Maybe it's the vile turn in the weather - it's been chucking it down for most of July - but lately I've been thinking about bedding for winter. And I've decided I want to wake up in a bedroom full of flowers.
The rest of our house is pretty simple, though not minimalist - white walls, hard floors in tile or wood, no carpets or rugs, etc. On a daily basis, that's the way I like things, but the bedroom, I feel, is a feminine space where one can be a bit more girly - and being the age I am and living the life I lead, I don't get to indulge my girly side a great deal.
A couple of years ago, we moved the bedroom, which had always been on the middle floor of the house, up to the top floor, into the attic conversion. This room, which was formerly our office, is small, but has a high cathedral ceiling and a huge north-facing Velux that floods the room with light all day long.
At night, in winter, it is glacially cold, as by the time we go to bed, the heating has been off for many hours. So overall, you must imagine, it is small and cold room, and very very bright.
For this reason, our all-white bedding has come to feel just too stark in winter. In summer, it feels fresh and clean, but prising oneself out of bed on a freezing, dark winter morning, or nipping back to bed for an afternoon kip seems to me to cry out for something prettier and cosier.
Therefore enter the florals, and I have decided it will be a floral overload, as the sewing room is teeming with unused yardage. Before we even bought this house, I bought up lots of ends of rolls of fabric in Liberty's basement, which were 'botanical' florals - very crisp, clear designs on backgrounds of eau-de-nil, beige, deep petrol blue, yellow and even black - very Cath Kidston, if you like. I also have old chintz curtains, gingham check yardage, gingham seersucker, and a 20-year-old set of Pierre Frey floral bedlinen in a size way too small for our current superkingsize duvet.
So last weekend, I set to and began by making the correct size duvet cover. This involved adding strips of fabric about 15 inches wide to the top and sides of the old 'double' size duvet cover. I don't have fabric that matches, so on one side I've used a dark pink cotton plaid and on the other a pink gingham seersucker. And I must admit I'm very pleased with the result. I've made ties for closures, which also means the duvet can be tied to the iron bedstead to stop it moving around too much.
These changes mean that a duvet cover that had become effectively redundant for several years now has a new lease of life, and it is a much more comfortable arrangement than the former sheet-and-duvet combi, given that the DH thrashes around all night.
I've made pillowcases to go with it - not matching, but clashing, using eight different patterns altogether, then next up will be finishing a second duvet cover, in a patchwork of lemon, sky blue and mint florals. The trick with clashing and matching florals is to introduce a colour-toning stripe, plaid, paisley or spot to break them up and make the whole thing look like an old patchwork, so I have also bought the striped cotton above, and aim to use some blue and white seersucker I took from an old dress.
What with that and my birdsong CD playing in the bedroom, I hope it feel like a haven this winter.