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  • Writer's pictureKristina Browning

Frustrated with Aesthetic of Bedroom: Bed Making options

Updated: Jan 30, 2022

Nikki Ibbotson posed a question to the Home Space and Reason group Facebook page:

"Hi, I'm in the UK and was traditionally brought up using a duvet/comforter on my bed. Due to medical reasons I'm now too warm to use this arrangement so I've been using empty polycotton duvet covers and the occasional blanket. I've decided that I prefer this so I'd like to invest in some better quality flat sheets and blankets to dress my bed nicely. I feel a bit foolish because I can't find any tutorial or other information on how to make my bed in this way. I'm hoping someone on this page will be able to point me in the right direction."

What an interesting question! I love mentally chewing on things and I had never thought about "the HOW" of making a bed...because YOU ARE many ways, so many looks etc.

We've all seen a zillion beautiful beds, from Pinterest to Instagram. There are layered beds, beds that embrace minimalism, boho beds with elaborate draping above them and overstuffed beds that look so fluffy, you think they may eat you up. What Nikki touched on above in her question is: "What do I PERSONALLY need to sleep well and what style and options support what I need?" GREAT QUESTIONS to chew on!

Some questions to ask yourself about your own needs:

  1. Do I sleep hot or cold and therefore do I need less warmth or more?

  2. What is my lifestyle like? Let's choose a "recipe" for your bed that you can maintain day in and day out.

  3. Do I have pets in my bed? If you have animals in or on your bed, be aware of using sheets, blankets or duvets that attract and KEEP hair. Also think about the color. A navy duvet might be a terrible choice for a dog with white fur that sleeps at the foot of the bed.

  4. What is my style in the rest of the room and what would balance it?

Now that you've answered these questions above, start narrowing down the "looks" you've pinned only to those that actually fit YOUR needs. If you sleep hot, for example, remove all the images of overstuffed and multi blanketed beds. This won't suit you in real life. Use breathable cotton sheets made out of percale or sateen. If you have a lot going on in your bedroom, maybe it's time to pair down the chaos anyway, because nothing makes a bedroom more restful than a quiet ambient.

I'm told that hotels use two flat sheets to ensure a precise fit with no wrinkles.

Think in layers, even if the layers are the same color, it adds interest and allows you to pull up a blanket when you're cold or roll it back on warmer nights. This image below is a guest room at the Westin Siray Bay Resort and Spa in Phuket, Thailand. Photo by The Westin. This illustrates the layers, even when it's the same color. Notice that top "blanket" is more like a sheet... they all remain washable and minimal making it a place of rest.

Here, they have a plain bed skirt removing the "view" under the bed. A mattress pad is another item to consider when thinking of comfort and luxury. See how they have nothing at the end in the photo above? Compare that to the photo below where things are tucked and there is a "stripe" created with a blanket to pull up if you get cold. See how the pillows stand up on the photo above? Compare that to the photo below where they lay flat in a stack. Both the photo above and photo below have two sheets (flat sheet for top, flat sheet for bottom) + another thicker washable "cover" - albeit not much thicker. Notice the stripe in the sheet below matches. Both the top and bottom photos embrace that relaxing minimalist feel to support sleep.

Here's a blog post by J. Later design with a lovely diagram breaking the components down with labels along with many lovely visuals of more maximalist layers.

This bed below is also layered, but uses way more color, less discipline and less clean lines. This is an image (with credit to Anewall for the photo...they do fabulous mural wallpapers BTW) that shows off a layered Boho look.

What kind of blankets are good to use? I am a fan of the Wirecutter website where people test items in one topic and let us know their options of what is good and worth while and what isn't. I was tickled to find an article just on BLANKETS!! They break down what blanket they feel is best for what season or...if you sleep warm, for example. Note: The LL Bean "Maine-Made cotton twill blanket" featured in the article looks almost identical to the one in the photo above draped at the end of the bed. If you have kids who jump into bed with you daily or cats that love to knead things, avoid blankets with a loose weave as they will get messier faster.

What is thread count all about? The nitty gritty of this is explained well in this article by How Stuff Works. I found this fascinating because Consumer Reports literally found it impossible for 800 or 1200 thread counts to be a "real number." Bed, Bath & Beyond even got sued over this! Yikes. If you scroll to the bottom of this article I linked to earlier in this paragraph, you will find a Thread Count FAQ that is fascinating!

"Thread count actually has very little to do with staying cool while you sleep; material is way more important. Lightweight fabrics like bamboo, linen, and some cotton blends are all great choices if you tend to sweat overnight."

Steps in making your bed:

  1. Put your two flat sheets on // neat and tidy

  2. Put on your next blanket on and fold down the top sheet over it 1/4 down the length of the bed. Tuck in along with your sheets. Here's an article from HGTV on how to do hospital corners.

  3. Add pillows...standing or flat

  4. Add a duvet or blanket over top...can be full coverage or folded at the foot of the bed. Choose whether you will tuck this in or not (refer to the two photos above; one tucked, the other not.)

  5. Add throw pillow(s) if you choose.

  6. Add another layer of blankets if you choose, depending on climate.

More questions to ask yourself about your home space and your reason... Do I want:

  • one color with layers

  • one color with different textures

  • two colors with different textures and subtle patterns

  • two similar colors with different textures

  • two similar colors with different textures and layers

  • more colors, less layers and textures (the more you add the more busy it will be)

  • Mix and matching of different subtle patterns; a play on patterns.

Brooklinen sponsored one of my podcast episodes #16 specifically about bedrooms and I have to say, their linen duvet is divine (as ranked by 1,316 customers and HGTV shopping experts!)

If you are rethinking your bed, take a BEFORE and AFTER and share it with me!!


Kristina Browning is a five star rated realtor in Oregon City, serving OC, SE Portland and West Linn. If you are searching for How to find a Realtor to sell your house, you’ve found the right one because I offer value adding staging and styling with every listing! Reference the list of reviews on the Buy and Sell pages here on this website or just Call, Text or email me to share your timeline and goals. Kristina Browning, Realtor & Home Stylist 503-505-3798

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