Bath Towel Tips: How to Choose and Care for This Bathroom Staple

Have those bath towels hanging on your towel rack seen better days? Replacing worn, faded bath towels may seem like a daunting task, but a few tips can help narrow the options. Before long, you’ll be wrapping yourself in a soft, high-quality towel and bidding adieu to those scratchy substitutes.

Consider three main attributes in the search for your top-notch towel: fabric, construction, and weight.   

Bath Towel Fabric

Cotton towels are the most common choice, but not all cottons are on the same shelf, quality-wise. Some towels are entirely cotton, while others may have other natural fibers added for softness. Bath towels made from Egyptian cotton and Pima cotton feature extra-long fibers. These superior towels are highly absorbent, strong, and durable. Egyptian cotton is, of course, grown in Egypt, while Pima cotton is usually grown in the United States (but can be grown in other locations). Bath towels labeled as Supima® (Superior Pima) cotton are made of 100% American Pima cotton. Be particular with percentages; if you select Egyptian cotton, look for towels labeled “100% Egyptian cotton” to be assured of quality.

Bath Towel Construction

Combed cotton, ringspun, terry… Just what do all these towel terms mean? Combed cotton has been combed to remove impurities and short fibers, resulting in longer, more uniform cotton. Ringspun cotton has a smoother, more refined feel and is made from tightly twisting long and short threads together. Terry cloth bath towels are woven with extra yarn to make absorbent loops. Dense, longer loops create a more absorbent towel.

Bath Towel Density

You know to look for thread count when shopping for sheets, but what about bath towels? Look for the GSM number, which refers to grams per square meter. This number indicates the fabric density of the towel; the higher the number, the better quality the towel. Good-quality cotton bath towels have a GSM of at least 500; for luxury towels, select a GSM of at least 600. Keep in mind that dense, heavy towels may take a longer time to dry.

Bath Towel Care

Now that you’ve found your dream towels, keep them looking their best with proper care. A little kindness goes a long way, so opt for warm water over hot, and select mild, liquid detergents instead of harsh ones. These simple steps from Style at Home can help to preserve those pretty colors and prevent fiber breakdown. Fabric softener might seem like a logical choice, but it can build up a waxy coating on towels that affects their absorbency. If you find yourself tempted to reach for the fabric softener, try some distilled white vinegar instead. Add a quarter cup to half cup to each load to keep your towels soft and snuggly. 

Decorative Towels

These towels are usually embellished with embroidery or trim. Decorative towels may have a lower GSM and are best for light use or display. These towels may require special care, so look to the manufacturer’s label for laundering instructions.

How Sweet! Indulge in the Scents of Ribbonwick Candles

What scents tempt your nose the most? Are you a self-professed “foodie,” drawn to the aromas of sweet, baked concoctions like decadent pink cake? Or do comfort-based, homey fragrances, like those of linen and cotton, make you the happiest?

The Ribbonwick scented candles are available in enough olfactory options to suit any preference. These unique candles have a curving, horizontal wick that is hypnotic to view when lit, coupled with an engaging scent. Decorative holders, some with patterns or special shapes, make these candles ready for display in your home.

For Valentine’s Day, what could be more appropriate than the Love Ribbonwick Candle? This pretty pink candle, with its cake-and-buttercream scent and heart-shaped glass holder, is just the thing to light up the sweetest day of the year. 

Love Ribbonwick Candle Pink

Holiday Decorating Ideas and Styles for 2013

What special Christmas decorations will adorn your home this year? Those quaint caroler figurines stir up holiday nostalgia, but that silly snowman tickles your funny bone. Before you get caught in a flurry of Christmas decorations, it’s a good idea to have a guiding theme to help you along the way. Here are seven holiday decorating styles for the 2013 season. Let these holiday decorating ideas lead you to a festive and cohesive look in your home.

Christmas of Yesteryear

What if the holiday scene from some old-fashioned postcard or ’50s photograph could materialize before your eyes? This holiday style is a nod to the past, featuring Victorian- or retro-inspired decorations. When the seasonal frenzy is in full swing, this traditional holiday decor will feel like a welcome escape to another time.

Jolly Holiday

When Santa sneaks in to drop off gifts and gobble a few cookies, he’ll feel right at home. This festive holiday decor is cheery and lighthearted, just like the Jolly Elf himself. Red and green color bursts and fun Santa decorations are the trademarks of this Christmas style.

Juniper Forest

That rugged trek was worth it. A few more steps, and you’ll come upon Juniper Forest, glittering with frosted greenery. This upscale holiday decorating style is rustic yet polished, woodsy but sophisticated. Fall under the enchanting spell of this woodland holiday decor.

Nature’s Holiday

Not to be outdone by autumn’s brilliance, winter has its own color show with crimson berries, greenery, rustic browns, and bright red cardinals. Follow nature’s lead this winter season, and give your home plenty of color and country charm with this holiday decorating style.

O Holy Night

Keep the first and most important Christmas story ever in mind as you decorate your home. This religious holiday decor has the Holy Family at its heart, surrounded by shimmering gold and beautiful accents of color. Meaningful decorations and angelic figures make your home a haven of tranquility.

Snow Day

“Snow Day.” Ah, those two wonderful words that children everywhere long to hear. This holiday decorating style captures that sense of play and carefree fun, with nary a snowball fight in sight. Who can resist a happy snowman and his winter-loving pals?

Sparkling Snowflakes

No more watching at the window as the snow falls – you can have all the glistening snowflakes you want right in your own home. This elegant holiday decorating style blends, rich sumptuous colors of gold, silver, and white with sparkling snowflake accents.

Autumn Is on the Way! Get Ready with Fall Home Decorating Ideas

Summer still lingers in the air, but hints of autumn emerge with each passing day. Sweltering nights shed their humidity for crisp, autumn air. Leaves drift down without a sound, relieving trees of their summertime burden. Renewal is the mantra of fall, so why not embark on a seasonal transition indoors as well as out? As you search for fall decorating ideas, let nature’s transformation serve as your guide.

Autumn decor merges natural elements and a warm color palette to create eye-catching displays. As the focal point in the coming holiday season, the table is an ideal starting point. First, drape the surface with an earth-toned table runner. On top of this, arrange decorative garlands and miniature faux gourds. An asymmetrical—but balanced—assortment will look natural. Finally, fill small glass vases with twinkling filler; situate these in the center. Here, the Adelasia Glass Candleholder Vases parade coral candles. For the finishing touch, scatter jewel acorns and rounded gems from the Fall Gems and Acorns Vase Filler Mix.

Of course, no amount of baubles will camouflage a drab dinner table. The West Albany Dining Table Set is soaked with autumnal tones and is tiled with Milano inserts. Garnish the table top with fall-themed accents, like the whimsical Fruit Shaped Owls. Here, the Owl Chip and Dip Platter and Plate Sets create a folksy atmosphere, perfect for quaint parties. With its bronze tendrils, the Tosca Flora Wall Sculpture is quietly enchanting behind the whole ensemble.

Finally, a decorative wall display above a console table assures the fall theme does not stop at the table. The Birds Inspirational Canvas Set provides pops of orange, red, brown, and teal. Positioned just below, the Argelia Vase Set will pick up the vivid colors of the canvases. Top it all off with the mocha scrolls of the Bardolino Wall Shelf Set, which will display your accents and faux greenery. For an added touch, add the rustic Lighted Willow Branches.

FallWallDecor

Nature is gradually shifting to a new season, providing the perfect cue for a change in decor. Take this opportunity to revive your home with the spicy tones and inviting motifs of autumn.

Automatic Paper Towel and Soap Dispensers Help Prevent the Spread of Germs

Squeeze in those checker-blanket barbecues and poolside rendezvous while you still can, because summer is on the downswing, and fall is fast approaching! Candy-corn-striped and aromatic with the spicy promise of pumpkin pie, autumn is an eagerly-awaited season, even if it means shorter days and frosty windshields. Oh, and germs. Flu season makes its big debut in October, so if you want to actually taste that turkey come Thanksgiving, you’ll need to germ-proof your house (which has, quite frankly, missed having you around).

A starting place to wage your war on germs is the hub of your home, no matter the season: the bathroom. An automatic soap dispenser cuts out the need for a grimy (and high-traffic) pump. A blue light sensor, detecting your hand, signals to the 6 fl. oz. dispenser to release the perfect dollop of soap. The Otto Automatic Soap Dispenser is streamlined and crane-like, with a choice between clinical white or a neutral nickel finish. In the Otino style, classic black assures effortless coordination with surrounding decor, whether it be a stark porcelain sink or an onyx coffee maker.

 

Of course, the kitchen is also a suspect area for an influenza ambush (and food preparation is one activity germs never need a role in). A motion-activated Automatic Paper Towel Dispenser, with just a wave of your hand, distributes towels in precise, perforated increments and automatically retracts any excess back inside. From start to finish, washing your hands is made into a cleanly process, not a ritualistic re-application of all the bacteria you’re trying to avoid. Contemporary finishes of white, silver, black, and red keep this piece from looking too industrial.

You might soon be trading lemonade for hot cocoa or your flip-flops for winter boots, but your home aesthetic need not be sacrificed to make everyone under your roof just a little bit healthier—and happier!—this coming season.

The Blooming Beauty of Magnolia Home Decor

A symbol of Southern pride, nobility, and the serendipitous moments of beauty the natural world presents daily to humankind, the magnolia has its roots anchored in several plots of symbolism. The magnolia tree is also an ancient plant, having come into existence even before bees, and it smacks of old world tradition and a fierce sturdiness. Take a cue from nature and incorporate these gorgeous blooms in your interior decorating.

You can slumber away in the fragrant embrace of a field of magnolia trees with the Garden Images III Magnolia Bedding. White tepals—not petals, due to their interconnected nature—spread against an entourage of wild bouquets and flittering butterflies on this comforter. The parchment background is tinged with the soft yellow of daybreak, as though throwing one’s window open upon some sunny, Mississippi morning. Coordinating pillows and striped European shams add to the eclectic composition that so often typifies a wild garden.

A single magnolia flower, on the other hand, is the focal point of the Melanie Magnolia Rug, which unfurls with quiet charisma on the floor. The three-dimensional nature of the magnolia is expressed through the rug’s handcarved texture and the subtle, elongated shadows creeping up from the overlapping tepals.

While the Melanie Rug blooms up, the Calista Magnolia Table Lamp blooms down, its frosted, white glass shade depicting magnolias in varying stages of development. The antique bronze finish that coats the fluted base and font even invokes the woody branches the magnolias burst from every spring.

The magnolia represents so many good things, it would be impossible to not include at least one of them in your home decor. Blossoming in unforeseen places about the home, this flower will delight and surprise onlookers like it has already been doing for centuries.

No Wilting Worries! Decorate with Porcelain Flowers

The trouble with flowers is they never last. Hang them upside down, press them between the pages of a book—the result is always a dehydrated husk that only vaguely resembles that once-vibrant blossom. Porcelain flowers, however, are another story entirely. Whittled meticulously from clay, right down to the veins in the leaves, porcelain florals are lifelike up to a point—after all, they never wilt!

Porcelain wall art pieces, especially florals, effuse a dainty, old-fashioned charm that just can’t be replicated with a real bouquet. The Ariella Wall Plaque Set, with its sepia-toned backgrounds and ivory lace and cream cording trim, is a vintage parade of porcelain roses. Aqueous pastels like mauve and apricot tinge the petals and offset the beige grounds, as though the bouquet is materializing from some old-time photograph. The three-dimensional petals project into the room, but gold leaf-finished frames keep the composition tidy and contained.

Though smaller, the Mary Anne Petite Nosegay is no less enchanting. Blue wildflowers sprawl languidly on a bed of sage green leaves and ivory ribbon in this porcelain arrangement. Smaller pink florals offset the dreamy blue and add a touch of serendipity, as though their taking root there was simply a happy accident.

In no danger of decay, porcelain florals can also become permanent additions to more practical home accents. A gold leaf-finished frame gives the Leanna Wall Mirror an antiquated touch, but the little stowaways blooming near the bottom are what really make this piece stand out. Pink, golden apricot, and lavender blossoms here are interspersed with greenery and smaller yellow flowers. Still allowing ample space for your reflection, the arrangement follows the delicate curve of the frame.

The Olivia Porcelain Floral Nightlight will make it appear as though a luminous flower is blooming straight from your wall, with its speckled periwinkle petals and yellow pistils. A bloom toward the top sleeps on, not roused at all by the light emanating from below.