What’s In Store: Sheet Music
If we spend one-third of our lives between the sheets, it makes perfect sense that those sheets should be as soft and luxurious as possible. Our bed is more than a place to sleep—it’s a retreat from our waking hours, a place to recharge and dream. (Well, make that our nonbed hours—who among us doesn’t occasionally pile up the pillows, and crawl in with magazines, books and a cup of tea to escape from the outside world?) The same principle applies for fine bedding as does for when you splurge on a pair of Jimmy Choo boots or an Armani coat: Those hand-dyed, 400-count Bella Notte sheets may cost several hundred dollars, but they’ll last for years, and the pleasure of their texture and beauty will be a delight every time you curl up in them.
With its clean lines, colorful bedding atop French-style beds and the scent of Roger & Gallet lavender perfume wafting through the air, Haverford’s impeccable Yves Delorme shop is reminiscent of a guest room in a lavishly renovated chateau, or a five-star Parisian hotel room. The pretty French-made linens are soft to the touch, whether feminine and floral or elegant and simple.
The 200-thread-count Jonquille sheets and coverlets feature a pattern of sunny daffodils and whimsical butterflies floating against a crisp white background. Thread count is the number of threads per square inch, and since a higher thread count indicates that a finer yarn was used, that generally means a softer, finer sheet. Egyptian cotton, with its long, soft, slim threads, is the Dom Pérignon of cottons.
For a simpler look, Delorme’s Palace Collection features the Bastide pattern (sheets of pure linen with picot stitching) and crisp Etoile cotton bedding, which comes in either white or ecru, with decorative hemstitched borders. Sales associate Carol Stewart keeps the small space as impeccable as her wares and can special order items from France. Bedding can run $1,000 or more for sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases.
Chestnut Hill’s Brass Boudoir is a corner shop full of wonderfully ornate metal beds, as well as oversize chairs and loveseats, painted armoires, country French mirrors and accessories. Owner Lenore Gregory carries Bella Notte sheets, coverlets and pillows, which are as sexy and glamorous as a 1950s Sophia Loren film.
“Everything in the line is washable—no dry cleaning, even the silk and velvet,” says Gregory. Even Bella Notte’s satin embroidered coverlet—a $530 sumptuous affair in pale blue, with tiny, gold-beige embroidered flowers—can be machine-washed. (Almost all experts advise laundering bedding, instead of dry cleaning, even with silks or linens; use cold water for delicate fabrics and air dry them.)
On another Brass Boudoir display bed is a delectable, reversible satin-velvet bedspread priced at $480; next to that is Bella Notte’s pale-pink patchwork spread with toile, cotton and chenille squares. Every item is custom-ordered and dyed-to-order, which takes eight weeks. “We’ve never put together a set the same way twice,” Gregory says.
Step under the green awning and enter the soothing retreat that is the signature of Bucks County’s Bien Dormir. Joanne Murphy’s boutique is filled with cozy, French-accented bedding and accessories (plus other home items, including Provençal tablecloths and napkins, and French-style metal beds). Bucks Country interior designers including Audrey Harrington and Jayne Rosen shop here, but civilians decorating their own boudoirs are welcome, too. The Yves Delorme line is Bien Dormir’s top seller (a favorite is the taupe, tone-on-tone Lugano set), closely followed by Sferra Bros. Italian linens, which come in chic gold-beige, as well as crisp-white, cream, light-blue and pink tones, and are priced at about $1,000 for sheets and a duvet. You can place custom orders from the store’s fabric samples.
Medford’s convivial Maison Chic, with its two levels and Victorian-Country French vibe, stocks the lush Eastern Accents bedding line, made in Chicago. Trims and tassels can be customized on comforters, sheets and pillows, which come in delicate prints and subtle solid tones; coordinated pillows and throws also are available. An entire bed might run $1,000-$2,000, and quilts about $400. Owner Reneé Hays also stocks Wendy Bellissimo bed linens for infants and children: The Bellissimo line is “very patchwork,” says Hays, whose favorite is the Country Party pattern, a happy patchwork of toile, silk, gingham and chenille with contrasting crib sheet, skirt and quilt ($550 for a fully decked-out crib). Also popular is the Little Giraffe kids’ line, for simple, rich bedding in pastels (ranging from $500-$800). “Their fabrics are so cozy, especially the chenille blankets—you can’t resist touching them,” says Hays.
Near Rittenhouse Square, the just-remodeled Country Elegance shop, with its clean, white walls and stylish wood-and-sisal floors, carries high-end new and vintage linens. Lavida Allen, co-owner of the boutique, says that Sferra Bros. linens are her top sellers. “We have Sferra in solid percales, sateens and tone-on-tone jacquard weaves, which is also known as damask,” says Allen, “and thread counts range from 300-1,000.” That 1,000-thread-count variety might cost about $1,100 for a queen set that will be custom-ordered.
“If you have an antique bed that’s not a standard sheet size, we can also customize linens for that,” says Allen. Other lines include Bonjour of Switzerland, which has a gorgeous solid and print color palette; Home Treasures Italian linens, which offer quilts made of sheeting cotton; and the chic silk and cotton Anichini line.
Upscale style rules at Kellijane, owned by entrepreneur Kelly Monk, who is moving her shop from Old City to Rittenhouse Square. Monk stocked her former shop with lines ranging from Anichini to the French-made Alexandre Turpault, with embroidered details. For those interested in dressing up a bed with colorful accent pillows, she had a jumble of jewel-toned silk pillows by Michele Varian and a trove of deliciously soft, thick towels and robes by Carrara (from Italy) and Abyss (from Portugal). Look for the grand opening of her new shop (and new offerings) this spring on Rittenhouse Square.