How to style a bed like a pro

Create the luxurious bedroom showpiece of your dreams.
Nordic style bedroomAlex Reinders

Do you look at the beautifully made beds and wonder how it’s done? It seems so simple, but making a bed is almost an art – especially if you want it to look straight from the pages of a magazine. Enter Jordan Prainito, managing director of soft furnishing company Canningvale who takes us step by step, pillow by pillow, through styling a luxurious hotel-style bed you’ll never want to stop looking at.

1. Start from the bottom – with a top sheet that is

Once you’ve put your fitted sheet on the mattress, next is a flat sheet. It’s a contentious addition with some sleepers preferring to go sans top sheet, but if it’s a beautifully made bed you’re after then these sleepers will need to succumb. However a common mistake is to lay the flat sheet straight on top of your fitted sheet, the right face up… which is actually the wrong side up.

“If you use a flat sheet up a little higher up the bed and the wrong side up, you’ll have plenty of room at the top to fold it over the quilt cover,” explains Jordan.

Soft monochrome textures in this Nordic style bedroom.

(Credit: Photographer: Alex Reinders | Styling: Sarah Elshaug)

2. Add height with softness

Even if you have a bedhead, it’s always a good idea to add height with pillows as these will frame the rest of your styling. Opt for two European square pillows. with a featured pattern or texture cover that matches your quilt cover. Stylist’s tip? Use the “hand chop” to create an indent in the top for added style. “I think it’s a bit of fun,” says Jordan.

3. Layers upon layers – of pillows

Next add standard pillowcases which will sit in front of the European pillows. Jordan prefers these pillowcases to have a three to five-centimetre sham (a fabric border) on them. “I think it gives a little more of a styled, opulent look rather than just plain pillowcases.”

He suggests matching the standard pillowcases to the flat and fitted sheets. If you have a queen or king -sized bed you can also add another set of standard pillows for even more luxury, and Jordan advises using pillowcases that have the same pattern or colour as the quilt cover for these.

Crisp white with the luxury of nautical stripe detailing features in the bedlinen of this Whale Beach holiday retreat.

(Credit: Photographer: Sue Stubbs | Styling: Bree Oliver)

4. Warm up with a quilt, blanket and throw

Cold where you live? Add a blanket on top of your flat sheet then place your quilt on top. Next fold the quilt and the blanket halfway down the bed for a stylised look.

“You can also fold your quilt cover in thirds at the foot of the bed – if you prefer a chunkier look,” says Jordan. “Then, in between the top of the bed and where the quilt cover is placed, you can introduce a new texture or colour, such as a throw. It’s a really nice way to get that three complementary layers that make a bed look stunning and opulent.”

Cocooning and elegant, the main bedroom in this modern new-build in Brisbane is a luxurious retreat.

(Credit: Photographer: Mindi Cooke | Stylist: Rachel Honner)

Bonus tips

1. Use two quilts inside the quilt cover, if you want an extra plush look. “That way the quilt cover looks really lofty,” explains Jordan. “Obviously, it’ll be a bit warm but if we’re talking purely about looks that’s a fantastic way to go.”

2. Oversize your quilt cover. For example, if you have a queen sheet set and queen mattress, go for a king-size quilt cover to have that extra drape around your mattress base.”

Shop it

Linen duvet cover in Natural, $295.00 – $365, Cultiver

If colour scares you, this muted neutral quilt cover and pillowcases are a gentle hue that you can match and layer with white and neutral tones. Made from 100% European flax, mix and match to your hearts content with matching pillowslips, European pillows or a combination of both in contrasting colours.

Luxury Velvet Bolster in Khaki, $69.95, Aura Home

If your space is lacking texture, this olive green cushion will do the trick. This design is available in a selection of colourways to perfectly suit your scheme, and the bolster shape will bring a classic elegance to your bed.

Newport chunky knit throw in Coal, $149.99 (was $199.99), Adairs

Soft to the touch, this moody-hued throw from would bring a modern, warm vibe to any bedroom. Drape it across the end of a white or neutral bed for a bold statement or combine with soft pastels for a sophisticated look.

400tc Soft Sateen sheet set, Queen, $244.97 (was $349.95), Sheridan

If you love a crisp, white look, Sheridan’s Soft Sateen white sheets are a timeless choice. Their quality will make you feel like you’re slipping into a hotel bed every night.

Home Beautiful Foundations European pillowcase in Dawn, $34.99 (was $69.99), MyHouse

European pillows are a wonderful way to bring height to your pillow arrangement, with the added element of contrasting colour. Choose fabrics that match your bedlinen or make a statement with something different – velvet works beautifully.

Bianca Geraldton Olive Coverlet, Queen, $269.95, Adairs

Top your bed with a layer of comfort and warmth by investing in a good quality coverlet. Not only will it make your bed look ‘finished’, but if you want to keep it on while you sleep, the extra padding will certainly protect you against any chilly draughts during the night.

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