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A clean sheet

If there’s one thing I always advise investing in for your home, it’s good quality bedding.

Soft, relaxed, comfortable and, with the launch of John Lewis & Partners’ new exclusive collaboration with contemporary fashion brand Mother of Pearl, now beautifully sustainable too.

I only recently discovered Mother of Pearl through the early stages of developing a capsule wardrobe, but immediately fell for their clean lines, elegant tailoring and statement detailing, coupled with their commitment to transparency across their supply chain, garment-by-garment. Naturally I was then extremely excited to learn that they had recently teamed up with my favourite British high street brand, launching a debut collaborative womenswear collection last year, and their first ever homeware collection earlier this month.

Awash with their signature spots and stripes, Mother of Pearl’s first foray into homeware also represents John Lewis & Partners most sustainable homeware collection ever, comprising of a 21 piece edit of bedding, throws, pillowcases, cushions and organic silk eye masks in soft neutral and earthy tones. Just the kind of pieces that would blend in beautifully with my existing bedlinen collection! 

While I may still be a complete beginner when it comes to crafting a capsule wardrobe, my linen cupboard I definitely have covered. Every piece I add to my rotation has to mix-and-match with the existing pieces, so I have plenty of options when it comes to styling up my bed (and our guest bed). 

Good bedlinen should remain in your linen cupboard for years (my parents still have bedlinen I remember them having when I was a child!), so I always believe in investing in hardwearing materials, an overarching colour palette (mine is soft muted tones), and good quality laundry products. Keeping pieces on rotation in your home for many years is the most sustainable way to shop, choosing only items that you know will bring you joy long-term rather than just a passing trend, and ultimately help prevent you from contributing to excess landfill. Of course, bedding pieces rarely last forever no matter how well you care for them (undersheets for example can often become threadbare after many years of tossing and turning over them), but can be cut up and repurposed as household cleaning rags to extend their usefulness. 

Happily I think we’re several decades away from me having to do that with these beautiful new pieces! I was delighted when John Lewis & Partners approached me about styling the new collection in my home, as I could immediately see how beautifully many of the new designs would sit alongside those I’ve already had for many years. The bedding in the collection is made from a 50% linen, 50% organic cotton blend, and contains certified European Flax®. All pieces have a guarantee of traceability for premium linen fibre grown in Europe; a natural fibre cultivated without artificial irrigation; while the organic cotton is grown without the use of chemicals to support healthier and more sustainable farming practices. What impressed me even more was that the fabric envelope packaging of the bedlinen has been cleverly designed to be repurposed into a cushion cover that complements your new bedding – an utterly genius idea I can’t believe hasn’t been thought of before! 

It’s just one of many positives to come out of a collaboration between a stalwart of the British High Street and a small and independent brand with a forward-thinking focus on sustainability. As Amy Powney, Creative Director of Mother of Pearl says, “bringing timeless and sustainable designs to the high street is an important step in making long-lasting change in the industry,” while Zoe Stewart, John Lewis & Partners’ Decorative Bedding Buyer echoes the sentiment, saying “this collection is one that we are so proud of. The values and ideals that Amy applies to her fashion brand are mirrored with our thoughts and ambition for homeware at John Lewis, so creating this collection has been enormously rewarding. At a time where our homes have meant more to us than ever, it feels right to be dialing up the conversation around sustainability and interiors, whilst also showing that we don’t have to sacrifice style or design in the process.” Something I wholeheartedly agree with. 

The collection mixes elegant plain bedding options in cream and tan with spots, stripes and gridlines that embrace Mother of Pearl’s penchant for sophisticated playfulness. I usually always opt for plain bedding because I find it easier to mix-and-match to create a variety of different looks, but the soft muted tones and minimal designs of these more exuberant pieces feel both modern and timeless in design, and likely to stand the test of time within my decor scheme. 

When it came to selecting a few keys pieces from the collection, I opted for the Linear Organic Cotton Duvet Set because I felt the soft pink and black stripes would work wonderfully against both the Burnt Orange Egyptian Cotton and the Blush Pink 100% Linen sheets I already had in my cupboard, as well as the Cream Linen & Organic Cotton Set which I knew would act as a neutral complement to pretty much every linen set I already owned.

Now, I’ve generally been a bit of a linen snob in the past and have always opted for bedding sets made with 100% linen rather than a linen and organic cotton mix but let me tell you, I think that was a mistake! This new cream set from the John Lewis & Partners x Mother of Pearl collaboration is hands-down my favourite ever duvet set and exactly the right mix of soft slubbiness I’ve been searching for all these years. I’ve not even washed the set yet (I’ll report back later on how well all of these pieces wash as I’ve only had them a few days) and yet, fresh out of the packet and on the bed, it feels absolutely perfect. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know I tend to run fairly warm at night (late thirties, female, if you know you know), so am always looking for bedding fabric that is light and cool to the touch with a medium weight, as I often sleep under just a cover (no duvet) and like to still feel I have protective covering, albeit a light one. This one definitely checks all the boxes! 

Alongside the cotton linen mix bedding sets, the collection also incorporates my new favourite material for pillowcases – organic silk. As a recent convert to silk for resting my head on at night, I was very happy to see three different colour options in the collection; Cream, Pink and Tan Spots. I opted for the Cream Spots since I felt they would work best with my other chosen collection pieces, and pair wonderfully with the Tan Spots Organic Silk Eye Mask (you know I’m a fan of an eye mask!)

Since switching to silk pillowcases a few months ago I’ve definitely seen a marked improvement in both my skin and hair condition – and believe me, I was pretty sceptical about the likelihood of these touted benefits to begin with. It does make sense though; silk is a naturally breathable and hypoallergenic fabric that feels far more gentle on your skin than linen or cotton, and provides a friction-less surface that is less likely to pull at or irritate your hair or skin. I tend to sleep on my front or side, so spend most of the night with my face pressed up against the pillow, and sleeping on silk greatly reduces the number of mornings I wake up with deep grooves etched in the side of my face from linen folds. It’s also a fabric that feels nicely cool to the touch, and greatly enhances that wonderful feeling of flipping your pillow over to the cold side in the middle of the night. Again, if you know you know!

Possibly the most luxurious piece in the collection is the Abstract Spot Organic Cotton Throw in Ivory, and it’s one that feels like a truly premium piece that will stand the test of time and work beautifully with so many different bedding styles. The throw comes in a lovely cotton bag for storage during the summer months when it may be too heavy to adorn your bed, but to be honest I can see this piece working well as a standby layer for those in-between nights when a single sheet is just too cool but a full duvet would be too warm, and think this will likely live at the end of our bed throughout the year. It’s almost too beautiful to put into storage!

I love the subtle black spot detailing against the soft creaminess of the throw, as well as the thick panelled edging; a style which reminds me a lot of a much-cherished  blanket I had when I was a child. Often I think it is pieces like this that are imbued with a sense of memory that can help make your mind up as to how vital a piece will be to your home – or wardrobe – for years to come. Being mindful of every piece you purchase, and the place it will hold in your heart going forward, helps you to shop sustainably and with intention, rather than wild abandon. 

Which leads me on to one of the quirkiest (for me) pieces I’ve added to my linen cupboard: the Check Linen & Organic Cotton Fitted Sheet in Tan. I mean, it’s pretty subtle and not all all ‘out there’ if you usually have patterned linens in your home, but for me it’s a bit of a statement piece and one which I had to carefully consider to make sure it wasn’t a matter of being seduced by a piece that wouldn’t make sense for me in the long-term. Ultimately though, the neutral colour palette and fact it is a fitted sheet that reveals itself only in part against a whole scheme, had me sold. It’s soft creaminess will work with so many of the plain bedlinen sets I own, adding a perfect hint of playfulness to any scheme, plus it also makes the best photo backdrop! I must say I’ve had so much fun creating flatlay content with it this weekend! Obviously that’s not a usual consideration when it comes to shopping for bedlinen, but I can definitely see the long-term role this piece will play in my linen cupboard outside of simple usage on the bed! 

So, what do you think of the new Mother of Pearl collection for John Lewis & Partners? Soft, sensual tones, a splash of playful intrigue, and top-notch sustainability credentials – what’s not to love?! 

I had so much fun playing with the new collection I was inspired to create a little video showing how the pieces can be mix-and-matched to transition throughout the day, which you can watch below – hope you enjoy it! 

Music: With You In The Morning, Carl Storm


This post is a paid partnership with John Lewis & Partners. All styling, photography and opinions on the collection are my own. I’m wearing the Mother of Pearl Tencel Shirt throughout, also kindly gifted by John Lewis & Partners. 

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