An ode to the simple, practical fabric By Robert Davis
The experience of coming to the sea, at its best, is a ritual of simplifying. To walk along the edge of the shore is a cleansing and invigorating experience. Many of our day-to-day problems are washed away by the sea, which seems to say to us that tide and time will flow on regardless of our petty problems.
The places we stay in by the sea, at their best, embody this notion of simplicity and of paring down.
Light, white painted wicker furniture and porch rockers sitting on bare wood floors, produce a sense of coolness, cleanliness, and a kind of austere elegance which is particularly appropriate for the beach. White cotton is the fabric of choice for covering the cushions on this furniture, and for use as slipcovers over upholstered furniture. It is light, cool and comfortable to sit on during a hot summer’s day, and can easily be thrown into the wash.
White cotton is also the ideal material for curtains or for window shades, which transform the harsh midday sunlight into a soft glow.
Sleeping with all of the windows open, listening to the sound of the sea and feeling its soft breezes can be made even more luxurious by cotton sheets which have a softness and absorbency unmatched by man-made fibers. In the summer, a cotton blanket or quilt provides just the right amount of warmth for a cool night, and it looks so much more appropriate than a printed polyester bedspread. In the winter, a down-filled cotton-covered comforter feels like sleeping under a warm cloud.
As a practical matter, white cotton sheets and towels can be washed with bleach and will seem much fresher and cleaner as a result.
The luxury of simplicity is summed up by a window opened to welcome gentle breezes from the sea. White cotton curtains moving slowly and admitting a soft diaphanous light complete this picture of comfort and calm.