How to Style a Bed – Expert Advice
Your bed should be the dreamiest, most luxurious spot in your home – there’s no question about it. You spend (or at the very least, should be spending) seven or eight hours there per night, so turning it into a cosy paradise that you can sink into at the end of a long day is a task worth prioritising. If your bed needs a little love, though, knowing where to start is difficult.
Take your bed design to the next level this year with a couple of hot tips from our team of expert Brosa stylists. From picking the perfect bed base and headboard, to creating comfort and sprucing up your space with colour and patterns, here’s your go-to guide on how to style a bed you’ll love.
Our top bed design tips
The first step towards a better bed is assessing your current setup, including your bed base and bed head, or alternatively, your all-in-one bed frame. Get these elements right to lay a great foundation for the smaller stuff, like linens, throw pillows and blankets.
Start with your bed base or frame
Your bed itself can have a huge bearing on the efficacy of your styling. After all, there’s no use putting time and effort into curating a gorgeous bundle of sheets, blankets, doonas and throws to draw upon when your bed is less than ideal.
If you’re working with a bed base, you’ll want to ensure it’s stable, supportive and solid. See any noticeable breaks in the slats, or feel a little unstable when you lie down? It’s time to trade it in. Remember, your bed base has to support your weight (and perhaps a partner’s, too) every single day – and there’s no better investment than a good night’s sleep. Consider the same things when analysing your bed frame.
Stylistically, your base or frame is also central to establishing the right bedroom vibe. If you’re starting fresh, try to align your choice of bed with the other furniture items in your space, such as the dresser, wardrobe or bedside tables. Light wood is always a solid choice as it’s easy to adapt to practically any style, including Scandinavian, coastal and mid century modern.
Highlight your bed head
Your bedhead is a stylistic choice in and of itself – it sets the tone for the rest of your bed styling, and has a unique point of view that ideally will tie in with the rest of your bedroom’s aesthetic. So, if you’re selecting from a range of bed headboards, or are weighing up whether to trade yours in for a new one, don’t underestimate how crucial they are to the whole operation.
While you’ll see tonnes of variety when shopping for bed heads, the two most popular kinds are wooden bed heads and fabric bed heads. Depending on their colour, embellishments and finish, wooden bed heads can establish a rustic look, with warmer tones and a rougher texture, or a more relaxed, boho style, using interesting shapes and blonde wood hues. Meanwhile, a fabric bed head has a cleaner and more luxurious feel. They come upholstered in a range of different fabrics, including traditional cotton, edgy leather, eclectic velvet, or on-trend boucle, just to name a few. They’re the perfect addition to a modern contemporary, traditional or Art Deco bedroom, whereas wood has a more coastal, Hamptons or Scandinavian vibe.
How to build a dreamy bed from the ground-up
With a great base to work from, it’s time to explore the other facet of the styling process – turning your bed into a comfy, cosy and relaxing place to be with linens and decor. Where your sheets and duvet (or doona, or whatever you’d like to call it…) establish a soft spot to lay your head at night, they have stylistic elements, too, which when combined with pillows and blankets, form your bed’s persona. Here are a few things to keep in mind throughout the process of curating your bedding.
Lay the foundations
What better way to approach this process than like we’re making the bed? Your bed sheets are what you sleep directly on every day, so they’re the perfect place to start. When you’re selecting your fitted and flat sheets (if you use these), material will be a big consideration.
A few common choices for material include bamboo, linen, cotton, flannel and silk, all of which have a different look and feel, and vary in terms of care and quality. If you’re going for a super-soft feel, bamboo might be your best bet, whereas linen will grow softer over time, and does a great job of circulating the heat and air – a fantastic pick in practically any temperature. If you’re in a cold climate, flannel might be a better option, whereas ‘old faithful’ cotton is always reliable, especially if you’re on a budget or are simply not sure what to choose!
Sheets should always be true to standard bed sizes, so once you’ve selected a material that works for you and your needs, grab your favourites in single, double, queen, king or super king, depending on your bed base and mattress.
Make a statement – or keep it simple
The next step of the process is finding a quilt cover, duvet or doona that amplifies the style you’re going for. With so many incredible options out there, channelling your personality through your bedding has become an easy (and very fun!) task.
Just like your bed sheets, there are a number of popular materials to choose from for your doona or quilt cover, including cotton, flannel, silk, and ultra on-trend linen. Keep in mind that selecting a material for your doona is a little different to picking out sheets – if you’re the type to use a top sheet, your body won’t actually make tonnes of contact with your bed covers. Make sure to think about how easy or difficult your quilt or quilt cover will be to wash, too – linen, for instance, might need to be air-dried, whereas silk is a prime candidate for a cold hand wash!
Once you’ve got your material on lock, the other major thing to think about when selecting a doona or duvet cover is the colour and/or pattern. You’ve essentially got free rein here, but your bed head and the existing aesthetic in the room will definitely play a role! Because your bed linen will take up quite a lot of space, it’s a great opportunity to make a statement, or if you prefer, to use a neutral colour that’ll tie everything in the room together. Consider patterns and unique textures and materials like tufting, corduroy, jacquard and tassels – all incredible ways to add a little flair to a piece that’s otherwise subtle to the naked eye.
Add supportive pillows
Next up comes your pillows, AKA your literal support system while you sleep. Having quality pillows isn’t something to be scoffed at; in fact, ask any chiropractor and they’ll tell you that your bed pillows are key to your wellbeing and to preventing neck and back damage in the future.
Pillows come in all shapes and sizes, and are made from a bunch of different materials that offer varied benefits. If you like a dense, firm pillow, memory foam will do the trick, whereas down or feather-filled pillows provide a much softer, plusher feel. When you’re selecting your pillow, make sure it’s the right size and shape to fit the pillowcases that’ll likely come hand-in-hand with your sheets and/or doona cover. Pop those bad boys onto the bed, and get ready for an amazing sleep!
Include Europeans for a little luxury
If you love the feeling of sinking into an uber-cosy bed, European pillows are a must-buy. These large, square cushions are designed to sit behind your traditional pillows, propping both them and you up comfortably, and adding some height and dimension to the bed’s styling. They look and feel very luxurious, but are a simple and relatively cheap way to elevate the appearance of your bed.
When it comes to your Euros, you’ve got the option of selecting a coordinating or a contrasting colour. For a subtle, laid-back look, keep things in line with your other bedding bits. If you like a bit of drama, or are keen to play with bolder, brighter hues, this is a fantastic opportunity to add a pop of colour that ties in with the rest of the room.
Throw on the cushions
The last two steps associated with curating a gorgeous, enviable bed are all about your ‘bed decor’. Let’s start by discovering how to decorate a bed with cushions. Throw pillows are an amazing way to add heaps of personality, depth and fun to your bed setup, so they shouldn’t be overlooked! Once you’ve got your main pillows and optional Europeans in place, you’ll want to source anywhere between two and five throw pillows to give the look some dimension – creating a unique opportunity to mix up your colours and textures in the meantime.
There are no rules when it comes to throw pillow styling, but here are a few handy hints. Start with a neutral base colour for one to two of the pillows – white, cream and tan are all good colour options. If you love the eclectic look, opt for pieces with varying textures to keep things interesting. Then, select an accent colour from somewhere in the room (perhaps it’s the same shade as your Euros) and grab another one or two pillows that reflect this choice. Once again, adding in depth with texture is always a good idea – we love velvet, tassels, woollen tufting, shiny jacquard, boucle and more. Finally, top it all off with a final contrast colour that’s dotted around the room in minimal ways; perhaps a green pulled from the leaves of a plant, or your favourite shade from a standout piece of artwork.
You can also mix up the shapes of your throw pillows – the more variation, the better! Use a few traditional square pieces and juxtapose them with a longer, rectangular throw pillow (also known as lumbar pillows) or even a whimsical circular cushion.
Add the finishing touches
Finally, top things off – quite literally – with a blanket or throw. If you’re living in a cold climate, you might like to invest in a good quality blanket that’ll preserve warmth and provide a snuggly texture for those chilly nights. In more temperate areas, a throw will likely suffice, especially in the hot summer months. Although they can definitely add some warmth when things get cool of an evening or early morning, throws are decorative first, and present another fantastic way to channel your interior design style in the bedroom.
To really make the most of your blanket and throw, you’ll want to switch up two things – colour and texture. While it’s easy to select something similar to your duvet or doona cover, and fade into the background as a result, this is an unmatched opportunity to have a little fun! Select an accent colour that’s already in the space in some capacity – maybe it’s the same tone as one of your throw pillows or your Europeans. Then, add a little visual interest with a unique texture or pattern. This will ensure your throw stands out from the rest of the bed without looking out of place or inconsistent.