Romantic cottages for two in the Peak District

Interior Design Dilemmas

People often very kindly compliment us on the colour and furnishing and fittings in both barns, and it is easy to thank them graciously, brushing it off with a, ‘Well we had a lot of fun choosing everything”. Which is true up to a point, and mainly in retrospect. At the time one agonises.

And we have been agonising again – this time over quilt covers. We had been thinking, Janet, John, Carol and I that Tom’s Barn bedlinen was about due for a revamp, and when I was in London recently I found myself with a few hours to kill, in the Bedding section of John Lewis, in Oxford Street.

Whether it was my state of mind or the current fashion in bedding, but – well, for a start the most lovely ones were hundreds of pounds – designer designs – so out of the question. The next stage down, in standing if not in quality, everything seemed charmingly, if subtly, tasteful with very muted patterns and colours; ever practical I couldn’t help but suspect that very soon subtle might turn into faded and over-washed and just plain dull.

I did actually buy a very pretty plain – no subtlety here – duck egg blue set, in a lovely cotton; having previously bought a rather fun Emma Bridgewater (yes, I too thought she was just china and tea-towels) duvet cover with swallows, which as you can imagine met with John’s approval. While I was in J. Lewis I found a lovely dark blue sheet and pillow cases to go with it – so far so very restrained and good.

Common sense began to fade; I found I kept returning to the most vivid (lurid?) and exciting quilt cover, only to retreat once again as common sense briefly rallied. Time began running short and in desperation I blurted to the assistant, ‘Yes, I’ll have that rather vivid one after all’ and the die was cast. Back home, doubts returned twofold but I knew that if all was lost, John and I could keep the offending duvet cover for ourselves. Before launching it at our hapless guests I decided the only solution was to ask Facebook friends – this was surely consulting the market place.

The cover was displayed on our Tom’s Barn and Douglas’s Barn page and my doubts revealed. Responses were varied but tended towards the positive so it will be on the Tom’s Barn bed next Friday… Watch this space!

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