French Country Bedding...
How to Dress your French Bed
French Country bedding is just as important as the bed itself if you are trying to get an authentic French look for your bedroom decor.
Duvets are not popular in the French Country home as the French prefer to sleep between two sheets, covered with a blanket, a third sheet covering the top and ending with a quilt for warmth.
A traversin - long bolster pillow - is used across the width of the bedhead, behind an assortment of square pillows, which will either be white or in different but toning colours.
Quilts and cushions are also used as a way to introduce colour and lift other elements in the room.
Antique and vintage linen is highly favoured and much sought after. Brocante fairs - a cross between junk and antique sales - do a quick trade in France,
selling embroidered and monogrammed linen sheets, often found in old armoires and attic trunks that have been stored for decades.
These prized antique and vintage sheets are also used as bed covers or hangings for beds with coronas or posts, and damaged sheets are cut up and used for pillow or cushion covers.
During the 19th century when the fashion changed for the underskirts of a lady's petticoat, the out-dated underskirts were often turned into bedcovers, which are much sought after items today for French Country bedding.
Antique and vintage Homespun textiles too are avidly collected. Each treasured remnant of hemp, linen or wool, no matter how small, is turned into cushion covers, with the smallest scraps used as centre inserts.
How to Dress Your French Country Bed
- Start off by covering the bed with two white linen sheets.
Note: French sheets are very wide as they were made to hang down on either side of the bed.
- Add a soft light blanket and another sheet on top. If you have embroidered, cutwork or monogrammed sheets, even better.
- Use a quilt or boutis to either cover the bed or leave it half folded across the bottom of the bed.
- If you have a bolster, place this at the bedhead and add square pillows in front of it.
- Continue to scatter square pillows in an assortment of different sizes and print designs, all blending and toning together.
- If the bed has posts, use simple hangings as in antique sheets or a soft light weight textile.
For your interest:
If you collect antique and vintage linen, you may be interested in visiting renowned international textile dealer, Elizabeth Baer's blog
where you will find great information, not only on the various kinds of antique and vintage French sheets, namely; fine linen, fil and hemp, but much more.
Be warned though; if you love textiles you will spend ages on Elizabeth's engaging blog, as posts are not only full of information, but delightful to read.
If you are looking for French style linen you may find it at Maison de Kristine, where you will not only find bedding, but a wide variety of various French lovelies to decorate your bedroom in the spirit of true French style.