Shopping for Blankets

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As evenings turn colder, blankets are useful just about everywhere: by the fire, in front of the television, on top of the bed. But they work well as decorative accents at almost any time of year — especially when they have vibrant colors and patterns.

A large-scale textile like a blanket “can add a lot of interest to a bedroom,” said Katie Ridder, the New York-based interior designer. “Most of the space is usually taken up by the bed, so it’s a nice place to have beautiful textiles.”

Ms. Ridder changes blankets with the seasons — “Cotton for the summer and wool for the winter,” she said — often using them to add a punch of color to a room.

And because wool blankets can last for decades, she has amassed a large collection over the years. “In my closet, I have stacks of different sizes and colors,” she said, including a pair of blankets with a herringbone design that she and her husband, the architect Peter Pennoyer, received as a wedding gift 32 years ago.

“They’re a little moth-eaten,” she added. “But we still have them.”

  • How large does a blanket need to be if you’re putting it on a bed? Big enough to tuck in tightly on three sides of the mattress, Ms. Ridder said, although you could use a smaller blanket as a throw at the foot of the bed.

  • Can a blanket replace a duvet? In summer, Ms. Ridder often likes to use a simple cotton blanket instead of a duvet. In winter, a light wool blanket can be layered between a top sheet and a duvet, she said, or a heavier one could replace the duvet.

  • What should you do with old blankets that have holes? “I like to make decorative pillows out of them,” Ms. Ridder said.


Organic cotton blanket with geometric pattern

Organic cotton blanket with geometric pattern; From $98 at Coyuchi: 888-418-8847 or

Wool blanket woven in the Pacific Northwest

From $269 at Pendleton: 877-996-6599 or

Blanket with fringe, made from recycled clothing

$108 at Trek Light Gear:

Blanket made with recycled wool and other fibers

$66 at the Tartan Blanket Co.: 011-44-131-516-9229 or

Black-striped wool blanket with oversized pom-poms

$545 at L’Aviva Home: 212-625-9605 or

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