Room styling by Jason Saft of Staged to Sell Home. Photo by Hayley Ellen Day (DDreps)
The bed is the centerpiece of any bedroom, so styling it well can make a huge difference in the overall look and feel of the space. Even if you follow certain guidelines, there are many ways in which you can customize this process to create a bedscape that matches your style and personality.
So who better to share styling advice than Jason Saft of Staged to Sell? As one of New York City’s most-requested home stagers, he’s styled beds in lofts, penthouses, and even a suite at The Plaza. Saft says that, much as he approaches staging a space, it’s important to first understand the goal of styling your room. Are you looking to create your own personal oasis? A place to regain some intimacy in your relationship? These things are important when deciding if you’re going for a well-put-together bed, or something more elaborate.
And FYI, it’s not about throwing a dozen pillows on the bed and calling it a day. Pillow-centric beds can look nice, but they are “so much work and incredibly expensive,” Saft says, so they may not be right for the day-to-day. “I don’t want to spend 30 minutes every morning making a bed, and I don’t want to spend 30 minutes at night taking it apart,” he adds. This is a sentiment that, I’m sure, most people can agree with. So how can you get a good looking bed that won’t be too difficult to keep up with?
Start with quality bedding
Investing in high-quality bedding is essential for creating a comfortable and stylish bed, but high-quality doesn’t always mean expensive. In fact, Saft recommends picking inexpensive sheets and pillowcases, because their shelf life isn’t very long. (You are, after all, spending hours on them each night, and even with the best detergent, buildup still happens.)
Look for sheets made from natural fibers like cotton or linen, as these soft, breathable fabrics make for a comfortable night’s sleep. Before investing in more expensive pieces like duvets, Saft suggests making note of what you usually like when staying at hotels, as that’s a great way of testing out what materials work for you.
And when replacing old sheets, remember: You can always repurpose your old ones as packing materials or cleaning rags, or donate them (after washing) to your local animal shelter–just double check that they accept these first.
Balance out your layers
The best way to ensure your bed looks nice is to keep it balanced. Not only does it make it look better, there is also an energetic component to incorporating symmetry that will make your space feel more harmonious overall. The easiest thing to start with, says Saft, is ensuring you have the right size and number of pillows.
Use four—two on each side—and make sure they are sized right: king-sized for a king bed, and queen or standard-sized for a queen or full bed. To keep it from looking unfinished, make sure the sizes and fills match so everything looks even.
Add texture with throws and pillows
Layering your bedding is a great way to add depth and texture to your room. Start with a fitted sheet, then add a flat sheet and a duvet or comforter. Fold the top layer back to showcase the sheets underneath, and add decorative pillows and a throw blanket to make it feel more cozy and inviting.
Once you have both sides balanced with the pillows you’ll be sleeping in, that’s the time to add in some personality. Saft recommends adding two Euro pillows, and always going one size up on inserts to ensure the shams have a full, plump look. (You can also add two duvet inserts for a similar result bedding-wise, and use a size up in comforter and duvet if possible.)
If you’re going for a more minimal look, you can stop there. If not, this is where you can include a lumbar pillow, or some more fun, non-traditional shapes such as knots and bolster discs. Depending on personal preference, you can also layer something like a coverlet or a chunky knit throw over your duvet or comforter. Faux fur, velvet, and woven materials all work well for adding texture.
“I think [the amount of layers] really comes down to what someone else is comfortable with and how much time they want to spend on it,” Saft says. “Every layer is another detail you have to do in the morning. Now, some people love that detail. I know people who love making their bed it’s like meditative for them in the morning. So if it makes you feel good and you enjoy the process, then go for it. But if you’re one of those people in the morning that is barely getting out of the house and you have six layers of bedding to deal with, you may just want to simplify things.”
Consider the color palette and lighting
When styling your bed, consider the color palette of your bedroom. Choose colors and patterns that complement the walls and decor in your space, and play with different shades and tones for added depth. Saft is a big fan of soft, neutral colors and earth tones, as those are easy to work with, and can make a great base no matter your personal style.
Mood lighting, while not directly related to bed styling, is also very important to creating a space conducive to relaxation. Saft recommends soft white lights and golden hues to help soften the room, and adding dimmer switches and accent lights to avoid the more clinical look of overhead lighting. By following these tips, you can create a beautiful and stylish bed that is both comfortable and achievable.