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How to layer and style a bed like a designer is easier than you think! Let’s show you every yummy textured layer and discuss how to make a bed you can’t wait to sink in to.
You know you’ve nailed your bed making skills when you can’t wait to make your bed everyday!
Perhaps I am still in the “honeymoon stage” of having a finished room, but I’m as giddy as a school girl when I get to make and style the bed everyday. I’m equally as excited to sink into our bed after a long day of homemaking, homeschooling, and content creating.
After studying how designers style beds, I landed on a layered approach that just exudes luxury, comfort and seasonality.
My layered approach is over-the-top delicious, and I don’t care who knows it! Perhaps I’ll bring you a “minimalist bed” someday, but today is all about oodles of texture and layers!
So, get ready to make yourself a better-than-a-hotel bed, one layer at a time!
WATCH US MAKE THE BED!
YOUR MATTRESS: THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR BED
It all starts with a good mattress! We spend 1/3 of our lives in bed, so make sure your body is happy with what it is laying on.
For years we thought memory foam was as good as it got, but thanks to the sponsor of this post, Savvy Rest, we now know better.
Most mattresses (including memory foam) are full of chemicals and VOC’s. Savvy Rest creates an organic latex mattress made from the sap of the rubber tree and encased in organic cotton.
We have been sleeping on the Serenity Mattress, which we were able to customize for each side of the bed to his and her liking. We topped it off with the Vitality mattress topper – which is an absolute dream!
Please read more about this on my post I did all about why you might want to switch to an organic mattress.
You can also use the coupon code “TIDBITS” to save 20% on your purchase at Savvy Rest!
LAYER 1: MATTRESS PROTECTOR
A mattress is one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your home, so be sure and protect it! There are all sorts of mattress protectors on the market, and I’ve tried a lot of them.
My favorite of all time has been this organic cotton mattress protector from Savvy Rest. It doesn’t have that vinyl, plastic feel that most have and it is super breathable.
I find it just adds to the comfort of our mattress, without a peep of sound or rustle. I love that it is waterproof without a stitch of vinyl!
Why do you need a mattress protector?
A mattress protector will keep your mattress looking good! Spills, accidents, sweat and body oils will collect on the protector and not your mattress – which is a whole lot easier to wash and cheaper to replace.
LAYER 2: FITTED SHEET
When it comes to your sheets, you have many choices! Cotton, printed, white, colored, bamboo, knit, woven, thread count, luxury or thrift store (ewe) . . . but I prefer to keep it simple.
Linen. Always 100% pure flax, delectable linen.
Once you know – you know. They are the most cozy, beautifully textured, breathable sheets on the market. It’s pure heaven. I’ve given my family strict instructions to bury me in linen.
I’ve bought linen sheets from many places, including etsy, amazon, speciality brands . . . you name it. As long as they are 100% linen – you are good to go.
However, I’m delighted to share a new-to-me source for linen bedding! Have you heard of Quince? Their prices and quality of linen bedding is incredible! I even priced what it would cost me to buy linen fabric and make my own – and their still came out cheaper.
Linen sheets are more expensive than your standard sheets. But do what I do and sell whatever you can on Facebook Marketplace and invest in linen sheets and bedding.
2 sets of sheets are always better, but I only ever have invested in one set at a time and wash and re-dress the bed on the same day. It feels and smells so good to climb in to.
Tips for Choosing a Fitted Sheet
1 – Check the depth of the fitted sheet with the depth of your mattress. You want it to have plenty of tuck in room so they don’t pull up in the night.
2 – Fitted sheets wear out faster than the top sheet. Rather than replacing both at the same time, just replace the fitted sheet when needed and see how long the top sheet will last.
3 – Turn your old sheets into tea towels with my DIY tutorial! Yep, I seriously do that. Linen can never go to waste!
4 – If you are unsure of the color, you can’t go wrong with white sheets! If you are nervous white will stain too fast, I suggest a natural linen/oatmeal type color. Want to have some fun with color? Go ahead and choose different colors for the fitted and flat sheet.
LAYER 3: FLAT or TOP SHEET
The flat sheet will go on top of the fitted sheet – which I am sure you are already aware of. But I have been to hotels or airbnb’s that seem to miss this idea, and have left off the flat top sheet. It just feels a bit un-nerving wondering if they have washed the blanket or duvet that is directly touching your (and other people’s) skin.
Again, I prefer linen sheets. If the sight of the natural wrinkling of linen bothers you, you may want to consider a linen/cotton mix. However – once you embrace that perfectly imperfect trait of linen, you’ll have been completely liberated and can enjoy linen to your hearts content.
BED MAKING TIP #1
Only tuck in the flat sheet at the footboard/base of the bed before you layer on more. You’ll work on the sides after all the layers that need tucking are placed on top.
LAYER 4: THIN QUILT OR BLANKET
Place a very thin blanket or quilt on top of the flat sheet. In the warmer months, a top sheet and this thin blanket is likely all you will need. The rest can be pulled back.
In the cooler months, you can layer up with the other layers to come. Adding all these layers from the beginning gets you the perfectly styled bed look, with the ability to adapt as the seasons go. There is no need to store any extra blankets elsewhere in the home when you layer appropriate from the get-go.
I like this layer to have a little color or pattern. It will peak out ever-so-nicely from all the plush layers, without feeling so overwhelming.
If you are looking for some thin blankets, I have fallen in love with handblock quilts on Etsy. They come in so many patterns and colors and are super thin and breathable. The only downside is that they are not linen.
BED MAKING TIP #2
I opted to NOT fold down this thin blanket or the sheets. You certainly can, but I like the look of this pattern with the thicker layers being folded down to show it. At this point, I tuck in the sides of the flat sheet and this thinner sheet. It looks nice and snug while keeping it all clean, even if you decide to plop down on your cloud of comfort for an afternoon nap.
LAYER 5: THICKER QUILT OR BLANKET
Adding in a thicker quilt is a great opportunity to bring in more color, texture and warmth.
Quince has this oatmeal colored, square quilted blanket that I adore. I price compared them to the same style of blanket found at Parachute, and Quince’s is cheaper by over $100 and it is 100% linen front and back – making it cozy and breathable.
BED MAKING TIP #3
Fold down this thicker quilt once, showing enough of the thinner quilt per your desire.
LAYER 6: DUVET AND/OR COMFORTOR
Raise you hand if you love a fluffy linen duvet?! (Imagine me jumping off my seat waving 2 hands in the air).
I think this linen bedding set from Quince is a great bargain too!
Why do you need a Duvet?
1 – There is no better way to add that jump-in plushness to a bed than a duvet with a duvet cover.
2 – You can add variety to your bed easily by swapping out the duvet cover or making or buying a reversible duvet cover.
3 – It is easier to wash a duvet cover than to wash a decorative comforter. The batting inside comforters do not hold up well after being washed.
4 – Never be cold in your bed again! A comforter covered in a duvet is the warmest, coziest thing this world has to offer.
5 – A white or neutral duvet cover can provide you with the perfect backdrop to play around with other colors and patterns in your bedding. It makes a perfect blank canvas for you to paint on during any season or whim you find yourself in.
BED MAKING TIP #4
Fold down your duvet twice (or in thirds), but not past the edge of the folded down quilt. This way all edges are covered nicely inside of each other and the triple fold adds major oomph!
LAYER 7: SLEEP PILLOWS WITH PILLOWCASES
How many sleep pillows do you need? – you ask. For each sleeper/side of the bed, it is best to layer up 2 sleep pillows with the appropriate sized pillowcases.
You will likely only sleep on one, but it is very nice to have 2 stacked up on each other for the night time reading and relaxing.
BED MAKING TIP #5
Sure, you could do both of these pillows with the same color and style of pillowcase . . . but what’s the fun in that?!
I suggest a tone-on-tone look, with maybe 1 white pillowcase and 1 off-white pillowcase. I used the pillowcases that came in my linen bedding set from Quince, and then mixed up the color and look with these beautiful pillowcases from Saphyr linen. I do love the edging on their linen bedding!
White pillowcases do tend to yellow faster when slept on, so I like to put the darker pillowcases on the pillow we are actually sleeping on.
LAYER 8: EURO SHAMS OR EXTRA LARGE SQUARE PILLOWS
Time to layer up on decorative pillows! Yes, they will all get stacked on the floor when you sleep. Yes, your bed buddy might complain about the quantity. And yes – it is 100% worth it!
How many pillows do you need on your bed?
That is personal preference of course, but here is a formula I recommend.
Start your “pillow stack” (as I like to call it) with big square pillows. I recommend 24 x 24 inches, or thereabouts. Simply rest them agains the sleeping pillows.
These large square pillows are typically called called Euro Shams – but you can simply buy or make covers for a 24 x 24 pillow insert if that is easier to find.
I prefer these larger pillows to play off the color of the headboard, and be more neutral in color and pattern. This way the other decorative pillows in the stack really pop!
How many euro shams do I need on my bed?
This is a good formula to start with:
King Bed: 3 euro shams
Queen or Full Bed: 2 euro shams
Twin Bed: 1 euro sham
I found my linen pillows/euro shams at a boutique type store (but I think a lot of them were the Magnolia Brand).
I love the fact that they are two-toned, which allows me to play with the design from time to time. Swapping out pillows for the seasons is my one weakness.
I usually make pillow covers, since they are so fun and easy to make. But when you find the perfect ones at the store . . . you just bring them home.
BED MAKING TIP #6
Learn to perfect the art of the pillow karate chop. You are going to need it for all these pillows!
And I recommend a down filled pillow insert – they chop the best!
LAYER 9: THROW OR LUMBAR PILLOWS
The next pillows in the pillow stack should be smaller in size and number than your first pillow layer.
King Bed: 2 pillows
Queen or Full: 1 pillow
Twin: 1 pillow
You can opt for more square shapes, or try an elongated lumbar pillow.
This second stack of pillows opens up a great opportunity for color and texture. In my case, I went big on the texture, since I was trying to create a very soothing, neutral space.
LAYER 10: SMALL DECORATIVE PILLOW
Lastly, bring it all home with one small decorative pillow, in any shape or size (provided it is smaller than the previous pillows).
King Bed: 1 decorative pillow
Queen or Full Bed: 1 decorative pillow
Twin Bed: may or may not be needed, but one should do the trick.
I bring the most color into this last decorative pillow. A bolster pillow would also work great here.
BED MAKING TIP #7
Each layer of pillows can vary in texture and color! That is what makes this layered bed so interesting!
LAYER 11: END OF BED THROW BLANKET
Finally, you are ready for the cherry on top – the throw blanket. Here is where I found mine.
Why do you need a throw blanket at the end of the bed?
1 – It adds the perfect amount of color, texture or pattern into your bed design and ties it all together.
2 – Sometimes you need to rest and put your feet up during the day. By having a throw blanket where your feet will land, you protect your duvet from getting dirty.
3 – Nap time. Need I say more?
It would be a crime to undo that bed before bedtime, so utilize the throw blanket for a quick shut eye.
BED MAKING TIP #8
Master the art of the throw blanket. Do a casual or not-so-casual toss at the foot of the bed, or if you can find one that extends the width of the bed, run it all the way across.
I still like to let my duvet peek out at the foot of the bed, just to add to the layered look. You can also find bed runners made specifically to just drape over the end of the bed.
Or go all out and drape a coverlet over the duvet and puddle it on the floor. That is a very romantical look!
BONUS LAYER: TEXTURE ON HEADBOARD OR FOOTBOARD
Need just a tad more? I hear ya.
Drape something so full of color or texture on your headboard or footboard. I found this old grain sack that is deliciously aged. It is the perfect addition to our upholstered and slipcovered bed, that we made ourselves!
WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR BED
I have building plans for our bed, if you are an ambitious DIY’er. This is one of our most proudest accomplishments, and can be yours too!
ARE THERE OTHER WAYS TO STYLE A BED?
Skies the limits, my friend. I know it can be overwhelming when you are starting out with a “no clue what to do with you” bed. I hope my simple, clear cut layered approach can get you started.
But just know – in the world of design, rules were made to be broken. Have fun, play around, and get creative. Start a pinterest board and start pinning a variety of beds to see which style speaks to you most.
My biggest word of advice . . . linen.
Always pure, 100%, nubby, wrinkly linen. Amen.
By the way . . .
CHECK OUT MY LINEN SHOP – (it’s purely to satisfy my own obsession).