December 08: Your Living Space

December 08: Your Living Space

Fit for a king (or queen, or full)

Question for Anita Davis, owner of Pillow Mint: What do I need to know about buying the right sheets to fit my mattress?

Answer: In terms of length and width, Davis says, the simple twin/full/queen/king system for sizing sheets is fairly standardized: just find the right sheets for your bed and you’re done. But, with fitted sheets, look twice: “There are lots of variations on depth,” Davis says. “The standard pocket size is about 14" and a deep pocket is 21".”

Thus, if you’ve got a pillow-top mattress or any other reason to think you need deep pockets, it’s best to measure the mattress before you shop for sheets, and look for “deep pocket” on the package.

The website offers further advice: Make sure your top sheet will fit by using this formula: 2 times your depth

measurement, plus your width measurement (usually 54" for full, 60" for queen, and 78" for king).
Thinking of buying sheets from an international company? Things get more complicated. What the Brits call a king, for example—and not as in Henry VIII —is what Americans call a queen. Our king is their super king. Another Website,, has a good conversion chart comparing sizes from the U.S., U.K., Australia and Europe. 

One final note from Davis: “College dorms typically have extra-long twin beds and so there is a difference there from a normal twin.” Extra-long twin sheets are available at her store and elsewhere.—Erika Howsare

Lodge look

The gnarls and knots of wood find new, aesthetic meaning in Ralph Kylloe’s Rustic Fireplaces, a leading authority on rustic furniture. PETA activists won’t be thrilled by a set

of antlers woven about one particular mantel, but the visual intricacy complements the rhythm created by stones piled high. The book also features tons of toys you never realized your hearth was craving. Grab some hot chocolate and cuddle up—by your fireplace, if you’ve got one.—Suzanne van der Eijk

Fab fabric

We love this Manuel Canovas fabric—embroidery on linen and cotton—for its bold look, contemporary but still right at home in a classic setting. We found it at Alana’s, whose

eponymous owner suggested this pattern (called Tolede) would work well in draperies, bedding, or upholstering the headboard of a bed.