I've styled 100s of beds as a stylist - this is how to turn yours into a super-cosy sleep space

Turn your bed into a super-cosy sleep space that's never looked better with these insider secrets from a stylist

bedroom with bedding, throws and pillows
(Image credit: Future PLC / Maxwell Attenborough)

One thing I always get asked as an interior stylist is how I get beds looking so perfect. And let's face it, when you look at images in magazines, on Pinterest and online – and even in stores – the beds often look so much plumper, fuller and more inviting than those in our own homes. 

The reason? There's a lot of work that goes into getting those images to look the way they do, and some of it is quite unrealistic for your everyday bedroom ideas. You don't want to have to pin your bedding in any way at home, for example, or put stiff tape behind the corners of Oxford pillowcases to stop them from drooping (all things I have done for the camera).

There are, however, things you can do to get your bedding looking tip-top and I'm here to let you in on a few of my fail-safe styling tips for getting the perfectly dressed bed, whether it's for your own bedroom or you want to host overnight guests

5 tips for a perfectly dressed bed

Start with making sure you have the best pillows and best duvet that are in good shape – flat-as-a-pancake pillows aren't going to look good no matter how you dress them! Then follow these ideas to style your bed like a pro.

1. Layer up your bedding

bedroom with bed and bench

(Image credit: Future PLC / Dominic Blackmore)

We often talk about layers when it comes to interiors and no more so than in the bedroom. In fact, as a stylist, we quite often use two different duvets (and duvet covers) as a base when we're shooting imagery or styling beds in stores. Obviously that's not something you'll want to do at home, purely for the cost, but you can still build up your bed to make it look cosy and comfy. 

Start with your duvet cover and top with a bedspread, followed by a blanket or throw – these layers add interest and will make your bed look super snuggly. Try folding your duvet cover back slightly and popping your blanket or bedspread underneath. Create a few ripples rather than having everything super flat – it gives the appearance of even more layers and depth.

2. Use pattern to combine colours

bedroom with coloured bedding

(Image credit: Future PLC / Dominic Blackmore)

When you're mixing different colours in your bedding, you can 'hold' them all together by using a patterned cushion or blanket that combines all of those individual colours. For example, the blue bedding here is mixed with a pink blanket and cushions and a green bedspread – with one single cushion tying all of those together. It's a good trick for making your bed look unified despite all the different shades.

3. Use symmetry for hotel-style looks

bedroom with white bedding and bench with pillows

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Decide before you start whether you want your bed to look more formal or relaxed, as this will dictate how you dress your bed. For a smarter look, use matching cushions on either side of the bed, rather than layering them across one another, and fold your bedspread back sharply and evenly, rather than placing it at an angle and ruching it. 

A bench located at the end of your bed is ideal for placing those pillows and blankets at night and makes a good finishing touch for a hotel-look bedroom.

4. Know when to keep bedding simple

Upholstered bed with throw and bedside table

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Sometimes it pays to let the bed do the talking, especially if you have an upholstered design that you want to be able to see. Here, the interest is on the patterned headboard, with the duvet kept shorter so you can see the base of the bed. 

Cushions have been kept to a minimum, with just one small design echoing the geometric shapes featured on the headboard.

5. Use embellishment for interest

bedroom with bedding, throws and pillows

(Image credit: Future PLC / Maxwell Attenborough)

It's not only piling your bed up that gives it that cosy look. Using touchy-feely materials and embellishments will all lead the eye around the bed, giving it lots to take in. From throws with tassels and pompoms to cushions with chunky knits, and frilled hem pillows, this bed ensures it's a statement piece. 

Note the way the throws and bedding have been draped towards the floor, which could look messy if it weren't for the piles of pillows and cushions all piled high for a sumptuous spot that makes you want to climb right in.

Laurie Davidson

Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at lauriedavidson.co.uk