Friday 23 January 2015

Pillowtalk - Ideas For Creating an Inviting Bed

Above: Anna Carin Design - Photography by Amanda Prior

Are you a stacker, or do you prefer your pillows upright? Do you mix and match patterns and textiles or prefer plain, do you co-ordinate or contrast? How many pillows/cushions do you prefer, four, five or more? Or, maybe this all sounds far too complicated. There is no right or wrong way to dress a bed, however there is definitely a way of making a bed look more inviting, so I set out to discover some well dressed beds.

First I need to say, if you are a minimalist look away, as I am a romantic and love the look of masses of cushions. I know that in the USA cushions are referred to as 'pillows'. In NZ 'pillows' are the ones we rest our heads on and cushions are the decorative features. So as not to confuse my lovely USA readers, I will use the term 'cushions/pillows', or maybe I have confused you even more.

Personally I am a 'stack and stand' person and on a double/queen/king size bed I stack two pillows against the headboard and then place two 55 x 55 cm cushions/pillows in front. I opt out of Euro's as I find they can hide a lot of headboard.  I then place two 50 x 50 cm cushions/pillows standing in front of the stacked pillows and in front of those, a single rectangular cushion/pillow usually in an accent colour or pattern. In my guest bedroom below, I went a little overboard and added two extra 60cm cushions/pillows (spots) as this headboard was quite tall and the overall balance was better. It actually looked just as nice with just one of the larger spotted velour cushions and the two toile ones in front.

Hint 1: When dressing a bed I prefer to use feather inners for my decorative cushions/pillows, rather than polyester. The reason being that polyester doesn't have any much give and cannot be moulded or plumped into shape. If you want to plump and shape your cushions, then feather is best. 

Hint 2: A friend who sews soft furnishings told me to put your feather inners out in the sun from time to time and this will plump up the feathers. It is always good to do this anyway as the sun will kill off any dust mites that may cause allergies.

Dressing a bed successfully is all about layering texture and pattern and the same applies to your cushions/pillows. You don't need to match everything and introducing an accent colour or pattern with maybe one or two cushions, will definitely lift a space. As I have said, there really is no rules and it is much a personal choice. However, cushions can add a designer look and can totally change the overall appearance of a room in your favour. If you are after a new look for your bedroom, once you have read this post, you may also want to view my slideshow on bedside styling

Design by Amy Tyndall Design
Above:  Cushions/pillows with contrasting patterns have been mixed to create a welcoming bed. The contrast leopard print adds some interest and tones in with the upholstered linen headboard and lamp shades -  Design by Blackband Design
Above: An all white combination of standing pillows/cushions for a relaxed look. The white lifts this room with its contrasting dark grey walls - Design by i3 design group
Above: A relaxed cottage look, neutral toned cushions/pillows with a little pattern and some texture by way of the embroidered sacking cushion -  Design by Dreamy Whites

Above: Stacking and standing with a square bolster. I love this bold combination of colour and pattern in this opulent bedroom by Robin Pelissier Interior Design & Robin's Nest

Above: Keeping it simple and restful in a neutral palette by Jacqueline Glass and Associates
Above: stacked and standing as I prefer myself.  A bolster cushion adds contrast with its trellis pattern - Design by Tineke Triggs
Tom Stringer Design Partners
Above: A relaxed look - Designers Blackband Design

Above: A relaxed informal arrangement with an inviting look. The co-ordinating throw ties it together - Designer, Lisa Teague Design Studio
Above Designers - Blackband Design

Above:  Contemporary deisgn by Sasha Meredith Designs

I hope reading this post might inspire you to add or subtract a few more cushions/pillows to your bed I would love to hear what you prefer... Talking about beds, I know I promised to share my bedroom makeover of the master bedroom before Christmas, the last post was an update on my master bedroom. It is now almost complete, apart from artwork and one corner. I am busy editing progress shots and placing my new watermark on them and next week will post an update showing most of the room.

Lee oxo


  1. That bed with purple headboard and peacock cushions, dreamy one! I also like the white one with green cushions. I love a lot of pillows/cushions on my bed. I can't wait for your bedroom makeover:)

    1. I agree the purple one is stunning, not my personal style but I love the wall paper and the overall look which is full of texture and pattern.

    2. Are you not on Bloglovin anymore? Your blog disappeared from my list:(

    3. Oh that is odd Anna, I have no idea what has happened there, I will check later.


    5. I've got you back now on my bloglovin list:)

  2. Very timely, Lee as my French Provincial bed arrived last week and the new king/single bed arrived yesterday for the 2nd guest room, so now it's onto styling both beds, i'm a bit of a flat pillows and stacker of cushions, kinda gal


    1. That sounds great Jane, you will have to send me some photos when you have put everything together. You will have fun doing two beds, are you are going French style with the overall look of the room?

  3. thanks for great tips :) I'm soon starting to work at IKEA, then I can really stock up on cusions ;) I'm planning to fix up my guest room soon, I just need to get in the mood for painting..

    Have a nice weekend :)

    1. Gosh working at IKEA you will be surrounded by so many tempting things and yes you can stock up on cushions, a girl never has enough of those :). Hopefully looking at these rooms will get you in the mood for decorating. I will be featuring my bedroom makeover next week with a coastal look, I hope you can come back and visit again.


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