Darren Palmer’s tips on how to create an inviting bed
It should be said that life is too short to spend it making your bed. I feel the same way about ironing, but this isn’t the arena to air my crumpled laundry.
Truth be told though, there are times when you want to put your best foot forward when showing off your home – whether it be for guests, for you, for photographs or for sale, you should know the transformative effects of creating an inviting looking bed.
Probably the hardest trend to achieve, the relaxed look actually needs to be precisely measured with cushion sizes and fabric types carefully considered. The perfect texture for this style is linen, complemented by wool.
Your linen should be relaxed not crumpled, which means steaming or ironing out all the creases but allowing it to fall in a relaxed way onto the bed. Use one colour for the base or fitted sheet and another for the top sheet.
Layering in a third colour for the bedcover works well and you can then use these three colours with a complement of white for the bed pillows and cushions.
A big contemporary favourite, the asymmetrical look allows you to use colours, shapes and textures in a more refined and ordered way than the relaxed look. It’s about smooth sophistication.
Separate the bed into left and right halves. Where on one side you might place squares in front of squares, like a sofa cushion in front of a Euro, the other side could be rectangles in front of rectangles, like a lumbar size in front of a standard pillow on its side.
There are many ways to play with this irregular look, but you want variation in size, texture, width and height as well as colour and pattern in the mix.
This is the favoured style of hotels and refined homes. Think white, high-thread-count cotton sateen sheets, neatly ironed or steamed, with precise seams folded neatly over bedcovers. A good way to get this heavily pressed appearance is to actually iron on the bed.
The traditional look is perfectly symmetrical, with a Euro, a standard sized pillow lying flat or sitting on its side, and a decorative cushion in front.
The effect is very structured with minimal contrast but with high detailing, so consider using cushions with piping, embroidery or some special detail that elevates it above the pack.
Don’t go overboard
If you have more than three layers of cushions, you need to edit. If you’ve seen the movie Along Came Polly, you’ve seen what happens when bed decoration goes awry. Save yourself the time styling and unstyling every day by keeping your selections nice and simple.