe you need one? 😉

  • Lauren says:

    I love my LL Bean sheets, which I bought at the recommendation of The Sweethome. They also have an upgrade pic that they say is cool, crisp and hotel-like.

  • Candice Hill says:

    Hi, Maria…Wasn’t that nice, what Lisa Mende said on the podcast! I think she has taken you another step closer, to your dreams! Great post, as usual!!! Love ya! 🙂

  • mrsben says:

    ‘Old habits die hard’ so to answer your question; yes have always made my bed upon rising. As for the question of sheets; excellent point Maria about their high thread count not necessarily being ‘as cracked up to what its suppose to be’ as IMHO there are other factors to take into consideration namely being ‘how the sheets are weaved’ (weft and warp) plus the ‘quality’ (properties and performance) of the fiberS used in their manufacturing which come under the umbrella of natural or man-made.
    P.S.: Congrats on your upcoming podcast interview!

  • Tracy says:

    I like old fashioned sheets that are 100% cotton and kind of crunchy. They’re the “comfort food” of sheets!

  • Cheryl says:

    To keep dust mites down, I leave my bed unmade for a few hours – and then make it. No matter what, it’s made before company or bedtime. If for some reason it isn’t made by bedtime, I have to make it before crawling in. Just can’t stand getting into an unmade, messy bed and my (allergy encased) down pillows have to be fluffed up and ready so I can just sink into them.

    So glad you asked about sheets! I’m taking notes on all these answers for my next set! My best sheets at the moment are also a set of older solid white percale sheets I received from my mother. Already softened, no pilling, fitted elastic still fine, no wrinkling, no sign of thinning, very cool and comfortable. Practically indestructible. They keep outlasting everything else I’ve tried – and they do feel nice. (Note to younger people – this might not apply to you – I’m a 50’s child with no idea when she bought them.)

  • Adelaide says:

    As an Australian, living on an island with a considerably smaller population than the continent of North America, choice here is far more limited. That’s why your posts are so enlightening Maria. In the global world you and your readers alert me to so many products. It’s always interesting to glean information: who knew thread count wasn’t the most important issue with sheets; or that there are drum and empire shaped lampshades? I look forward to listening to the Bollard podcasts, particularly the one featuring you.
    Because I like to live in an environment with colour – I tend very much to the yellows, greens and coral/terracotta warm shades I always find your decorating sensibility strikes a chord with me.
    Thanks so much for asking your followers about all kinds of things, such a wealth of knowledge is collected here.
    I always recommend your sight to my friends and co-workers when the subject of decorating comes up. You’ve got it naked in such a friendly and honest way.

  • Trish C says:

    Shopping at Harrods in London about 10 years ago I was drooling over a set pf Frette sheets, so beautiful and luxurious, but, alas, wildly out of my price range. As I left the store my husband asked me why didn’t I buy anything, as we had promised ourselves we would each splurge on something for ourselves on the trip. When I told him how much just the shams would have cost, including the tax and dollar exchange, he just laughed. When he returned to London on business later that year, he pranced into Harrods and bought me not only the sheet set and shams, but the matching duvet cover as well, and presented this incredible gift to me upon his return. needless to say those sheets haven’t left our bed in over 10 years (except to get washed of course!!) They are the most beautiful thing I have ever felt against my skin, and have only gotten more soft with age. I’m not sure what the entire cost was but I’m guessing close to $1200.00 Can.

  • Adelaide says:

    OMG, I hate this automatic text thing – nailed, not naked!!!

  • KATIE G says:

    Do you hve recommendations for podcasts you love to follow?? Thanks!!

  • Mary says:

    Hi Maria,

    I recently purchased Thomas Lee sheets and love them! The color choices are limited, but they are extremely well made and comfortable.

    Great post!

  • Cyndia says:

    Maria, I’m one of those folk who do not make their bed everyday! Sometimes, but not always, and the reason is because sometimes I like to take a nap, and it’s easier just to crawl back in.
    Now as to sheets, let me tell you. I have been on the search for months. I bought linen sheets last year from Restoration Hardware, and initially I adored them, but they wore out (I mean thin areas and holes) very quickly! They weren’t cheap, so I was terribly disappointed! I mean, I have 20 year old Ralph Lauren sheets that are still in great condition, but they don’t fit my thicker mattress. So I went back to the search. I bought several brands, and they pilled, or didn’t launder or wear well. Ultimately, I chose RedLand Cotton sheets ( because they’re made locally from locally grown cotton. They sleep beautifully. I have a sheet from the 1920s, and this is how RedLand’s sheets feel; soft but sturdy. I HIGHLY recommend. The other sheets I would recommend are by Rough Linen ( Tricia’s linen is exquisite and representative of old linens from Europe. They’re pricier than RedLand Cotton but if you have the budget, go for it.

  • Stacy G says:

    The great thing about iPhones (and the Apple Watch), is you can have Siri do so many things for you. Instead of looking up something at a traffic light (guilty here too), is that you can just briefly pause the podcast and summons Siri to make a “reminder” for you to look up your information at a more convenient (and safer) time. I love listening to podcasts and Ted talks, and audiobooks while driving or cleaning. I feel like I’m accomplishing more. I can’t wait to see what the world of AI will bring us next.

  • Gail says:

    I love my new Brooklinen sheets! They are lovely crisp sheets in some nice patterns. They cost about $100 for the basic set of queen size. Order online.

  • Stacy says:

    I love these sheets: Mezzati 1800 Thread Count Brushed Microfiber Prestige Collection Luxury Bed Sheets Set, Queen, White.

    They are not expensive and are on amazon. They are very comfortable and the best part is that if you get sweaty in the middle of the night (hello, perimenopause!) the sheets are not sweaty! Well, you still are, but the sheets aren’t. I LOVE them.

  • Julie says:

    Bed made. Daily. A Navy SEAL said something about starting your day with a task well done (very loose paraphrase) and it was about making your bed. Same reason I clean the kitchen all the time, I love walking into a room and having it be ready to go!

    My down duvet is in a woven cotton cover or a flannel cover depending on the season. Flip it over the sheets, then ten seconds to arrange pillows (four that I sleep with and two that I don’t) and I’m done… and the casual slightly-mussed result feels cozy and happy every time.

  • Caroline says:

    It’s me, Caroline, from the podcast!! You are too sweet! Thank you so much for listening!! I am seriously looking forward to quizzing you about color in October. Can’t wait! See you soon!

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