One of our favourite brands The White Company celebrates its 21st birthday this year. That’s 21 years of the best bed linen, utterly covetable homewares and a Pinterest-worthy catalogue that makes us want to redecorate. In tribute, I give you a sideways look at what I’ve learned since I was 21 – and a competition we so wish we could enter…
1. That trends come and go but style is forever.
Of course, Coco Chanel et al knew this aeons ago. But at 21 I had just started working in magazine (at InStyle – where Alex and I met) and the world of fashion was just so vast. So unexplored. So tempting. (So out of reach to us on our measly assistant salaries.) And so I definitely wore some atrocities. Let us draw a veil over them and think of now: one of the great things about not being 21 is that you are so much more certain of yourself and your style: you know what suits you. (This is what inspired our My Uniform posts.) And you know that what it’s worth investing in: the perfect Breton, boyfriend jeans, cashmere…
2. Nothing beats crisp white bed linen
I doubt most 21 year-olds have much of clue about thread count. I certainly didn’t. I knew that clean sheets were a total joy, but thread counts? Not so much on my radar. Now I know enough to appreciate higher is good – too high is delicate – but 200 (like the Santorini bed linen, above) is just about perfect. Just call me Goldilocks.
Whilst you’re getting cosy – you might want to consider two more things which weren’t on your radar (certainly not my pocketbook – I refer you back to the minute salaries Alex and I existed on) when you were 21: cashmere socks – I have these and oh the sheer bliss – and silk pjs (so decadent, so lady of the manor-ish:”I’ll take tea in bed and bring me my correspondence, Withers.”)
3. Small ones look madly, crazily adorable in jumpers featuring animal earsOr hats. Or cardis. My little boy had this bear-face hoodie last year (as seen here – I could eat him) and I think I might be compelled to buy it for him again. The adorable factor is too much. FYI: it’s the ideal present for new arrivals and baby showers.
4. Fresh flowers go a long way to perking up your decor (and your mood)
Lucia Van Der Post, that great arbiter of taste, once said something along the lines of that she had learned from her mother that if you fill a house with fresh flowers, books and music, it will feel like a home.
I like to think I’ve always had this flickering on the edge of my consciousness. I consider a house without books to be, quite frankly, under-dressed. And when I first met my husband at university, I remember him being impressed at how grown up it was that I had flowers in my student bedroom.
These days, the flowers have stepped up a notch (although I am no flower snob – my home currently contains the last of the flowers from my garden and some supermarket offerings alongside roses and dahlias from my lovely local flower stall holder). And I know that the right receptacle is crucial: it can make almost anything look fabulous. The Antibes Vase is the ideal showcase for your blooms. I love it for its simplicity – and that rolled lip encourages stems to fall just-so (effortless flower arranging is right up my street).
5. Candles immediately improve any space
To say I am a fan of candles is to grossly understate the fact. I have them in nearly every room. I change them with the seasons. I could identify certain scents and brands with my eyes shut. Winter is Christmas as far as I’m concerned. We love the limited edition Symons candle (inspired by the London flagship store – do visit if you are in town) and Twenty One – created to mark this very special birthday: an utterly delicious and uplifting blend of lemon, neroli and grapefruit, with notes of jasmine and magnolia.
Drum roll….Thanks to the lovely folk at The White Company, we have 5 of these candles to give away!
To enter, simply follow us on Instagram (@wearandwhere) or – if you’re not on Instagram – then email us firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘White Company 21 candle’ in the subject box.*
*Competition closes at 8pm on Thursday 17th September, 2016.