The New Year presents the opportunity to start fresh and your interior décor is a prime canvas for updating. January is typically the month when stores discount their linens in hopes of motivating consumers to spend more following the December holidays. While you maybe wouldn’t gift someone bed sheets, there’s no reason to refrain from treating yourself. Here’s a little history on White Sales for your home and why this month is the time to invest.
History of White Sales
It all started with John Wanamaker, a 19th-century retailer in Philadelphia known for his business acumen. Among Wanamaker’s smart decisions is his launch of the White Sales to move excess bed sheets at the first of the year, tying into the idea of the fresh start for your home. (Again, he was quite witty!) Since bed linens and towels were predominantly white at the time, the promotion’s name was quite simple. It wasn’t until the following century that color was embraced in home linens but the season’s name remains.
Fast forward to today. Retailers have extended the White Sales to include almost everything for your bedroom and bathroom. Savings can be quite high so it’s certainly a good time to take a look. Here are a few of our favorite items to refresh this month.
Let’s face it. Bed sheets are typically washed in warm water, which over time wears on the threads and dilutes the colors (unless of course yours are white). Considering how much time we spend sleeping, we recommend investing in high-quality linens. That typically means a higher thread count, which can range from 200 – 1,000. However, there are some sheets with a 200-count that are finished nicely and feel quite soft. Buying from a reputable brand is often telling as well. I am very particular about my sheets. I like them to feel velvety and soft. Some very high thread counts and high-end brands feel scratchy to me. For that reason, I like to actually feel the fabric before buying sheets. I have a few nice sets in my linen cupboard that we never use. Don’t make that mistake! We have one set that we simply love and most weeks our housekeeper launders it and puts it back on our bed. She knows it is our favorite set and it’s easier for her as well. No trying to fold the dreaded fitted sheet!!! Given how much room sheets take up, I prefer having just two sets for each bed. I recently purged my linen closet of many old sheet sets. They were put to use recently to cover plants during the freeze. They now live in a box in our garage, marked “plant covers.”
According to Saatva, there are four primary fabrics for bed sheets as outlined below, although new materials are being introduced regularly:
- “Cotton sheets: This material is durable, lightweight, and breathable—which makes it perfect for hot sleepers. Cotton sheets are fairly affordable compared to other materials and provide an ultra-soft and comfortable feel.
- Percale sheets: Percale is a tight-knit cotton fabric with a light and airy feel. Percale sheets are great in all weather and can last a long time. Besides that, this fabric gets softer every time you take it out of the washing machine.
- Sateen sheets: Sateen sheets provide a similar feel to satin but are much less temperamental. You can get the same shiny look and wrinkle resistance but they’re less expensive and easier to care for than satin.
- Linen sheets: Linen sheets are great for those looking for a set of cooling sheets. They have excellent airflow in addition to a soft and comfy feel. They’re also hypoallergenic and moisture-wicking.”
Blankets and Throws
While you’re upgrading your bed sheets, don’t forget to add in a soft blanket. I love adding a warm blanket in winter months for additional warmth and coziness. Still, these aren’t just for bedding. I enjoy curling up with a nice throw to read a book on the weekends. Throw blankets are also a simple way to change your décor with the seasons. Deeper colors and heavier fabrics are perfect for cooler months. Switch those out with lighter, softer hues has the weather heats up. Plus, I really think it’s thoughtful to include an extra blanket or two in guest rooms so visitors can warm up, if needed. With the White Sales in January, you can stock up now.
The Sleep Foundation recommends purchasing new pillows every one to two years. “Doing so helps to ensure that you’re using pillows that are supportive, clean, and free of allergens.” Older pillows can lead to muscle soreness in the neck and acne. Whether you prefer a soft or firm pillow, ensuring yours is not past its prime will help you get better rest, which of course leads to improved health. Go ahead. Buy new pillows.
How many pillows should you actually use? Be sure to read our former post on “How Many Pillows Are Just Too Much?”
Like other household linens, bath towels deteriorate with use and washing. If you find yourself running your bath towel over your body multiple times just to get the water off, the fibers may have broken down. Similarly, if your towels are frayed, it’s time for an upgrade. I just love the feel of fluffy new towels. It’s a simple indulgence. Remember to also look at the towels in your guest bath. Those are often overlooked and no visitor wants to use a dingy, worn shower towel. Splurge a little. Similar to old sheets, you don’t need to keep loads of old stained or frayed towels. However, for cleanup purposes, I do like to have a shelf of old towels and rags, specifically for messy jobs.
Curious about which towels stack up the highest? The New York Times’ Wirecutter did the research. The top winner was the Frontgate Resort Cotton Bath Towel (shown here) for its warmth, softness and durability. This luxury bath towel ranges in price from $26.60 – $68.40 depending on the size selected.
Jumpstart your New Year with fresh bedding and towels, taking advantage of the White Sales going on in January. To bring more luxury to your home, contact Pamela Hope Designs today.