Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bed-linens for All Seasons

I haven't blogged properly for a week. It's been a difficult week, largely taken up with a poorly toddler needing to sleep on my lap for vast chunks of the day. I wasn't going to blog today either, but then something caught my eye on Twitter. British Mummy Bloggers held a Twitter Party from 1pm to 2pm on the subject of colours and clothes, soft furnishing, crafts, etc... (#mycolours). I missed it but some of the entries found their way on to my home page.

The tweet that caught my eye was from TOTS100.  It asked if anyone else changed their bed-linens and soft furnishings in the bedrooms for summer and winter. Immediately I remembered something I once heard on the radio and which has puzzled me ever since.

I can't remember which radio station it was on nor when it was. There was an interview with someone who had grown up in Russia, in a family that was once part of the aristocracy. I don't know how old the interviewee was, or maybe she was describing the childhood of her grandmother, I really don't remember. What I do remember was that she said: In the winter all the soft furnishings were changed - bed spreads, curtains, cushions, rugs, chair covers, everything. In winter it was all white. In the spring we threw open the doors and windows and changed all the fabrics back to bright, vibrant, colours and floral designs for the summer.

I never understood this. At most it brought the winter snow or the summer garden into the house as an extension of the outside and nature. But why? I now live in a hot climate and everyone knows that it is good to wear white in the summer because it reflects the heat. Conversely, darker colours in the winter will absorb the heat and make you warmer.

If I were running such a household, I would want cool, crisp, whites for the summer and warm, dark colours to keep us snug in the winter. I have tried to google this Russian thing but to no avail. Does anyone know if this was a Russian tradition and, if so, what was the reasoning behind the choice of colours?

Does anyone else do this? If so, what colours do you use? TOTS100? I would like to start doing this as I love buying bed-linens  but really don't need anymore. I would also love to have summer and winter tableware. Summer and winter music? Or let's go the full monty and have a home for all seasons - changing every three months.

Here are my colours for a northern climate.

Spring: Buttermilk yellow and cornflower blue to ease us in to the warmer weather. Changed on March 1st.
Summer: On June 1st everything would go white with accents of blue and green.
Autumn: On September 1st we switch to an autumnal theme of orange.
Winter: On December 1st - Red, Navy Blue and Bottle Green, with gold.

What would your colours be?

P.S. I have all white walls so I could probably get away with it.


  1. Your chosen colours sound nice.

    What I like here in Germany too, are that with each coming season many people hang a new welcoming sign on the door. It can be flowers, or shapes. Rabbits, flowers and eggs in spring, pumpkins are often used in autumn, wreaths, stars, angels, santas in winter. It's very welcoming and sets the mood.

  2. Ooh nice idea! Thanks for sharing - Rachel