7 Simple Changes to Take Your Bed from Average to AWESOME

I’ve shared a lot of beds here on KN over the past few years and a request I don’t think I’ve ever really addressed is how I make my bed. While today’s post isn’t going to be a step by step tutorial, I am going to share a few key practices that can totally alter the outcome. There are so many ways to make a bed and I don’t know that there is one right way, but if you’re looking for subtle, easy changes to make a bed just a little more welcoming, this is for you! I’ve partnered with The Company Store to pull together one of my go-to, layered bedding looks and we’ll troubleshoot through seven simple changes that can make all the difference.

*While this post is written in partnership with The Company Store, as always, all opinions, concept, and content creation are my own. Posts on KelleyNan.com may contain affiliate links. Click HERE for full disclosure.

What you dress a bed in is important; but how you dress it is just as key. I’ve had readers email me that they have tried to replicate bedding looks but they just don’t come together the same — there are tons of ways to make a bed and each can look drastically different, even with the same bedding. Here’s the look we’ll be breaking down today…

Tips to Take Your Bed from Average to Awesome

All the bedding pieces are from The Company Store and good news — their Friends & Family Sale is running from today through October 2nd, which means 25% off site-wide, plus free shipping with code J19FRIENDS. You can shop this bedding look by scrolling and tapping the icons below and shop the entire sale HERE.

When I make my bed, the goal is for it to look pulled together, neat and a little tailored, but still casual. Plush and comfy, but not frumpy. Something that looks inviting and not intimidating, but also not totally effortless. Make sense? Let’s dive in and I’ll run through seven things you can do to get the look of that bed.


Using sheets from the same set sounds easy enough, right? But, as soon as you rotate sheets between washes and then go to pull a set out from the linen closet next time, things can get a little dicey. I’m totally guilty of “close enough”. Or, what if you have a sheet set that has lost pieces over the last few years? Try to keep your nice sheets together. They’ll wear more evenly (anyone have a bed with dingy pillowcases but a stark white fitted sheet?), and, the uniformity of your bedding “base” will set the tone for the entire bed. This organic cotton sateen sheet set with pretty hemstitch detailing is so good. They’re so soft and wash beautifully (very little wrinkle action) but still crisp and luxurious. There are a lot of things I will skimp on but quality bedding — especially sheets — is one thing I believe is worth every bit of investment. These are sold both as a set and as individual pieces.

Pretty White Bed SHeets


While keeping that sheet set uniform, I go the opposite direction with the rest of the bedding. I 100% support beds that look curated and collected and coordinated over perfectly matched. I can totally appreciate whoever came up with the “bed in a bag” concept but it’s probably going to look like just that.

How to Make a Queen Bed

If you get an arsenal of favorite separates, you can mix and match to your heart’s content. You can change color schemes, patterns, and make switches throughout the year. I use the same pillows in my living room as I do my bedroom. I pair pinks and red with the same quilts that I use for blues and greens. You don’t have to get crazy but a few staples — like this coverlet with basket-weave stitching or this duvet cover with raw edge pleats (also comes in white) — will take you through any season.

Tips for Making a Better Bed


The stuff you can’t see can make or break your bed. Sometimes you can get away with inserts that match the dimensions of your covers; but, to be on the safe side, I typically size up. Being able to fluff and morph the insert is crucial, too — sticking with down and feather will be way more friendly to work with than polyfill. Wanna see just how big of a difference it makes?

Proper Pillow Inserts and the Difference they Make

Crazy, right? I used 28″ feather inserts on the left which filled out the entire 26″ euro sham. It also smoothed the quilting since it was stretched taut, while the flat, structured, too-small insert on the right did nothing. Throw pillows with inserts that don’t fill them out will often leave gaps in the corners, make the overall pillow look limp, and will pool extra fabric at the bottom. Down alternative pillows can also give a nice, plump look with more malleable structure; you can find down/feather inserts for most throw pillows, along with down alternative HERE.

How to Make Your Euro Shams look Full

How to Mix and Match Throw Pillows on a Bed


When it comes to the bed,  a lot of the plush, coziness is achieved through the layers — not just the actual layers but the visible layers you can see. I try to break up as many “solid planes” as possible to maximize that layered look. Ok, I know folding down the top of the bed is nothing new and it makes it nice at the end of the day before you crawl in, but a lot of people just pull the covers all the way to the top. I’ll be sharing a few images throughout the post to demonstrate the difference,

Bed Making Mistakes and How to Fix Them

I fold both the quilt/coverlet down with the top sheet but like the quilt/coverlet to come down just a little further…

Tips on Bed Making that Make All the Difference

See? Way more inviting! And as a bonus- instant “layers”.

How to Make a Better Bed


The next time your significant other asks you why you “need so many throw pillows”, show him/her this photo haha. 100%, you can achieve a more structured, gorgeous, streamlined, minimalistic/modern looking bed with less (while still following the other tips) but for the plush-factor, layer those pillows on for depth, texture, and interest. I typically (not always) coordinate my euro shams to my quilt/coverlet/duvet cover so that they kind of work like bookends to all the pillow patterns that happen in between. I also like to break two busy patterns/prints with a textured solid. I also try to not go too similar on the print; if you have something large-scale on the bigger throws (medallions, wide stripes, etc.), use something small-print on the front throw(s) (thin stripes, dots, etc.). You can also go patterned on throw blankets, sheets, or even choose items with a trim that becomes more present when it’s folded a few times.

Tips for Making a Prettier Bed

Going with pillows where a lot of pattern and color is present is an easy way to either 1. give a fun pop to an otherwise subdued bet, or 2. have a piece that anchors any other color you want to throw in. I mixed a geometric print with several blue tones, with an ivory velvet, with a tasseled zig-zag. Both patterned pillows are embroidered and beautiful and as a major perk- most throw pillows at The Company Store come in several different sizes, making it easy to mix and match, depending on the order you want them. You can browse them all HERE. If you are looking for some fall staples, for your bedroom, living room or elsewhere, their velvet pillows (HERE) are especially a great deal.

Stunning Blue and White Bedding


The following picture has the exact same bedding pieces as the “finished look” — just without any visible layers.

Mistakes you may be making when making your bed (and how to fix them)

Pretty big difference, right? A question I’ve often been asked is “you use a quilt and a duvet?” Yes, yes I do. A quilt will keep us toasty enough most of the year but in the cooler months — or if we get cold — we have a duvet at the bottom of the bed that can be pulled right up. (FYI- A coverlet is going to be a little thinner than a quilt). So, while it’s folded at the bottom for function, it also amps up the aesthetic and gives us a chance to see more of those layers. Depending on your bed situation, you can fold it in half but I usually fold ours into thirds, like an accordian. Have the bottom end facing the bottom, folded over, then back up. You can roll/plump the edges over/under to make it look more filled out and disguise any ends.

How to Layer a Bed

A major gift to any duvet insert is having a cover with ties that will anchor all four corners inside the cover. A cover with texture also makes it easier to hide wrinkles and imperfections, making it less of a chore to create a neat looking bed. This raw-edge duvet cover, which also comes in white, has both.

How to Make a Bed like a Pro


The more chopped up the bed looks, the more layered it looks. And the more layered it looks, the more plush it looks. If there’s too much of a single span of bed happening, you can add a throw/blanket, duvet, or bring your pillows down further. It also gives one more opportunity to tie in any colors present in your throw pillow configuration.

How to Arrange Throw Pillows on a Bed

This pretty alpaca throw comes in a few colors, perfect for fall; you can find it HERE.

How to layer a bed with bedding essentials

How to Make a Beautiful Bed

While each of these steps can have exceptions and be altered, this is my typical “formula” and bedding makeup. Have any special methods to your bed-making? Do something totally different? Be sure to share them in the comment section below! As a reminder, you can score your entire bedding ensemble for 25% off, plus free shipping with code J19FRIENDS HERE.


Beachcomber Cotton Duvet Cover | Hunter Coverlet | Hunter Euro Shams | Organic 300 Thread Count Cotton Sateen Sheets | Alpaca Solid Throw | Blue Multi Embroidered Pillow Cover — Geo | Cotton Velvet Pillow Covers | Blue Muti Embroidered Pillow Cover — Chevron

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  1. 9.27.19
    Sarah said:

    This is so helpful, Kelley! Thank you! What size bed is this for your guests? Do you recommend a queen over a full for guest rooms?

    • 9.28.19

      Hi, Sarah! Thank you so much. This is a queen sized. A full is probably the toughest- I would go queen minimum if you are going with one bed (and have the space to accommodate it) 😉

  2. 9.27.19

    Very helpful techniques. Thank you! I noticed some layering under the bed as well. A rug over carpet. That too adds ‘cozy’ and ups the texture and beauty. When I make the beds today, I will pull down the sheets and quilt layer further and add some pattern to my decorative pillow display. When browsing the other day in Pottery Barn, one of the clerks told me they put 2-3 duvet inserts into their duvet covers for display. That’s why their beds look so full and inviting. I get the pouf and richness by folding the duvet in thirds, like you suggest.

    • 9.28.19

      Cheryl, you are so right! Layer it all! haha. And yes, I’ve heard that too about the multiple duvet inserts as a catalog and display hack! Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by; wishing you a wonderful weekend!

  3. 9.27.19
    Anna said:

    Your beds are always layered beautifully and styled to perfection!
    Makes me wanna hop in and cozy up!
    Great tips!!

  4. 9.27.19
    Anna said:

    Your beds are always beautifully styled! I love all your layers!! Makes me want to jump in and cozy up!!
    Great tips!!

  5. 9.28.19
    Michelle said:

    Great tips! I love all the texture and pattern you add to your beds throughout the different seasons. The comment above from Cheryl about the 2 duvet inserts is something I need to try. More pouf and warmth, that a win-win!

    • 9.28.19

      Michelle, they look gorgeous in catalogs and on display but I think I would get a bit toasty haha. If you try it in real life, report back and let us know!

  6. 9.29.19
    Andrea said:

    This is so helpful! I love your blog. Your simple tips help even not-so-creative science nerds like me create a welcoming home!

  7. 9.30.19
    Leigh said:

    Hi! I seem to always have the same problem with the top hem of my sheets. I have nice Quality sheets and the top is always scrunched down and wrinkled, so I can’t seem to get that nice clean look with the fold down. Seems no matter how much I iron them, the creases won’t come out. Any suggestions? Thank you!

  8. 9.30.19
    Martina said:

    Great styling tips for the bed Kelley, and I agree with coordinated bedding over matching. I cringe every time I see someone use a bed-in-a-bag set. Is that terrible?! 🙂

  9. 10.2.19
    Lindsay Tate said:


    How many euro shams do you suggest on a king sized bed? I love the larger insert hack so I’m totally going to use that- but I currently have 3 euro shams, 2 standard pillows, 2 kind sized shams and a smaller pillow in the front. I can’t seem to achieve the look I want with all of those. Help!!!

    • 11.5.19

      3! The insert makes a big difference too (don’t do polyfill). I would nix the king shams and try 22″ square throw pillows instead, with the smaller pillow in front. report back!

  10. 10.5.19
    Monica said:

    Did I miss it somewhere or do you mind sharing what your recommendation would be on the insert for a duvet cover? Do you have a specific brand or weight you use for inserts? Your beds always look so put together. I’ve seen some duvets that are so thick, there is no way to fold them at the end of a bed. Also what type of filling for the duvet do you prefer?

    • 11.5.19

      Hey, Monica! I have some down and one down alternative. Because I use quilts too, I never go for the super thick ones. But, I always make sure my duvet covers have ties inside to help them stay covered and distributed evenly!

  11. 10.14.19
    Carolyn said:

    Hi Kelly,
    I first found your blog about a year ago, and you have inspired me ever since. This bedroom does look very cozy. As someone has said on these comments, the rug over the rug adds a lot of cozy. You inspired me last year to do this for all four of our bedrooms. (one is a very small bedroom for our grandchildren.) It has made such a difference in my rooms. I have tried to make the rooms very inviting so when my sons and their families visit, they feel like they are in a warm hotel room. Then they can’t wait to come and visit again! One of my daughter in laws is starting to do the same in their apartment in NY. So you have spread the joy, inspiration and coziness! Thank you and congratulations on the birth of your little daughter.

    • 11.5.19

      Carolyn, I love that! thank you so much for your kind words and here’s to all the cozy as we head into the best time of the year! xoxo