Can you guess which is the high and which is the low?
We designed a Moroccan-style bedroom on two opposite budgets. Can you tell the spaces apart?
We designed a Moroccan-inspired boho bedroom on budgets befitting a servant and a sultan. Can you tell the difference?
Unconventional by definition, the boho aesthetic doesn’t follow a formula, but here are some tips to help you get your own version of this free-spirited look.
1 Trump trends: Eschew the norm in favour of unexpected combinations of unique elements. (why not place an intricate wooden coffee table in the bedroom?)
2 Study the greats: Let the lifestyles of famous creative spirits inspire you to get in touch with your inner bohemian.
3 Play with colour and texture: Mix bold hues and bring in tactile materials, such as woolly knits and worn woods.
4 Introduce art: Dress your walls with gripping artwork – purchased or diy – and distinctive items like a woven wall hanging.
5 Set the mood: Keep an arsenal of candles on hand and opt for light fixtures that give off a soft, dispersed glow.
6 Mix in meaning: Finish the space by tucking small mementoes here and there. that mini eiffel tower, for example, is reminiscent of a trip to paris.
1 Handmade Icelandic Lopi wool and cotton warp Elephants Always Remember wall hanging, Apatacz, $400.
2 Zenza Lighting handmade nickel-plated brass Tahrir Filisky pendant light, 15" x 12", Snob, $470.
3 Pelican on Lake print on premium archival paper with White Premium Wood frame, 18" x 24", Minted, $275 US.
4 As You Are print in Quiet Gray on premium archival paper with Distressed Indigo Stain frame, 8" x 8", Minted, $80 US.
5 Watercolor Abstract Flora Series Fall 1 print on premium archival paper with Champagne Silver frame, 11" x 11", Minted, $138 US.
6 Queen Belgian flax linen duvet cover, $355, and standard sham, $65, in Midnight, West Elm.
7 Hand-dyed cotton Mali toss cushion with down insert, 18", Snob, $150.
8 Small hand-embossed nickel Offering TRAY, Cocoon Furnishings, $279.
9 Chunky wool throw in Ivory with Knit Knit weave, 54" x 70", Hobbyfelt, $445 US.
10 Antique hand-carved teak coffee table with glass top, Wood Sense Interiors, $2,599.
1 Cotton macramé Drift wall hanging, Lisa Terry, $68.
2 Powder-coated iron pendant light, 10" x 10", Wood Sense Interiors, $189.
3 Pelican on Lake print on standard paper with White Premium Wood frame, 18" x 24", Minted, $165 US.
4 As You Are print in Quiet Gray on standard paper with Distressed Indigo Stain frame, 8" x 8", Minted, $42 US.
5 Watercolor Abstract Flora Series Fall 1 print on standard paper with Champagne Silver frame, 11" x 11", Minted, $85 US.
8 Aluminum Egyptian tray, Snob, $65.
9 Hand-knit wool-blend overlook throw, 48" x 76", CB2, $199.
10 Hand-carved sheesham wood coffee table with glass top, Wood Sense Interiors, $1,199.
HIGH & LOW: Ice Mist OC-67 wall paint, Benjamin Moore, Midnight Navy 2067-10 accent wall paint, Benjamin Moore; Coral sheet set, Crate and Barrel; White shams, IKEA; White teapot with cup, CB2; Tall glass vase, Pottery Barn; Large wooden bowl (holding lavender), Snob; Candle (on wooden box), Jo Malone London.
The dreamy midnight blue of our high duvet set calls to mind the evening sky above Marrakesh. To get the look for less, we tinted an inexpensive white set using pre-reduced indigo dye. The method, though messy, is straightforward: Dilute the pigment and additives with warm water in a large container. Submerge the fabric (entirely or in folded sections, as we did with the toss cushion cover) for 15 to 30 minutes; wring and hang to dry. Repeat as desired for a deeper shade.
Even when they look indistinguishable, not all prints are created equal. For instance, our High and Low pieces are reproductions of identical images, but the pricier versions are museum calibre, printed on cotton rag using archival pigment and protected behind UV-resistant Plexiglas. While the budget-friendly options feature lignin-free art paper and deluxe ink, they can’t match the rich, vibrant hues of the splurge versions and may fade slightly over the years. Short ceramic basket weave vase in Blue, West Elm, $49.
Pile the titles on your current must-read list near your bed, so they’re right at hand when the mood strikes. A large bowl placed on top becomes a pretty and practical catch-all.
Pamper yourself: Lay out a novel, some tea and a decadent snack (see our Swirled Strawberry Meringue recipe) on a stylish tray.
Create that boho aesthetic by dressing your walls with gripping artwork – like a woven wall hanging.
Shibori toss cushions bring a taste of the Far East to our Moroccan-inspired room. A centuries-old Japanese technique, shibori involves bunching, twisting or folding fabric and then dyeing it to create a unique pattern. The tradition has become a trend, so this style of toss cushion is easy to find, whether you’re after one that’s handmade using the original technique or an inexpensive mass-produced alternative.
1 Hand-dyed Belgian linen Shibori in Cobalt Blue with feather blend insert, 20", Rebecca Atwood Designs, $229 US.
2 Cotton indigo Shibori with down alternative insert, 20", Tonic Living, $81.
3 Magical Thinking polyfilled cotton Shibori Streak in Blue, 16", Urban Outfitters, $36.
4 Cotton Indigo Shibori (cover only), 20", Indigo, $40.
Buying guide: The truth about thread count
Is there anything better than sliding into a bed laden with good quality sheets? At the end of the day, I can't wait to stretch out under my fresh, soft covers and nestle my face into a good cotton-covered pillow. We spend a third of our lives in bed so quality sheets are key, but how do you get quality for your money? There's no doubt that most consumers believe the higher the thread count, the better the quality, but this isn't entirely true. With the help and expertise of Joanna Goodman, owner of Au Lit Fine Linens, we expose the truth about thread count and what it takes to find quality bed sheets.
What is thread count, really?
Simply put, thread count is the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric. This number is based on the threads woven horizontally ("weft") and vertically ("warp"). Extra threads can also be woven into the weft threads to increase the thread count. These added threads are called "picks" and are added in the overall count, which is how some sheets end up having thread counts in the thousands. This is why the idea that high counts equal better quality isn't really accurate. Consider this: Joanna says most weavers will say the maximum number of threads that can be woven into one square inch of fabric is 500 to 600. Though the number is arguable and, according to Joanna, "depends on the mill you deal with," it gives you an idea of where the line is between single-ply, unpicked weaves and ones that add threads here and there to bump up the count.
What to look for when buying sheets
Joanna lists three things to look for on the label: if it's Egyptian cotton, where it's woven and, lastly, the thread count. While thread count is a bit misunderstood, the buzz around Egyptian cotton is true. "The very best cotton in the world is grown in Egypt. So Egyptian cotton will be of a better quality," Joanna says. She also recommends pima cotton, which is grown in America, "though not quite as exceptional as Egyptian." When it comes to weaving, however, she swears by the Italians as being the "master weavers of the world" due to their "long tradition of weaving" and use of the best Egyptian cotton. Be sure the label says 100% or pure Egyptian cotton though, otherwise it may only contain a small percentage of the good stuff. As for the thread count, look for a minimum of 200. From there, it's all about preference!
What to avoid when buying sheets
Joanna's one key piece of advice is to watch out for extremely low priced, high thread count sheet sets. A complete sheet set with a high thread count for $100 or less is probably not the dream bargain you think it is. As Joanna believes, "you always get what you pay for." The price tag for bed linens will vary depending on the sheet size and what items you're buying, such as a duvet cover, sheet sets, or pillowcases. "A superior quality 200 thread count queen set (including flat, fitted, two pillowcases), made of Egyptian cotton and woven in Europe, could retail reasonably for about $150-$250," says Joanna.
What do you prefer?
After going through the quality checklist, go with what feels best for you. If you're looking for a durable linen, Joanna recommends any percale from thread count 200 to 800. Percale is any cotton woven with a 200 thread count or higher and will be more durable than a cotton satin of the same thread count. It's also less likely to pill than cotton satin because it has a denser weave. Love the feel of a cotton button down shirt? Joanna advises a crisp, dense 200 thread count percale. Prefer a silkier sheet? Go for a 300 to 600 cotton satin. If you want lighter sheets, Joanna says, a 400 thread count sheet can be soft and light, while an 800 percale would be soft and dense. The higher the thread count, the more likely multiple-ply thread is used or picks are added, making the fabric denser and heavier.
Now you know that quality is not just about the number, so don't let numbers rule your bed! Remember what to look for on the label and be wary of too-low prices for supposedly high quality items. Beyond that, go with what you prefer. Get a good feel of the sheets before buying. Whether you're unzipping the packaging or lying down on a display bed, make sure the fabric feels good against your skin and soon you'll be having sweet dreams!
Find out how to keep your new linens crisp and clean with our tips to whiter-than-white sheets.
Expert fall home organizing tips
Professional organizer Estelle Gee gives her best home organizing tips for fall.
Blending style with practicality, Estelle Gee, director of Orderly Lives, has made a career out of helping others get organized. Here she shares some of her best home organizing tips and tricks to help you get your house ready for fall.
Simple home organizing solutions
Back-to-school home organizing
If you have children, then fall is extra busy -- not only do you have to get yourself organized and your home prepared for the oncoming cold, but you also have to get ready for back-to-school. Here are Estelle Gee's best home organizing tips to help get you and your family ready for school.
Outdoor fall home organizing ideas
With the lazy days of summer coming to a close, it's time to concentrate on organizing the outdoor living space and exterior of your home. Get your house winter ready before the cold rolls in with these simple outdoor organizing ideas.
Fall home organizing accessories
A few of Estelle Gee's favourite home organizing accessories:
Decorate for Halloween with these stylishly spooky decor accessories.
Boo! It’s that time of year again! Halloween is lurking just around the corner and if you love this haunted holiday, now’s the time to get some inspiration for adding a spooky look to your home. But forget tired and tacky … we’ve rounded up Halloween decorating ideas that are chic and stylish. Each one will help you add the spirit of the season to your home in an effortlessly elegant way.
1 Pumpkin and Ornament Garland
Garlands are traditionally a Christmas decoration but this Halloween-inspired garland is an easy and elegant way to bring the spirit of the season into your home. The jet-black garland is accented with shiny glass balls, faux orange pumpkins and shimmery curls of ribbon that come together to make a dramatic decorative statement! Pumpkin and Ornament Garland, Pier 1, $39.96.
2 Black Glitter Light-Up Tree
Another twist on a classic Christmas decoration, this bare tree features black glitter and safety candles that twinkle in the night and will add a spooky atmosphere to any room in your home. Cluster two or three trees together for a more dramatic effect and consider using them as a centerpiece on your table when you have guests visiting throughout the month of October. Black Glitter Light-Up Tree, Pottery Barn Kids, $47.
3 Matte Black Pumpkin
Pumpkins are a sure sign of Halloween, but in this beautiful black painted finish and with their gold foil stems, they take on an eerie effect that’s quite striking. Made from Styrofoam and plastic, they’re light and easy to move from indoors to outdoors and make a great addition to your seasonal decor. Matte Black Pumpkin, Pottery Barn, $39.50.
4 Creepy Crawly Polyester Window Treatment Collection
This fine-gauge lace window treatment adds the appearance of a large spider’s web to your window, adding just a hint of a haunted Halloween to your house! Easy to hang and subtle in its style, this is the perfect Halloween decoration for anyone who prefers to keep things a little more subtle. Creepy Crawly Polyester Window Treatment Collection, Wayfair, $39.99.
5 Falling Leaves Small Pumpkin
What’s black and white and chic all over? These gorgeous embellished pumpkins, that’s what! Made by Mackenzie-Childs, designers who revel in creating decorative items that feature traditions with a twist, these painted resin pumpkins will be the star of your Halloween décor, year after year. Fall Leaves Small Pumpkin, Horchow, $54.
6 BOO Outdoor LED Sign
Let trick or treaters know you mean business the moment they approach your front door. This pre-lit orange LED sign comes with hanging hooks and a removable kickstand to help make set up simple. Perfect for indoor or outdoor use, this sign will add a playful touch to your Halloween home. BOO Outdoor LED Sign, Balsam Hill, $49.
7 Black Branch Wreath
Gnarled bare black branches twist together to create this exceedingly creepy Halloween wreath, perfect for your front door or hung over a mantel. Black Branch Wreath, Crate & Barrel, $69.95.
8 Mr. Skeleton Figure
Granted, this skeleton is pretty creepy, especially if encountered in the dark. But it can also be a hilarious homage to Halloween when placed in amusing positions around the house. If your style is more funny than frightful, this might be the perfect decoration to add to your Halloween repertoire! Mr. Skeleton Figure, Urban Outfitters, $60.
lead image by Pier 1 imports