Choosing New Bedding

I am working with American Express to redo my bedroom. This week they have provided me with 50,000 Membership Rewards points.

I always start with the bedding when I want a new look in the bedroom. The only thing that has a bigger impact than new bedding for less money is paint, but then you actually have to paint. And I like painting (I really do), but I also like the wall color we already have.

Well OK, I may still paint… I’m not sure yet. But anyway, bedding! I liked each of these:

  1. Organic Summer Leaf
  2. Links
  3. Marimekko Madison Yellow
  4. Double Dot

They were all good options, but none of them were perfect. Then I found the Abigail Paisley set.

I bought a paisley sheet set nearly a decade ago and I’ve loved it for years, but it has become completely threadbare and faded. I’m so happy to have found a replacement! I redeemed my Membership Rewards points for two $250 gift certificates to Crate & Barrel and ordered the duvet cover with two pillow shams. I also ordered a green quilt and shams at the risk of being too matchy-matchy, but I think it will look good. I already have a set of white sheets, so I’m set in that department. Wouldn’t a set of striped sheets be cute though? Maybe I’ll try to track them down next week (the website says they’re on back order).

What do you think? Will the gray sheets look funny with my brown bed?

p.s. Isn’t this looking a lot like the Striking Stripes and Polka Dots edition of MiY I did not long ago? I loved that one; I’m pretty jazzed about doing something similar!

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  • Elaine
    May 11, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Great choice! I have the Nina Paisley set (turquoise, fuchsia and green) from Crate & Barrel, and I love it. I’m sure your new bedding will make a gorgeous foundation for the room.

  • Megan
    May 11, 2010 at 9:27 am

    I love the green paisley! I was worried about brown and grey in my living room – I have some dark brown furniture and I decided to buy a new grey cover for my arm chair – but actually, it looks fabulous.

  • Katie
    May 11, 2010 at 9:33 am

    I love option #1, so pretty! The abagail paisley is lovely as well…I think the grey stripe sheets with the brown bed will be beautiful!! What fun choices : )

  • Nichole
    May 11, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Love the paisley. If you end up not liking the duvet for some reason, I got a quilt at Target a couple of months ago in a similar color. I really like the C&B one too, but it was over budget. :)

  • bridget
    May 11, 2010 at 9:57 am

    love the bedding you picked! the yellow was awesome too.

    i shared your blog on mine yesterday :) b/c it is AMAZING

  • Sara @ EF eDesigns
    May 11, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Nope! Gray and brown look wonderful together!

  • LaDonna
    May 11, 2010 at 10:18 am

    I’m really enjoying this redecorating process.

  • Sarah S
    May 11, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Looks good. I have a question about shams – what do you do when them when you’re in bed? Do you have a spot for them, or do they stay in the bed? I know our extra pillows always just end up on the floor.

    • Making it Lovely
      May 11, 2010 at 11:05 am

      We like an embarrassing amount of pillows. We have three each!

  • jbhat
    May 11, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Love these choices, especially the striped sheets. Crisp stripes are will be the perfect complement to the swirly paisleys.


  • Julie M.
    May 11, 2010 at 11:02 am

    #1 is so you! I love it for you. I do like the green route you are going, though. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

    • Making it Lovely
      May 11, 2010 at 11:04 am

      I know! I was really torn between that one and the paisley I ended up choosing. I thought the paisley would be a bit more masculine for Brandon’s sake though – like a man’s tie. ;)

  • jenn
    May 11, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Can’t say I am sold on the sheets. Feels like it needs some color, like a purple? Go with your gut, not me :) BUT, I do LOVE the paisley. I was considering that duvet for our room not too long ago.

  • LindyFrill
    May 11, 2010 at 11:07 am

    There should be no hesitation when it comes to mixing brown and gray, it is fab. Looking forward to seeing more!

  • Melissa Irvin
    May 11, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Oh, Nicole! This post is so timely! We need new bedding also and the options here are awesome – my husband doesn’t like things that are “too girly” but I think these options would pass the D-test. Thank you for sharing. Can’t wait to see the finished project!

  • Kari
    May 11, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Oh, the lovely green paisley. Winner by a mile. I’m in love. Sigh.
    (Thou shalt not covet, thou shalt not covet, thou shalt not . . .)

  • Lea
    May 11, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I love the first choice and the one you chose.

  • nicole
    May 11, 2010 at 11:29 am

    i don’t think grey sheets would look funny with a brown bed…i speak from experience. i love the yellow sheets though…so summery.

  • b.a.
    May 11, 2010 at 11:35 am

    those sheets will look awesome with that bedding! i’ve slowly been trying to incorporate the new fashion rules (black + brown, mixed patterns, high-end + thrift) into my home decor. so i think gray + brown will be great. can’t wait to see what’s next!

  • :::Lyzz:::
    May 11, 2010 at 11:46 am

    I actually have the paisley duvet covers with matching quilt shams, which I purchased from some generous wedding gifts and I absolutely love it! You made a great choice!

  • Claire Quilter
    May 11, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Very nice choice. I have a set of pink and orange paisley Ralph Lauren sheets on my bed now. Classy and colorful!

    I almost bought a set of the Marimekko bedding recently, but after last season of “Weeds” they became Nancy Botwin’s sheets, and not mine.

  • kyung75
    May 11, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    I think the sheets match really well. i have reddish pintuck striped sheets with some paisley printed bedding myself and they look cool together.

  • Brigite
    May 11, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    I was just in West Elm and saw #1. I so wish it fit with my paint colors!

  • Licia
    May 11, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Pick 3! Pick 3! Not because the rest are not as lovely but just for purely selfish reasons since I really like yellow bedding but have no clue about what to do with the walls and everything else. It would be great to get some ideas here :-)

  • Stockton
    May 11, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Absolutely love it – and yes, grey stripe sheets! I think including those will make it look fresh & modern. Keep up the great work Nicole.

    (I am also in love with #1, makes me wish I had another bedroom ^_^)

  • JuliaL
    May 11, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    After reading this post, I went back to the Striking Stripes and Polka Dots edition of MiY… what is your opinion of Dwell Bedding? I like it, but is it worth it?

    • Making it Lovely
      May 11, 2010 at 7:46 pm

      I’ve not seen it in person, but I’ve always heard good things about Dwell.

      • JuliaL
        May 12, 2010 at 9:03 am


  • Catherine
    May 11, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Since you like to paint, I’m curious … do you roll or spray? Do you cut in first or last? Do you tape or are you really handy on the edges? I don’t love to paint but maybe I’m going about it all wrong :)

  • Clearly Composed
    May 11, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    I love the paisley as it has energy and movement to it without being overwhelming for a bedroom and think the sheets add a linear interest to all the wonderful loops and swirls. :)

  • Lauren
    May 11, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Okay, so these striped sheets from West Elm are such a great alternative to Dwell’s pricier ones…great find! They are back ordered on line but if you call they can direct to a store that has them in stock and they can ship them to you right away.
    You HAVE to get the striped sheet set to go with the paisley print. It’s the perfect contrast!

    • Making it Lovely
      May 11, 2010 at 7:47 pm

      I did just that… I’ve tracked them down in a Florida store, so I went ahead and ordered them!

  • Missy
    May 11, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    I like the green. I have green in my bedroom and adore it. I think grey would look fine with a brown bed! as long as you accent with something else grety in the room.

    Best of luck…
    they are all great choices!

  • gina
    May 11, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    I love one and two!! I cant wait to see what you do! I know it will be fab! everything u touch is!

    So exciting that you got those points!! :) woo hoo

  • Sally@DivineDistractions
    May 11, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    I have an image of a bedroom from the Riverhills Southern Accents Showhouse on yesterday’s blog post that is done in the beige and gray scheme. You might want to see what the masterful Joseph Minton did with that bedroom. Very cool!

  • tracy
    May 11, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    this is hilarious….only because I’ve been on the mad hunt for a new duvet cover and you have selected like 3 of my potentials! I REALLY wanted that Paisley, but my husband nixed that idea. Can’t wait to see how this paisley works out for you! At least I can dream through your bedroom. I think the brown will match the gray sheets! You could add some mustard yellows or teals in to help balance the color.
    Have you found that there aren’t TONS of good duvet sets out there right now? I am hoping that something good comes up during the Summer season that is reasonably priced. Thanks for sharing this. Always fun to see how you style a room!


    • Making it Lovely
      May 11, 2010 at 7:49 pm

      They always seem to go in cycles, don’t they? Sometimes there are so many good options that it’s hard to choose, but right now I only really liked the five I showed.

  • kim
    May 11, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    I’m redoing my bedroom now too and I have a brown bed that I plan to put gray sheets on so I love that you chose that option! I also think it’s funny that tracy commented on adding teals and yellows because that is exactly what I plan to do!

    • Making it Lovely
      May 11, 2010 at 7:51 pm

      Yeah, I wish west elm’s mustard yellow quilt was still available. I would have ordered that instead of the green one.

      • Amanda
        May 12, 2010 at 12:46 pm

        When I clicked on your link there, it says it’s available!! Ma

      • Amanda
        May 12, 2010 at 12:47 pm

        Uhh … never mind it was a glitch …

  • Jules
    May 11, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Oh, that paisley one! I love it! I was looking at your four choices thinking that I liked each of them but the paisley one I love and would buy for my own home. Unfortunately, I think I’m going to move my IKEA curtains into the bedroom. Do you think it would be too much pattern?

    • Making it Lovely
      May 11, 2010 at 7:52 pm

      Probably. Not too much pattern, but not the right patterns to mix together.

      • Jules
        May 11, 2010 at 10:01 pm

        Yeah, as soon as I wrote that I looked across the room at the curtains and thought…meh, that won’t work.

  • Sarah
    May 11, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    I like your choice of paisley for the sheets and the green quilt is really nice, I think it will tie in well with your brown bed! I do think the striped sheet set would be really fun for summer! It does look alot like your Miy post, which is a good thing! I think the darker pebble rug in that post would look nice with your new bedding and I can’t wait to see what curtains you choose (if you do choose new ones!) I like the lighter wall color you already have in the room, it should keep the room light with the dark bed and bedding. It would be fun to see some of the mustard yellow from the paisley come into the room–I can’t wait to see how your new room evolves!

    • Making it Lovely
      May 11, 2010 at 7:53 pm

      I was thinking the same thing about that rug. I like the rug we have now, but maybe we could switch it up seasonally? And I commented earlier that I wish the mustard quilt that west elm had recently was still available – that color would look smashing with the paisley bedding.

  • Anna
    May 11, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    I LOVE the paisley and LOVE the stripes! Thanks for posting!

  • Budget Wise Home
    May 11, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    I think the gray looks fabulous! I love pairing green and gray together, plus it’s also in the paisley bedding you chose. Great choices–I’m jealous! Can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

  • Megan Elizabeth
    May 11, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    I like option 2 best :) But that’s just me.

    Also, I left a comment on the post when you first told us about your room redo.
    Due to all the comments on that post however mine kind of got lost so..

    I was just wondering if the white duvet cover you have on your bed at the moment is from Ikea? I don’t know why I’m so set on discovering if we have the same one. Maybe because I’ve never seen another one before. :)

  • Sara Rose
    May 11, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    I’m actually not a fan of the stripes in grey but I WOULD BE in perhaps yellow or teal or, of course, pink. I love your bedroom wall colors too but I dunno, a more pinky tone of brown might really freshen things up. Or perhaps an accent wall, if you “do” accent walls?

  • Amanda
    May 11, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    I’m so excited about this make over since I’m doing mine too right now!

    I was looking at the Summer Leaf Duvet (#1) the other day, unfortunately there isn’t a West Elm in Atlantic Canada and I’m not planning on going to Toronto any time soon. But it’s definitely the feel I’m doing for.

    The green paisley is so you, I can’t wait to see how the gray sheets go with them (not 100% sold just yet ;) !)

  • Amy
    May 11, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    I love your choice! If it were me though, I probably would have gone with the yellow Marimekko duvet set. I love yellow and the idea I could easily switch out sheets, throws and pillows to have different color combinations, like yellow/pink, yellow/grey, yellow/green, etc.

    I can’t wait to see how your bedroom turns out!

  • joanne
    May 11, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    no fear when it comes to mixing grey and brown… they are both neutrals after all. i also <3 paisley… nice choice! i bought a dwell studio duvet set similar to your option #3 a few months ago…but it is more chartreuse and less yellow.

  • Kalyn
    May 12, 2010 at 7:56 am

    I’m super jealous!!! That’s the duvet set we put on our wedding registry, but never got. Since then I’ve settled for something less special, but now that we have some extra money I may just spring for it. Otherwise I may regret it.

    I think this is a wonderful first step!!

  • Adventures In Babywearing
    May 12, 2010 at 8:01 am

    I love that organic summer leaf for MY bedroom! Excellent choices and I think what you picked is perfect.


  • amanda
    May 12, 2010 at 9:25 am

    do you like duvet covers better than comforters? i feel like duvet covers are more difficult because every time you have to wash them you have to struggle to get them back on the duvet, instead of a comforter which you can just throw on the bed. it makes me not want to wash the bedding!!

    • Megan Elizabeth
      May 12, 2010 at 5:38 pm

      I know what you mean about duvet covers, I switched a year ago and although they’re hard to get back on they’re so worth it. The duvet itself lasts forever and you can keep buying new covers when your style changes (Duvet covers being easier to fold and store than comforters) also not all washers and dryers can hold comforters meaning a trip to the laundry mat.

      • Making it Lovely
        May 13, 2010 at 10:38 pm

        Yep, that sums up why I prefer duvet covers.

  • Sherene
    May 12, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Personally, I think grey and brown are a too often overlooked winning color combo. Just enough visual difference to create interest, but neutral enough not to call attention to itself.

  • Holly Marie Gibbs
    May 12, 2010 at 10:21 am

    I have the paisley duvet in blue and brown and I have loved it since the day it arrived in the mail. It’s had some wear and tear over the last few years, so I’m saving for a new duvet (I have a cheap one from IKEA on the bed now, but it’s not very soft). Guess which one I have my eye on? The Organic Summer Leaf from West Elm. I have to say, your taste is impeccable :)

    • Making it Lovely
      May 13, 2010 at 10:39 pm

      Those $20 IKEA sets are hard to resist, I know! But alas, they’re never very soft.

  • Sabre
    May 12, 2010 at 11:00 am

    I love the choices! I think the gray will look great with it, I love mixing the stripes with patterns. Go for it!

    I did that with my bedding. I wanted to find a less feminine (but still slightly girly) setup for my boyfriend and I since I previously had an ultra girly Anthropologie duvet.

    So I settled on this Pottery Barn striped duvet with those wonderful Marimekko Tamara sheet set in yellow, complete with the gray shams in the picture. I love it!

  • alison (semi-fab lane)
    May 12, 2010 at 11:09 am

    grey and dark brown is one of my fav color combos. the paisley is my #1 choice. however, if you didn’t have a hub i would pick #1 of course! love seeing updates on the bedroom.

  • valerie
    May 12, 2010 at 11:12 am

    i love the yellow! wow.

    can’t wait to watch this project

  • Paty fontes
    May 12, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    I painted the walls @ bedroom in gray and have brown sheets. I dont like that much, but it is better check. I love the green pasley sheets. If you dont like , can you return? I hope it is good!

  • Beth
    May 12, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    The green fabric looks great! it will definitely make your bedroom much more lively!

  • Claudia
    May 12, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    I love those yellow ones. I want them. I heart them.

  • stacey erin
    May 12, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Hello! I’ve been following your blog for a few months now and absolutely LOVE what you’ve done with your home. (I’m a fellow Chicagoan – currently: Logan Square.) I too have been in bedroom make-over mode and searching for the perfect duvet. The Marimekko yellow (#3) and the paisley that you ordered have both definitely been on my radar. I LOVE the mix of the paisley and stripes / feminine and masculine.

  • melanirae
    May 13, 2010 at 11:04 am

    I love the brown, or the green. I read somewhere that yellow is the color most likely to make babies cry….so there’s that.

  • Kathryn Humphreys
    May 13, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Just saw this and thought of your pattern. I’ve never bought home stuff from Lands End, but their kids clothes are great (at least in terms of keeping up with my kids dirt, not really a good test for bed sheets :) The catalog I got today looked to have much more grey and yellow in the pattern then the web swatch does though.

  • Katy R
    May 13, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    I have the yellow Marimekko duvet and LOVE it – so soft and comfortable and so pretty :)

  • Annelise
    May 13, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Too funny! I was just trying to convince my sister to update her bedding and I chose the first three duvets for her. I almost bought the Marimekko duvet for myself a few months ago.

  • Lisa
    May 14, 2010 at 2:40 am

    Ah, the grey and brown, I think will be fine. Especially since you’re only going to see the turn-down, right?

    As for the Ikea sheets…I don’t recall how they sell sheets in the States (tongue twister!) but here in Norway, we use a fitted sheet and a duvet cover. I kind of miss the flat sheet, but the duvet covers are really soft.

  • CommaHappy
    May 15, 2010 at 11:31 am

    The paisley is cool and fits your design plan well… but I also LOVE the yellow Marimekko one!

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  • Laura
    May 29, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Oh my goodness! Thank you SO much for this post! I have been looking for bedding in yellow and green for a couple weeks now and have been unsuccessful. Until now! I adore #3 and plan on buying it on my next trip to Crate & Barrel.

  • kiran
    June 24, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I love the paisley abigail set. I was not sure what to pair it with but love the stiped sheets that you chose so I think that I may go that route. I have the IKEA malm bed in birch colour – do you think that this would match? My walls are a lighter grey than yours although my carpet is light so I would look at getting a rug for it …

    There is no Crate & Barrel near me so I have planned a trip to Toronto (the closest place) to go and buy them in the middle of June. Your thoughts would be greately appreciated.

    Thanks :)

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