It’s taken me several years to get to the point that I feel like I have a good system for how I put together bedding to give a bed some personality. In the past, I just used a sheet set, a duvet or comforter, a couple of pillow shams and a throw pillow. Then, I met Sarah from The Yellow Cape Cod at Haven Conference.
Sarah taught a class about styling a room, and I immediately fell in love with the way she put together a bed. When I returned home from the conference, I found the blog post she had referenced in her session. It gave the step by step layers for how she put together her perfect bed.
Sarah and I live in very different climates – she’s in Michigan and I’m in Texas. So, I had to figure out how to adapt her bedding recipe so that my family wouldn’t get too warm at night. I also have slightly different thoughts about how many pillows should be on a bed – probably because I’m so lazy about taking them on and off the bed when I make it.
Using Emma’s room as an example, I wanted to show you my bedding formula for a well dressed bed:
1. Start with good quality, 100% cotton sheets. If the sheets are printed, place the flat sheet with the printed side facing down.
The ones I used for Emma’s bed were a splurge from Land of Nod. I generally would never spend that much money on a sheet set – especially for a kids room – but I couldn’t find anything else that I liked at my usual discount bedding stores. I will say that these have washed extremely well and haven’t faded at all.
2. Cover the sleeping pillows with a pillow protector and then good quality, 100% cotton pillowcases. I prop both pillows side by side against the headboard.
Emma has a full bed, so she has a two sleeping pillows. Both pillows are down and have pillow protectors under the pillowcases. I’m a sleeping drooler (things you never wanted to know about me), so I use pillow protectors. Have king sized pillowcases on standard sized pillows? Read how I easily fix that issue.
3. Add a 100% cotton light-weight blanket or coverlet in a contrasting color from your sheets. Fold the flat sheet over the top of the blanket/coverlet so that the sheet color/pattern shows. Tuck the sheets and blanket/coverlet into the bed rail or under the mattress.
On Emma’s bed, I use a 100% white egyptian cotton coverlet that I bought at Tuesday Morning. White? In a child’s room? Yes! Bleach can be your best friend. For most of the year, she sleeps under just a sheet and that coverlet.
4. Place a down or down alternative comforter into a beautiful duvet cover and fold at the foot of the bed.
For the majority of the year, the duvet stays folded on the foot of Emma’s bed. I love that it provides color on top of the white coverlet. I look at it as a statement necklace on a fabulous outfit. On the coldest nights, I can pull it over Emma when she sleeps to keep her warm. But generally, it’s just “for looks” in our warm climate. If the bed isn’t super low to the ground, I use the duvet/comforter one size larger than the bed itself (other than King). But, if your bed is low to the ground, stick with the same size as your bed.
This particular duvet cover was a huge splurge from Anthropologie, but I felt okay about it because I sold some of her old furniture on Craigslist and and bought her new bed for $35. Splurging always means that I’ve had some big savings elsewhere.
5. In front of the sleeping pillows, place a Euro pillow(s) that coordinates with the duvet cover. On a King bed, I use 3; on a Queen/Full, I use 2; and on a Twin bed, I use 1.
Now that I’ve figured out how to make sure a Euro sham fits its pillow form well, I love using them. The only way I’d skip the Euro pillows now is if my headboard was really low profile and they would end up being taller than the headboard.
6. Add standard shams that coordinate with the blanket/coverlet in front of the Euro pillows.
On Emma’s bed, I used 1 standard sham that matches the coverlet. I generally only follow this step if I have a full/queen bed I’m dressing – one with two Euro pillows. If I have 1 or 3 Euros on a bed, I skip this step completely.
7. Add a contrasting throw pillow.
Since Emma’s bed is a full, I added one down-filled throw pillow in front of her standard sham. This awesome orange one is from Suzi at The Pillow Studio on Etsy. On a king sized bed, I add three throw pillows – two where the Euro pillows meet and one smaller pillow in front of those (like my bed in this post). On a twin bed, I add one large throw pillow in front of the one Euro sham.
And that’s it! It’s really not hard to do, but it makes the room look so well put together. And when you mix colors and patterns, you’ll end up with an eclectic look.
How do you put together your bedding? Do you like the look of my formula?