My darling smarties,
Welcome to The Style Smarts Series. My name is Lula Cavanagh and I am an interior designer, content creator, and I have partnered up with Smart Homes for Living to bring you a series all about styling. In today’s how-to, I talk you through how to style a bed like a pro.
All about that base
When styling a boudoir the bed is your base. For this look, I’ve gone for a very simple white quilt and sheet set by Sheridan. It’s a classic for a reason, anyone (and any bed) can pull it off.
Bigger is beatifulier
With the sheets, one of my favorite things to do is size-up. So you have a king bed, like I did here, choose a super king quilt and quilt cover; if you have a queen bed, choose a king quilt and quilt cover. The end effect is extra-luxurious and hotel-like.
Show your best side
Do you like to rest your weary head on a feathery marshmallow, or are you more of the strong memory foam type? Regardless, you’ll want to point the opening of the pillow slips that wrap around them inwards.
Placing them this way looks much neater, as your unlikely to see unsightly cushion innards spilling out, and lets the threads do all the stylish talking.
If linen is the sky, feature cushions are the stars. They add sparkle, visual interest, and can harmonize a room by balancing the colours of the surrounding space with the bed itself.
Feature cushions are a fun, low-risk way of exploring colour. Mix and match colours, textures, and patterns and explore that rainbow (within reason). You’ll be amazed at the difference various combos can add to the end effect and your mood. When in doubt, pay homage to a piece of art in the room, or the linen itself, by pulling out a feature colour and finding a cushion within a similar tone.
I’ve constructed this neutral look using three layers:
These cushions are a 50/50 linen-look back, velvet look front from Adairs. It’s got a feather inner which I always prefer, as they look more plump compared to polly inners which are man-made and can look a little stiff and flat.
If they lose their shape or go flat, all you do is pop the air back in and bring the edges back together and voila, they’ll look fluffy and new.
When it comes to placing cushions I like quite a relaxed look; as though everything has been thrown on, even though you know it’s been artfully placed. Ha! The velvet cushions are refined and beautiful. To make them look their best, plump them up, pull out the top edges and *boom* karate chop them. Then, place them as so. I don’t like to arrange cushions too symmetrically, so I put them on slight angles, but that’s neither here nor there. Then, when you’re done, don’t forget to straighten the bed back out.
For the next row, I’ve gone with an odd number.
We started with four white pillows, then added two decorative velvet cushions. That’s a lot of even numbers! So for the next layer, I wanted to mix things up and add just one in a different shape. The one I ended up going for is fatter, lower, and more rectangle than the one used in layer one. It also has more of a pattern. Everything else is plain so this adds a little bit of extra texture and interest.
To make it look fat and irresistible I went with feather innard, fluffed it up, and – holding the corners wide – placed it in the middle of the bed, which in turn helped to balance the bed out. Pro-tip, make sure that your peaks (that’s the side tips of the pillows) aren’t all touching. You want to be able to see in-between the layers to avoid looking boxy.
I think a relaxed, effortless look is chic, so I don’t overdo my beds or overwhelm them with piles of pillows. For one, it makes them a nightmare to make and remake every day. And, aesthetically, it brings the eye down – which I like to avoid, as the bottom of the bed should be for your throw.
Suffice to say, three layers is my max. For this last layer, I’ve gone with a similar neutral palette in a shape that’s just a little lower and a little wider. It’s going to match the throw rug that I have selected.
Now for the finishing touch, the throw. Every bed needs one. They add colour, warmth, and lashings of cozy hygge vibes. For my home, and my client’s homes, I lean towards natural fibers. In winter wool, in summer linen. They feel better on the skin, are more ecological, and last longer – which make-ups for their initial, pricier, outlay.
For this look, I’ve picked a lightweight throw with a little tassel detail to add some interest, as you can see it matches the gorgeous pillow from the third layer. The art of throwing a throw is to do just that: throw it. Anything too placed is too much work. If your first throw doesn’t work out simply pick it up and try again, throwing it away and then literally into the bed. That’s the best way to get a good result.
You want to give it some direction so start by roughly folding the throw in half over itself, in a haphazard manner, then kind of throw it in one direction. I like to go at a 45-degree angle, following diagonally down from the direction the pillows face, but you can also throw in the direction that you enter the space from.
When the throw is where you want it to be, ruche it a little so it doesn’t look too done. That’s the key here. You want it to have enough body and form but not be too thin or thick. If it helps, give the throw little pinches here and there to move little bits that throw off the balance.
That’s it smarties. If you follow these easy tricks you’ll have a stylish, ‘gram-worthy bed every time:
- Stick to one colour palette in different shades
- Use feather cushion inserts, always
- Pick cushions in different shapes and textures (a mix of square, rectangle etc.)
- And, when throwing a throw literally throw it, then pinch to create some texture
I hope you can join me next time, thanks so much for popping by for this edition of The Style Smarts Series.
Xoxo Lulu Cavanagh
Lulu Cavanagh is a multi-hyphenate interior design, stylist, photographer, graphic designing, and owner of the design studio ‘The Aesthete Collective’. When she’s not lending her stylish eye to the who’s who of the design world, including Empire Homewares, Sheridan, Stylecraft and Bauwerk Colour, she’s creating the perfect floral arrangements at home. After living abroad in the UK, interstate in Melbourne and Newcastle she is back in Perth for 2021 and working on some exciting projects with Smart Homes for Living. Lucky us!