Nubbly and naturally crumpled, linen has always had certain appeal, and now it’s back in a big way.
High Street stores, including Zara and H&M, are bursting with linen products, from curtains to cushions, tablecloths to tea towels.
The fabric adds depth and texture to an interior, as well as a natural element to a decor scheme.
Material gains: Flint grey bed linen. The fabric adds depth and texture to an interior, as well as a natural element to a decor scheme
It also comes with a feelgood factor that has nothing to do with its looks; linen’s sustainability credentials are top-notch as it comes from renewable source the flax plant.
Linen gets softer with time and wear and will last for ever, so it’s a good investment.
‘It’s the relaxed nature and beauty of linen that makes it so popular,’ says Emma Deterding of Kelling Designs.
‘It offers effortless style and the natural texture makes an eye-catching, tactile statement. However you introduce linen into your home, you’ll be met with beauty, texture, cosiness and more importantly, longevity.’
Here’s how you can add the soft touch.
Bringing a linen sofa or armchair into your main sitting room will set the tone for the whole house.
Not only do the muted tones and fibres of linen make for a versatile choice year round, the fabric’s robust qualities mean it’s perfect for furniture used daily by the family; wriggly kids included.
Hot seat: The Phil armchair with eye-catching linen flashes on the back, £1,800
At The White Company all linen sofas, armchairs, love seats and bed frames are woven in Lancashire by the suppliers of Ian Mankin textiles.
Try the Earlsfield natural linen union love seat (£1,600, The White Company). Those ever loyal to grey will be drawn to the Truman grey linen sofa at Andrew Martin (£3,990).
For a more colourful take, you can plump for a patterned linen on the back of an armchair as a contrasting fabric for the front and arms to make a statement piece.
Try the studded Phil chair with eye-catching linen flashes on the back (from £1,500, KD Loves).
Instead of splashing out on new furniture, you can simply add accessories.
Try the sunflower linen cushion at Graham & Green (£60), or the cheerful cushion covers at Zara Home (from £11.99). And add a plant-dyed, handwoven linen throw from H&M Home’s new collection For the Love of Craft (£49.99).
Linen has long and natural fibres that ensure body temperature regulation during the night with its breathability and high absorbency.
That means it keeps you cool in summer and warm in winter. And with every wash, it softens.
What’s more, linen sheets are low maintenance as the fabric has a naturally crumpled look, so can be left to dry naturally. Happily this means you don’t need to go anywhere near the ironing board.
‘When buying linen bedding, look for high-quality options that are made without any harsh chemicals or toxins,’ says Jonathan Attwood, founder of Scooms.
‘It is important to ensure your linen is as natural as possible as it will help you to sleep better and will also help with any allergies.’
At Scooms, sustainable and eco-friendly French flax is used to make linen bedding, produced in small batches in a family-owned mill in Portugal.
It comes with the Oeko-tex Standard 100 kitemark, which certifies it has been made without harmful chemicals or toxins (from £40).
If the crumpled look isn’t for you, choose a linen blend. At John Lewis, the Mother of Pearl range features elegant designs on European linen mixed with organic cotton in earthy tones, cream or tan (from £125).
A sustainable bedding collection — Kara Hemp — launched earlier this year at The White Company blends Belgian and French linen with hemp to create a luxuriously soft fabric with the perfect weight and drape, (from £40).
Add some vibrance to your table with bright runners, placemats and napkins.
Check out the Lario collection at Designers Guild for colours such as azure blue and coral among many others that are perfect for mixing and matching (from £27.60).
Seek out bold linen light shades to add some serious flashes of colour to any room. Pooky has a range of delightful designs.
Try the empire gathered shade in linen ikat which comes in orange, teal and eau de Nil (from £73, Pooky).
If you’re feeling brave, go for the stonewashed linen shade in flame (£79). Head to Dunelm for a selection of budget-friendly options such as the Fernely oval ochre shade (£35).
Windows that wow
Linen curtains and blinds will keep a light and airy feel. Lighter, muted colours will brighten a room while bold colours make a feature of your window.
Roman blinds at Loaf come in beautiful tones from inky blue to burnt umber (from £285).
What your home really needs is a… storage bench
Some people are baffled by the new fashion for a bench placed at the end of a bed, thinking it is one piece of furniture too many.
But they are mistaken. Your home needs this item because it makes your bedroom look like a five-star hotel suite and provides storage.
The summer sales provide a chance to pick up a bench for less.
Practical and stylish: The Asare bench from Made.com is down from £199 to £169
At Made.com, you can choose between three styles in a variety of shades: the Abel is reduced from £199 to £159 and the Asare is down from £199 to £169.
The Roscoe is £179 from £229 (made.com). Maisons du Monde has the Oliver at £164.
The £199 Stocksund from IKEA would store sheets and duvet covers.
And OKA has the deluxe £595 Nott bench, named after the Norse goddess of the night.