Styling: The Enduring Appeal of Laid-back Linen
From tablecloths to sofa covers and gorgeous antique bedding, linen love is here to stay
The real charm of linen is that it grows softer and more beautifully worn with age. It’s also tougher than cotton and can be cared for easily at low temperatures. And while we all know that linen creases in seconds, the trick is to leave your pillowcases and sheets untouched (or give them a very quick once-over) and go au naturel for a chic, totally unpretentious interior…
You can’t go wrong with a base layer of neutral linen for your sofa covers. It allows you to go all-out on print, pattern and vivid colour where the cushions are concerned, swapping them each season as your design whims shift.
Layer your bed with mismatched vintage linen sheets and cotton pillowcases picked up from charity shops and car-boot sales. Mixing up tones of white and buttermilk edged in vintage embroidery and old-fashioned prints creates a really beautiful, one-off look you just couldn’t get from a shop-bought duvet set.
See how to get the vintage look
A faded rose print on crinkly natural linen is one of the most enduring fabric partnerships in my eyes. The simple floral repeat in a palette of beautiful washed-out pinks suits any room and just gets better with age.
A pressed, white linen sheet can be transformed into a strikingly simple tablecloth for any style of interior and a range of occasions, from a simple country high tea to a rustic Christmas banquet. Just watch for red wine spills…
Look out for vintage linen tablecloths that can be upcycled into the prettiest window panels. Café-style curtains with slots that slide along a pole are probably one of the easiest DIY window treatments to try out yourself.
If you find plain white too stark, try an alternative neutral, such as this sophisticated pebble grey slub linen. The look is smart and elegant finished off with charcoal paint and a padded headboard.
Check out how to create boutique hotel style at home
Use old linen sheets and tablecloths to refresh a tired snug. Natural shades are beautifully in tune with rustic woods and faded patinas, and can be replaced on a yearly basis if they get too shabby.
Natural-coloured linen upholstery looks cool, calm and collected in a modern-day coastal-style scheme. Here, everything from the sofa and chairs to the blinds and cushions are covered in a pale biscuit linen. Even the walls are painted in Linen White! The all-over neutral palette might be in danger of becoming a little washed-out, but the black notes sharpen the scheme while retaining the serene atmosphere.
Homespun is still such a big interiors trend and natural-textured bed linens harness the look perfectly. New or vintage, combine with earthy hues and weathered woods for the most peaceful of bedroom schemes.
What do you think of linen? Share your thoughts in the comments below.