a simple formula for dressing the bed

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In design I really don’t think there are rights and wrongs; there is only what you like that truly matters. Your space. Your rules. The only opinion that matters is your own. Period. The end. You don’t need approval from your best friend, your mom, or social media. What matters is whether or not you like it. Honestly, I think that’s not only true in design but in life. Today, however, we’re talking about monumental things……..like how to dress the bed. 😉

I think sometimes we struggle trying to figure ourselves out. And as silly as it may sound something as simple as how to dress the bed can be a bit challenging. #firstworldproblems Over the course of the time that I’ve been blogging I’ve received numerous emails from readers asking for help and advice with dressing their beds. I think sometimes we just need a sounding board or a second opinion in order to really figure out what we actually like and want in our spaces. If you’ve ever wandered around the bedding department and felt overwhelmed by the choices or got home and felt jipped because your bed doesn’t look as full or fluffy as the beautiful one on display in the store, well then hopefully this post will be of some help. I’m hardly an expert, but my little formula works for me…..so maybe it’ll work for you too. And if nothing else hopefully you’ll find some little tip or tidbit here to be helpful!
how to dress a bed - a simple formula for dressing the bed
In a bedroom design, I always start by choosing the bedding. The mix of fabrics and textures used to dress the bed usually inspires the rest of the design, and it’s a good jumping off point for the rest of the space. Since the bed is the main attraction in a bedroom, the bedding is kind of the star of the show. I prefer bedding basics that give you options for different looks, so you’re not tied into anything and can make seasonal changes with little effort or money if you wish. My formula is pretty simple; it’s basically a 1, 2, 3 combination – 1. create a color palette – 2. add layers and 3. mix patterns & textures. I’ve found this combination to be pretty fool proof…..for me and what I like anyway.
1. Create a Color Palette
First of all you don’t have to start with an all white bedspread/comforter/quilt if you don’t want to. A solid shade of any color can work as a neutral just as well as white does.
a simple formula for dressing the bed
In addition, a classic pattern, like a stripe or leopard, that you won’t tire of too soon can also be a great choice. I usually start by selecting the bedspread first then I create a color palette around that to coordinate.
a simple formula for dressing the bed - 1. create a color palette - 2. add layers - 3. mix patterns and textures
*Design tip – If you choose to use a duvet, stuff it with not one but two comforters to make it look extra full and fluffy. That’s what they do in the department stores. A little something I learned from years of working retail. 😉
2. Add Layers

a simple formula for dressing the bed
I almost always dress a bed with a folded blanket or throw at the foot of the bed and a mix of pillows. My best advice is to dress your bed the way you’d dress your body. Just like any great outfit, dressing the bed is all about layering. You really don’t have to have a ton of pillows on the bed either, just a couple throw pillows can be simple, to the point and just enough.
a simple formula for dressing the bed
3. Mix Patterns and Textures
Last but not least, a great mix of patterns and textures adds to the appeal and overall look of the whole space. Don’t be afraid to mix and match, so long as the colors coordinate and the scale of the patterns flow it will look great. A good rule of thumb for pattern mixing is – small, medium, large – or – stripe, floral, plaid/check…..but there are always exceptions to the rule so trust your instincts. Stores like HomeGoods and Marshalls make it fairly easing to “audition” items until you find the exact right fit for the role. 😉
a simple formula for dressing the bed
Velvet, cotton, silk, fur, wool, linen………mix up the textures to add interest and make the bed look even more inviting.
*Design tip – Etsy is a great place to shop for affordable throw pillows. Working with small business owners makes it easier to make special requests. Most Etsy shop owners that sell pillows are happy to quote a custom order price so you can do things like – add a monogram, piping to the edge or have your pillow front and back done in different fabrics, which will add to the custom look of your bedding and give you more pattern options.
how to dress a bed - a simple formula for dressing the bed
*If you’re having trouble finding an oversized king sized quilt – check out Macy’s and Overstock……also Target sells a lot more options online than they carry in stores.
So that’s my simple little bedding formula. Hopefully that got your creative juices flowing if you’ve been struggling with pulling your own look together. Sleep is so essential to a healthy life….it really should be done in style. 😉
Here are a few favorites………
how to dress a bed
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