The #1 question I get when I go back to a client’s home after the project is finished is “Can you show me how you made my bed look so pretty?” After teaching several clients, their housekeepers, and most of my friends and family how to make their beds in a pretty way, I realized this is a skill that everyone needs to know.
Everyone has their own method, but mine can be summed up like this. The art of a beautifully made bed is leaving it half unmade. It should be crisp and tailored, but open and inviting the person to jump in.
Step 1: Steam/Iron
It’s not the most glamorous thing in the world, but ironing or steaming your bedding is the difference between feeling like you’re sleeping in a pile of laundry or in a high end luxury hotel bed. Before you put on your sheets, iron them. And once you’re done making your bed, steam everything in place. You don’t have to do this every day- just after every time you change your sheets. Fabric has a memory and once it’s steamed in place it will be easier to make your bed the next time.
Step 2: Layers
Every beautiful bed should have layers of color and texture. You want contrast between the layers once you start putting them together, it gives the bed a softness in both look and feel you can’t achieve otherwise.
Step 3: Custom Pillows
This is a big one. Invest in some special pillows. Even better, have some custom made that are special just for your home and compliment your decor. Custom pillows are the jewelry of a well-made bed. When placing them, put your bed pillows closest to the headboard (these won’t really show and that’s what we want. In the example above they were so pretty we positioned them so they did show), then your Euros, then your shams, then your custom pillows in front for the biggest impact. Always work your way from tallest to shortest.
Step 4: Putting it all together
I like to layer bedding as follows:
- First put on your sheets. Pull the flat sheet all the way to the headboard and lay flat. Next put on your duvet, pulling it to the headboard also and laying it flat. Fold both open 2/3 of the way down so the tops are now pointed toward the footboard. Then take the top edge of the flat sheet and fold again toward the headboard so that your top seam is visible on top of folded edge of the duvet. (Optional: depending on your style of bedframe, you can either tuck these under the mattress now or leave loose. I vary what I do depending on the look I’m trying to achieve.)
- Next put all your pillows on as described in Step 3.
- Finally add a folded decorative blanket or throw to the end of the bed. This should be in a contrasting texture and/or color to your duvet cover. This adds an extra cozy touch that you can use if you need more warmth.
Step 5: Finishing touches
Once you’ve got everything in place- go over the top with the steamer one more time if you see any areas that need smoothing. The final touch is a light spray with your favorite restful scent. My favorite is Le Blanc Lavender Linen Water. Locally in Wilmington you can find this at Protocol, or online it can be found here.