Home laundering is recommended for bed linens except where dry cleaning is indicated due to fiber content or ornamentation. We strongly recommend that you pre-wash linens before use, and that you wash bed linens separately from anything else, particularly items that contain any polyester. Polyester “pills” and sheds it’s pilling on natural fibers diminishing the smoothness and softness of the fabric.
Select a gentle laundry detergent. Avoid products with brighteners or bluing agents as they may progressively fade the colors.
Consider the long standing tradition to assure the longevity of your bedding: rotate your sheets with a set in the closet, a set on the bed and a set in the wash. This insures that no one set receives more wear than another.
Certain skin and hair products contain oxidizing agents and may cause discoloration of sheets. If you use such personal products cover your pillow with a white pillowcase or towel.
Washing, Ironing & Storing Your Bedding
Linens should be separated into light and dark colors. Avoid overloading the machine to prevent breaking the long fibers like those in Egyptian cotton. Whether cotton, pure linen, or a cotton/linen blend, bedding should be washed in warm water using a gentle laundering agent with a final cold rinse. We recommend linen wash from SDH, LeBlanc or the Laundress. If presoaking is necessary it should be in cold water.
· Allow top loading washing machines to fill up and begin agitating before you add detergent. Unless your linens are extremely soiled, use half the commercial detergent recommended; this will reduce damage to fibers and clean your linens just as well. We do not recommend the use of fabric softeners because they coat the fibers making them less absorbent and shorten the life span of your bedding.
· Remove washed bedding promptly from the machine; this helps reduce wrinkling. Shaking damp linens out before drying (at low heat) will reduce the wrinkles and quicken drying time. Drying fitted sheets separately from the rest of your bedding will keep your sheets from bunching and wadding, which can make them dry unevenly and wrinkle.
· Shrinkage will occur with all linens made of natural fibers, the amount of shrinkage ranging from four to ten percent, depending on the fibers used. Most high quality linens are slightly oversized before they are washed to allow for this shrinkage. Linens washed in hot water or dried at hot temperatures will shrink excessively.
· Washing and drying your linens properly will eliminate many wrinkles, but fine linens made of natural fibers do wrinkle, particularly when new. As they become older and softer you will find that they wrinkle less. The use of a good steam iron will make ironing easier. Avoid using spray starch which has a tendency to adhere to the surface of the iron and may also attract silverfish to stored linens. If you wish to iron your linens, here :is what we recommend:
o Iron your bed linens while they are still damp.
o If a piece is embroidered ironing on the reverse side will prevent damage to the embroidery. Placing a pressing cloth or soft smooth layer of fabric over the embroidery before pressing will also help to eliminate puckering around the decorative stitches.
o Refer to the sewn in label with the universal laundry symbols for the appropriate setting for your iron. (See chart).
· Store your fine linens flat in a dry place. If the shelves are wooden, line them with paper because some woods, such as cedar, contain oils that can damage your linens.
· Make sure linens are not exposed to direct sunlight or moonlight to prevent fading.
· Do not store linens inside plastic or cellophane bags. Old cotton pillowcases or cotton pillow protectors are perfect for storing a set of sheets. Fold matching sheets and pillowcases together and place them inside a pillowcase and stack them on the shelf of your linen closet to keep them neat, protected and ready for your bed.
Care of Your Down Products
Always use a duvet cover to protect your down comforter and keep it clean. Use pillow protectors in addition to pillowcases on down pillows and wash them regularly. Cover featherbeds with featherbed protectors for the same reason, and put your bottom sheet over the featherbed protector.
Comforters, pillows and featherbeds should be fluffed daily to maintain the loft and fullness of the down.
Down pillows and duvets love the sun. Spread them out on a sheet on the grass or deck for an airing. You may also fluff them in a dryer for a few minutes for a quick rejuvenation.
A comforter that is properly covered will need to be cleaned very infrequently, about once every five years. Pillows should be cleaned every two years or so.
We do not recommend washing down products at home. Home laundry systems are generally not designed to handle something as large as a down comforter, or as dense as a down pillow. If a comforter should open while being washed in your home, the down could cause your plumbing to clog resulting in a flood of water in your home. There is not room enough in your dryer for the comforter to move freely.
We do recommend using a professional cleaner who will launder (not dry clean) your comforter. Scandia Home has a facility built exclusively for this type of care, as does Blanc Plume. Silk comforters however will need to be dry cleaned.
Remember that improper cleaning or the accumulation of soiling and stains may cause premature wear and void the warranty coverage. In addition there are some stains such as mold or mildew or fire damage that cannot be cleaned or removed.
When down products are not in use it is important that they are kept in a dry place. Mildew and mold can ruin a down comforter or pillows so make sure your down products are completely dry before storing them.
Don’t store your down in plastic. If you don’t have a fabric storage bag for your down, wrap it in cotton, like a duvet cover, cotton pillow protector or featherbed protector. When cooler temperatures arrive your down will be cozy and fluffy with just a shake or two.
Why we believe our VibrantHealth™ Organic Sleep System is the right choice for today and the future.
Today more than ever, consumers want their purchases to reflect a sensibility about the environment and a commitment to a lifestyle that sustains our earth and promotes good health and wellbeing. We wanted a sleep system that provided a good night’s sleep, without harmful toxins, and with a quality and design that reflected the authenticity and lasting value that our customers want. In other words, a mattress that would be a good investment financially and also great for their well being
Our determination to help our customers achieve a healthier more vibrant lifestyle lead to the development of the VibrantHealth Sleep System™. We selected a manufacturer that has been a pioneer in the specialty sleep industry for 40 years, and is a recognized leader in the industry as far as the healthful aspects and technology of sleep. The result: a revolutionary, purely natural sleep system that combines therapeutic benefits and unparalleled comfort to provide a more recuperative sleep.
Strict standards have been imposed on the manufacturing process resulting in the next generation of truly natural mattress and foundations.
- All latex, wool and cotton used in our mattresses are nontoxic, pesticide and chemical free. Our mattresses are hypoallergenic.
- The purest latex cores in the world are harvested in Shri Lanka from the sap of the Havea Brasiliensis or common rubber tree. The sap can be harvested 180 days of the year by tapping the tree much like the harvest of maple syrup. The tree heals within an hour of the tapping. The sap is whipped into foam which is used in our mattresses. The foam is graded by density to ensure consistency and long lasting comfort. The closed cell structure of the latex repels dust, dead skin, pollen and dust mites.
§ Organic Wool is a very important part of our sleep system and only 100% pure organic wool is used. Our wool is produced on organic sheep farms in Northern California and Texas.
Wool naturally snuffs out flames and exceeds the most stringent flame resistance standards, making the use of caustic chemicals unnecessary.* Wool contains lanolin, a natural substance that prevents the nesting and feeding of dust mites. It also retains its comfy loft and provides insulation to provide cool air flow in the summer and warmth in the winter. Most important, wool automatically adjusts to changing body temperatures, successfully preventing sleep interruption.
- Our custom designed 100% organic cotton ticking covers every mattress, allowing it to “breathe”. The quilting pattern is spaced to provide an incredibly smooth and comfortable organic cotton cover that has the feel of fine cotton sheeting.
- All our mattresses have a long lasting 10 to 20 year warranty.
* We developed our organic VibrantHealth™ Sleep System because we believe our customers deserve the most healthful and recuperative sleep possible. Sleeping for eight hours each night on a mattress full of caustic chemicals professed to make them fire resistant isn’t healthful. This belief was recently validated buy some investigative reporting done by the Chicago Tribune, which recently prompted the state of California to change their law on flame retardants. Read all about it Playing with Fire.
Toppers and Feather Beds
We can top off your current mattress for a more comfortable sleep. If your mattress is free of sags and body impressions, but just seems a bit too firm, we can help. We have a variety of mattress pads, toppers and luxurious feather beds that will cradle your whole body. Our wool pads and toppers can cool off a mattress that generates heat, or simply help someone who sleeps hot and needs an insulator that helps to cool you down, and wicks away moisture for an uninterrupted sleep.
The Right Pillow
The second most important element on your bed is your personal sleeping pillow. Most of us don’t sleep in the same position all night, however the rule of thumb for choosing sleeping pillows is: Soft for stomach sleepers, Medium for back sleepers and Firm for side sleepers. Start with the position in which you fall asleep. It is quite normal for one person to have two or more pillows for a comfortable night’s sleep. Whatever it takes to make you comfortable, it is well worth it.
There is little that compares to our 100% White Goose Down pillows for resting your weary head. We have a variety of sizes in sleeping pillows: Standard (20” x 26”), Queen (20” x 30”), and King (20” x 36”) that you can choose in soft, medium or firm, in five different quality levels. We also have 26” square Euros, 12” x 16” Boudoirs, and Neck Roll Bolsters that come in all goose down, curly white goose feather or down-free substitute. We also have wonderful body pillows. They are 22” x 72” and are made for side sleepers to hug and throw their leg over. It alleviates pressure on the lower back and joints for a comfortable sleep. We will be happy to help you figure out the best combination for you.
The Right Comforter
Sleeping under a down comforter is like sleeping under a warm cloud. Our comforters come in all sizes from twin to luxury king, and in summer, year-round and winter weights. We have a variety of price points based on the quality of down and the different fabric covers. All of our comforters are baffle-box construction, so the down won’t shift, and there are no cold spots. All have the same lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects.
The factors to consider when choosing your down comforter are:
- What climate do you live in, and how cool do you keep your bedroom? A summer weight comforter might be perfect all year long in warmer climates, but if you keep your bedroom chilly, you may need a warmer comforter, even in the summer.
- Do you want to feel warm without heavy covers, or do you prefer feeling the weight of covers on you? Because we have a variety of comforters to choose from you can stay toasty warm with a comforter that weights very little, or be tucked in to a heavier version.
- Do you sleep alone or with a partner? It is quite common for couples to have different needs when it comes to sleeping temperature. Sometimes a compromise is best, but we do have a Couple’s Comforter that is lighter on one side and heavier on the other when individual needs are paramount.
What is a comfortable night’s sleep worth to you? Averaged out over the number of years you can expect to sleep on the right mattress and pillow and under the right comforter, it may not be as expensive as you think. It is an investment in your health and well-being. Sleep well, live well is our motto. Let it be yours.
If you are one of the chosen few who have never experienced insomnia, you can stop reading here. If, however, you are like most of us and have had nights of tossing, turning, trying to find a comfortable position, the perfect level of quiet, darkness, and peace of mind for a good night’s sleep, read on. We can help. We have been in the business of creating perfect sleep environments for over thirty years, and while we may not have all of the answers, we do know a lot about comfort and sleep. Like most things, it all begins with a good foundation.
The Right Mattress
What is the state of your current mattress? Chances are if it is over six years old, it doesn’t feel the same as it did when you first bought it. It may have developed body impressions, or it may sag around the edges. In addition to the aging of your mattress, consider that you have aged as well. Think about how your body feels and all the changes you may be experiencing compared to five or ten years ago. Ask anyone over forty and they can tell you that they feel more aches and pains than when they were younger. Consider age related aches and pains or old injuries that may require support and more cushioning.
Choosing a mattress is very personal. Here are some guidelines to help you make the best decision for your sleeping comfort:
What type of sleeper are you, back, side or stomach?
Back and stomach sleepers are generally more comfortable on a flatter and harder mattress. Side sleepers require a little softer mattress to allow the hips and shoulders to sink in, allowing the mattress to support the side and therefore keeping the spine straight.
Do you have problems with pressure points?
If you have pressure point problems, a softer mattress may be better. Adding extra cushioning like the 1 ½ inch pad adds extra comfort.
Do you think you want a mattress as firm as the floor?
Most people who feel this way don’t sleep all night on the floor. If you are one of the rare ones who can do this comfortably, then our hardest latex mattress would be an ideal choice. Most people need more cushioning. Consider that you need to lie comfortably on the mattress for 6 to 8 hours at a time.
What is your body type?
Generally people with more curves need a softer, more cushioned mattress than someone with fewer curves.
Do you like a flat surface or do you want to feel like the mattress gently holds you?
Latex gives the most solid, flat feel of our mattresses. To get the feeling that a mattress gently holds you, consider our coil construction, or adding a topper for cloud nine comfort without sacrificing support.
Do you sleep hot?
Everyone loses moisture when sleeping. Some people sleep hotter than others. If you are the type who sleeps hotter, wool is the perfect insulator. Wool will wick away moisture and provide a more comfortable sleeping environment.
What is your climate? Where do you live?
In areas that are hotter and more humid, mold and mildew are a concern. Latex and wool are better choices for these areas.
“That we are not much sicker and much madder than we are is due exclusively to that most blessed and blessing of all natural graces, sleep.” Aldous Huxley
So what is sleep anyway? We all know that we need it. For some of us sleep is elusive. We toss and turn, trying to turn off our brains so that sleep can over provide the respite we need from our busy lives. For some lucky people, sleep is almost a reflex or conditioned response: Head on pillow = zzzzz. Where do you fall in the sleep spectrum?
Sleep is a state of unconsciousness from which one can be aroused. Sleep is essential for the normal, healthy functioning of the human body. It’s a complicated physiological phenomenon that scientists are still trying to fully understand.
Sleep was once thought to be a passive state. It is now known that our brains are active during sleep. While we rest our brains stay busy overseeing a wide variety of biological tasks that keep us running in top condition and prepare us for the day ahead.
There are four stages of sleep:
- Stage N1 (Transition to Sleep) – This stage lasts about five minutes. Eyes move slowly under the eyelids, muscle activity slows down and you can be easily awakened.
- Stage N2 (Light Sleep) – This is the first stage of true sleep, lasting from 10 to 25 minutes. Eye movement stops, heart rate slows and body temperature decreases.
- Stage N3 (Deep Sleep) – You are difficult to awaken, and if awakened you do not adjust immediately and feel groggy and disoriented for several minutes. In this deepest stage of sleep, brain waves are extremely slow. Blood flow is directed away from the brain and towards the muscles, restoring physical energy.
- REM Sleep (Dream Sleep) – About 70 to 90 minutes after falling asleep, you enter REM (Rapid Eye Movement) where dreaming occurs. Eyes move rapidly. Breathing is shallow. Heart rate and blood pressure increase. Arm and leg muscles are paralyzed.
Tips for Better Sleep
There are many tips that will help you get a good night’s sleep every night. Take a look and see which ideas may pertain to you and try out a variety of sleep-promoting techniques. You may discover your own personal formula for a good night’s sleep.
- Set a regular bedtime, even on week-ends.
- Wake up at the same time every day (yes, even on week-ends).
- Nap to make up for lost sleep, rather than sleeping late. Be smart about napping. Don’t sleep so long that you can’t sleep at night. Nap in the early afternoon, and only nap for about 30 minutes.
- Make your bedroom more sleep friendly:
- Stay away from big meals at night. Heavy or spicy meals may keep you up or cause stomach trouble or heartburn.
- Avoid alcohol before bed. It reduces sleep quality, waking you up later in the night
- Cut down on caffeine, especially after lunch.
- Avoid drinking too many liquids in the evening to eliminate frequent bathroom trips.
- Quit smoking. Nicotine is a stimulant which disrupts sleep.
- Get anxiety and stress in check. If you are feeling anxious try taking deep slow breaths, making each breath deeper than the last and slowly exhaling completely. You may also try progressive muscle relaxation, starting with your toes by consciously tensing and relaxing your muscles, and work your way up to the top of your head. Another relaxation method is to visualize yourself in a place or activity that your find calming, concentrating on how relaxed it makes you feel.
If you still can’t sleep, don’t worry about it. “Sleep doesn’t happen when you are trying too hard”, says Tracy Kuo, PH. D., Insomnia Specialist, Stanford University Sleep Disorders Clinic. “If you can’t sleep, try occupying yourself with any activity that is both engaging and relaxing, where you can be absorbed enough that you forget about sleep. When I can sleep, I accept at that moment that sleep isn’t possible for me. That frees me. Then I get out of bed and do whatever I feel like; read, fold clothes, organize my closet. I do this in dim light and quiet. I don’t attempt to go back to bed until my eyes are rolling down, closing on me.”
With comments from Clients Renee Grissom of Renee Grissom Design and Jan Kyle of Jan Kyle Design
1. Determine which pieces that you already own that you want to keep. You may have favorite pieces of furniture, art or accessories that you want to include in your new home.
2. The style of your new home vs. your style: Do you want to stay true to the style of your home, be it Cape Cod or Mediterranean, or do you like to mix it up? Either can be done with success, but both will take some discipline and planning.
3. Determine what you want the overall feel of your house to be. Do you want it to be formal or relaxed, light & airy or warm and cozy? Figuring this out will help when it comes to choosing textiles and colors.
4. Choose a color palette before painting anything. It is far easier to take a painting or textile to the paint store for a match than it is to coordinate everything around a wall color. Find a fabric you love for the focal point of the room, be it bedding or a sofa, or focus on the colors in a favorite painting, and choose your palette accordingly.
Renee Grissom of Renee Grissom Design suggests that, “Another option for a color palette could be to stay with basic neutrals such as whites and ivories, beiges, charcoals, etc., and make the art and rugs the focus of the color. Any kind of two or three color story will get tiresome after some time has passed, and could tend to look dated.”
However, even neutrals can run warm or cool, and shades can lean more to green, pink, or yellow in tint, and should be chosen with care in the light of your home.
5. When remixing favorite pieces don’t be afraid to use pieces for a new purpose. For instance, a favorite chest can become the base for a vessel sink, or a low bookcase can be used behind a sofa instead of a console table to provide extra storage or display space.
6. Think in terms of investment when buying new pieces. The easiest way to be eco-friendly is to buy things that you will have for years, possibly generations to come. Quality upholstery can be recovered rather than disposed of, and well-constructed wood pieces can be refinished or painted to give them new life.
7. Don’t be afraid to get rid of furniture, rugs and accessories that won’t work in your new space. If you don’t have anyone to give them to, and don’t want to go through the hassle of selling them, there are wonderful places where they can be donated, and you can get a nice tax deduction. Many of them will come to your house and take them away, such as Sleepy Head Beds for mattresses. You can do an online search for organizations in your area that take furniture donations and support a cause that you believe in.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Few people can take on the daunting task of merging an existing home into a new one on their own. The best designers and retail sources will be happy to work together to help you through the process. However, make sure your voice is heard, and that your likes, dislikes, needs and lifestyle are the basis for the design scheme in your new home.
Jan Kyle of Kyle–Wells Design adds, “Contrary to the conception that professional design services are expensive, a good designer will actually save you money by keeping you from making expensive mistakes, and can make your vision a reality. So often, before we can really start, we need to spend time correcting design mistakes that never would have happened if we had been on board in the first place. Remember that with a designer you can set a reasonable budget and will give permission before any purchases are made on your behalf.
It’s all about planning and working together as a team. Choose a designer whose work you admire, (designers who are published in magazines are most likely to have the talent and professionalism you need), and call them for a consultation.”
9. Sometimes it is necessary to work with existing material choices, such as tiles, millwork finishes, floors etc. There are times when those materials are neutral enough to become part of the backdrop. Other times the color choices may be more pronounced and run contrary to what you have in mind. When that happens it can be possible to incorporate those colors in small ways that bridge the gap and pull the room together. A decorative pillow, throw or accessory that mixes an unfortunate green with the pale blue that you love can be the answer.
10. Details; the difference between furnished and finished. The walls are painted, the rug is on the floor and the furniture is arranged according to traffic flow and feng shui tradition. Why doesn’t it feel right? It’s the details; accessories, artwork, lighting and personal artifacts that make a house your home.
Renee Grissom of Renee Grissom design says, “I like to tell clients that the accessories and artwork are like the make-up and jewelry that a woman would put together with a beautiful evening gown! I encourage the accessories to be thoughtful, such as books, photos in beautiful frames, family heirlooms – pieces that actually mean something. It will look less authentic if one just goes out and buys “stuff” to put everywhere. Also, every table and corner should not have something in it or on it. Negative space helps create the focus on the important pieces.”
I just read about a study done on 2,000 Britons showing the correlation between the color of their bedrooms and the amount of sleep and sex they are having. Whether or not you buy the whole theory, it made an interesting read, with some conclusions I found surprising and wanted to share. Here’s how it all unfolds:
Those sleeping in a blue bedroom averaged 7 hours and 52 minutes per night – the best for any color. Builders, teachers and civil servants tend to choose blue, the survey taken by Travelodge in the UK said. Shades of blue have long been associated with feelings of calm (sea and sky), which help us to relax after a busy day. In fact, blue is also said to help lower blood pressure and heart rates, for a sounder sleep.
A surprising (to me) second place goes to yellow with 7 hours and 40 minutes of sleep averaged per night. Warm shades of yellow are said to relax the body by stimulating the nervous system and calming the nerves.
Yves Delorme Solstice
Silver comes in third. The survey suggests that silver mimics moonlight which cues the brain that it is time for sleep. People sleeping in silver bedrooms averaged 7 hours and 33 minutes per night, and say they are motivated to exercise in their bedroom.
Nancy Koltes Allegro
Green comes in fourth with 7 hours and 30 minutes per night. 22% of those surveyed sleeping in green rooms said they wake up feeling “upbeat and positive.”
Yves Delorme Lolavert
Those sleeping in an orange bedroom, believe it or not, averaged 7 hours and 28 minutes of sleep per night. It is said that the warm color creates a “stable and reassuring atmosphere,” and aids in digestion after a heavy or late evening meal.
Bankers and estate agents tend to decorate in gold… no surprise there.
Though grey is similar to silver and has become a popular house paint color, those who slept in grey bedrooms only got an average of 6 hours and 12 minutes of sleep per night. Grey and brown can be depressing and can make occupants feel isolated and uncomfortable. Those in grey bedrooms also spent the most time online shopping in bed.
Christian Fischbacher Pied de Poule
Those with brown, cream or white bedrooms were most likely to be workaholics who take their work to bed at least three times per week.
Christian Fischbacher Soie Jacquard Crown
Purple got the lowest score for a good night’s sleep with 5 hours and 56 minutes per night. Though elegant, the color is thought to be over-stimulating, making it difficult to turn off your busy mind.
When it comes to sex, a caramel brown décor ranked best. Though there was no conclusion as to why, couples in caramel colored rooms had sex, on average, three times a week. Red, which is thought to be a sexy color, evoked much less action. Couples in red rooms made love only once a week.
So what color is your bedroom? Do you agree with the conclusions of this survey? As for me, I will be searching for a blue and caramel combo, for the best of both worlds. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
Welcome to our new website and my blog. Whoever would have imagined, all those years ago, that the nine year old girl, peering over the ships rail on her voyage from Sicily to her new home in the United States would someday write a blog? Not only would the terminology have been met with blank stares, but the very thought of writing anything in English then would have seemed impossible. Since then I have gained the ability to write in English, and life has given me something to say; experiences and points of view that I would like to share. We all are the sum of our parts. The little Italian girl still lives, tempered by years of living and working in the heart of the United States. I’m a hybrid of sorts, European at the core, with layers of American sensibility. My slightly skewed vision will be evident in this blog. I hope to inform, amuse, and create a dialog with you. Please join me!
Benvenuti e grazie!
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