8 Ways to Style a Bed

by Dair Rose

Styling a bed is an art form

Just walk into a home store or flip through a design catalog and you’ll find one picture-perfect bed after the other.

But you don’t have to be a pro to create an incredibly inviting style statement in your own bedroom. Whether you prefer crisp and classic or more offbeat, there’s an idea for every style. Here, we’ve rounded up our favorite looks, from traditional to textured, along with the best ways to bring them to life.

 Image by @chrislovesjulia


Cover your traditional bed with a tucked-in quilt and a lofty duvet, both featuring subtle palettes and/or patterns. Lean two standard-sized pillows with pillowcases that match your sheets against the headboard or wall, followed by two euro pillows with shams that correspond to your quilt or duvet. In cold weather, sleep under the duvet and use your quilt as an accent. In warm weather, sleep under the quilt and fold the duvet at the foot of your bed. This is a good beginning template for many of the following looks.


Instead of using color and print, layer on tons of texture to add interest to a soft, neutral palette—a cozy pile of crocheted accent pillows and a nubby blanket or a woven throw at the foot of the bed. Linen sheets are a great choice for your base layers due to their naturally tactile and textural feel.

Image by @raddatattchazz


Create a riot of color and pattern on the bed with a mix of motifs and hues. To keep the look cohesive, choose prints in the same color family and vary the scale (i.e., pair a larger print with a smaller print). Here’s also a chance to think outside the box and substitute a standard quilt or throw with a statement-making tapestry or cloth—perhaps a piece you’ve picked up on your travels.

Image by @reserve_home


Layer on luxe fabrics with a sheen—think sateens, velvets, chenilles, metallics and faux furs. Start with sheets and duvet in a neutral palette, then pile on the colorful accents in a mix of materials. Or go for a deeper-hued duvet and keep the accents more muted. Rich jewel tones and soft pastels work equally well to create that look of sophisticated glamour.


Sometimes you just want to keep things super simple and user-friendly. For this style, the most important element is your top (and only) layer, so choose a duvet cover, quilt or bedspread that you love, whether it’s minimalist or bold. Pull the cover all the way up over your standard-sized pillows, or fold the top down and stack your pillows neatly on top. And you’re done!

Image by @amerrymishap


The messy topknot of bed styles, this consciously casual style is one of our favorites. It’s the “anti-style” style, where the bed manages to look great without being properly made. A light, neutral palette works best, and embrace, don’t fight, the natural crinkles your linens acquire in the dryer. Feel free to toss on pillows and throws with wild abandon. 


This look works well if you have a stylish bed frame you want to show off. Forgo the fluffy duvet for a sleek coverlet, which you’ll tuck in with hospital corners just the same as you would with a top sheet. Add warmth and color with a patterned throw layered along the foot of the bed and an accent pillow or two. If you don’t want to show off your bed frame, try a bedskirt.

Remember: when it comes to styling your bed, the only rule is to always start with a great set of sheets—from there, think of your bed as a blank canvas and have fun layering away.