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Bed linen in a surprising shade

Looking washed out is part of the charm with these sheets

Bed linen in a surprising shade

January 30 2012
Charlotte Abrahams

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but every January I do treat myself to a new set of bed linen. I usually go for crisp, white cotton, but this year I found myself seduced by the Welsh brand Toast’s Washed Lace collection (duvet covers from £99 for a double; fitted sheets from £65 for a double; housewife pillowcases from £22).

I came across this range online, so what I fell for was the elegance of the “pebble grey” colourway (pictured; also available in soft ochre). I’m a big fan of grey (something to do with having spent my life in the foggier regions of England), and this particular shade of it combines all the urban simplicity of the colour with a most attractive – and appropriate – softness. It is also the perfect foil for the pretty lace edging on my duvet cover and pillowcases, an addition that would be far too twee set against a more feminine hue.

Buying something on the basis of its looks alone is always risky, but this purchase did not disappoint. When my linen arrived (beautifully packaged in matching bags tied with ribbon), I found that not only was the colour everything I had hoped for, but that “washed cotton” is in fact shorthand for “incredibly soft and reminiscent of the deliciously comforting flannel sheets favoured by my grandmother”.

Come spring, I may find myself longing for the freshness of crisp, white cotton sheets, but right now grey and snug feels very good indeed.

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Bed linen