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How to style a bed like a pro — experts share 14 bed styling tips

Expert bed styling tips from interior design pros to help make your bed look its coziest

When it comes to styling a bed, it's easy to get overwhelmed. From sheets to duvet covers, to euro shams and throw pillows, you may feel unsure of where to start.

Well don't lose sleep over it, we're here to help!

In this article, our interior design experts share their tips and tricks on how to style a bed so that it doesn't just look the part, but feels great too. In the words of Genevieve Chambliss, owner of the interior design studio Viève Interiors, "Life is busy and we all need our own sacred space to relax and take refuge, so creating a cozy bedroom is of the utmost importance."

So, if you want to create a charming haven of peace and relaxation in your room, your first step should be to style your bed beautifully.

Let's jump in.

1. Pick a great bed

The first step is to pick out a great bed that you love.

"Depending on the style you are going for there are so many options; from metal headboards, to wood beds, to upholstered beds," explains Genevieve Chambliss.

"Whatever the choice, we like to use a bed that compliments the other furniture instead of getting a matching set for a more collected designer look.”

2. Decide on the right headboard

You need to think carefully about the headboard you choose. Again, this all comes down to preference. According to Keely Smith, interior designer at JD Elite interiors, a headboard can either make or break the entire look, since it is the focal point of your bed.

“When choosing a headboard, consider the size and style of your bed, as well as your personal taste. Upholstered headboards add softness and texture to the bedroom, while wooden or metal headboards add a touch of elegance and sophistication,” says Smith.

3. Choose the perfect bedding 

You want to choose bedding that matches your aesthetic and is also easy to care for.

“A simple solid duvet cover will create a clean backdrop to easily swap out decorative pillows for a new look each season," explains Chambliss. "Or pick a fun patterned comforter to add character to the room. We especially love patterned bedding in a kids room as a way to liven up the space and pull in other colors.”

Andrea Sinkin, founder of Andrea Sinkin Design, reccomends that you always choose bedding that's machine washable: “I never do bedding that is not machine washable. Even the most beautiful coverlets can be machine washable so make sure when you are buying them."

What to consider when buying bedding 

Keely Smith emphasizes the importance of considering thread count, material, and pattern when choosing bed linen. She explains that "higher thread count means softer and more luxurious sheets, while materials like cotton and linen are breathable and comfortable."

When it comes to patterns, Keely advices choosing something that complements the overall color scheme of your bedroom.

4. Decide on a color scheme 

“The color scheme of your bed should complement the overall color scheme of your bedroom, explains Keely. "If your walls are neutral, you can use bold and bright colors for your bedding, pillows, and throws. If your walls are already bright and colorful, it's best to keep your bedding simple and neutral.”

5. Add a down comforter

Ever wondered what five-star hotels do to make their beds look so plush and fluffy? Well, the answer lies in using a down comforter.

Down comforters can make your bed feel warm, cozy, and inviting. Sarah Kruse, founder and interior designer at Storie Designs, advises that comforters add a layer of cushion to the top of the bed, which ultimately adds to the "ultra-cozy look."

And if your comforter is looking a little flat? Andrea Sinkin shares a top tip for fluffing up your comforter that you would never expect: "Just throw a tennis ball in the dryer with it."

6. Sheets matter

You may think that sheets don't matter much when styling a bed, but they do – especially if you fold your duvet each morning after making the bed.

A beautifully styled bed can make all the difference in any bedroom

“We always pull back the duvet cover 1/3 of the way back, exposing the sheets. This is where we place the main pillows and throw pillows," explains Sarah Kruse. If you want to keep things simple, using a clean white sheet is best. But if are using a white duvet, having a colored sheet is a great way to add an extra pop of color.

“Once the duvet is pulled back and folded over, we place the main sleeping pillows laying flat (two stacked). This provides a solid backdrop for the throw pillows to sit upward against them,” says Sarah.

7. Include a vintage quilt 

Adding a vintage quilt to your bed adds character and interest. Marie Joh, Head of Merchandising at The Six Bells, suggests showing off quilts with traditional patterns, or modern quilts that make use of traditional production methods.

Show off some vintage basket motifs or classic checkerboard patterns when selecting a vintage quilt

Even just a thin quilt hung above your bed is a great addition and can help break up the line of your bed frame. “In lieu of a headboard, try hanging a quilt above your bed. A bonus blanket on cold nights,” says Joh.

8. Add throw pillows

Having a good mix of pillows is an essential part of bed styling. Lumbar pillows, euro shams, along with your normal sleep pillows are all needed to create ultimate comfort and functionality.

Three carefully placed 18"x18" pillows add a pop of color and interest to this cozy apartment bedroom

For a king bed, Sarah Kruse suggests using three 20"x 20" throw pillows and one long lumbar pillow to layer without adding too many pillows. For a queen bed, Sarah recommends having three 18"x18" pillows: two behind and one slightly in front placed in the center with a pop in color or pattern.

It's up to you to get creative with colors and patterns! But if you need some inspiration, Marie Joh has you covered with her recommendation for a decorative pillow. "Our baby rose gardenia printed euro shams are subtle and cotton-candy soft. If ruffles feel like too much, try structured pleats in sturdier fabrics,” says Marie.

Genevieve Chambliss also has some advice for styling a bed with pillows: "Our best tip is to start with some larger pillows in the back (either euro pillows or standard side bed pillows) and work your way down to the smallest accent pillow in the front. Use this opportunity to bring in a new pattern or tie in colors from throughout your space for a cohesive look."

9. Mix textures

Mixing textures when styling a bed is a great way to add depth and interest to your bedroom decor. Think decorative pillows made from different fabrics, a textured throw blanket, and frilly linen bed skirts.

Sarah Kruse is a fan of mixing textures, especially when it comes to pillows. “Mixing textures in pillows can add a lot of dimension and add to that cozy feeling.”

This warm, feminine bedroom mixes textures in pillows to add to that cozy feeling

10. Less is more

If you want to know how to style a bed effortlessly, you need to keep one thing in mind: less is more.

Sometimes a white flat sheet with a simple linen duvet cover is enough to create an inviting bed. Andrea Sinkin agrees with this notion and states that simple bedding works when you have other things in the room that tend to be the main sources of interest.

"There are usually other things in the room that are statement pieces, such as art, window, treatments, and accessories. I like the bed to be more subdued and inviting, think of something clean and crisp like a hotel,” says Andrea.

11. Use a coverlet or throw at the end of the bed

Coverlets are a versatile and practical addition to a bedroom, providing both style and functionality.

A coverlet at the end of the bed ties into the wall behind to bring this stunning green bedroom together

Sarah Kruse uses a coverlet to tie every component of the bed together. This includes the throw pillows, the headboard, and even the wall behind. "This brings the styling full circle and ensures everything on the bed connects to one another," says Sarah.

Genevieve Chambliss is also a coverlet supporter. "Add a soft throw blanket to the foot of the bed for those colder nights. The result will be a super cozy and inviting haven for you to rest your head at night."

12. Pick a secondary accent color 

Make sure to choose a secondary accent color for your bedding that matches your existing color palette in your room. You want the color you choose to match its surroundings rather than clash with them.

Marie Joh advises “If going monochrome or tonal looks too boring, pick a second accent color; secondary pieces pop without looking too chaotic."

This vintage quilt introduces a golden yellow accent color in this chic bedroom

13. Choose warm bedside lighting 

Bedside lighting does a lot for the look and feel of a room. Consider choosing warm white lighting or a dim bedside lamp to create a soft and relaxing ambiance.

"Warm bedside lighting is a must. Find a vintage base and pair it with a small but show-stopping lampshade, like our hand-painted versions by Minnie-Mae Stott," says Marie Joh.

14. Experiment 

Let your creativity run wild! Whether you're styling your own bed or the bed in the guest room, experimenting with different looks is a fun way to figure out what works best.

Keely Smith shares that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to interior design. "Let your personal style shine through, and have fun," she says.


How many pillows should I use on my bed?

It's up to you when it comes to how many pillows to use on your bed. However, a general guideline is to use two to four pillows for a twin or full-size bed, and four to six pillows for a queen or king-size bed.

Where do I put a quilt on my bed?

There are many ways you can place a quilt on your bed. A popular option is to fold the quilt at the foot of your bed while allowing some of the bedding underneath to show. You could also drape it over your headboard for a decorative touch.

Life is busy and we all need our own sacred space to relax and take refuge, so creating a cozy bedroom is of the utmost importance

Genevieve Chambliss, Viève Interiors
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