Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Pillow Talk

Bed (istockphoto.com)

Today seems like as good a day as any to discuss … pillow cases. Specifically, ironing them. With starch and maybe a lavender scented laundry water. Valentine’s Day is made for the grand gesture, but (as with everything) God is in the details, the little things that make for an elegant day. Little things, like excellent service, often go unnoticed, but make all the difference between a fine experience and an extra-ordinary one. If you’re not too handy with an iron (and pillow cases are absurdly easy to iron….) take them to your cleaners and have them do the heavy lifting. You’ll be amazed at the way they make you feel. I think 5-star hotel whenever I hit crisp linens. True, affordable luxury.

(And a bonus suggestion for tomorrow. Stretch that lovin’ feelin’ a little further. Get ahold of a DVD of “Room With a View” and a little more champagne…. an affair of the heart needn’t be short-lived. Happy Valentines Day.)

16 thoughts on “Pillow Talk

  1. Pillow cases are the ONLY things I like to iron- and I love to spritz them with scented water. Thank you for reminding me about Room with a View- haven’t seen that in years!

  2. I love ironing… it’s one of those instant-gratification chores. wrinkles —> iron —> no wrinkles. and of course, you must either have 100% cotton or linen bedclothes. NO POLY!

  3. I’m with Peak on this one. Ironing seems to cramp up a particular muscle in my back. And then I always wind up staining something with the iron. But, when I get it right, I love ironed and starched pillow cases, linen napkins and tablecloths.

  4. And here I thought I was the only one in existence still pressing pillow cases. It finishes the bed, doesn’t it? I always remember reading about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. At their home in Paris, they always had fresh linen put on the beds every day, and the staff would carry the pieces by the corners to the bed, so that the linen wouldn’t be wrinkled after pressing. Now THAT is luxe.

  5. My mother always would tell if things don’t work out then get ironing-
    as that is a sure fire way for things to just “press” themselves right out!
    Ah, to freshly ironed anything! Napkins to sheets!

  6. I HATE to iron…but I do iron my pillow cases, napkins and tablecloths with lavender water. Everything else goes to the cleaners! Hope you had a wonderful V Day!

  7. Welcome Washington Cube! You’re in good company judging by the comments. Yes, staff really does help to smooth out life’s creases…

    AtB, quiet and wonderful, thanks. Sometimes it can be refreshing to be “forced” into remembering why it is that Valentine’s Day is everyday with the right person.

    Fairfax, like the song says… “pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile….” I know that can be easier said than done, but we’re rooting for you!

  8. So pleased to know others iron their pillowcases too; my family thinks I’m crazy, but I’m obsessed with pressed linens (I iron the top part of the topsheet, too–if I could afford it I’d have everything ironed…by someone else!).
    May I recommend the Rowenta Steam Advancer iron. I just purchased it when my old Rowenta died and boy, this contraption steams!
    I usually forego starch on my newer linens, and just use lavender water, but I do like heavy starch on my grandmother’s embroidered pillowcases.

  9. Hi CL, I’ll check out the iron, thanks. Have a big steamer, but haven’t gotten around to using it. And you should see the pile of ironing upstairs! Staff would be so greatly appreciated.

  10. I’ve been ironing my pillowcases ( only, not sheets ) with lavendar water for a few years now after some sleep problems and my dr. suggested it. I never thought of starch though! I’ll have to try that! I try to change my pillowcases twice a week ( but sometimes run out of freshly ironed ones and resort to just respritzing with lavendar water! ). I iron during my tv shows on sunday evening and the ironing just FLIES by!
    PS. I just watched room with a view last week, I had forgotten how elegant the movie is!

  11. Dear BtC, you are doing wonders. I’m thoroughly impressed with all of you. It’s inspiring, I hope, to those who have yet to make the small changes that can bring some much needed elegance to every life.

  12. I love your idea of stretching Valentine’s Day further and Room With a View? Well it’s been ages and I remember loving it so! {Must be sure to rent it immediately.}

  13. Bed linens MUST be ironed, that’s all there is to it.
    Wasn’t it Diana Vreeland’s maid who faithfully ironed her bedsheets as
    well as her creased dollar bills? At risk of aping Mrs V. I understand this totally!
    It’s a bother, but my new Rowenta iron is put to good use every other day on the bed itself, until those linens are replaced. My mother refers to this as a Princess and the Pea syndrome~it was there since childhood apparently.

  14. Hello Mr. Worthington,
    I knew that certain gentlemen’s clubs used to boil coins for their members, but the ironing of bills. Now that is a true bit off eccentric luxury.

    Do you remove the sheets from the bed to iron them? Or leave them on? That sounds like a very easy and elegant solution to me.

  15. The sheets are left on~another tip from Yvonne, the resourceful maid of
    the late Mrs Vreeland.
    As you say~an easy and elegant solution, though you will need an extension cord for that iron!
    And while that iron is hot, why not try pressing out the wrinkles in the singles, fives and tens in your wallet? It will change your life.

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