Secrets of a Well Dressed Bed

August 24, 2011

I see so many pretty made beds in shelter magazines and on Pinterest.  After concentrating on a few design styles that appealed to me, I feel like I finally got the look of my own master bed just right!  With up to a third of our lives spent snoozing under the covers (hopefully getting a solid 8 hours a night), a great mattress and comfortable linens are a worthy investment, plus how fun is it to dress up our beds in our own personal style? 

What’s the secret to a well dressed bed you might ask?  I thought I’d ask an expert for her best tips.  I’ve been a fan of Annette Tatum’s style for years, and I completely love her line of sophisticated and soft patterns for both adults and kids.  I asked Annette to offer up some suggestions for a well dressed bed, and she was kind enough to share her secrets!  (I added the inspirational images along the way to illustrate.) 


annette tatum blue gold bed


Tell us Annette in your expert opinion, what is the secret to a well dressed bed?


1. Think in Layers 

“I am a big fan of layering solids and prints on a bed.  I also like to have a basic white always on hand as well as an assortment of prints that I can mix in depending upon the season.

turquoise tulips bliss tumblr

via Turquoise, Tulips & Bliss


2. Always Consider Personal Comfort 

I usually have two duvets on my bed.  Mine is a California King so I have my king size duvet and then fold another twin size at the bottom.  That way if one person is cold, the other person does not have to be hot. 

elle decor bedroom

Elle Décor


3. Pillow Talk

For a King bed, I have three Euros, two King pillows and two standard pillows, for a Queen bed, I use three Euros, two standard size pillows, and a decorative pillow, and for a Twin bed, one Euro sham and one Standard pillow. 

twin beds euro sham



4.  Skirt or no Skirt? 

As far as a "skirt or duster" for the bed, I am in favor of both options, it’s a personal choice.  There are so many different beds on the market it really depends on your style.

tobi fairley bedroom

Tobi Fairley


5.  Pattern Play

The rules I use for pattern on the bed are as follows, regardless of the size of the bed.

A.  Starting from the bottom, choose your duster.  Usually it’s a solid in heavier fabric such as linen or else a striped pattern to add length and height to the "look" of the bed.  I recommend tailored duster for a more clean look or a ruffled for a more romantic look.

B.  Duvet.   This is usually a solid or else an overall large print.  Something that is not going to take over the room, is simple, and can be easily incorporated with other patterns.  Large cabbage roses, simple Indian motifs, and classic couture brocade patterns are a great starting point for a bed.

house and home bedroomHouse & Home

C. Euro shams (measuring 26” x 26”) are always a good size. Some small detail edge such as a flange or small ruffle adds texture. Since these are not the pillows you sleep on, they can be more decorative.

D.  Whether a king or standard sham, here I layer small to medium patterns on the bed.  Since these are the "sleeping" pillows I also keep an extra set of cases (and often on a King bed an extra pillow) that is "my favorite" which I tuck away behind the Euro shams when the bed is made.  Sometimes the "sleeping pillows" are often the most used or "loved" so they might not need to be on display.

E. Decorative bolsters or small accent pillows. These are the ‘wild cards" on the bed, and the one of a kind element that can be added to the bed for fun. They can be layered on top of the other pillows in the "front" of the bed for depth and color.

house tweaking via pinterest bedroomPinterest

F.  Throw blankets.  Layering a throw at the end of the bed is another great way to ‘ground’ the patterns  and add a pretty accent to the foot of your bed.

style at home master bedroom green throwStyle At Home

G.  Sheets: I love nice sheets and there are so many on the market that have fun with not only white but a set in a small complimentary print or another accent color. 

Either way "making your bed" can be just as fun as fashion.  With all the great options in print and color you can now make your bed "fashionable".   Sleeping does not have to be so serious anymore, so create the bed of your dreams!”

Thanks so much for your fabulous tips Annette!  Pop into her shop for a peek at some of the prettiest linens on the market.  You can also follow Annette’s blog for even more style tips. 

Annette was kind enough to offer up a copy of her book to one of you!  In ‘The Well Dressed Home’ Annette details how to take your fashion sense and translate it to your home décor, love that! 

annette tatum well dressed home


For a chance to win the signed copy of her book, answer one of these two questions.   What’s your favorite thing about your bed, or what’s the one thing you want to change?

To purchase a copy of Annette’s Book at a 20% discount, simply enter the code girl here!   Giveaway ends Sunday August 28th at 8 p.m. PST.

** Note I’m updating the posts for the recent giveaways later tonight and will send personal emails to the winners! 




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252 Responses to “Secrets of a Well Dressed Bed”

  1. Amber says:

    My favorite thing about my bed is the frame. Just bought it a couple of months ago and I’ve never actually had an actual bed before (only the cheap metal frame)! What I’d like to change would be the mattress. We both wake up with pains almost every morning, it’s just no fun!

  2. Kim says:

    I have a king size sleigh bed in a beautiful warm wood tone, which I love. I’d like to update my bedding and purchase a fluffy down comforter to keep me and my hubby warm during the cold New England winters. Thanks for the great tips on making up a bed! LOVE your blog!

  3. Annalea says:

    Favorite thing: I love that we sleep on a king mattress, and wide enough that DH & I can sleep facing each other without breathing the others’ “exhaust”. ;o)

    Thing I want to change: Witness: I need a bed! lol Our last mattress was a queen, and I haven’t “gotten around” to building a new one yet.

  4. Rica says:

    My favorite thing on my bed are my new memory foam pillows. They are fabulous and i really do sleep so much better.

  5. AnnieL says:

    My favorite things about my bed is my headboard that I DIYed and our amazingly comfy mattress and my least favorite are my sheets…I cannot wait to get my new ones in the mail!

  6. Jan says:

    The thing I need to change is my pillows. I had my old pillow for years and loved it but the inner core finally disintergrated and a new one was needed, so far I’ve bought 2 new ones and they have both been failures.

  7. Lindsey says:

    I love my duvet, but I need a bigger bed – my husband and I share a double. Ahh, to be young and poor… ;)

  8. debra hannah says:

    Our tempurpedic mattress is the BEST thing ever. We also have a beautiful PB rustic looking sleigh bed that makes me VERY happy every night!!! :-)

  9. Kaitlyn says:

    I love the layered pillows on my bed. I have bold stripes with a paisley-type print :-)

  10. Lori says:

    I LOVE everything about my bed! I used to work in a custom bedding boutique and got all of my pieces at a great price…I especially love my duvet and my celedon green cotton sateen sheets! My husband refers to me making the bed as “building the nest!” Love this post!

  11. Krystin says:

    I the space that we have with our Cal King bed… now there is room for my hubby and three kids to snuggle together. I also love the new PB bedding I bought but I need to get a bedskirt to hide the ugly frame:)

  12. Mary Lou says:

    My favorite thing about my bed is my husband sleeping (not snoring) next to me! I just bought a new quilt, shams, pillows, and made new curtains. I’ve got the paint all bought and can’t wait to finish up the room!

  13. Sheela says:

    Right now I most love the new upholstered headboard that I recently made for our bed! That book looks fabulous!

  14. i love my bed! love the aqua and the white if I could change one thing I’d upgrade to a King. would love a copy of the book! sounds intriguing!

  15. Vicki says:

    My favorite thing and the thing I want to change are actually the same – my 8 month old son co-sleeps with us, and while I love that I can just roll over to nurse him back to sleep or see his little face in the morning, I do wish I had some more space to S P R A W L.

    Otherwise, I don’t like much about my bed. It was my husband’s before we married and a little too soft for my tastes. I do like making it every morning though – it makes the whole room look tidier!

  16. Meg Smith says:

    My favorite thing is being in it cuddling with my hubby. Oh, how I love slow, quiet nights of falling asleep side by side!

  17. Michelle says:

    I have no headboard, so I would love to add tufted headboard. Looks like a great book!

  18. My favorite thing about our bed is the comfy mattress and soft sheets =)
    The book looks fabulous!

  19. Rhonda H says:

    I would like to change the style of my duster. The thing I love most is smooth sheets!!

  20. Jennifer says:

    What I love about my bed…sharing it with my awesome husband…cuddling with sleepy kiddos…lounging with a good book.

    Would love to win this..thanks for the opportunity!


  21. My favorite thing about my bed is the rustic pallet headboard that I just made! I adore the contrast with the old rustic wood and crisp white sheets! I’d love a copy of that amazing book!! :)

  22. Allison Harris says:

    I love my memory foam topper and doubling up the fitted sheets with high thread count goodness!

  23. Julie Held says:

    I would like to change the color of my sheets. Right now they are a chocolate brown and I want to go with a crisp white to lighten things up!

  24. Katharine says:

    I love my bed. I’ll admit it was a hand me down, but it was in great shape. The mattreses are so comfortable and I love that I have it on risers so that I can store things underneath. I need to get a dust ruffle to hide the storage and new pillows. It’s amazing how fast they get flat. Right now I have the headboard in the garage because it was big and tall. I’m thinking of putting it on the bed and seeing if I like it. I could use some new sheets too. :)

    If I win the book I’m giving it to my designer sister after I’ve read it. :)

  25. Marie says:

    What would I want to change? New bedding! Mine is so dated. :( I want soothing color, inviting pillows and comfy sheets…that scream..oops whisper sweet dreams!

  26. Casey says:

    I love me Tempur-Pedic mattress topper! Haha. Otherwise my bed is like a giant cinderblock.

    And I’ve decided I can’t go on living until I procure the bedding from Turquoise, Tulips & Bliss.

  27. Nikki says:

    My favorite part on my bed is the awesome new sheet set we just bought. First time with high quality sheets and they are so worth it!

  28. Haley says:

    My favorite parts of our bed is the comfort and our soft sheets!

  29. Lisa says:

    I don’t like much about our bed except that it’s a king size. I would love an upholstered headboard and all new linens.

  30. Abbey Duke says:

    My favorite thing about my bed is the layers of covers! I love having my super soft gray sheets, white down comforter, and gray duvet pulled up tight when I’m going to bed!

  31. Trude says:

    Thanks for the tips! I love the padded headboard I just made (using your tutorial, woohoo!), but now I’m on the hunt for a new bedskirt and I’ve been hating everything I’ve seen so far. Definitely need to change the exposed legs and storage! :)

  32. Mimi says:

    My bed is my favorite place at the end of my long days as a floral designer. I love the satiny soft 100% cotton sheets. I don’t know the thread count, but they are heavenly. When I get into my bed I feel transformed. They are like butter. I have many in my favorite shade of the palest lavender.

  33. Bella Storia says:

    I love my headboard! It was a thrift store find that I spray painted Heirloom White and distressed. It’s so pretty, and was one of the first things I ever painted for myself.

  34. Evee M says:

    I love our log bed off craigslist. I have a Pendelton Wool blanket on my wish list to give it that finally touch.

  35. Peggy says:

    I love the play between our ikat headboard and zebra print pillows – it’s an Africa meets Asia thing that works beautifully. The one thing I would change is to no longer allow the dogs on the bed so that I could enjoy having a nice throw and a nice duvet that didn’t need to be covered by a “protector” sheet!

  36. FeFe says:

    I want to change the bedding. It’s really terrible right now. I know I don’t want the ‘bed in a bag look’ but I don’t know what to do…. until I read this post! Thank you! I’d love to win the book. It looks fantastic!

  37. Patty says:

    I love my bed, which is an antique victorian walnut with a high headboard and very deep sideboards….on the downside, it’s a standard full size, and I’d love to switch to a Queen at some point. My boys are grown and they still mention how much they love my bed.

  38. Cheryl says:

    Love my bedskirt — linen from PB. Would love a headboard, upholstered, and am saving up for it even though I know a DIY project is possible. At near 65, it’s time to pamper myself and find a reasonably priced one! somewhere, sometime.

  39. Karleen Taylor says:

    I love the comforter and decorative pillows I bought at JC Penney. I usually don’t take much time with the bed but now with the extra pillows and the pretty comforter its fun to dress it up every morning!

  40. Shelly says:

    I love the king bed itself…not so much the bedding. The bed is so large, I have a hard time trying to figure out what to use for the comforter/duvet. So I do nothing! I guess I have fear of commitment on this one. ;)

  41. Shani says:

    I absolutely love my fluffy down duvet which was a total steal. Bought it new for $60 (regular $175). Woo hoo! I wouldn’t mind upgrading to a King size bed but then I would have to change all my bedding and get rid of my sleigh bed frame which I’m not quite ready to do:-)

  42. I have been wanting to make the queen to king leap for years! Especially with three little kiddos. :-)

  43. Debbie says:

    Something I would change? My sheets are ten years old! I think that’s a great place to start…

  44. Heather says:

    What? I have to pick something I like about my bed? Ok, its big so plenty of space to stretch out. What do I want to change? Everything… its a mess of mismatched pieces.. I am ready for a grown up bedroom!

  45. Lisa says:

    I really needed this post right now. I have been having the hardest time dressing my king size bed. This really helped. THANKS!!!!

  46. Stephanie says:

    This is beautiful! Makes me really want to go out and make my bed pretty.

    But I’ve always sort of wondered, where do you put all the accessory pillows when you sleep?

  47. Ann says:

    My favorite thing about my bed is the bed frame that my husband made for us… the thing I want to change is the comforter and the colors, and a way to make it work for us but still look good!

  48. Diane says:

    I just was able to get a new King size bed. We have not had a nice bedroom suite for about 30 yrs. So it was time. We got the set & the headboard is on back order for 4 mos. I didn’t like that, but I think it is worth waiting for. I have a new comforter, & made one pillow. Found the comforter on clearance, so will need to make a few more pillows and the shams. This was a good time to see this post, give me some ideas.

  49. Janet M says:

    I love my Sleep Number bed! I attached a simple designed metal headboard that is in gunmetal gray; this is very versatile. I would like to create a beautiful color scheme in linens, as suggested by Annette Tatum.

  50. Rozi says:

    I can’t believe how much there is involved in making a bed! Wow, bookmarking this.

    I love my Japanese style bed with the steps all around, it did away with having to have bedside tables!

  51. Elaine says:

    I love the feather mattress I have on our bed and my pillows. I am ready for a total redo on the rest of the bedroom but those two things wouldn’t change. Once I can fling the windows open I will begin painting and redoing our room. Loved the photos in this post.

  52. Bibi says:

    We have a solid white quilt on top of our bed. We sleep with our dogs and I can bleach it and have it looking great all the time! I always had colored comforters before and washing them or dry cleaning them always made me nervous.

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