As we look forward to putting winter duvets into hibernation for spring and summer, Carol O’Callaghan hits the shops to check out the latest looks for refreshing bedrooms
It may be the early days of spring, but if past years are anything to go by, we could have months ahead before feeling the extra layers of bed linen can be despatched to the hot press.
Only last week I invested in a miracle of engineering called the long hot water bottle. Just picture something resembling a sausage-shaped draught excluder and add a stopper. Finally, arms, body and legs can absorb the blissful radiating warmth as well as toes and feet.
But for all that, maybe the Celts knew something we don’t or have forgotten, or is it the grand stretch in the evening that’s brought out the nesting instinct as I spent much of last weekend staring into the spare room, wondering what I might do to liven it up.
In my view, there’s no better approach than having your home constantly evolve with a mix of things you love rather than being a slave to the dictates of trends. Admittedly, there are looks which remain timeless, like vintage and Scandinavian, and others which will be around for a few seasons, but if you don’t want to buy into trends totally, especially if you feel you’ll have to change them when they sink into the fashion doldrums, confining yourself to a little exploration of what’s new can simply provide some inspiration to get your bedroom update off the ground.
For a fast vamp up which can be sorted with a quick shopping expedition and a few minutes organisation at home, new bed linen is the business. It offers a quick and easy update rather than a complete overhaul, and now is the perfect time as high street shops are previewing their new ranges.
Take some inspiration from these four looks which should age well.
Orange and its variations are tricky unless you have a hankering back to the 1970s and the milder terracotta look of the 90s.
Orla Kiely has finally — and may I say, mercifully — moved away from her multi-coloured bedlinen to a seriously neutral, sparkling white set, with just the notion of her signature rowan tree designed into the all-cotton sateen weave.
Orange is introduced with accessories — cushions and lamps — so the colour doesn’t overwhelm. When you’re fed up of it, accessories can be changed for a new look (Ditsy Early Bird duvet cover by Orla Kiely from €79 at Meadows & Byrne).
Hint: This looks best in a modern home or where the décor has vintage and mid-century modern touches.
It seems there are as many shades of grey as there are white, to the extent that it’s now considered a neutral in its lighter hues.
Some are cool and calm, but when accented with spring yellow this can warmth and a touch of femininity, and even give a greenish hue to your grey for a totally spring-orientated update. Something like the M&S Daisy Floral double duvet set (€55) cites the look.
Hint: Try this in a more traditional home or a modern space where pattern and texture are needed.
This look focuses on blue, the Pantone Colour of the Year, and traditionally a masculine colour. For an approach which suits all tastes, and to work for anyone who considers blue to be a cold colour, floral motifs which prevent it looking flat, along with white, off whites and grey soften everything up.
Argos has its Countryside bed linens (from €30) which fit nicely into this look.
Hint: This works in shared bedrooms where the occupants want a soft, calming environment.
There’s something so inviting about hotel bedlinen; the crispness, the comfort, and the sense that everything is brand new. It’s something we’d love to replicate at home, which has led to the hotel linens’ look becoming a trend. It doesn’t mean, however, there’s a ban on colour. Call it hotel chic with a personality provided by a small injection of brightness. Check out the Tuxedo bed linen from The French BedroomCompany to get the look (from €40).
Hint: Contemporary homes lend themselves to this cool monochrome chic.
Orange is introduced with accessories such as lamps and cushions so the colour doesn’t overwhelm