How do I choose bedding to compliment my bedroom decor?

Terry Baskeyfield | Updated

After selecting the colours for the walls and the flooring, there’s the matter of coming up with the right combinations for the bedding. There are several ways to go about the process and ensure that the room has a unified look. Here are some examples to keep in mind while looking at different selections for the bedding and any accent pillows that will occupy the space.

Sheets, blankets and quilted covers

To start with there are sheets, these are the basics of your bedding and can be fitted or flat. Sheets come in a bewildering array of colours and fabrics to suit any style you want to create. A fitted sheet has elasticated sides so that bed making is easier. Then blankets, which are not as popular as they were before the use of the continental quilted bed covers but can be a great addition to your bed. Coverlets, quilts, and bedspreads all come under the heading of 'quilted covers' and can be used separately or mixed together to create a stylish look.

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Fluffy or flat?

The choice of furnishings will have some impact on the type of bedding used in the space. If the goal is to go with sharp lines that have a contemporary look, opting for a cover that is somewhat flat makes sense. Consider investing in a duvet and two or three different duvet sets. Flat bedspreads will also be more in line with the simplicity of the room design. If the décor has soft lines, feel free to go with something that has a bit of an overstuffed look. A thick duvet matched with a dust ruffle and padded pillow shams will work well in this type of setting.

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Matching the window treatment

One approach that many people like is to draw inspiration from the window treatment. If the home owner has chosen a pastel yellow for the curtains, why not carry that colour over to the duvet or bed cover? Assuming the hue is a perfect match, it will look as if the items were purchased at the same time, and of course you can purchase matching duvet covers and curtains to take the guess work out of this bedroom décor option.

Remember that this approach still allows room to add something extra to the bed. Pair that yellow duvet cover with pillow cases, it's a good idea to buy a duvet cover set that comes with identical pillow cases. A pattern that includes two or three additional colours adds interest to the bed and helps to keep the amount of yellow used in the room balanced.

Drawing inspiration from chair upholstery

There’s a beautiful chair in the corner that sports a patterned upholstery. Two of the colours have already been used for the carpeting and the wall colour. Pull a third colour from the upholstery for the duvet cover or bedspread. Even though there are several colours in use in the room, the presence of the chair will ensure that the space is visually unified.

Luxury Bedding And Cushions

Keep the room dimensions in mind

With smaller bedrooms, opting for bedding that is lighter in colour is a smart move. This is because the bed is usually the single largest piece of furniture in the space. A lighter hue will provide the sense of a more expansive space, while darker shades visually shrink the room. Pick up a lighter colour from one of the patterns used elsewhere in the room and it will be hard to go wrong. Likewise, many designers suggest that small patterns should be used in small rooms so that the visual impact is less invasive and keeps the room looking lighter and larger.

In large bedrooms bigger, bolder prints can be used as the size of the room allows for their inclusion without making the room look smaller. However, many designers don't agree with these 'unwritten rules', and suggest that you should choose both colours and patterns that you adore, and breaking the 'rules' can result in amazing décor that doesn't stifle the room's appeal.

Colour & pattern clashing

These are deliberate, well thought out options. Having patterns and colours that clash is a great decorating motif when done correctly. When thrown to together it looks awful, giving a bedroom a chaotic, messy appearance that isn't conducive to a good night's sleep. This form of décor is not for the faint hearted, but in the right style of home it can provide a wonderful unique look.

Remember that staying in step with the décor will ensure the bedding adds to rather than takes away from the look and feel of the room. Draw inspiration from the other elements in the space, and it will be easier to come up with a winning combination that's easy to live with and gives your bedroom the wow factor.

Style choices for your bedding

Taking into account all of the above, let’s first look keeping things plain and simple. This is ideal when you just want your bed and bedding to be comfortable and serviceable. However, just because you don’t want glamour doesn’t mean you can’t have style, and it is possible to create a wonderful bedroom whilst steering well clear of frills. Plain does not have to be boring, look at complementary colours that blend well and pick bedding that is simple yet stylish.

If you don’t like too much fuss then go for plain fitted sheets and duvet sets with matching pillow cases. If you don’t like clutter then stay away from extra cushions or pillows and keep throws and blankets to a minimum. Even if you like things simple there is no rule that says you can’t have colour and a plain but striking look can be achieved by using vivid colours and large patterns. Even a plain room can benefit from a nicely draped throw or two.

Luxury Bedding And Cushions

Going classic with your bedding

A classic look can be achieved by using a bed skirt, that is the addition of a skirted sheet that usually sits between the mattress and the bed frame and holds a train of material that drapes down to the floor. Traditionally a bed skirt was to hide all the ‘untidiness’ that was caused by storing things under the bed and also to stop draughts from creeping up under you when you slept.

Bed skirts are often a forgotten accessory, but a good bed skirt can give a finished streamlined effect to your bed. Be it plain, pleated, frilled or rushed the bed skirt can finish off your look perfectly. If your look is more glamorous then go for silk sheets, pillow shams and draped throws. Layering your bedding is a good way to add texture to your bed and a variety of complimentary cushions piled artistically will add colour and glamour.

Grey And Cream Bedding, Duck Egg Blue Cushions

A more traditional look can be achieved with flowered duvets and quilted throws, perhaps a bolster, which is a long cushion to add a new and distinctive touch. A throw or bed runner draped across the bottom of the bed gives texture and is always handy if the nights turn cold.

Remember that bedding is a very personal thing and the look that you feel comfortable with is unique to you. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colour and texture, mix and match quilts, duvet covers and bedspreads to create new and exciting looks that give your bed and bedroom the style that you're trying to achieve.

Throws, pillows and cushions

That gives you your basic bedding and then come throws, pillows and cushions. The list is almost endless but just as in all other décor of your home there are styles that can dictate the finished look of your room. Before you start think about what sort of look you want to go for, are you a plain and simple sort of person or a frills and flounce type?

Do you like lots of colour clashes or are you more comfortable with plain muted colours? Do you want a functional bedroom or a glamorous boudoir, some girlie glitz or some stately class? Once you have decided what look you feel happy with then it’s time to go into a bit more detail regarding the style you want and how to best create it.

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