Who hasn’t admired those perfect homes shown on the full-page spreads of decorating magazines or on the popular interior decorating websites? Accessorized to perfection, not a bit of mess in sight, and if the room in question is a bedroom—sporting a bed that looks straight out of a professional decorator’s dream. Made neatly enough to win a drill sergeant’s approval, topped with perfectly positioned shams and throw pillows, and finished with a contrasting throw blanket folded just-so at the foot of the bed—these beds look too good to mess up when it’s time to go to sleep!
While your own bedroom might never grace the centerfold of a decorating magazine, there is no reason your bed can’t look just as good (okay, almost as good) as the ones featured on the glossy pages. But if pulling the sheets and blankets up somewhat neatly is about as far as you take bed making each day, you’ll need to go a few steps further. Never fear, it doesn’t take that much time to make your bed up right—with the added benefits of sheets protected from a sleepy pet taking a snooze in the middle of your pillow, plus the enjoyment of entering a bedroom at the end of a long day to find a bed that truly invites you to lie down and relax.
Bed Skirt—Yes or No?
Not every bed needs a bed skirt, but if yours is a mattress atop a foundation with an exposed metal frame, then skirt the bed to conceal the unattractive frame and casters. Plus, when you hide the area underneath your bed, it becomes a great place to store out-of-season clothing, sporting goods, or other bulky items.
A mattress topper adds a layer of extra comfort to your bed. It might not show, but you’ll feel the difference at night.
Smooth, comfortable sheets can make the difference between a good night’s sleep and a night spent trying to get comfortable. Though some purists might insist you need to iron your sheets before making a truly great-looking bed, that won’t be necessary if you remove them from the dryer as soon as they are dry and either fold them for storage or put them right onto the bed.
- Start at one of the upper corners of your mattress, and pull the fitted sheet’s elastic down and over the mattress corner. Now smooth the sheet out, and repeat on the other upper mattress corner. Move to the foot of the bed, and finish pulling the fitted sheet into place, smoothing out all the edges and taking care to cover the entire mattress.
- Now it’s time for the flat sheet. Lay it over your mattress (if the sheet has a printed design on one side, then face the printed side down), and spread the sheet out, pulling the upper hem to the top edge of your mattress, and centering the sheet so it drapes evenly over both sides of the bed. Smooth away any creases.
- Tuck the bottom of the flat sheet under your mattress, and then move to the side. Grab the corner of the sheet that’s hanging out at the foot of the bed, and fold that corner up until it’s against the side of the mattress. Now tuck in the flat sheet, keeping the folded corner tightly in place to create a neat crease. Repeat on the other side. Do your best to achieve a neat fold at the mattress corners, but don’t agonize over it. Leave 12 to 18 inches of flat sheet untucked at the top of the bed.
If you use a blanket for extra warmth, lay it on the bed and adjust so that the top hem is roughly a pillows-width below the upper edge of the mattress. Spread the sides of the blanket evenly over the mattress, and tuck the blanket in following the same procedure as with the fitted sheet.
Choose Your Topper
Whether you choose a quilt, bedspread, comforter, or duvet, this piece sets the tone for your bedroom style. Lay your bed topper over the blanket (or fitted sheet if you prefer not to use a blanket) and adjust so the topper is evenly draped over all sides of your mattress. Keep the top of the comforter a pillows-width below the top of the mattress. Now fold the exposed top of the fitted sheet down over the topper, and tuck the sides in snugly.
Place Your Pillows
Fluff your sleeping pillows, and prop them against the headboard with the open side of the pillowcases facing the nearest side of the bed. If you use European shams, these come next. Place your regular shams in front of the European shams, then finish off with no more than three throw pillows—generally, a couple of rectangular or square pillows and a rounded bolster look best. Remember that there is no law saying you have to use shams or throw pillows, but if you want your bed to be truly styled, take the extra few seconds to put pillows in place.
For a crowning touch, fold a throw blanket, thin quilt, or extra blanket, and layer it across the foot of the bed.
Step Back and Enjoy!
Your bed is perfectly made, it only took a minute or two, and your whole bedroom looks great.