If your favourite French bed is in need of a makeover, here's our guide to getting creative with the bed covers and styling a boudoir beauty.
Refresh what you have. Treat it to the full works, starting with a luxuriously scented and natural detergent and fabric conditioner when you wash, a line dry out in the fresh air, linen water when you press and then pillow or linen spray before you slip into bed (a little lavender-filled linen sachet between pillows will release the scent more gradually). French brand Durance has the prettiest of fragrances.
Lavandar Provence Trio Durance "Set Linen Care" (contains Linen Water, Scented Liquid Detergent & Extra Soft Textile Softener): €28.40; Nuit Calme Pillow Perfume: €7.90, Durance
Layer up the linen on your French bed - the same few sets of regular bed linen will need a perk up every now and then to give your bedroom a bit of a new lease of life. Change your sheets - a pale dusky pink bed linen set like our French Ladder Pink Bed Linen for example will look fabulous with just a hint of frivolous baby pink stripes peeking out from underneath the duvet cover on the fitted or flat sheet.
Dalston Rose collection, House Of Hackney
Many decades have passed since the trend for coordinating your bed linen with your curtains... and wallpaper... and standard lamp shade... and bedroom armchair... thankfully! Yet our favourites House Of Hackney do it so well and with their usual "edge" which looks so fantastically grand. Take some inspiration from their styling and layering of pillows here in their Dalston Rose collection and coordinate. Take your two sets of pillows - an underpillow and top pillow on each side of the bed and layer in front - whether it's a pair of accent cushions propped in front each side, a pair of bolster cushions covered in offcuts from the curtain or blind fabric in your bedroom, or large square continental pillows which are great for decorating the bed with a new texture or pattern whilst also being greatly appreciated as propper-uppers when you want to sit up in bed with Vogue but your headboard is a French carved mahogany hard place to lean against!
Clockwise from top left - Neat Pleat Pillowcases (Pair): £25. Camellia Luxury White Bed Linen: from £65 for a single set. Ruffle Ruched White Bed Linen: from £58 for a single duvet cover.
Waffle Luxury White Bed Linen: from £65 for a single set.
You can't beat white bedding. It's truly versatile, looking coordinated on distressed white shabby chic beds, crisp on antique gold gilt beds or smart and monochrome on a seductive black bed like our Sassy Boo Majestic Black 4-Poster Bed. It will lift and inject a refreshed feeling into a French bedroom. You can mix and match layers effortlessly rather than being tied to bed linen sets which quite frankly, it's easy to get tired of. Choose classic, timeless styles and think like a stylist - be brave and not “matching”. A broderie anglaise duvet cover will sit happily alongside a monogrammed top pillow (a great gift - try The Monogrammed Linen Shop) and a self-striped underpillow on your French Bed. And in return, white bed linen will give you that feeling that you're slipping into a fresh and luxurious boutique B&B bed every night.
Linen is a great investment which will last for years and years if looked after properly. There tends to be a divide between "perfectly-pressed" and "crumpled and soft" preferences but actually, its sometimes coarse and tricky to press texture is not for everyone. There are plenty of luxurious cotton options out there for your French bed - as long as it's 100% cotton and with a decent thread count of at least 180-200 and upwards, you needn't splash out anymore on pure linen.
Provencal Grande Upholstered Luxury Bed: from £1295 for a double size.
With a good combination of balanced soft tones and equally soft textures, it's easy to create a heavenly upholstered bed...