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Best Things To Netflix & Chill Before Bed

Best Things To Netflix & Chill Before Bed

We’ve all been there. It’s 10pm, our alarm is set for 7am, and it’s time to find the perfect thing to watch to unwind and fall asleep to. The goal is to find a film or TV show that isn’t so engrossing that it’ll keep you awake, but also isn’t too boring to enjoy.

Translation: A solid before bed viewing is one that’s engaging but relaxing at the same time. No easy feat, but thankfully we have Netflix to fall back on for help. From moody romantic “dramadies” to nostalgic TV shows, read ahead for the seven best things on Netflix that will have you catching ZZZs in no time.

1. Friends

Nothing like an old episode of Friends to send your straight to snoozeville. Along with providing a sense of nostalgia, the show is funny enough to enjoy but predictable enough to doze off to.  Luckily, Netflix has the entire series on lock for your viewing pleasure, so you can start with the pilot and forget about counting sheep for a long time

2. Love

If you aren’t already hip to the Judd Apatow-produced Netflix series Love, now’s the time to smarten up. Funny but moody, the original romantic dramedy series is amusing but slow, so you’ll feel like you can fall asleep without missing too much plot development, and simply pick up with the next episode tomorrow.

3. Chill with Bob Ross

Let’s face it: We’ve all probably snoozed off to an episode of Bob Ross before, most likely as kids on our grandma’s couch. But now that a bulk of his old PBS series is available on Netflix, you can count on his soothing voice and idyllic landscapes to doze off to in bed.

Michael Scott from The Office, Phoebe from Friends and Bob Ross on a pink background

4. Chef's Table

Searching for something creative but relaxing to watch at bedtime? Chef’s Tableepisodes, which focus on one game-changing chef’s personal story and their best recipes, are insanely inspiring and clock in at just about 45 min a pop.

5. The Secret Life of Pets

Sometimes, all it takes to get sleepy is a good old-fashioned family-friendly animated feature film, just like you watched as a kid. We’re partial to The Secret Life of Pets, because it combines two of our favorite things: animals and a goofy sense of humor.

6. The Office (U.S.)

Chances are you’ve already seen each and every episode of The Office at least three times. Which means you can watch from bed and chuckle until you pass out, without worrying about missing anything important.

Sometimes, finding the perfect thing to watch before bed can be tricky. Take our advice and add a few of these slow but entertaining films and shows to your Netflix queue to head to Dreamland faster.

Does Thread Count Really Matter?

Does Thread Count Really Matter?

What is thread count? Of all the factors that go into creating an amazing set of sheets, thread count seems to be the one that everyone talks about. But what is thread count anyway (technically, it’s the number of threads woven together in a square inch, a baseline devised by bedding industry insiders to help—and sometimes mislead—consumers looking to compare the quality of a sheet across brands, but more on that later), and how important is it really? Does a higher number automatically correlate to better sheets? In a word, no.

Thread count is to sheets what carats are to diamonds—a key but not the only factor when it comes to determining a perfect product. For bed linens, the four major aspects to consider, in order of priority, are cotton, ply, thread count, and weave, but that message gets lost in all of the fancy packaging touting thread count as the be all and end all. Here’s the low-down behind one of the industry’s most misleading concepts.

 

Image by Brooklinen Image by Brooklinen

How is Thread Count Determined?

To determine thread count, manufacturers calculate the number of both vertical (warp) and horizontal (weft) threads woven together in a square inch. So 100 vertical threads plus 100 horizontal threads produce a thread count of 200. Easy—and helpful in the conventional sense. Consumers can compare thread counts across brands to determine value and find the bedding that’s right for them.

But according to exposés from New York Magazine and Consumer Reports, many manufacturers use “creative math” to inflate their numbers, advertising thread counts of 800, 1000, and 1200—and leading consumers to believe they are getting a luxury product when they aren’t. This allows manufacturers to sell degraded sheets disguised as quality ones, keeping their production costs down while upcharging for something no knowledgeable consumer would want and maximizing profits on the cheap. But here’s where that math falters.

Does a Higher Thread Always Mean A Softer, Better Product?

To get that higher number, as Consumer Reports explains, “manufacturers use thinner strands of fabric [known as plies] twisted together as if they were one. Then they double, triple, or even quadruple the thread count to make the number more attractive to the consumer.” In practice, this means that a single thread might be four plies twisted together; a reputable company would call that one thread, while one that is trying to cut corners would instead call it four. The truth is, thread count generally maxes out at 500 because there is a finite amount of thread that one can weave into a square inch. Anything higher is fiction.

Image by Brooklinen Image by Brooklinen

Is there an Ideal Thread Count?

The logic behind why a higher thread count is better makes sense: all things being equal, higher thread counts require finer threads (the better to fit into a square inch), and the finer the threads you use, the softer, smoother, and more tightly woven (and thus, stronger) the fabric should be. But when you use multi-ply threads of lower-grade, shorter-staple cotton fibers twisted together, you get not only false strength but a rough, coarse feel (because the fibers tend to poke out of the weave) and less durability. When you look at it that way, a 400-thread-count sheet is a much better product than a 1,000-thread-count one. As the textile experts at Real Simple attest, “It's the thread that matters most. A sheet of a better-quality fiber with a lower thread count will feel softer and stand up to washing better than a sheet of a lower-quality fiber with a higher thread count.” It will also let air flow through the weave, giving you superior breathability and allowing for a more comfortable sleep.

Other Factors to Consider When Shopping for Bedding

So what can you count on if not the thread count when shopping for luxury bedding? First, look for long-staple, single ply cotton with a thread count no higher than 500. Then choose the weave that’s right for you: percale feels cool and crisp, while sateen is exceptionally soft and smooth. But, that said, a good sheet is one that feels great to the touch, and that’s something only you can determine. After all, you’re the one who has to sleep on it. 

 

The takeaway? Be wary of excessively high numbers, but also take all four factors into consideration when investing in sheets. A good rule of thumb for navigating around false advertising: always be suspicious of a super-high thread count being offered for an extremely low price. That 1,200-thread-count sheet set for $100 USD is likely not going to be the bargain you think it is. Like everything else in life, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

 

10 Tips for Mixing Patterns

10 Tips for Mixing Patterns

Playing with pattern can be daunting if you have no idea where to begin (and let’s face it, most of us don’t). Those artfully mixed swirls, spots and shapes sure look amazing in professionally styled design magazines, but how do you replicate that look in your own home? Luckily, it’s not as hard as it looks.

But while mixing patterns doesn’t have to be difficult, it’s easy to go down the wrong path and wind up with a space that looks more chaotic than chic. That’s why we’ve scoured the web to bring you the very best tips out there for mixing patterns. Follow these simple guidelines and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a pattern mix master.

1. Establish a palette

Choose one large-scale pattern as an anchor, whether it’s a rug or wallpaper, and use its hues to establish a color scheme for the rest of the room. As you layer in medium-sized and smaller patterns, choose one or some of the colors from your anchor so everything is subtly coordinated without looking overly matchy.

2. Odd is best

Always stick to an odd number. A good rule of thumb when you’re starting out is to choose three patterns in three different scales, then use what’s known as the 60/30/10 approach—use 60% of your favorite pattern, 30% of a second pattern and 10% of a third pattern as an accent.

3. Mix up scale

Scale is crucial. Include an equal mix of large-, medium- and small-scale patterns so none of them compete. Otherwise, your room will inevitably look busy. Make it feel eclectic by choosing different styles. For example: If your large pattern is a bold geometric, then pair it with a medium-sized floral and a small-scale ikat.

Brooklinen White Dash on Peach and Maze sheet patterns

4. Balance bold prints

Don’t shy away from loud, vibrant designs. The key to using bold patterns without overwhelming a space is to break them up with solids and neutrals. Layering in a healthy mix of solids and neutrals will ground your look, letting the colors and patterns really shine.

5. Try a swatch first

Bring home swatches and samples whenever possible. Not only is it more cost effective than plunging into a big purchase, it will help you picture how a specific pattern will ultimately work in the room, allowing you to make more informed decisions.

6. Start small

If you’re nervous about adding pattern to your home, start with a few smaller accents—pillows are a perfect way to dip your toes in the water. As your confidence increases, you can gradually up the ante with more substantial pieces. Who knows? You might even end up with a patterned sofa!

7. Mix Material 

Add depth and dimension by mixing up textures and materials. For example, on a solid linen sofa, try a mix of velvet, silk and woven pillows. And don’t forget to incorporate natural materials, like woods, metals and leathers to avoid an overly upholstered look.

8. Let your furniture inspire you

If you’re stumped on what patterns to choose, take a look at your existing furniture pieces. For example, if you have a coffee table with a geometric base, find a patterned accent with a similar motif to cleverly echo the shape.

9. Create a mood

If you want a room to feel lively, go for bold colors and patterns. Softer, more muted tones and prints make for a more serene space, while classic patterns (think stripes and florals) work well in traditional rooms.

10. Break the rules

Last but not least, you should trust your instincts and make choices that look and feel right to you. After all, incorporating pattern into your home is one of the most fun parts of the decorating process. It’s where you get to experiment, showcase your personality and let your creativity fly.

Happy mixing!