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.

Related Posts:

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.

Intentional Living: Invest in Rest

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

A good night’s sleep is one of the best forms of self-care. It is regenerative for the body, mind and soul, and much to any frugalist’s joy, it is free. Often viewed as an unproductive activity, getting a good night’s rest lies low on the priority list for the majority. On the contrary, I attribute much of my productivity and success to sleep – and a lot of it, too!

Ever since I was young, I was very fond of the stuff. My parents love to tell the story of how I would nod off in my high-chair, often plopping my face down on my food. I was the last to wake up on Christmas morning (well, every morning for that matter) and the first to fall asleep at night. At family get-togethers, one could be sure to find me on the couch, hogging up the sitting space asleep in fetal position. I took afternoon naps until high school and even in college, I was one of the few people who got eight hours of sleep, frequently trading in a night of partying for my warm sheets.

There was a time when I went against my sleeping pattern and took up midnight shifts as an early-morning baker. I noticed the toll it took on my health. Even though I was still sleeping eight hours every night, the fluctuation between night shifts and day shifts every other day really wrecked my body. I started depending on coffee, lost a lot of weight, and had trouble eating. My mind was exhausted and I noticed that I was on survival mode, less productive overall and more lenient about my tasks and deadlines. It only took three months for me to realize the effects, and while I was happy and alive, my body was barely keeping up.

As I gained awareness of my body’s circadian rhythm, I learned that my optimal sleeping time is 9 hours per night. If I receive less than that, it is best if I take a mid-afternoon nap. Now there are groups of people who would argue against the health benefits of this. But every person is different and the range of ideal sleep time is vast. Regardless of what the actual number of hours is, sleep is a crucial part to your overall productivity and here is why you need to make sure you get enough of it.

Reasons to Invest in Rest

  • Sleep is important for memory and processing daily experiences.
  • A night of sleep more than doubles the likelihood that you will solve a problem requiring insight.
  • Sleep clears toxins in the brain.
  • Sleep is the most crucial factor for peak performance, memory, productivity, immune function, mood regulation.
  • Even mild sleep reduction has detrimental effects on cognitive function many days afterwards.
  • One-third of working Americans sleep less than six hours a night.
  • Sleep deprivation was declared a public health epidemic by the CDC in 2018.
  • Lack of sleep increases the risk of heart disease, obesity, stroke, and cancer.
  • Getting consistent sleep is very important to your health.

As a person trying to live an intentional life, I care a lot about sleep. I understand that the long-effects of getting enough shut-eye will outweigh the few hours I lose each day. Investing in rest doesn’t just mean making the resolution to sleep a set number of hours each night, although that is the FREE self-care part of it. However, one must also consider what they sleep on.

I spend a lot of time curating my bed, and highly recommend getting a mattress and pillows that are ergonomically beneficial. Spinal problems caused by having a cheap bed will translate to decreased quality of life and productivity. My personal favorite company is LEESA. We own their mattress topper and pillows, and it has been such a game-changer. I used to have a lot of neck and back pain due to maintaining static postures and craning my neck at the dental office – so much so that I would wake up in the middle of the night from the pain and spend entire Saturdays lying on the couch unable to move. Once we switched to high-quality pillows and added the LEESA mattress topper, the pain went away! After watching my dad undergo three spinal surgeries in the last two years, I knew that I was not going to wait until my own symptoms got worse. If you want to step up your bed game, Try LEESA! Get up to $400 OFF a LEESA mattress this MLK weekend by clicking on my affiliate link. They have a great trial-period guarantee. For those who are wary about making such an expensive commitment to their health, LEESA also offers 0% financing through Affirm for as low as $25 a month, the equivalent of 8 drip coffees! Think of it as getting better sleep and saving on the coffee.

Likewise, I also invest in high quality bedsheets made out of clean fabrics that are good for the skin. I really like Parachute’s linen sheets and have written why Parachute sheets are the only sheets you need to own this post. Since then, we’ve tried a cotton duvet cover from them as well, pictured above, and we love it just as equally.

An alternative for those who wish to have cotton sheets is PACT. Pact is an eco-conscious company who makes clothing and textiles for the home. Currently, they have a sale on their bedding and bath products lasting until January 31, 2021. Simply use the code REFRESH25 to receive 25% OFF. You can access the sale by clicking on my affiliate link here.

Shop Pact Today.

Other rituals I have around my sleep include making my bed every morning so that the sheets stay clean, turning on a humidifier, and putting my phone away an hour before bed. We also wash the sheets frequently, vacuum the mattress, and rotate the toppers and pillows as outlined by my ultimate cleaning list.

Regardless of what you do to make sleep an important part of your day, make sure to prioritize it for the years to come!

Related Posts:

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

Small Space Living

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

Tip 12: Introducing Color

For the past few years, I have been quite averse to introducing color into my life. Not that my life has been any less colorful. It’s just, I learned through my de-cluttering of closets  that a minimalist earns more success by sticking to a neutral palette. And it’s true. I’ve lived a simplified life that has allowed me to blossom in other, more prioritized aspects by sticking to a curated few guidelines: Less is more, clutter-free is productive, and neutral reigns supreme.

Prior to my minimalism journey, I was a person in love with color. My closet was an exploding rainbow tucked into drawers. My duvet cover was a painting printed on fabric, and I myself painted and hung up my art on the walls. I had a hodge-podge of jewelry and accessories and my signature bag was Kate Spade – the funky kind. But when I graduated from dental school with a huge student debt, I found all of that to be overwhelming – which is what initially led me to de-clutter, whittling down all I owned to nothing but white, black, brown and grey. And for three years, that decision and lifestyle carried me through some very tough times. For that, I am grateful.

After what I would consider to be a wild success with my loan repayment journey, we are finding ourselves entering a new stage in life – one wherein I do have a little more space to allow a tiny bit of myself back in. And when I turned to making the house a home these past few months, the items I was attracted to had, well, color.

DSC01303

Which is what this post is about. Introducing color is absolutely scary for me. Mostly because, I have found that color tires the eyes. It disrupts the space. It can be loud and encroach on the mind. And to be honest with you, I will get sick of a color after a while. That’s just the way it is. Unlike whites which last forever (especially with the help of bleach), colors will likely only be loved for a few years. They will fade, both physically and metaphorically. And for a very long time, this fact is what stopped me from introducing color back into my home and my closet. Because I didn’t have money to waste on a few year’s worth of joy.

But what I’ve learned is that, life without joy is not really living. I keep re-learning that intentional living is as much the frivolous little things as the journey to get there.

DSC01312

There will be many a blog space and minimalist person chanting the pros of an all-white space. I mean, Jenni Kayne has certainly proven the timelessness of blanched walls and bleached linens. And small spaces can appear larger with white everything. But the truth of the matter is, we all have a calling to certain colors. Who’s to say that a formula fits all? There are colors that, for whatever reason, are subconsciously reminiscent of a previous lifetime – and for every person, these colors are different. In fact, for the same person, these colors change over time. Whatever the science is behind all of this, I am going to say that as a small space occupant and minimalist writer, I am giving permission  (mostly to myself) to introduce color.

Everyone’s tolerance will be different, and one should aim for the amount of color that works for their particular space, but if you are like yours truly and are hesitant (or afraid), may I suggest the following guidelines that have helped me?

  • Start with a section of the color wheel.
  • Begin with smaller items; Accessories in blue rather than a full-on velveteen couch.
  • Choose “color neutrals”, as coined by my dear friend when speaking about this Parachute bedding of ours. An undoubtedly terra cotta color, but its closeness to brown makes it more neutral. Other color neutrals would be seashore blue or dusty rose, a pale yellow or olive green.

DSC01299

  • Start not necessarily by adding color, but by knowing your emotions toward certain colors. Which ones are exhaustingly loud? Which are depressing or make you moody? Which ones give you energy?
  • Don’t choose a color because of a trend. Trends will change come next season.
  • Before making the purchase, find similar examples online and check-in on how they make you feel.
  • Lastly, follow your gut reaction. You know more than you think.

For the curious, the wool pillows are from Territory Design