Did you know that bed shams have been around since the 17th century? These decorative bedding accessories not only add a touch of elegance to your bedroom but also serve a practical purpose. Bed shams, often referred to as pillow shams, are designed to cover pillows and create a polished look for your bed. Originating from Europe, they were initially used for functional reasons such as protecting pillows from dust and oils. However, today they are primarily utilized as an aesthetic element in bedroom decor.
The history and evolution of bed shams provide insight into their significance in modern interior design. Understanding their origin sheds light on their dual role of functionality and style in the realm of bedding accessories. So, what exactly is a sham for a bed set? Let’s delve deeper into its definition, historical roots, and its impact on contemporary bedroom aesthetics.
The Role of Shams in Bedding Sets
Complementing the Bedding Set
Shams play a crucial role in tying together the look of a bedding set. They are designed to complement the duvet cover or comforter, creating a cohesive and polished appearance for the bed. When placed against the headboard, shams provide an elegant backdrop, enhancing the overall visual appeal of the bed.
Shams also serve as decorative elements that add depth and dimension to the bedding ensemble. By layering them with other pillows, such as standard sleeping pillows or decorative throw pillows, they contribute to a well-coordinated and inviting aesthetic for the entire bedroom.
The versatility of shams and bed pillows allows homeowners to mix and match different patterns, textures, and colors to achieve their desired style. If the duvet cover features a bold pattern or vibrant color scheme, using solid-colored shams and bed pillows can create balance and prevent overwhelming visual clutter. Conversely, incorporating patterned or textured shams can introduce visual interest and elevate the design impact of the bed.
Importance for Cohesive Bedroom Look
In addition to their aesthetic value, shams are essential for achieving a cohesive bedroom look. Without them, especially when using large European square pillows instead of standard sleeping ones on top of your regular pillowcases (usually hidden behind), there may be an unfinished appearance that lacks polish.
Moreover,sham covers help maintain cleanliness by acting as protective layers for both sleeping pillows and decorative pillow fillers from dust accumulation or accidental spills. This functionality not only preserves these items but also contributes to creating an inviting space that is easy to maintain.
Including shams in your bedding set offers flexibility in styling options while ensuring that every element looks intentional rather than haphazardly arranged. Whether you prefer a minimalist approach with crisp white shams or want to infuse personality through intricate designs or embroidery details – having this additional component completes your bed’s overall presentation while reflecting your personal taste.
Types of Shams and Their Features
Standard, Euro, King
Shams come in various sizes to fit different pillows. The standard sham is designed for regular-sized pillows commonly found on twin or full beds. On the other hand, the euro sham is larger and square-shaped, often used as a decorative pillow covering. Finally, the king sham is tailored to fit king-sized pillows.
Consider the size of your pillows. If you have standard-sized pillows on your bed, then standard shams are ideal. However, if you want to add a touch of elegance or make a bold statement with larger square pillows, euro shams would be more suitable.
Features of Each Type
Each type of sham has unique features that distinguish them from one another. For instance:
Standard Shams: They typically have a simple flange around the edges and an opening at the back.
Euro Shams: These shams often feature a wide flange and may come with decorative trims like piping or embroidery.
King Shams: Similar to standard shams but designed specifically for king-sized pillows.
The choice between these types depends on both functionality and aesthetics. Standard shams offer simplicity and ease of use while still providing an elegant look when arranged on the bed. Euro shames provide versatility in design due to their larger size and additional decorative elements like trims.
Sham covers can be made from various materials such as cotton, linen, or even luxurious silk fabrications. Each material offers different benefits:
Cotton: Known for its durability, breathability, and easy maintenance.
Linen: Provides excellent moisture-wicking properties along with a relaxed yet refined appearance.
Silk: Offers luxurious softness but requires delicate care.
When selecting material options for your shams, consider factors such as comfort preferences and maintenance requirements. Cotton is practical for everyday use due to its durability and easy care instructions; linen adds texture while offering breathability; silk brings opulence but demands more delicate handling.
Choosing the Right Size and Material for Your Sham
Selecting Sham Size
When choosing a sham, it’s crucial to consider the size that will best fit your bed pillows. The most common sham sizes are standard, queen, and king. Standard shams typically measure 20 x 26 inches, while queen shams are slightly larger at 20 x 30 inches. King shams, on the other hand, are designed for larger pillows and usually measure around 20 x 36 inches. Consider the dimensions of your bed pillows to ensure a proper fit.
It’s important to note that selecting the right size ensures that your shams look proportionate when placed on your bed. For instance, using standard-sized shams with king-size pillows may result in an awkward appearance due to excess fabric or an improper fit.
Benefits of Different Materials
The choice of materials for shams plays a significant role in both aesthetics and comfort. Cotton is a popular option as it offers breathability and durability, making it suitable for all seasons. Cotton can be easily laundered without losing its shape or softness over time.
Another material worth considering is linen which provides excellent moisture-wicking properties and a distinctive texture that adds character to your bedding ensemble. Linen also becomes softer with each wash while maintaining its strength.
On the other hand, silk exudes luxury and sophistication but requires delicate care compared to cotton or linen options. It’s essential to weigh these factors against personal preferences such as maintenance ease and desired aesthetic appeal when selecting materials for your sham set.
Matching Sham Size with Pillow Size
To achieve a polished look for your bed set-up, ensure that you match the sham size with the corresponding pillow size accurately. If you have standard-size pillows (20 x 26 inches), opt for standard-sized shams; likewise goes for queen (20 x 30 inches) and king (20 x 36 inches) sized pillows.
Styling Your Bed with Decorative Shams
Mixing and Matching
There are various creative ways to arrange them on your bed. One popular method is mixing and matching different patterns and textures for visual interest. For instance, you can pair a solid-colored duvet cover with patterned shams or vice versa. This contrast adds depth and dimension to your bedding set.
Another way to mix and match decorative shams is by combining different fabrics such as silk, cotton, or linen. The interplay of these textures creates a visually appealing ensemble that elevates the overall look of your bed.
You can also play around with the sizes of the bed pillows. Placing smaller decorative pillows in front of larger sleeping pillows can create an attractive layered effect that draws attention to the focal point of your bed.
Pairing solid-colored duvet covers with patterned shams
Combining different fabric textures like silk, cotton, or linen
Layering smaller decorative pillows in front of larger sleeping pillows
Incorporating accent colors through decorative shams is another excellent way to enhance the aesthetics of your bedding set. If you have neutral-colored sheets and duvet covers, using vibrant or contrasting colored shams can instantly liven up the entire look.
For example, if your bedroom features a calming color palette such as whites and grays, adding bold-colored decorative shams like deep blue or emerald green can inject a pop of personality into the space. Choosing complementary colors from other elements in your room such as curtains or accessories will tie everything together for a cohesive look.
Furthermore, consider incorporating seasonal accents through decorative shams; warm tones for fall or pastel shades for spring can reflect the changing seasons while infusing charm into your living space.
Using vibrant or contrasting colored shams with neutral sheets and duvet covers
Choosing complementary colors from other room elements for a cohesive look
Incorporating seasonal accents through decorative sham colors
The Difference Between Shams and Pillowcases
Shams are decorative coverings for bed pillows, often with flanges or cording around the edges. Unlike regular pillowcases, shams typically have an envelope closure at the back, concealing the pillow neatly inside. They come in various sizes to fit different pillows and are designed to be more ornamental than functional. On the other hand, pillowcases are simple covers that protect pillows from dirt and oils but lack the decorative elements of shams.
When comparing a sham to a pillowcase, it’s important to note that shams usually have extra fabric around the edges, creating a border or flange that adds visual interest. This feature sets them apart from standard pillowcases, which generally have a plain, straightforward design without any additional embellishments.
While both shams and regular pillowcases serve as protective coverings for pillows, their primary functions differ significantly. While pillowcases focus on maintaining cleanliness by providing a barrier between the sleeper’s face and the actual pillow, shams prioritize aesthetics over practicality. Shams contribute to achieving an inviting and polished look for your bed ensemble while also offering an additional layer of protection for your sleeping pillows.
In terms of functionality, regular pillowcases primarily serve as hygiene barriers against oiliness or sweat transfer during sleep. Conversely,sham covers add flair to your bedding arrangement through their decorative designs, making them ideal for enhancing visual appeal rather than solely serving utilitarian purposes.
Beyond functionally covering bed pillows,sham covers play a crucial role in elevating your overall bedding aesthetic****by adding texture, color coordination opportunities,and dimensionto your bed set-up.These decorative pieces can tie together various design elements within your bedroom,such as coordinating with duvet covers,sheets,and throw blankets,to createa cohesiveand visually appealingbedding ensemble.
How to Properly Insert a Pillow into a Sham
When inserting a standard pillow into a sham, start by holding the sham open and upright. Then, gently push the pillow inside.
Once the pillow is inside, fluff it up to fill out the corners of the sham. This will ensure a smooth and neat appearance.
Remember not to force the pillow in too aggressively as this can cause distortion or damage to both the sham and the pillow itself.
To achieve a tailored look with your throw pillows within shams, try adjusting them until you achieve your desired appearance.
For example, if using multiple throw pillows within one large sham, arrange them in a way that creates an even distribution of filling while maintaining symmetry.
You can also consider pressing down on each side of the filled sham to distribute its contents evenly for a more polished finish.
To ensure that your shams maintain their shape and provide maximum visual appeal, it’s essential to adjust your pillows properly.
Avoid leaving empty spaces or overstuffing shams with pillows as these can create lumps and bumps detracting from their overall sleekness.
Instead, take care when placing each pillow inside so that they sit flush against all sides of the sham, creating an effortlessly smooth look.
For those who prefer a more tailored appearance when using shams with throw pillows, consider investing in inserts slightly larger than your covers.
This will help fill out your shams completely without leaving any gaps or sagging areas around its edges – ensuring that they always appear plump and inviting.
Care and Maintenance Tips for Bed Shams
The method largely depends on the material. For cotton or linen shams, machine washing in cold water with a gentle detergent is ideal. Avoid using bleach as it can cause discoloration over time. After washing, tumble dry on low heat and promptly remove from the dryer to prevent wrinkles.
For silk or delicate fabric shams, hand washing is recommended to maintain their quality and color. Use a mild detergent and lukewarm water, gently agitating the fabric without wringing or twisting. Once clean, lay flat to air dry away from direct sunlight to avoid fading.
Preserving Quality and Color
To preserve the quality and color of bed shams over time, consider turning them inside out before washing. This simple step helps protect the outer surface from abrasion during the wash cycle, reducing pilling and maintaining a smooth appearance.
Another essential tip for preserving sham quality is to avoid overloading the washing machine when cleaning them. Overcrowding can lead to inadequate cleaning and potential damage due to excessive friction between items.
It’s also crucial not to neglect regular maintenance of your washer by running an empty cycle with hot water and vinegar periodically. This helps prevent soap residue buildup that could transfer onto your shams during subsequent washes.
After proper cleaning, storing bed shams correctly is key in ensuring they remain in top condition until their next use. Utilize breathable storage containers such as cotton bags or pillowcases rather than plastic bins which can trap moisture leading to mold growth.
When not in use, consider rotating through multiple sets of shams if possible; this reduces wear on any single set while allowing ample time for laundering between uses.
To keep organized throughout seasonal changes or when switching up decor styles, label storage containers clearly so you can easily identify specific sham sets at a glance.
Where to Buy Quality Bed Shams
There are several popular retailers that offer a wide selection. Stores like Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, and Pottery Barn are known for their quality bedding products. These retailers often have both physical stores and online platforms, providing convenience and accessibility to customers.
You can find various styles, sizes, and colors of bed shams at these retailers. Moreover, they frequently offer matching sets of shams with other bedding items such as duvet covers or comforters. This allows you to create a cohesive look for your bed without the hassle of searching for separate pieces.
It’s essential to consider factors such as material quality, thread count (for cotton shams), closure type (like envelope or zipper), and overall design when choosing from these popular retailers.
In addition to brick-and-mortar stores, many people prefer shopping for bed shams on online platforms due to the convenience factor. E-commerce giants like Amazon provide an extensive range of options from various brands all in one place. You can easily compare prices, read customer reviews, and explore different designs without leaving your home.
Moreover, specialty bedding websites like Wayfair or Overstock also offer a vast array of bed sham options in different materials such as cotton, linen, silk blends etc., catering to diverse preferences.
However convenient it may be though – keep in mind that buying online means you won’t be able feel the fabric before purchase which is something important especially when it comes down to bedding items where comfort is key.
Considerations When Buying
When looking for bed shams, whether it’s from popular retailers or online platforms; always consider factors beyond aesthetics alone. Look into the material composition – if you’re after durability then 100% cotton might be what you’re looking for while silk blends could add luxury but might require more delicate care. Another vital consideration is sizing; make sure the measurements match your pillows’ dimensions – standard pillow size vs king-size pillows will need different sized shams. Lastly but not least – check out return policies especially when buying online just so you have peace of mind if things don’t turn out how you expected them too.
Elevating Bedroom Aesthetics with Shams
Decorative shams play a pivotal role in elevating the overall ambiance of a bedroom. By coordinating shams with other elements in the room, you can create a cohesive and visually appealing space. For instance, if your bedspread features floral patterns, choosing shams with complementary colors or smaller-scale floral designs can tie the look together.
When selecting decorative shams for your bed set, consider the existing color scheme and style of your bedroom decor. If your room has a minimalist aesthetic with neutral tones, opt for shams that add subtle texture or interest without overwhelming the space. On the other hand, if your bedroom boasts vibrant hues and bold patterns, you may choose to incorporate statement shams that serve as focal points within the room.
Incorporating decorative sham sets into your bedroom styling allows you to infuse personality and character into the space while maintaining harmony with existing decor elements. Whether you prefer understated elegance or eclectic charm, coordinating shams offer versatility in enhancing different types of bedroom aesthetics.
Focal Points or Accents
They can function as both focal points and accents in bedroom styling. If you want to draw attention to specific design details on your bedspread or duvet cover, selecting patterned or embellished shams can help highlight these features.
Moreover, by strategically placing accent pillows behind standard sleeping pillows adorned with matching shams, you add depth and dimension to your bedding ensemble. This layering technique not only elevates visual interest but also creates an inviting atmosphere within the room.
You’ve now mastered the art of choosing, styling, and caring for bed shams. By understanding the different types, materials, and sizes available, you can elevate your bedroom’s aesthetic effortlessly. Remember to consider your existing decor and personal style when selecting shams to ensure they complement your bedding set seamlessly. With the right care and maintenance, your shams will continue to enhance your sleeping space for years to come.
Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge to make informed decisions about bed shams, it’s time to put your newfound expertise into action. Head out or go online to find high-quality shams that speak to your unique taste. Elevate your bedroom’s look and feel with confidence!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of a bed sham?
A bed sham serves both a decorative and functional purpose. It adds an aesthetic touch to your bedding set while also providing a protective layer for your pillows.
How do I choose the right size and material for my pillow case?
Consider the size of your pillows and bed, as well as the overall style you want to achieve. For materials, opt for ones that are durable and easy to clean, such as cotton or linen.
What’s the difference between shams and pillowcases?
While both serve similar functions, shams are designed with decorative features like flanges or borders, whereas pillowcases are more basic in design.
How should I insert a pillow into a pillowcase properly?
Inserting a pillow into a sham is similar to putting on a pillowcase but with added attention to ensuring it fills out the corners fully for an attractive look.
Where can I buy quality bed shams?
You can find quality bed shams at reputable home goods stores, department stores, online retailers specializing in bedding accessories, or directly from bedding manufacturers. Look for customer reviews and product details before making a purchase.