Beautiful Bedrooms: Layered Bedding Looks We Love

Wake up your bedroom's style with our tips for pairing patterns and combining colors for a dreamy sleep space.

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March 30, 2020

Photo By: Brittney Gazaway; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Brittney Gazaway; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Brittney Gazaway; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Brittney Gazaway; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Brittney Gazaway; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Brittney Gazaway; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Brittney Gazaway; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Brittney Gazaway; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Brittney Gazaway; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Brittney Gazaway; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Brittney Gazaway; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Brittney Gazaway; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Layer Your Look

What's the #1 trick designers use when making the bed? Layers and lots of them — from cheery colors to pretty patterns to textures you can't wait to touch, layering the bed allows you to flex your creativity for a look that's anything but a snooze.

Contrast Colors

Another way designers add visual interest is by using contrasting colors, which are hues that are opposite each other on the color wheel; for instance, purple and yellow, red and green or orange and blue. For our bed, we paired navy bedding with a plush velvet pillow in terracotta tones.

Pair Similar Shades

This bed features four distinctive shades of blue that vary in saturation but are tonally similar so they work together for a cohesive whole. Contrasted with a soft blush via the floral sheets, the blues feel both cheery and serene.

Be Savvy With Scale

When picking patterns, varying the size — small, medium and large — is key. For instance, we mixed a small print, via the sunny dotted sheets, with a medium pattern on the diamond-stitched quilt and Euro shams, and brought in a big graphic punch with the large-scale floral pillow. Each pattern adds interest on its own but combined, they create a layered look that works without being matchy-matchy.

Play With Pattern

In addition to pairing patterns in a range of sizes, also mix all-over patterns, like this scrolling floral duvet, with geometric options, like the zigzag pattern on the blush lumbar pillow or diamond stitching on the linen Euro shams.

Add Style With Sheets

Don't overlook patterned sheets. A playful print, like this lovely large-scale floral, is an easy way to pop in a lot of pattern with just one swap.

Get More Tips: Guide to Buying Sheets

Pretty Pillowcases

Sweet with just a bit of playful tartness, this lemon-themed sham has all the charm of a vintage-style print but features bright, look-at-me colors. Consider swapping out just your pillowcases or shams to change up your bedroom's look for less.

Checks? Check!

Large-scale patterns, like buffalo check, are perfect for pairing with other graphic patterns, like florals and stripes. To prevent pattern overload, select just one dominant color (we used shades of blue) for a pulled-together look.

Learn More About This Timeless Pattern: : Trending Now: Buffalo Check

Say Yes to Stripes

This most versatile of patterns pairs well with florals, geometrics, solids, checks and even other stripes — just vary the size. Striped sheets are an especially good investment because their ability to work with all other patterns means you can swap up the other layers with changes in season or whim.

Reversible Quilts: Double the Fun

Bedding styles that feature a pattern on both sides offer up double the looks for just one price. With trendy buffalo check on the face and timeless ticking stripe on the reverse, you need only fold down the top to create a pretty pattern-on-pattern effect.

Pillow Layering 101: Bed Pillow

Layering pillows isn't just fun, it's also practical with each pillow serving a different purpose. With so many pillows, what order do they go in? First, next to the headboard, place the pillow you sleep on each night. Don't worry if it's wrinkled from use; it'll be covered with the following layers so it's tucked safely out of sight.

Pillow Layering 101: Euro Sham

Generously sized at 26" square, these oversized pillows are perfect for adding a cushy layer to solid-wood headboards or for popping in just a bit more pattern.

Pillow Layering 101: Decorative Sham

Although often sold as part of a set (think: comforter, shams and bedskirt), designers usually skip the set and instead pick a pretty patterned sham that complements the bedding as a whole but isn't matchy-matchy. Take their cue and pick patterned shams that relate to the bed's other patterns and colors but aren't necessarily just more of the same.

Pillow Layering 101: Skip the Sham

On a guest bed which doesn't see nightly use, swap pillows in decorative shams for standard bed pillows in pretty pillowcases — no need to tuck the bed pillow behind the Euro as you would on your own bed.

Pillow Layering 101: Lumbar Pillow

Long and low, lumbar pillows add extra pattern without visually blocking the pillows behind them. Plus, they add extra cozy support when tucked behind the small of your back — hence their name.

Pillow Layering 101: Decorative Pillow

The final flourish on a well-made bed is a decorative pillow that pulls the disparate colors and patterns together.

Cue the Quilt

Speaking of finishing touches, a quilt folded across the foot of the bed is another favorite of designers — both as an extra pop of pattern and as a cozy snuggle accessory.

Love Your Layers

With bedding this beautiful, why not show it off? We paired a duvet cover that's printed with a reverse pattern on each side with a blush-toned blanket and chambray sheets, then folded down the layers so each was visible. Design tip: Knit blankets tend to stretch with use; to prevent messy sides, select a blanket that's one size smaller than your bed. For instance, we used a twin blanket on our queen-size bed to ensure the blanket would stay neatly tucked under the duvet.

Think of Texture

When selecting colors and patterns, don't forget texture. This stitched velvet quilt brings in pretty, plush pattern via an oh-so-touchable texture.

Don't Skimp on Storage

An abundance of layers = the need to stash items when not in use. A large basket at the foot of the bed is a handy place to store pillows and throws each night.

Carry Pattern Throughout

When layering patterns, more is more. So, don't skimp on style by limiting pattern to just the bed — spread it throughout the room via pillows, draperies, throws and even the rug.

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