Spring Forward with Parachute’s Brushed Cotton Sheets

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more. 

About a year ago, we invested in the most laid-back, beautifully wrinkled, perfectly tossed linen sheets by Parachute Home. The color was a rich Terra Cotta that never faded despite frequent washing. The linen stayed intact in the face of a forever-kneading cat whose claws I may have forgotten to trim. And there was hardly any pilling involved. We loved our linen duvet cover, but since then I have turned over a new leaf.

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I know not why, but I go through phases like the ocean tide. I will be really into the easy look and low maintenance of linen, then get attracted to the crisp, coolness of cotton. We had switched to the latter for our duvet cover last Fall, trading in our cozy orange cover on Poshmark for a bit of cash that allowed us to buy Parachute’s clean-cut, double-sided brushed cotton duvet. It has been six months and I have yet to go back.

When they advertised the duvet cover as brushed cotton, I did not realize just how soft it would be. It feels buttery to the touch, and that’s not just baker-talk. It feels akin to sleeping in an old tee. I have slept soundly since making the switch, and my husband has commented that it keeps him quite cool in the evenings, even with a fluffy cat between our heads. Like Parachute’s other products, these are made in a 100% family-owned factory in Portugal. It is OEKO TEX certified which means it does not contain harmful chemicals or synthetics.

We were able to snag the double-sided duvet cover, which is ivory on one side and a dark, sage green on the other. It is low-key still available as a sheet set and duvet cover under the ever-so-secret Last Chance section of Parachute where you can find older products at up to 40% OFF. I had it on the dark side all winter and it really muted the room in a way that supported lattes in bed and hours of sleep. For Spring, I just recently gave it a good wash (which I recommend doing every other week) and flipped it over to it’s ivory side. It’s absolutely gorgeous, especially under this mood lighting that teases me with the possibility of rain.

The difference between the linen duvet cover and this one is that the linen cover looks good messy. This does not. Which isn’t so bad since it forces me to make my bed every morning, whereas the linen cover was left alone most of the time. The esthetics were improved after throwing a bright white quilt over it during the colder months. This quilt from Parachute looks like the ticket, although ours was purchased many moons ago when Mike and I had no dollars to our name and we were walking the aisles of Target in search of something to keep us from freezing in the garage we were calling a bedroom. Never mind that our quilt was meant for a Full/Queen bed instead of the California King we now sleep on. Either way, what the brushed duvet cover lacks in careless style, it makes up for in class and comfort.

For the best effect, I would recommend mixing and matching the two fabrics. I have seen photos of the terra linen sheets partnered with the ochre brushed cotton duvet on Parachute’s website, and it is heavenly. We actually kept these linen pillowcases that were gifted to me by my mom on my last birthday, and I find it keeps the room looking less stark. Coupled with the textures of our aforementioned quilt, and the marriage between textiles is pure unicorn magic. Any minimalist could agree that the secret to a barren room is texture.

In the end, it boils down to a matter of what vibe you want in your space. The trade happened around the same time we remodeled our couch with a white linen Bemz cover. It used to be a cotton navy blue color that the Soderhamn couch was sold with. At the same time, we sold our wooden West Elm Mid-Century modern media console on Offer Up and used the proceeds towards this minimalist Ikea one, which better suited our vibe (read also as: better fit our record player). The auburn linen duvet cover that sold out twice from Parachute perfectly matched the previous couch and console, but once we made both switches, the linen cover started to feel out of place.

To be honest, I knew nothing about my home style preferences prior to last-year’s stay-at-home mandate. Initially, I thought I was a bohemian, mid-century modern, Eichler-loving gal. I chose wood pieces in walnut, bright jewel tones for my textiles, and big leafy plants. But after having to actually stay at home for many months, I started to realize that both my space and myself were more aligned with clean lines and simple shapes in the neutral colors of white, beige, gray, and black. It isn’t what I envisioned a creative’s space would look like. But perhaps I need the blank walls to inspire my creations. I guess I feel more at peace when I have a structured space to live and work in.

The best thing I could have done last year to improve my lifestyle was to invest in my home. Little upgrades made big differences, both in my productivity, as well as the quality of my work. Add to that a sense of calm and serenity that helped me relax on my days off, and you’ve got the perfect equation for a well-balanced life. I truly enjoyed my quarantine life and that isn’t because I’m introverted. I believe it has something to do with finding my niche, and when one finds that perfect space where they are most themselves, well, that qualifies as finally being truly at home.

Minimalist Year Round Bedding with Parachute Home’s Linen Sheets

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

The seasons are turning and we are sticking with our linen duvet cover and pillow cases from Parachute Home. Typically, linen is the fabric of choice for summer months. However, I am an enthusiast for the stuff – linen table cloths, linen napkins, linen coasters, linen clothing, linen couch cover… you name it. So it doesn’t surprise me that I chose linen fabrics for our bedroom year round. Perhaps it is the right choice for you, too!

Before winter hits, I want to make a case for why linen sheets are ideal for modern minimalists who wish to only own one set of sheets all year long. Here is my review on Parachute’s linen duvet cover.

Why We Chose Linen Year Round

Linen is a classic material that comes from flax. It has historically been valued for its strength and durability – two characteristics that are necessary for something so oft used as bed sheets. At first, I was afraid linen would be too delicate, prone to snags and pilling. However, after living with linen sheets for six months, I have come to realize that it is not delicate at all.

Our cat Theo loves to chase fly toys on the bed every morning, and digs his claws into our duvet cover. And while he gets caught occasionally in his fervor to catch his toy prey, the tiny holes that his claws create never get bigger. In fact, the strength of these fibers is apparent in the way the holes close up over time. The linen never breaks and the hole caused by his nails gets pulled in different directions until it finally closes again. As far as pilling goes, my Parachute Home linen duvet cover comes pre-washed and even though we wash them every other week (to avoid cat dander accumulation), I have yet to see my first signs of pilling!

If anything, these sheets get softer over time. This makes linen great for those who have sensitive skin, such as myself. I developed skin rashes about a year ago and whenever my skin comes into contact with something itchy like wool, a hypersensitivity reaction develops. That is why the softness of linen sheets are important to me. Some people argue that linen is a harsh fabric, but I would attest to the fact that our sheets are softer than cotton and are getting softer with use.

Additionally, linen is versatile enough to combat the seasonal temperature changes. The fibers have a hollowness to them that allows air to move throughout. Egyptians valued linen for its wicking abilities and breathability, which is why it is a great choice for California’s summer months. But as the mornings turn colder, I have noticed that our sheets have kept us warm. The fabric is of medium-weight and acts as a natural insulator.

Lastly, linen sheets are a beauty. There is elegance in simplicity. The natural wrinkles imbue a gentleness to the fabric and fits in with our no-fuss lifestyle. It gives our bedroom a lived-in feel that photographs as nicely when the bed is made up as when the sheets are left rumpled and undone.

The imperfect state in which we leave our bed somehow still exudes charm in ways that cotton sheets do not. Which then allows us more time for playing with our cat, sleeping in, reading a book, and all the slow-living things that we love. Honestly, an unmade bed is underrated.

The Benefits of Only Having One Set

I live a simple life and that’s the bottom truth. In fact, I work very hard to maintain my life’s simplicity. Having only one set of sheets means I don’t spend my hard-earned dollars on unnecessary stuff. What’s the point of owning two pairs of sheets when one of them is always unused and collecting dust? For me, it’s best to invest in one set to be used daily and be well-loved. Plus, duvet covers and bed sheets are expensive!

The argument for having a spare set for “just-in-case” doesn’t fly. These aren’t life-or-death “just-in-case” situations here. Soil a set of sheets? Wash them during the day. Stain them beyond repair? Keep until you get a replacement. I don’t really know of a “just-in-case” scenario that would be worth wasting money on.

How to live with just one set of sheets

Living with only one set is simple. We wash our sheets every two weeks. Our cat loves to play on the bed with his feather toy and cuddles up between us every night. His lazy afternoons are usually divvied up between the bed and the couch. Washing our sheets frequently is a no-brainer, especially with my sensitive skin. Which is why durable linen works so well for us!

We usually throw our sheets into the washing machine in the morning. Our sheets are Sateen sheets by Wattsuma, a wedding gift from almost four years ago that has been so reliable for us. We also have Parachute Home’s Linen Pillowcases in Bone and our duvet cover is Parachute Home’s coveted linen duvet cover in Terra which has sold out twice this year! We wash on delicate cycle and dry on delicate cycle. Surprisingly, the linen fabric did not shrink – a fear that I initially had when I first bought the duvet cover. Like I said, linen isn’t as delicate as I once thought.

Occasionally we will hang dry the sheets over our banister to let it air dry to completion. We make our bed in the early evening and enjoy for another two weeks.

For those seeking simplicity in their lives, I really think linen sheets are a worthy consideration. Whether or not you choose linen as your fabric of choice, having only one set is a minimalist must. The decorative pillows are Flecha Pillows in Cream gifted from Territory Design, the book I am reading is The Vanishing Half, and my pajama set and scrunchie are from a boutique store in San Clemente called Melrose in the OC, although a similar product can be found here and here.

Below are a few Parachute favorites to welcome the colder seasons, and this simple lifestyle. Even though linen is my own personal bedding choice, there are other options that may better fit your lifestyle!

Top Parachute Home Winter Bedroom Picks

1. Honeycomb Duvet Cover Set 2. Washed Velvet Quilt 3. Vintage Linen Bed Cover 4. Linen Venice Set 5. Washed Velvet Sham 6. Oversized Knit Throw

Home: A Good Night’s Sleep with Leesa Mattress Topper

This post is sponsored by Leesa, a mattress company devoted to helping others get good sleep.

It seems as if immediately after the passing of my thirtieth trip around the sun, my body began to show signs of wear. It’s true what they say, although any twenty-nine year old will disagree. When you enter your thirties, you start to notice aches and pains in parts of your body that you didn’t even know had feelings. A crick in the neck becomes a resounding pop with a slight turn of the head, resulting in a moment of starry-eyed dizziness. A stressful day at work leads to a soreness in the jaw due to a severe teeth-grinding habit. A simple exercise leads to a sharp painful complaint from the heel of your foot every time you hyper-extend. But worst of all is the start of a new day, waking up to a slew of back and joint aches.

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I am a dentist, so that doesn’t exactly help. Static postures similar to anyone who has ever had a desk job and scrunching to contort myself into tiny mouth spaces are both daily occurrences that feed the fire. Bad ergonomics on my end lead to a stiffness in the neck. Some days, I come home with such severe lower back pain that I can’t even sit down. Just recently, I spent an entire Saturday crying because my upper back was spasming between the shoulder blades so that getting up took great effort. I spent the afternoon on my back lying on our living room couch.

It was this particular afternoon that I said, “No more.” For many years, I had known that part of the problem compounding the situation was an ill-fitting mattress. We were twenty-seven and just moving in together when we went mattress shopping for our first space. I had just graduated from dental school and was currently living at my parent’s house. The queen sized mattress that my parent’s handed down to me was pawned off for free after learning that my previous rental space had a termite problem. My 6’3″ husband was ready to give up his double bed, where his feet would hang off unless he chose to slept diagonally across the entire mattress.  Personally, I was happy to sleep anywhere that we can call our own space.

Perhaps that is why, on the hot summer day that we traipsed around and visited three mattress stores, I was very passive about which mattress I wanted. My husband preferred hard mattresses (“the stiffer the better”), and I preferred softer ones. But when the sales person said that it doesn’t matter so much what type of mattress I got because I weighed so little, a comment I now begrudgingly look back on and find appalling, I gave way to whatever mattress my husband decided on. Which inevitably, was hard as a rock.

It has been almost four years since that fateful day but I did notice a worsening of symptoms on most mornings. The problem is that I am a side-sleeper and he is a back-sleeper. I am half his weight and therefore do not make any indentation in the mattress, whereas he sinks in. Imagine sleeping on a hardwood floor on your side, with your back collapsed and your hips and shoulder taking the brunt of the force. I’ve been complaining about it for what seems like forever. The symptoms were getting worse. Unless I want to be completely useless by my mid-thirties, I know that it was time to address it.

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Leesa immediately came to the rescue! As a frugalist who did not want to pay for a brand new mattress in wasteful fashion (ours had originally cost $1,200 on sale and is barely three and a half years old), I thought perhaps the better solution would be to add a mattress topper on our existing mattress. Not only would it be more cost-effective, there would be no mattress lying unwanted by the trash bin in our alley way. I mean, it is, still, usable, albeit uncomfortable. The best part about choosing a mattress topper instead of a brand new mattress altogether is that there can be compromise. If the mattress topper is too unbearably soft for my husband, we can alternate between using it and not using it. Of course, I’m hoping we won’t have to for the next few years.

The Leesa mattress topper arrived on our doorstep in millennial fashion – that is, rolled up like a log in a fairly miniature, minimalist box. It does come in plastic, a minor drawback for any anti-plastic nerd, but a quick slice of it leads to an unfurling of the 2 -inch foam topper. It comes with a removable cover that protects it and is easy to wash cold and hang dry. Suffice to say that set-up was simple and flawless.

After a night’s rest, we noticed that we slept cooler than if we were sleeping atop our mattress directly. We also noted that it did not move around, despite not being tied down. Our Parachute sheets comfortably covered the topper so it was a good thing it wasn’t too thick. I like that it didn’t add much height to our existing bed since we like to sleep low to the floor. I woke up the next day after a peaceful sleep (without waking up once!) feeling rejuvenated. For the first time in a while, my back did not hurt.

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We also paired the mattress topper with a pair of Leesa foam pillows. Prior to Leesa, we had these two king pillows that we found in the sale bin of a Bed, Bath and Beyond. You know, the ones that sit in the center of the aisle so that you have no choice but to practically run into them? They were $15 each. At the time, we were fatigued from all the purchases we were making for our first home together, so we figured it wasn’t a big deal. After sleeping on Leesa’s foam pillows, I realized that we were wrong.

As a person who is invested in preserving the ability to work in my profession, I now realize that proper ergonomic support during sleep is one of the best things I can do to prolong my career and maintain good health. I realize that choosing unsupportive pillows have aged me, even though I couldn’t see it at the time. The rusty joints and heavy limbs have been aggravated by my poor choice in bedding. I can tell because after a night’s sleep, I already feel the difference.

Equally as important as my own personal backstory is Leesa’s dedication to having a good backstory of their own. A company that seems to know I toss and turn at night over the environmental impact that the human species extols on this planet, Leesa is doing all the right things on that front.

For example, their mattresses are CertiPUR-US certified, free of the long list of chemicals that goes into the typical mattress, including flame retardant. You can easily smell this difference after opening a box. There was no chemical scent! And every mattress is made in the USA.

Leesa also helps me to rest easy knowing that I am supporting a company trying to make a social impact. They are working v. hard to help the homeless by donating one mattress for every ten they sell. So far, 37,000 beds have been donated. They have another initiative where a tree is planted for every mattress sold (called The One Earth Program). Their goal is to plant 1 million trees by 2025. This B Corporation really is trying to do good by all.

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I know we are all spending extra time at home these days. Sometimes, that’s what it takes to realize what needs attention. For me, it was this mattress. If you are wanting to improve your health or simply upgrade your bedding situation, give Leesa a try.  In case you worry that the mattress will be incompatible, it helps to know that there is a 100-night risk-free trial. Shall you love your new Leesa product like we do, there is a 10 year warranty.

This post was sponsored by Leesa. All thoughts are my own. As always, thank you for supporting brands that support this space.