Four Ways to Make Your Bed

Four Ways to Make Your Bed
Source: Min Lilla Veranda
Source: Min Lilla Veranda

Making our beds is often one of the first chores we learn to do, and as adults, we either do it or we don’t (no need for confessions).

If you do it, you just do it like you’ve always done it and were taught to do it. Or maybe you try to copy the professionals, and try to make your bed like the pictures you see in magazines, or at that nice hotel, or the example on the new bedding you bought.

This post isn’t about how to fold and tuck your sheets to get a “hospital corner.” You can’t bounce a quarter off most of the styles of bed making I’m going to show you. However, you might just find a way of making your bed that makes you love getting into it just a bit more–because a bed that’s made up all nice is like a present you get to unwrap.

Source: Trendenser
Source: Trendenser

This is the drape method. It’s fast and it’s easy, and the look fits in with the minimalist, Scandinavian design of this bedroom. I find it a bit shapeless and not particularly inviting, but you can make the bed in a few seconds with a quick yank and then smoothing out the wrinkles.

Note that the appeal of the bed really falls on the decorative elements surrounding it, especially the shelf above the pillows (which I do not recommend for anybody living in earthquake prone areas).

Source: Design*Sponge, Design: Lotta Nieminen, Photography: Dan McMahon
Source: Design*Sponge, Design: Lotta Nieminen, Photography: Dan McMahon

You can give the drape method more definition by adding one or two throw pillows that contrast with the duvet or comforter. These pillows don’t have to be purely decorative–they can be useful for when you want to read or hang out on your bed during non-sleeping hours.

Source: Svpply and Urban Outfitters
Source: Svpply and Urban Outfitters

A cousin to the drape method is the drape-and-fold. (I’m making these names up, so don’t quote me.) Easy to do, but usually more appropriate for warmer weather because it works better with a thinner blanket.

Same quick way of making the bed, but with the fold at the head lending a nice, decorative touch. This exposes both your fitted sheet and your pillows, so keep that in mind–they are part of your design. Do notice that the pillows, sheets, and blanket don’t have to match.

Source: Urban Outfitters, Diamond Stitch Quilt
Source: Urban Outfitters, Diamond Stitch Quilt

…Or, they could.

What’s fun about the above two examples is that you can see how changing the bedding changes the entire design of the room.

Source: G & G Interiors, Ralph Lauren Home Collection
Source: G & G Interiors, Ralph Lauren Home Collection

This is a catalog style that I’m actively not recommending. Sure, the bed looks gorgeous–but it’s completely styled for a photograph and not daily living. It’s great for a guest bed in the guest bedroom that is rarely used, but for everyday practicality, do not overload on decorative pillows. You will get a referral to a support group from me if you do.

Pay attention, though, to how partially peeling back layers of blankets allows for their colors, textures, and patterns to play a part in the overall design of the room. The details carry a space, but don’t get carried away with the details (after taking off all the pillows, and finding a place for them, you’ll either have to pull up all the blankets or you’ll have to take some off so you don’t Crock-Pot® yourself overnight).

Source: Design Stories, Design: Recdi8
Source: Design Stories, Design: Recdi8

If you must use decorative pillows, make sure they fit into the bigger picture: pillow colors, patterns, and sizes matter!

Source: Design Within Reach, American Modern Bed
Source: Design Within Reach, American Modern Bed

Above is the folded flat sheet method. It utilizes a flat sheet which you fold over a portion of the blanket’s top (anywhere from 6-12″ or more depending on preference). This method is not as carefree as the drape method, because you need to figure out how far up the blanket-and-flat-sheet combo goes on the bed, according to how you sleep:

  • Burrowed, with a blanket up to your ears? Position the blanket closer to the head of the bed.
  • Blanket under your arms? Move the blanket towards the foot of the bed.

Utilizing a flat sheet helps keep your blanket clean, so that all you need to do is wash the flat sheet regularly (no wrestling with a duvet cover or bulky comforter). Also, if the blanket’s texture is uncomfortable, the flat sheet keeps it from your skin when you’re trying to get snuggly. These benefits are just two reasons why the folded flat sheet method is the most common method used in commercial settings such as hotels.

If you’re into the clean lines of modern design, the above example is a way to make your bed that’s simple and beautiful (without invoking decorative pillows). You can untuck the blanket and flat sheet for a more relaxed look, or keep everything tucked for a neater appearance that highlights the bed.

By not burying your sleeping pillows under pretty doodahs or a duvet, you must mind your linens and textiles! Find something you will not only love to sleep on, but also see and show.

What method do you use to make your bed, and will you try another?

Featured image source: Lonny, Design: Callie Jenschke of Scout Designs



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