What makes a bed cozy?
No other piece of furniture receives as much consistent use as the bed. So why not spend a proportionate amount of care creating the best bed possible? Cue Libeco, a Belgian brand that builds on Flanders’ centuries-deep dedication to the natural fiber, flax. Founded in 1858, Libeco began as a linen merchant in Kortrijk, a riverside city famous (then as now) for growing the best flax in the world. Ever adaptive, the company built an early steam-powered weaving mill, where production continues to this day, and in recent years, Libeco has become completely carbon-neutral, a sustainable mission epitomized by this 100% organic linen collection.
Quick tutorial: Linen is made from flax, a prolific flowering plant that grows more than three feet high in three months. After a fast bloom, the stems are pulled and dried, then allowing the soft, lustrous fibers to be harvested from the inner bark of the stem (beyond the stem, all parts of the plant are put to use—nothing goes to waste). Once extracted, the fibers are spun into yarn and then Libeco weaves the yarn into linen fabric. As bedding, linen naturally regulates your body temperature, retaining warmth in colder months and releasing heat come summer. As a natural fiber, woven flax becomes stronger and softer with time and use. At 22 Home, we advocate for “a life lived with linen,” for incorporating linen not just as decoration but as every day, essential accoutrement.
True to its roots, Libeco remains a family affair, now led by the fifth generation of Libeerts. And true to its medium, Libeco linens epitomize the idiom of only getting better with age. This ethos pervades all of Libeco: as a 160-year-old company, their entire business model—from their quality standards to their weaving methods, production processes, pattern and design development, not to mention their commitment to sustainability—continually bests itself, getting ever-better with age.
Turning back to the bed itself, we asked our own bedding expert Rachel Mährt for her thoughts on dressing for slumber. Below, her wisdom:
What makes a bed cozy? The experience begins with your sheets—the first point of contact with your skin and therefore the defining feature of your bed. With touch and feel in mind, linen stands apart in its versatility and appeal to every haptic personality; there truly is a linen for everyone as Libeco’s collections writ large: the Hudson is a stonewashed, pre-softened linen; the Heritage, by nature of being organic, will last longest in its free-from-dyes/bleaches/chemicals state; the California caters to those who launder their bedding regularly (think weekly). All three soften with time and washings, and what’s more, their weave becomes tighter, more durable.
Once you’ve picked the line you like best, consider layering: A welcoming bed often includes both fitted and flat sheets, topped by a coverlet, duvet and a blanket accenting the footer. Layering transforms a bed from functional object to design feature; by incorporating a variety of colors, materials and weights, you can create a scheme that complements your interior palette, whether that be neutrals or a juxtaposition of warm and cool tones that fit into the overarching aesthetic of your home. While the base of our bedding is always Libeco linen, we like to add texture in the form of woven leather, alpaca and other woolens.
Your bedroom should evoke a feeling, whether warm, bright and cozy or calm, cool and masculine. Libeco masterfully marries neutral colors and textures in subtle, elegant and timeless ways, thanks recently to designer Amy Behn. With each new collection, Amy has evolved and expanded the brand aesthetic by drawing inspiration from mountains, deserts and coastal environs. Such natural sites now inform the tones and textures of Libeco designs.
When building your bed, you should be honest about the level of fuss you want to live with: do you love as many layers as possible and therefore the adjustments required to maintain that look? Or would you rather go minimal and adopt only the elements necessary to crawl under? Also think about the seasons surrounding you: mild climes call for different bedding than extreme environments. And finally, consider the aforementioned feeling you want your bed to project: do you want your bed to exude the happiness of color, or is crisp clean versus cozy calm more your vibe?
In Jackson, we find our clients value versatility. They want their bed to look complete with minimal effort in the summer and then they add bells and whistles for fall and winter. If you start with a warm or cool base of sheeting that grounds the room, you can then experiment with textured and patterned layers at will. Libeco excels at seasonal layering; by curating quarterly collections, they model mixing-and-matching according to your changing preferences. No matter the arrangement, Libeco collections all work in tandem, which is what makes layering their bedding so easy and effortless. And such ease doesn’t end in the bedroom: we love their foutas as dish or hand towels, and we place their pillows far and wide— on sofas, sectionals and occasional chairs.
At 22 Home, we believe in Libeco as a rare, genuine gem that truly embodies their environment by not only promoting sustainability but practicing it as well. They live by the same mission we do—of living beautifully and respectfully in concert with nature.