Build a Better Bed
Styling your bedroom for a good night’s sleep
Story and Photos by Amanda Stewart
Department stores and bedding boutiques have an unparalleled ability to layer and collect sumptuous accruements of pillows and blankets to create a heavenly version of the slumber experience. However, the average domestic has neither the budget nor the patience to remove nine pillows and six blankets before crawling into bed at the end of the day. Is it possible to design a bedding scenario that is both pleasing to the eye and welcoming to the weary soul, while at the same time creating a minimal housekeeping burden? Let’s explore a formula that does all of that, in addition to solving the common bedsharing problem of ideal temperature for sleep!
First layer: White sheets. Most of us have more than enough choices to make in a day, so in an effort to ease decision fatigue, just go ahead and accept that white sheets are the ultimate first layer in your new bedding experience. White sheets are the easiest to clean, and they make it glaringly obvious that they are soiled (thanks, rainy Sandhills spring weather that supplies all the muddy pawprints on my own white sheets!) White is timeless, easy to find in any budget, and completely versatile. To top it all off, white sheets have a calming effect on your mood, leaving you sleeping soundly all night long!
Second layer: The solid color quilt. After layering the fitted and flat sheets, and the crisp white pillowcases on the bed, continue to keep it simple with a solid color quilt. Pull up to three colors from a painting or a pillow to serve as the inspiration piece for your bedding, and then select a quilt in one of those colors. Layer pillowcases of the same texture and color in front of the white ones already on the bed. I promise this design is about to get more exciting!
Third layer: The foot of the bed. Here’s where a few marriages may get saved. The best trick for accommodating two different sleepers is to ensure that each has their own blanket! The large quilt covering the bed belongs to sleeper A, and sleeper B gets their very own twin size duvet. Now is the time to have fun with pattern as well. Take out the three colors from your inspiration piece once again, and next select a twin-size duvet and matching pillow covers in those colors. If you’re bold, skip the previous solid color pillow cases in favor of this patterned one, and fold the duvet in half horizontally at the foot of the bed. Now you are ready for dual-sleeping habits OR a quick midday nap that doesn’t disturb the entire setup.
Side note: Feel free to switch up the duvet/quilt scenario. Whichever one covers the entire bed should have the opposite texture as the one for the foot of the bed.
Final layer: One fun touch — add one throw pillow to the head of the bed, centered on the pillows. Perhaps this pillow is your inspiration piece for the whole room, or maybe it just incorporates all three colors in your chosen color scheme. Pick something with texture and interest — maybe velvet, perhaps embroidery — just make it interesting! A jaunt to a local home décor store is sure to inspire you, and the search for just one pillow will hardly overwhelm your senses or your budget.
Extra credit: If you are up for the challenge, find a fun throw blanket to layer over the duvet at the foot of the bed. Tasseled throw blankets are a great way to add playfulness to your space. If you want to attempt pattern mixing, keep the blanket in the same color palette as your duvet, but look for the opposite type of pattern: if your duvet is a smaller, tight pinstripe, go for a larger, bolder pattern in the throw blanket. Make sure you stick to the colors in your inspiration piece!
With the heat of summer growing quickly upon us, these fresh, practical ideas are a fairly foolproof and easy-to-follow plan to freshen up your bedroom and entice peaceful sleep at the same time.
More Bedroom Styling Tips
Hang art between 4-8 inches above your bed, and make sure the width is between 50-75% of the size of your headboard.
Find nightstands that are within 1-2” of the height of your mattress. This ensures comfort when you are reaching for that glass of water in the middle of the night or putting your phone to bed before drifting off to sleep yourself.
Finally, when selecting a bedside lamp, the circumference of the lampshade should not be larger than the side table.