How to Make a Bed With a Designer’s Touch

Have you ever wondered how to make a bed like designers do in the magazines? Making a bed so that it looks picture perfect is really not that hard to do. It’s just a matter of knowing what the components are and how to layer them. There are lots of different ways you can layer a bed. Today I’m sharing with you one simple way on how to make a bed. It has 4 easy steps and works for everyday life. I also have a few posts for you with information that will help you select the right mattress and sheets. Check out What are Standard Mattress and Sheet Sizes? and my 3-part series on How to Shop for Sheets. Now, let’s learn how to make a bed!

How to Make a Bed


To create your “looks like a designer did it” bed, you’ll need the following items:

  • Mattress Cover – Before you start making it beautiful, consider protecting your mattress with some type of mattress cover. Besides extending the life of your mattress, they can also provide an extra layer of padding.
  • Bed Skirt or Dust Ruffle – This one is optional. It really depends on the style of your bed. If you have an ugly metal bed frame, you’ll want a dust ruffle. When buying a dust ruffle, make sure it’s long enough. Standard dust ruffles are 14 to 15 inches long, but they can be as long as 22 inches or more. To determine what length you need, measure from the top of the box spring to the floor. Try to find one in a heavier fabric such as linen. Note that straight lines create a tailored and clean look, while ruffles have a more romantic feel.
  • Sheets – 1 Fitted Sheet, 1 Flat/Top Sheet, 2 Pillowcases. Find out what to look for in my series How to Shop for Sheets.
  • Light Blanket – This is an opportunity to add color and texture along with warmth.
  • Duvet or Comforter – Find out what size you need in my post What are Standard Mattress and Sheet Sizes?
  • Euro Shams – Euro pillow measure 26-27 inches square. On twin beds use 1, full/queen beds 2 and king beds 3.
  • 2 Standard or King Shams – On queen/full beds you’ll use 2 standard, on twin beds use 1 standard
  • Decorative Pillows – To keep it simple for this design, have 2 square or round pillows and one neck roll pillow. You always want to leave a little space between the last pillow and the folded comforter or duvet.

How to Make A Bed Like a Designer: Bed skirts with straight lines create a tailored, clean look. More tips at

Robin Pelissier


Now that you have all the necessary items, here are the 4 simple steps to put it all together.

1 Put on the mattress cover, the bed skirt (if you’re using one) and sheets. Make sure the corners of the fitted sheet are lined up with the corners of the mattress and that it’s pulled tight. Add the flat sheet with the decorative edge facing down so when you fold it back, you’ll be able to see the decorative edge.

2 The next layer is the light blanket. Fold the top sheet and the blanket back about 12 to 14 inches. Tuck them in neatly all the way around the bed. If you want to learn how to do hospital corners, Martha Stewart has a great video.

3 Next, you can choose either a duvet or comforter. Drape it over the blanket so that it hangs evenly on all sides and fold back the top half revealing the top sheet and blanket. I like to fold my comforter in a Z pattern at the foot of the bed, so that I can easily pull it over me if I get cold at night.

4 Time for the pillows! Here are the pillow layers:

  • Stand the Euro pillows against the headboard.
  • Put your sleeping pillows (in the pillowcases) upright in front of the Euro pillows.
  • Next, stand the shams in front of the sleeping pillows.
  • Finally, add the two decorative pillows and place the neck roll in the front them.

Voila! You’re done!

How to Make A Bed Like a Designer: Use large, square Euo pillows against the headboard to anchor the look. More tips at

Elegant Linens

The bed is the focal point of the bedroom. Learning how to make a bed with a designer’s touch isn’t difficult at all. The simple steps outlined here will help you to make your bed look beautiful!

More ideas to help you create a fabulous focal point in your bedroom:


First photo: Ralph Lauren

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  1. 1


    Thanks for sharing these tips; I am a fanatic about my bedding, including ironing everything; I hate wrinkles!
    I wasn’t sure about putting the coverlet on before the duvet, but I have been seeing that everywhere and now I am going to do it.

    Thank you!


    • 2

      Peggy Pardo says

      You’re welcome, Alana! I’m the same way about my bedding. So happy you found the inspiration to try something new. It’s fun to mix things up and try them in fresh new ways. 🙂

  2. 5

    michael says

    Hi Peggy.thanks for the tips.I was wondering if you may be able to help me with some colour ideas.I hae a double size bed to make up.My carpet in a luscious charcoal colour and the walls are white.I haven’t any curtains yet also.I need help after buying carpet I like im lost.thanks Peggy.

    • 6

      Peggy Pardo says

      White and charcoal are a great foundation to work with; you can go with almost anything. I suggest finding a piece of artwork you love for the room and pull your colors from there. When you find something send me a pic and I’d be happy to give you some suggestions. 🙂

  3. 7

    Karen says

    Hi Peggy,

    How do you make the euro pillows as well as the shams stand right? I recently purchased euro pillows and when I stuff them into the cases, it is bumpy in different areas. I tried shaking them on each side. Any tips?

    • 8

      Peggy Pardo says

      It could be the type of pillow insert you’re using, Karen. You want to use one that is generously stuffed. An overstuffed insert will fully fill the sham, including the corners and help to make it smooth. It will also stand up easier. 🙂

  4. 9

    Peggy Marshall says

    I have a queen size bed with a dust ruffle, my style is kinda shabby chic. My question is to make the comforter hang over the edges should I buy a king size comforter? Also my comforter is white and I want the cheapest way to change the color, would that be a duvet or just change the pillow case color and the decorative pillows? Thanks for your help Peggy. I so enjoyed this article on how to make the bed like a decorator… oh I forgot my walls are going to be painted Dorien gray… I dont have a head board yet and I have my bed on risers…
    Peggy M.

    • 10


      Glad you enjoyed the post, Peggy. I’m happy to help. Before you buy a new comforter, measure first! Measure the width of the bed and how long you want it to hang over on each side. Then compare it to the measurements on the king and queen comforters you are considering. Changing out your toss pillows and pillow cases are the cheapest and easiest way to add color. Best of luck with your room! 🙂