I want to take a break from Sonia's bedroom to address in detail- how to make a bed. There are many good and "correct" ways to make a bed- and putting into words "how" to do it has taken some thought. I am not going to discuss the specifics of hospital corners- Martha Stewart can teach you that- click here. But rather- I want to show you what to do with your bedding. There are a few little things that can help you to have a really beautiful bed- in many cases without purchasing anything- but rather just making your bed differently.
- Puffy Pillows. I already went into detail on your pillows in this post. In addition to that advice on pillows- I also want to mention that your pillow puffiness makes a huge difference in the overall look of your bed. Look at Sonia's pillows. Those are what I call "dead fish" pillows. (No offense Sonia- lots of people have pillows like yours.) Now look at the pillows above- what a difference. I hear people say- "Oh, but I love that pillow- I can't sleep without it.. blah blah... " If you insist on keeping your pillow- but still want your bed to look better- you could hide your flat pillow under a more significant pillow. If you have "dead fish" pillows- new ones are the place to start.
- While we are talking about puffiness- let's go to your duvets out there. My sister-in-law is a "stylist," meaning that she makes beds for Pottery Barn and other magazines to prepare for the photographer. She told me once that they frequently will use two inserts in a duvet cover. Let me tell you what I did- and let me know if it sounds at all familiar to any of you. My DH and I moved up from a queen to a king. With this came the expense not only of the mattress, but also the furniture, and of course, the bedding. When it came down to it- I had spent and spent- and when it came to the down duvet insert- I had no money left- and so I went to Target and purchased an inexpensive one. This was about two years ago. Today- the down is mostly at the end of the comforter. Even with pounding- it doesn't last a week. The down is also shrinking-(at least it seems like it)- there is no padding at all on the left eighteen inches of the insert. I need to go out and get a nice quality insert. A little trick I learned from my mom is to sew little ribbons onto the corners of the insert- and also on the inside corners of the duvet cover- tying them in place so you don't get the undesired movement of the insert- leaving a flat left side, or top side- etc. OK- now that we have fluffy pillows and comforters- let's go on.
- Wrinkles are not pretty- ever. I used to have some "Calvin Klein" sheets that I hated. Let me describe them to you. They had a thread count of 275 (not especially high). I personally am not really concerned about thread count- but rather the look and comfort of the sheets. Anyway- these sheets were chronically horribly wrinkled right at the top of the flat sheet- where you wanted it to look good. They were not especially inexpensive, and I loved the color and pattern of them- but the wrinkles... UUGGHHH!! I hated it. I found myself trying to take them out of the dryer sooner- still wrinkled. I would flatten them by hand and then hang them to dry- still not really flat. I would frequently find myself ironing them. I have four kids, a house to maintain and a job. I don't have time to iron sheets. My new sheets are great- I love them. They have a higher thread count- and whereas they are not perfect- I don't have that unhappy "I need to iron these sheets" feeling. You do not have to pay a lot of money for sheets that don't wrinkle- jersey knit and Kimlor sheets don't wrinkle- and they are very affordable. Now you have the correct pillows, your have a fluffy bed where it is supposed to be fluffy, and your bedding is not wrinkled. OK- now let's go on.
- The rule of thirds. Many of you are aware of the rule of thirds. Wainscoting- I have addressed before- looks better at 1/3 up the wall or 2/3 up the wall. The third looks good. It is visually calming. It doesn't draw attention to itself in an unpleasant or uncomfortable way. You don't have to divide your bed into thirds to make it look great- but it is something that I frequently do with clients, and have done in my own home. Let me show you a few ways to do this. Keep in mind that we don't need to pull out the tape measure with this- approximately 1/3 is fine. Sometimes this is done by pulling down the top third- this can be done by pulling down the sheets and everything, the blankets, just the spread or duvet- it depends on your colors and patterns of your bedding- and what look you are going for- but the point is you pull it down 1/3. The second way to do this is by folding a quilt, duvet, or matelasse, and laying it at the bottom 1/3 of the bed. Look again at Sonia's bed. The quilt at the bottom of the bed is more like 1/4- whereas being exactly 1/3 is not important- it is important to be close to it. Can you see how her quilt is folded too narrowly? Compare hers to the picture below- where the quilt is closer to the 1/3. Can you see how it is nicer visually? You can also divide your bed into thirds by doing both of these things- 1/3 down from the top- AND 1/3 placed on the bottom. Look at the bed at the very top of this post- here is a good example of the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. So- look at the beds in this post- are they 1/3- 2/3, 2/3- 1/3, or 1/3- 1/3- 1/3. Sometimes your 1/3 at the top can be all pillows. I love the look of lots of pillows- but have found that most people don't really want to deal with these on a daily basis. I like to use this look in a guest room.
Check out the photos in this post. Notice how Caitlin's folded piece at the base of the bed is too small, and notice also how the Land of Nod bed has a terrific 1/2 - 2/3. The photo above- 1/3 - 1/3 - 1/3. I think that in the photo below- it is a little too close to 1/2. I would pull the turquoise up a little.
Would I ever break this rule- and not break up the bed into thirds? - Sure- there are definitely exceptions. Daybeds are always exceptions. And then there are custom spreads like the ones below- you can take one look at it- see that it is a fantastic look, and yet also note that there is no break in the bed at all.