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What are the best linens for my guest room?

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The question

I love antique linens, but can I use them on a guest bed?

The answer

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I love linens too, but antique ones just freak me out! I don't mind looking at them and admiring them, but actually sleep on them? They could never be fresh or crisp enough for me. Antique sheets are also likely to tear easily, obliging guests who damage any to purchase new ones for you. Of course, this could be a lot of fun if you have a mischievous streak – you could test unsuspecting overnighters by seeing which of them fesses up to ruining your bedding.

Potential hilarity aside, I would prefer to frame some of the antique details of the linens and use them as artwork. As for actual bedding, I prefer all-cotton, white with a hem stitch, an embroidered detail at the top of the flat sheet and cases. Incidentally, a bed should always be dressed with, from front to headboard, Euro (or throw) pillows, then shams and then the cases. (It's also important to fold the edge of the top sheet over the duvet, displaying the edge and not covering it with the pillows). In fact, those throw pillows could be made of antique linen, which should be admired, never soiled. I do love antiques; I just don't want to sleep with them.

Follow architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace on Twitter: @ddtaylordd. Have a design dilemma? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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