Keep your duvets fresh with these helpful tips.
Keep your duvets fresh with these helpful tips.
Everything you need to know about duvets and how to maintain them.
A duvet is often an investment piece and even infrequent laundering can damage it, so proper maintenance is key. Opt for a duvet cover, which protects better than a flat sheet. Keep the filling evenly distributed and smooth by fluffing the duvet regularly. Also air it out a few times a year by hanging it, sans cover, on a clothesline to preserve its fresh scent. If the duvet and its filling ever get soiled, launder with care. Start by checking the label. If the duvet can handle machine washing, use warm water and mild detergent. Do not wring the duvet before placing it in the dryer on the low setting. Add dryer balls, which prevent clumping, and a few clean, dry towels to speed up the process.
This quality duvet from the Style at Home Collection is available at Sears.
Consider getting separate summer and winter duvets. Dressing your bed in accordance with the season is likely to result in savings on your energy bill. Just be sure to protect off-season duvets from dust by storing them in cotton canvas bags (never plastic ones, which won’t allow duvets to breathe and may lead to mildew).
Time is of the essence
Attend to spills or stains immediately, before they seep into the filling. Push as much of the filling as you can out of the way before spot-treating the casing with water and mild dishwashing liquid.
Fill the gap
Not sure which filling is best? Here’s a breakdown of the most common materials.
Down: The most effective insulator, resulting in light-weight options that pack serious heat; pricey and associated with allergies.
Feather: Cost-effective and firm; allergenic, heavy, and larger feathers can poke through fabric, so look for high-threadcount casings.
Synthetic: Typically made of polyester, low cost and non-allergenic; can get bulky and doesn’t keep heat as well as natural options.
Did you know
Down’s fill power (400 to 900) is a measure of how well it insulates. The higher the fill power, the longer lasting, softer and warmer a down duvet.
Keep this trifecta of duvet care must-haves on hand.
Maintain: Keep your duvet smelling fresh with fabric spray; this one traps allergens, which can then be vacuumed away. Allergen Reducer Fabric Refresher Spray in Unscented, Febreze, $5.
Wash: Calming yet powerful lemon essential oil is the star ingredient in this all-natural laundry detergent. Laundry Detergent in original lemon, Lemon Aide, $13.
DRY: Stop the filling from clumping together with these Canadian-made wool dryer balls. Handmade wool dryer balls, Ulat, $30 per set of 3.
Dos and Don'ts
Do: Use a large-capacity front-loading washing machine (if need be, go to a laundromat) or hand wash in the bathtub.
Don’t: Use a top loader, which can pack down the filling, or a machine too small to comfortably fit the dry duvet.
Two closet designs: One for colour and one for black and white
Designer and blogger Erica Cook styles her IKEA storage systems to look like high-end boutiques.
As a single mother of five boys, Erica Cook, the Calgary designer and blogger behind Moth Design, craved an orderly, feminine corner of the house that was all her own. So she transformed her bedroom’s two closets, designating one for colourful items and the other for black and white pieces. “It’s all about finding beauty in the mundane,” she explains. Here’s how Erica styled her IKEA storage systems to look like high-end boutiques.
Erica’s weekend wardrobe fills up the multi-hued closet. She sacrificed shelving in the middle to display her perfume and collection of framed shopping bags that represent special or significant purchases. “They’re like postcards to me,” she says.
Long necklaces won't get tangled when stored in separate bowls.
“When you place an item on a tray or a dish, it’s like giving the piece its own little stage,” says Erica of her artful vignettes.
Bright orange boxes add pop to an eye-catching display.
“I didn’t want my belts rattling around on the back of a door, so I chose to roll them up instead,” says Erica.
The second closet, which contains formal pieces, is a true reflection of Erica’s aesthetic. “I relish the high contrast of a black and white scheme,” she says. “Nearly my whole house is black and white!” Touches of lacquer and metal play up the glam factor.
“Because acrylic is clear, it doesn’t feel like it’s taking up any space,” says Erica, who scooped up these boxes from a clothing store that was closing its doors.
Save the closed storage for essentials and put sparkle on display.
A long black porcelain tray is perfectly proportioned to hold Erica’s watches.
Erica has specific criteria for the trays and bowls she chooses: "I like vessels that are feminine but crisp and can bounce around some light."
The post-presidential home for Barack Obama and his family.
Take a look inside the multi-million dollar home President Obama and his family will lease once it's time to leave the White House.
This January President Obama and his family will say goodbye to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and lease a 8,200-square-foot mansion in Washington, D.C.'s Kalorama neighbourhood. Owned by Joe Lockhart, a former White House press secretary, the multi-million dollar mansion will cost an estimated $22,000 per month to rent.
Built in the 1920s the Obama family will call this nine bedroom mansion their home for the next two years while their youngest daughter Sasha finishes high school. Located in one of Washington's most desired neighbourhoods the home also features two kitchens, nine bathrooms, a home office and large multimedia room. The home also features a spacious au pair suite which is said to be the perfect place for Michelle's mother (who currently lives with them at the White House).
Take the tour of this beautiful red-brick Tudor home below and check out the full listing here.
Built in the 1920s, this gorgeous Tudor-style home is located in one of Washington's most desired neighbourhoods.
It might not be the North Portico at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue but that doesn't mean this front door is lacking in character. We love the large wrought iron door, wall sconces and the beautiful patina copper awning.
We're certain this grand foyer will be filled with framed family photos and lots of fresh flowers soon enough.
Once inside you can follow the beautiful black and white marble tile floor right into a spacious living room.
With lots of natural light and a walk-out to the backyard this living room is the perfect space for entertaining and relaxing. We can already invision Bo and Sunny (the family's Portuguese Water Dogs) laying comfortably by the large fireplace.
It's no oval office but we're sure President Obama will make good use of this cozy sitting room.
What's not to love about this spacious kitchen. From the Shaker-style cabinetry to the glossy subway tile backsplash and gorgeous hardwood flooring it's a great space for the family to enjoy making meals together (which is one of Michelle's favourite things to do).
We love the look of classic subway tile and marble countertops against the contrasting black window frames in this kitchen. And let's not forget about that glorious 6-burner gas range.
With lots of storage space, a small mini fridge and dishwasher a well organized pantry is sure to help keep this home's kitchen neat and tidy.
We can't help but wonder how the Obama family might redecorate their temporary home. Another large living space means plenty of opportunity to add family photos, keepsakes and artwork.
They might not be hosting state dinners but this dynamic dining room is definitely large enough for entertaining guests.
The home's master bedroom includes a fireplace and sitting area as well as his and hers ensuite bathrooms.
As a style and fashion icon we're certain Michelle will be able to fill every nook of this dressing room.
If there's one thing President Obama and the First Lady don't have to worry about it's sharing a bathroom. The master bedroom has both his and hers bathrooms with Michelle's featuring a luxurious deep-soaker tub and vanity.
It might not be as luxurious, but this bathroom features a spacious walk-in shower.
This guestroom is just one of eight others in the home. Which means there's plenty of options for both Malia and Sasha when choosing a post-White-House bedroom.
Michelle is quite the greenthumb (she's kept a garden at the White House since 2009) which means this large greenspace is bound to be full of fresh flowers, vegetables and herbs in no time.
The home also features a two car garage and parking pad to accomodate up to six other vehicles. Making it the perfect spot the family's Secret Service agents.
How to wash your pillows to keep them fresh and clean
Essential cleaning tips for keeping your pillows perfectly fresh and stain-free.
Cover them as you may, but pillows still develop odours and stains. Keep them fresh by washing them every three to six months. Our resourceful research editor, Mary Levitski, tells you how.
1 Start by checking the label for laundering instructions. Most newer pillows can be tossed in the washing machine, but some are dry clean only. Also, some fill materials, such as foam, can’t go in the dryer.
2 Use a front-loading washer (a top-loader isn’t suited for fully submerging a pillow). Select the warm water and gentle cycle settings. Add a bit of mild liquid laundry detergent (the powdered kind is harder to wash off). Insert pillows, ensuring they are not packed in tightly. To completely wash off the detergent, repeat the rinse cycle. Do not use the spin cycle unless your pillows are down.
3 To dry, squeeze out any excess water by hand. Put the pillows through a tumble dry cycle set to low heat. Repeat as necessary until completely dry. Pillows that can’t go in the dryer should be hung on a clothesline or rack.
Make a hotel-worthy bed by washing your linens regularly and ironing them with a scented mist like K. Hall Designs Washed Cotton Linen Water (Au Lit Fine Linens, $25). Trust us, you’ll be dreaming of a late checkout.
To extend the life of your pillows, dress them in protective pillow covers before putting on their cases.
Eco-friendly products to keep your pillows plump
On top of being greener and more cost-effective than dryer sheets, reusable balls also prevent pillows from getting lumpy in the dryer.
Scent your laundry with this Canadian brand’s delectable aromas like Apple Pie and Banana Bread. Tumbler tarts fair trade wool dryer balls, The Laundry Tarts, $30 per pack of 3; Re-scenting kit in Apple Pie, The Laundry Tarts, $13.
The prongs of these cute little rubber balls are great for keeping pillows soft and fluffy. Thermoplastic rubber hedgehog dryer balls, West Elm Market, $9 per pair.
These bright all-natural wool balls soften laundry and cut drying time. Wool Deluxe starter dryer balls, LooHoo, $28 US per pack of 3.