We all want our homes to feel like a sanctuary. Having a properly dressed and made-up bed goes a long way towards making a bedroom more comfortable and inviting – and makes turning in for the night something to get excited about.

Bed styling goes far beyond just picking out a duvet cover – there are many simple touches that can make your bed look like it came straight from an interior design magazine. Below, we share some of our top tips for making your bed beautiful.

Consider your surroundings

Firstly, you have to think about the overall décor of the room and how your bed is going to fit into it. The style, colour and pattern of the bedding you choose will vary depending on your individual preferences, but you still need to make sure it complements the room rather than competes with it. In addition to colour scheme, the overall aesthetic of the room should be taken into consideration when selecting your bedding. For example, if your bedroom is designed in a Scandinavian style then echo that sense of rustic cosiness by using textured materials and layered bedding and cushions. If your interior design is more Japanese inspired, then create clean minimalist lines with crisp sheets and geometric patterns.

Pillow talk

It’s an eternal debate – do you put your pillows on top of the bedding or tuck them underneath? We favour the former – placing pillows atop the sheets showcases them and looks smart, although tucking them under has the added benefit of protection from dust or sleeping pets. If you want your bed to look hotel-ready, we recommend positioning four pillows upright at the head of the bed with the bedding tucked neatly underneath. Dress the top two in pillow shams to add a further touch of luxury. Keep pillows plumped and launder them every three to six months to stay fresh.

In addition to pillows, scatter cushions add depth and interest – and make your bed an even more comfortable and luxurious surface. There are many throw cushions in unique patterns and colours on the market, and they are a simple way to liven up your living space. Switching them out is an easy way to update your décor in accordance with the changing seasons.

More is more

For the ultimate in cosiness and style, pile on the layers. Creating texture through contrasting blankets, throws and pillows is a great way to make your bed look inviting – and it locks in the warmth.

We recommend layering one to two wool blankets for maximum comfort and contentment. Our merino blankets are perfect for layering on cold nights, or as a single layer in the summer – read more about our Duchess blankets here.

Follow this with a selection of scatter cushions – between two and four is the ideal amount, preferably in contrasting shades, textures and sizes.

Finish the look with a wool throw on the end of the bed, with perhaps another on top to contrast. The key is not to be too neat, so that the bed still looks comfortable – rather than tucking the ends of it in, drape it casually over the foot of the bed. John Atkinson offer a range of pure wool throws, woven at our fully vertical mill in Yorkshire, in a selection of simple classic colourways to suit any interior.

Invest in quality

The average person spends one-third of their life sleeping – so it’s important to make this sleep as comfortable as possible. To really rest in luxury, invest in premium-quality bedding that is designed to give a peaceful night’s sleep.

When determining the quality of bedding, it ultimately comes down to the materials used – and natural materials are the way to go. Sheets made of linen or Egyptian cotton are naturally breathable and absorbent, helping you to stay cool on warm nights. Silk is a great material for use in pillowcases, regulating temperature well and possessing anti-static qualities that are vital for a good hair day.

Wool is the natural choice for a good night’s sleep. We have written extensively before about the benefits of wool – sleeping under wool has proven to improve sleep quality by up to 25%. Wool regulates body temperature, has odour-control qualities, is anti-microbial, hypo-allergenic and asthma friendly.

Select bedding made from premium-quality materials in order to invest in a better night’s sleep.

How to style a bed step-by-step: the John Atkinson guide

  1. Start with a bare mattress. Add a mattress topper here if you want an extra-comfortable surface.
  2. Put a mattress protector on top to shield against any stains and to help the mattress last for longer.
  3. Place a fitted sheet on top of the mattress. Alternatively, use a flat sheet and be sure to tuck the corners in all the way around.
  4. Layer one or two (depending on the time of year and your preference) wool blankets on top.
  5. Place four pillows (two on each side) upright on top of the sheets.
  6. Layer a throw on the end of the bed – no need to make it neat.
  7. Scatter two to four cushions of varying sizes and complementing colours on top of the blanket.
  8. Have a great night’s sleep!


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