I’ve recently had the courage to admit something to myself I’ve been afraid to admit for years: I’ve never properly learned how to make a bed. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I understand the basics: a padded sheet for ultimate comfort, the fitted and the flat sheets (even how to make hospital corners!), then finally, the blanket, duvet, or quilt and pillows.
So, why hasn’t my bed ever looked as luxurious and put-together as, say, a bed dressed by Pottery Barn? (Mm-hmm…you’re feel’n me, aren’tcha?)
As luck would have it, the PB in my neighborhood recently hosted a “Design Your Dream Bedroom”, taught by their in-store designer, Judson Winfield Quary. In addition to upping my bed-making acumen, I also learned some very useful bedroom design tips such as these:
1. The size of the room determines how you should decorate. Your bedroom’s square footage will and should dictate your bed size, the scale and proportion of your bedside tables and lamps, how many pieces of furniture to place, etc.
2. Paint color is the jumping off point. Once you have this color, you can play with all kinds of textiles and accessories. Note: often times, inspiration for paint color can begin with fabric, but be careful not to go into analysis paralysis – where a pattern offers too many choices. Instead, think K.I.S.S. – keep it simple stupid, and limit your colors to three hues (then stay within 3 shades of your main color for accessories).
3. Play with scale. Just because you have a small-ish-sized room, doesn’t mean you can’t add big impact. Judson suggests we place larger/taller table lamps onto our bedside tables to elevate the drama and look of our rooms.
4. Add accessories behind and above your bed. Mirrors, large paintings or photos, even chandeliers above our beds can increase the effect of our overall design as well. But, be sure to secure/install these items properly.
We then, got to the good stuff…dressing a bed! My main take-away was simply this:
Dress your bed, like you dress yourself!
So often our closets are filled with more color, more texture and more drama than our beds. What’s up with that? Though we’re willing to walk outside our homes dressed with loads of personality, our private bedrooms often lack it. Take a note from your wardrobe and dress your bed like you would yourself!
First, let’s get started with the basics:
1. Cover your mattress (and padded sheet) with your fitted sheet. Tip: we’ve all played the game of figuring out what is the short side and what is the long side. Simply look for the tag that’s typically located inside one corner. Then, after you discover where it belongs (on the right or left side of the foot of the bed), you’ll always know which corner to start with first.
Note: thanks to a weekend stay at friend and HomeJelly staff member, Sara Thomas’s home, we learned of and eventually bought the fabulously soft and luxurious sheets below from Serena & Lilly.
2. Next, place your flat sheet, right side down, with the thick seemed end meeting the very edge of the head of your bed. The reason the sheet should be upside-down is because we are going to eventually fold over the top edge of the sheet onto your blanket, duvet or quilt where you will be able to enjoy its beautiful pattern or color.
3. Tuck in your flat sheet using hospital corners. This method keeps your sheets from being pulled up in the middle of the night and also is very neat and tidy. See photo tutorial below:
4. Place your colorful blanket, duvet or quilt onto your bed with the top end about eight to twelve inches or so below the top sheet. Or, you can fold it over even more dramatically…this part is totally up to you and how you wish to dress your bed!
5. Fold the flat sheet over the blanket so that the pattern is showing.
Now, let’s add some personality!
6. Add 2-3 rows of colorful pillows starting with Euro pillows against the headboard or wall. Then stack or lean regular, Queen, or King-sized pillows, finishing up with smaller to like-sized shammed pillows and/or a bolster. This will give you an orderly, elegant look and, if you so choose to read or watch TV in bed, once you’ve placed the decorative ones in a basket or bin, you’ll have the Euro pillow ready to keep you comfy. Tip: a bolstered or cleverly worded pillow often makes your bed even more inviting.
7. Add bedding texture and layers. By placing a knitted, faux fur or silk throw onto the foot of your bed (or even a table runner – great tip!) you’ll increase your bed’s personality and interest.
8. Interchange your bedding seasonally. We don’t where sweaters and scarves during the summer, so why should our beds endure the same-ol’, same-ol’ look? Switch to lighter covers – both in weight and color to celebrate this relaxed time of year. Tip: if it’s a money-thing, simply switching out a decorative pillow with another in a different color, along with some of your accessories. This can really put a different spin on your space.
If you’d like to learn more how to dress your bed or if you have any room design questions, Potter Barn has fantastic in-home design services as well as in-store design classes…and they’re free!
Now It’s Your Turn!
Do you have any tips on how to dress a bed? We’d love to hear them…please comment below!
All photography by Skaie Knox, HomeJelly.