The Danish Way / Coverlets

The Danish Way / Coverlets

When July rolls around, my husband and I are tossing and turning and kicking off the covers in all sorts of directions in an effort to stay cool and stay asleep during warmer nights. This has become all to important as neither he or I are sleeping as deeply lately. A big reason for this is that our bedding needs to be lighter and cooler. Every year when this happens, I secretly do a happy dance since this presents a solid reason to redo my bedding.

For this, thank the Danish for providing a perfect model. A few years ago, I was in Denmark during the summer and got the best sleep of my life. I attribute some of it to jet lag, and a lot of it to how the bed was made. There was a sheet, a very light blanket, and a coverlet on the bed. In Scandinavia, coverlets are the preferred choice for bed making all year round. Danes are wonderfully practical folk who make design choices based on ease, practicality and functionality. Coverlets fit so well within these conditions. 

Just like the Danish, I prefer to use a coverlet either over sheeting or over a light weight blanket. This is such a freeing and flexible option as coverlets (being only one piece of fabric) are easy to arrange, fold, wash, and keep. They are easy to change. How fun to change the bed top either due to weather changes, time of year, or just because? Coverlets are a modern approach to making the bed in that they offer flexibility and ease. I swear that our bed can be made in about 30 seconds these days with our coverlet on the bed. Lifting and arranging a single piece of fabric over sheeting and a blanket is quick and pretty much a no brainer.

"Using coverlets is a modern approach to making the bed in that they offer flexibility and ease."

If you have a duvet, then they also can work like a coverlet. The duvet insert can be removed entirely and what you are left with is a bed covering akin to a coverlet or bedspread. For climates that require a little more warmth, a blanket can be added. You will have a flexible bedding arrangement that is both cool and in keeping with your existing bedding decor. No great style change is needed. 

I don't know when my next trip to Scandinavia will be but in the meantime I can recreate the Danish bed for summer with a coverlet. For this story we used the Oline Coverlet in Slate, the Larson Coverlet with Pumpkin Edging and Anna Oatmeal Pillowcases.

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Let's Eat: Berries and Ice Cream

Let's Eat: Berries and Ice Cream

We eat a lot of ice cream and berries in the summer time. When the sun is out somehow this combination makes the day. There is a five minute dessert that I often make for almost every reason. Like last week when my kids where out of school for the summer and we just had to mark the event with an earmark of the hot season. Or when my daughter gets her braces adjusted and its soft foods for two days. Or its a Tuesday and its hot, so let's eat.

The short version is vanilla ice cream gets drenched with a hot berry sauce which instantly melts the ice cream to a coldish-hot soup of total sugary and tangy pleasure. And all in about five minutes of effort. It's that good and that easy. 

To make it, we put about half a cup of frozen berries (blueberry, strawberry, raspberry) in a saucepan covered on low heat. Then let it cook for 10 -15 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar or to taste. The sauce is done at this point and can be taken off heat to cool. Spoon over slightly softened vanilla ice cream. One trick to make this ever easier is to put the berries on the stove when we are eating. It's done perfectly when we are finished.

We served this bowl of delicious in little blue decorative bowls along with our Quince table clothe and napkins. Design wise, Quince was the obvious choice to pair with this dish. Red, white and blue in the table linens and in the dessert mix so well together. I like the mixing of pattern and how the white of the ice cream off sets the whole design. Quince manages to be both casual and formal at the same time. Loving this combo for the Fourth - it's a happy dessert that just makes me smile.

To see our Quince Collection, follow this link

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Speaking of Sustainability

Speaking of Sustainability

Hello friends, Can I have a minute for something important? It's about Modernplum and our conservation efforts. Did you know that textile waste is the second largest polluter of the environment behind fossil fuels and that the average person discards 70 pounds of textile material per year? I founded MP within this framework and Since our beginning in 2014, conservation has been the core of what we do, what we believe, and why we are in business.

I grew up in California where the environment is essential like breathing and beauty is derived from natural things. I also had an early awareness that we as a country really like to shop. Acquiring things is fun but there is a price to pay when things need replacing or are simply not interesting to own anymore. A cycle of consumption begins, and it is exhausting and distracting to the bigger picture while eroding natural resources, human capital, and money.

The pattern of consume-use-toss-landfill in the domestic textile industry is one that we hope to disrupt. 

We are doing this by making linen goods of the highest quality while using the fewest resources possible. It is a goal which everyone who works here knows well. It's a challenge, but also provides great guidance when making decisions.

Using linen fabric is key to this credo. Linen is farmed from the flax plant and uses less water and soil nutrients than cotton. Worldwide, that is a huge deal for land conservation. Linen is also more durable and softer than cotton over time.  I marvel at that. Much linen harvesting still needs to be done by hand. Imagine this material grown on the farm and hand harvested. I think this history of time and care imprints itself on the fabric. The fabric has a good soul.

To save more resources, we cut and sew our linens in-house which means we sew each item after an order has been placed. Taking this approach eliminates excess inventory and it ensures management of how we cut and preserve fabric remnants and schedule and pay our sewers. Packaging is purposefully minimal  and we ship in boxes that are recycled, if possible. My husband Erik is great at finding boxes that need a second life!  Resources are being used when needed, but only then, and not in excess.

I believe that the history of a thing, from start to finish, infuses it with character, beauty and functionality, if carefully designed and made. A product can be just another thing to put in your home, but it can also become much much more. They can become keepsakes you'll love and use for years, and perhaps not throw out or replace. This is the sustainable spirit of Plum. 

Read more about our sustainability measures by following this link.

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