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These days when it comes to buying bedding, you can choose any fabric, pattern, thread count, and colorway. It’s overwhelming to say the least. When I first moved out on my own, my bedding collection included a couple colorful pastel quilts my mom and grandma had made me, assorted blankets with flowers or solids in varying colors, a set of gray and a set of white cotton sheets, mismatched pillowcases in varying patterns and colors AND sizes, and way too many throw pillows. Whew.
While I haven’t recovered from my throw pillow hoarding ways, my bed looks very different these days. I realized early on into having my own place that I always gravitated towards my one set of white cotton sheets. They were a high quality set I’d purchased when I worked in the home section of a department store in college, and I loved how soft and breathable they were, only getting better with time. I had a (very trendy at the time) custom barn wood bed and I loved climbing into it with my soft white sheets and the beautiful pastel quilt my mom and sewn for me twenty years earlier.
When Jonny and I got married, among some of the first things I threw out from his bachelor pad (after the seven year old matching red and brown bath mat set from Walmart) were his blue and red microfiber sheets. That’s right. Ultimate bachelor pad vibes: all blue and red sheets with a matching reversible comforter, and an American flag as art above the bed. I think one of the most bachelor inventions ever is the reversible comforter. Also, say no to reversible microfiber bedding for adults. Just say no. In fact, say no to any microfiber unless you’re buying a cleaning cloth, and even then, tread lightly.
When Jonny and I moved in together, I had to get rid of my favorite white sheets since we moved from a full to a queen size bed, so I passed them down to my younger brother’s girlfriend, who was moving into her first apartment. I purchased another set and we received some beautiful sheets for our wedding, but since I’d donated Jonny’s other queen sheets, this left us with just two sets of sheets.
I’m all about making my life simpler, so I choose to only purchase white linens made from 100% natural fibers, either linen or cotton–usually cotton. Two for each bed, so in our home that makes four total sets. This way, when I change the sheets, I can pull out the clean ones and immediately make the bed, then throw the dirty set in the laundry. I do the same thing with towels. All of our bath and hand towels are white and 100% cotton, and being able to throw them all in the wash together is just one little way to make my life simpler (and I need all the help I can get in that department).
I like to have two sets of linens for each bed in our home so that they can be changed, washed, and folded all at once. Unless you’re the type of person who likes flannel sheets in the winter, there’s really no reason you’d ever need more than two sets of beautiful, white, high-quality cotton sheets for each bed–and even then, the high quality bedding should last decades. I tried a store brand of 100% cotton sheets, but found that though the thread count was high, they weren’t soft, and they weren’t breathable and they were HOT. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s waking up sweating in the middle of the summer. Unfortunately, these sheets weren’t a fit for a southern house, so I started to keep an eye out for something better.
In February, we took a weekend trip to Cullman, Alabama, and in browsing one of the local boutiques there, I came across the most beautiful set of sheets from Red Land Cotton. I picked them up and after feeling the beautiful quality, I read their story.
Since 1983, the Yeager family has owned and operated their cotton farm at the foot of the Bankhead National Forest in Alabama. In 1994, Mark Yeager built his own cotton gin and continued growing his business in the red clay. He has spent the years since implementing sustainable farming practices so as to minimize the impact on the surrounding environment, while maintaining the highest quality crop. In 2016, Mark approached his daughter, Anna, with the idea of reproducing the heirloom 1920s cotton sheets he grew up sleeping on at his grandmother’s house. Today, they have grown their business and continue to grow while keeping all of their manufacturing in the United States and providing jobs for their surrounding community at their fulfillment center in Alabama. Because I operate a family business (renovations and real estate), I love supporting fellow small business owners who have integrity in their businesses and provide high quality products.
Red Land Cotton was kind enough to send me some products to do a bedding refresh in our primary bedroom, and the first night we used the sheets was a game changer. Not too hot, not too cold, and it’s true–they get softer and softer with each wash. I went with the hemstitched sheet set and ordered extra pillowcases, and the basic white duvet cover and shams. I wash all my sheets with unscented detergent on a cool setting, and tumble dry them on low with wool dryer balls. I love to put lavender and chamomile essential oils on the dryer balls, because there’s nothing quite like the simple luxury of climbing into clean sheets that smell as beautiful as they look.
So why white sheets? I’ve already mentioned the simplicity of having just one color of linens–not just visually, but practically. If the towels get dingy, non-chlorine bleach brightens them right up again. Having all white sheets makes it so that I can play around and change out pillows, quilts, and duvet covers seasonally, and the sheets never clash. I also love that they can go on any bed in my house, so there’s no digging around for the right size and color for a particular room–they ALL work together.
White linens are also timeless, and I can justify buying higher quality bedding when I know it’s not a trend that’s going to go out of style in a year or two. To that note, buying fewer and higher quality, longer lasting linens means that our house is a little more eco-friendly, and I love that everything I get from Red Land Cotton is grown with minimal impact on the surrounding environment.
I’ve still kept my sentimental quilts, and I use them as throws in our living room or light summer bedding. I put the sentimental linens that don’t match my home’s style in a cedar chest so they’re on hand and usable for snuggling up for movie nights or an extra layer on a cold winter night but not out in my home clashing and visually fighting for attention.
In this stage of my life, quality and simplicity are top of the list when shopping for anything, but especially when it comes to bedding. I’m excited to order towels and quilts from Red Land Cotton next–the ticking stripe might be my favorite quilt option they have (and for quilts, I’ll venture outside my white linen rule!). I hope you’ll check them out–thanks to Red Land Cotton for the beautiful bedding!
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