When it comes to creating a cozy and stylish bedroom, every detail counts. One of the most important elements of a well-made bed is the decorative pillow cover, also known as a sham. Shams are versatile accessories that can add texture, color, and personality to your bedding ensemble.
With so many types of shams available, from Euro shams to boudoir shams, and a variety of materials to choose from, selecting the perfect shams for your bedroom can seem overwhelming. In this blog post, we will explore what shams are, the different types of shams available, and the materials commonly used for shams to help you create the perfect look for your bedroom.
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Explanation of what a sham is in the context of home decor
When it comes to home decor, shams are an essential part of the bedding ensemble. Shams are decorative covers that are placed over pillows to enhance the overall aesthetic of the bed. Shams are typically designed to match or complement the bedspread or duvet cover, adding an extra layer of texture, color, and style to the bed. However, not all shams are created equal. In this blog post, we will explore what a sham is, the different types of shams used in home decor, and the materials commonly used for shams.
What is a sham?
Definition and characteristics of a sham
A sham is a decorative pillowcase that is used to cover a pillow. It is designed to be placed on top of the regular pillowcase and is often used as a decorative accent. Shams are typically larger than regular pillowcases and have a tailored, finished look. They can be made from a variety of materials, including cotton, linen, silk, and synthetic fabrics.
Shams can be used in a variety of ways. They can be placed behind the regular pillows as a backdrop, or they can be propped up against the headboard for added support while reading or watching television. Shams can also be used as a decorative accent on a couch or chair.
Different types of shams used in home decor
There are several types of shams used in home decor. Some of the most common types include:
- Euro sham – A Euro sham is a large square pillowcase that is typically 26 inches by 26 inches. Euro shams are often used as a decorative accent on the bed, either in front of or behind the regular pillows.
- Standard sham – A standard sham is a rectangular pillowcase that is typically 20 inches by 26 inches. Standard shams are often used in pairs to create a symmetrical look on the bed.
- King sham – A king sham is a rectangular pillowcase that is typically 20 inches by 36 inches. King shams are often used on a king-size bed, either in pairs or in combination with standard shams.
- Boudoir sham – A boudoir sham is a small rectangular pillowcase that is typically 12 inches by 16 inches. Boudoir shams are often used as a decorative accent on the bed or as a decorative pillow on a couch or chair.
Materials commonly used for shams
Shams can be made from a variety of materials, including:
- Cotton – Cotton is a popular choice for shams because it is soft, durable, and easy to care for. Cotton shams can be washed and dried in the machine and are available in a wide range of colors and patterns.
- Linen – Linen shams have a textured, natural look that is perfect for creating a relaxed, casual atmosphere in the bedroom. Linen shams are typically more expensive than cotton shams and require more care, but they are also more durable.
- Silk – Silk shams have a luxurious look and feel that is perfect for creating an elegant, sophisticated atmosphere in the bedroom. Silk shams are typically more expensive than cotton or linen shams and require more care, but they are also more durable and long-lasting.
- Synthetic fabrics – Synthetic fabrics like polyester and microfiber are often used for shams because they are inexpensive, easy to care for, and available in a wide range of colors and patterns. However, synthetic shams may not be as durable as cotton, linen, or silk shams.
History of shams in home decor
Origins and evolution of shams in home decor
Shams have been used in home decor for centuries, with their origins dating back to ancient Egypt. The Egyptians used shams made of linen and adorned them with intricate embroidery and gold thread. In the Middle Ages, shams were often used to display coats of arms and other heraldic designs. As textile manufacturing developed in the 18th and 19th centuries, shams became more widely available and affordable, and they quickly became a popular accessory in the bedroom.
Cultural significance of shams in home decor
In many cultures, shams hold a special significance in home decor. For example, in some Asian cultures, shams are believed to protect the sleeper from evil spirits. In the Middle East, shams are often embroidered with intricate designs and used to display wealth and status. In many parts of the world, shams are seen as a way to add color and texture to the bedroom, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Historical uses of shams in home decor
Shams have been used in a variety of ways throughout history. In addition to their use as decorative pillow covers, shams have also been used to cover chairs and other furniture. During the Victorian era, shams were often used to cover the backs of chairs and sofas, creating a cohesive look in the room.
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Popular styles of shams
Traditional sham styles
Traditional shams are characterized by their classic, timeless design. They often feature intricate embroidery, lace, or ruffles, and are made from high-quality materials like linen, cotton, or silk. Traditional shams are perfect for creating a romantic, vintage-inspired look in the bedroom.
Modern and contemporary sham styles
Modern and contemporary shams feature clean lines, bold colors, and geometric designs. They are often made from synthetic materials like polyester or microfiber, and they are perfect for creating a sleek, minimalist look in the bedroom.
Seasonal and holiday-themed shams
Seasonal and holiday-themed shams are a fun and festive way to add a touch of whimsy to the bedroom. They often feature seasonal motifs like snowflakes or pumpkins, and they are perfect for adding a pop of color and personality to the room. Seasonal and holiday-themed shams are typically made from cotton or polyester, and they are available in a wide range of styles and colors.
How to incorporate shams in home decor
Ideas for using shams in different rooms of the house
Shams are not just limited to the bedroom. They can be used in a variety of ways to add style and comfort to different rooms in the house. For example, shams can be used to add a pop of color and texture to a couch or chair in the living room. They can also be used to create a cozy reading nook in a corner of the room. In the dining room, shams can be used to create a luxurious seating arrangement for special occasions.
Tips for matching shams with other home decor elements
When it comes to matching shams with other home decor elements, it’s important to consider the color scheme and style of the room. For example, if you have a neutral-colored bedspread, you can add pops of color with patterned shams. If you have a bold and colorful bedspread, it’s best to stick with solid-colored shams in a coordinating color.
How to choose the right size and color for shams
When selecting shams for your home decor, it’s important to choose the right size and color. Euro shams are typically 26 inches by 26 inches and work well as a decorative accent in the bedroom. Standard shams are typically 20 inches by 26 inches and work well when used in pairs on a twin or full-size bed. King shams are typically 20 inches by 36 inches and work well on a king-size bed. When it comes to color, it’s best to choose a shade that complements the color scheme of the room.
Benefits of using shams in home decor
Enhancing the aesthetics of a room
Shams are a simple yet effective way to enhance the aesthetics of a room. They can add color, texture, and pattern to a bed, couch, or chair, creating a cohesive and stylish look. With so many styles and colors to choose from, shams are a versatile accessory that can complement any home decor theme.
Adding comfort and warmth to bedding and seating
Shams can add an extra layer of comfort and warmth to bedding and seating. They can provide extra support for your head and neck while sleeping, or they can be used as a backrest while sitting on the couch or chair. Additionally, shams made from soft and cozy materials like cotton or linen can provide added warmth on chilly nights.
Creating a cohesive and stylish home decor theme
Using shams in your home decor can help create a cohesive and stylish theme throughout the house. By selecting shams that complement the color scheme and style of the room, you can tie together different elements of the decor, creating a unified look. This can make your home feel more inviting and put together, creating a space that you and your guests will love spending time in.
Care and maintenance of shams
Cleaning and washing instructions for different types of shams
To keep your shams looking their best, it’s important to follow the cleaning and washing instructions for the specific type of sham you have. Cotton and linen shams can typically be machine washed in cold water and tumble dried on low heat. Silk shams should be hand washed in cold water and hung to dry. Synthetic shams can usually be machine washed in warm water and dried on low heat. Always check the care label before washing your shams to ensure you are following the correct instructions.
How to store shams to prolong their lifespan
Proper storage is key to prolonging the lifespan of your shams. When not in use, shams should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Avoid storing shams in plastic bags, as this can trap moisture and lead to mold and mildew growth. Instead, store shams in breathable cotton or linen bags. To prevent creases and wrinkles, shams should be folded neatly and stored in a drawer or on a shelf.
Tips for refreshing and reviving old or worn shams
Over time, shams can become worn or lose their shape. To refresh and revive old or worn shams, try these tips:
- Fluff the shams by hand or in the dryer with a damp cloth to restore their shape.
- Use a fabric steamer or iron on a low heat setting to remove wrinkles.
- Spot clean stains with a mild detergent and water.
- For yellowing or discoloration, soak shams in a solution of cold water and oxygen bleach for a few hours before washing.
In conclusion, shams are a versatile and stylish accessory that can add comfort, warmth, and personality to your home decor. To keep your shams looking their best, it’s important to follow the proper care and maintenance instructions for the specific type of sham you have. By cleaning and storing your shams correctly and reviving old or worn shams, you can prolong their lifespan and continue to enjoy their beauty and functionality for years to come.