How has living in Paris and London influenced your design choices?
The colors of Paris – the paintings, the old hotel particuliers, the fine textiles – have added to my appreciation for refined style. The beautiful composition of shop windows at a French charcuterie or a London fishmonger has affected my styling. Spending time in Europe and being brought up by people who appreciated fine and artistic things set my 'style DNA.'

How did you come up with the idea for washable silk bedding?
In 1991, we were the first to throw dupione silk table linens into the washer, so I knew that washable silk bedding would work. And I am a mother of five kids and one dog; washable silk is practical and elegant.

How important is thread count?
Thread count does not tell you if the threads are 'single insertion' or 'double insertion' or even 'triple insertion'. The more threads twisted together – which would be the double or triple – the thicker and rougher the fabric becomes, especially after washing. Single insertion may not give you the highest (thread count), but it will give you the nicest sheeting. Also, the cotton fiber, called a staple, should be the best you can buy and extra-long. This adds to the smoothness and hand-feel of the fabric.

How does your background as an interior designer impact your bedding designs?
It allows me to think a little bit outside the box. I appreciate scale and texture and treat the bed as a little painting or a still life that I adjust until it feels right. I believe room design is a similar process. Plus I am not afraid of fabric!

What are the most essential elements in creating a cozy bedroom?
The right temperature, great lighting and, without a doubt, a fabulous Ann Gish bed!

What is always on your bedside table?
A mirror, a glass of water, my eyeglasses, a book, and heart-shaped rocks my husband finds for me.

What are the 6 elements in your home that best reflect you and your style?

  1. A good kitchen, because I really enjoy cooking.
  2. Interesting original art – visual stimulation is a part of my life.
  3. Good music to reflect or change my mood.
  4. A small area of 'Personal Mess.'
  5. Lots and lots of books.
  6. Photographs of those I love and times I have loved.

Is there anything you haven't done that you would like to do?
I would like to be a dog groomer; my pleasure on the weekends is cutting my wheaten terrier's long and dreadlocked coat. Also, a real luxury for me would be to have more volunteer time.

Ann Gish