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February 09, 2023 7 min read

If you are interested in learning how to layer a bed like a designer, The Fig Linens and Home blog is here to help! 

In this step by step guide to making a bed like a designer, we will review how to layer your fitted sheet, flat sheet, duvet cover, pillow shams, quilt, and decorative pillows to create a polished and stylish bedroom. Let's make the perfect bed.

Before We Begin: Designer Bedding Inspiration and Essentials

The Inspiration: Beds by Interior Designers We Love

The best bedroom interior design comes from planning and foresight. Therefore, to make your bed like a designer, you will need to think like a designer.

The first step to planning is searching for inspiration. Use sites like Pinterest and interior design outlets like Better Homes and Gardens, The Spruce, and Elle Decor to find looks you want to create. 

Another awesome technique for bedroom inspiration is looking at the Instagram pages and Websites of interior designers you love in your local area. For instance, before writing this article, we reviewed the portfolios of designers we have worked with to compile ideas. Beautiful bedrooms like the one in this Fairfield, CT beach house designed by Kelsey Johnston Interiors (pictured to the right) provide ideas for how to artfully combine pillows, color schemes, and textures.

Kelsey Johnston Interiors Design Your Bed Like an Interior Designer Fig Linens and Home Bedroom
Kelse​​y Johnston Interiors: Fairfield Beach House

Toolkit for Creating a Modern Bed Design

Before beginning, review the following checklist for making a queen bed and checklist for making a king bed. These lists offer an overview of the necessary pieces to curate a luxury hotel feel in your bedroom. The lists offer our suggestions, but you are welcome to add in further decorative elements, or remove pillows that do not serve you.

Once you have assembled the following, you are ready to begin making your bed.

Making a queen bed checklist fig linens and home westport connecticut
Making a king bed checklist fig linens and home westport connecticut

7 Steps to Layer Bedding for a Designer Look

Step 1: Style Your Bed Sheets Like a Pro

For this step you will need:

  • 1 Flat Sheet
  • 1 Fitted Sheet

Note: If you are feeling lost at this point, you may want to review our guide to the difference between a fitted and flat sheet for clarification.

High quality bed sheets are essential to make your bed look (and feel!) luxurious. Since sheets are the part of your bedding that are touching your body, it is important to invest in ultra-soft sheets that you love. Do you prefer a crisp hotel feel or a more shimmery, sateen style? What thread counts and materials feel good to you? 

Once you have answered these questions, you will need to follow two rules to style your bed and complete this first step:

  • First, stretch a fitted sheet (bottom sheet) around your mattress. We recommend beginning with the most difficult to reach corner (usually pressed against the wall or headboard). 
  • Second, lay a flat sheet (top sheet) over the fitted sheet. If the sheet has a detail like a band or an embroidery, this should be placed along the top edge of the bed. If the sheet has a detail or a pattern, place this side facing down, against the bottom sheet. Be sure to pull the sheet all the way to the top of the mattress because you will return to it in step 2.  
Matouk Ceylon Satin Stitch Bedding Fig Linens and Home Westport Connecticut Decorate Bed like a designer luxurious bedroom
Fig Linens and Home: Ceylon Satin Stitch Bedding by Matouk​​

Step 2: Add a Duvet to Create Your Perfectly Made Bed

For this step you will need:

  • 1 Duvet Cover
  • 1 Down or Down Alternative Comforter

  • First, stuff your down or down alternative comforter inside of your duvet. The easiest way to achieve this result is by laying the duvet flat on the bed. Find the short side of the duvet and match it to the short side of the comforter. Pick up the comforter by the two short corners with one hand on either corner. Now, run your arms along the inside of the duvet to find the corners of its short side.The corners of the comforter should be aligned with the internal corners of the duvet cover. Hold both the duvet and the comforter together by the opposite (bottom) corners and shake to distribute the comforter throughout the duvet. Button or tie the open pocket shut.
  • Second, drape the duvet over the bed. Align the buttons or flap of the duvet cover with the bottom of the bed. 
  • Third, "the fold." Pull the top of the flat sheet up, and fold it over the top of the duvet. This step will bring an extra polished feel to your bedroom! To be exact, Architectural Digest recommends displaying about 16 inches of the flat sheet folded over the duvet at a 45 degree angle. Reference the image below for "the fold."
how to make perfect bed fold technique matouk pomegranate bedding fig linens and home
Fig Linens and Home: Pomegranate Bedding by Matouk​​

Step 3: Stuff Your Pillowcases and Add them to the Top of the Bed

For this step you will need:

  • 2 Pillows
  • 2 Pillowcases

Note: Your pillowcases are the three sided pillow sacks that come as part of your sheet set. If this step is unclear, you may want to read our guide to the difference between a pillow case, a pillow sham, and a pillow protector.

  • First, chop your pillow in half lengthwise using your forearm. Use your other arm to wrap the pillow around the first arm, like a hot dog bun.
  • Second, put your arm and the pillow inside the pillowcase. Push your arm to the back and adjust the pillow until it lays flat inside the case.
  • Finally, place the pillows at the very back of the bed, against the headboard or the wall. They will be hidden until you go to sleep. When you are ready for bed, you can pull the pillows out and place them in front of your other shams to sleep on.

Step 4: Add Shams You Love

For this step you will need:

For a Queen Bed:

  • 2 Euro Shams
  • 2 Euro Pillows
  • 2 Standard Shams
  • 2 Queen Pillows

For a King Bed:

  • 3 Euro Shams
  • 3 Euro Pillows
  • 2 King Shams
  • 2 King Pillows

Note: This list is not prescriptive. It written to build a bed with three layers of pillows before decorative pillows. Some people prefer more pillows or fewer pillows. Play around to find the look and feel you like!

  • First, stuff the pillows using the "chopping" method described in Step 3. Since shams have a an additional flap over the open end, take extra care to protect the seems of the sham as you put the pillows inside.
  • Second, place the Euro shams across the bed in front of the sleep pillows (2 across on a queen bed and 3 across on a king). This will create a stunning, designer effect and can substitute for a headboard if you don't have one.
  • Finally, place the standard or king shams in front of the Euro shams to create a staggered effect.

For an example of the polished, put-together look, find photos from a designer we've worked closely with, the inimitable Whitney McNell. This gorgeous Darien bedroom (below) was designed by McNell Interiors and photographed by Julia D'agostino Pierce using Matouk Daphne. Note the beautiful, coordinated effect of the matching Euro and King Shams.

Matouk Daphne Bedding Fig Linens and Home Mcnell interiors Darien connecticut
McNell Interiors: Darien Project Featuring Matouk Daphne Bedding Photographed by Julia D'Agostino​​
Matouk Daphne Bedding Fig Linens and Home Mcnell interiors Darien connecticut
McNell Interiors: Darien Project Featuring Matouk Daphne Bedding Photographed by Julia D'Agostino​​

Step 5: Add Decorative Pillows to Make Your Bedroom Pop

For this step you will need:

  • At least 1 decorative pillow of your choice!

  • First, choose at least one decorative pillow that you absolutely love. This is the fun part! Scroll through some of our best selling decorative pillows below, or checkout the decorative pillows section on our website for ideas. You can use a contrasting statement pillow, or use a boudoir sham that coordinates with the rest of your bedding.
  • Next, place the pillow on your bed in front of your other pillows. When you go to sleep, you will remove these pillows from your bed.

Step 6: Fold a quilt or coverlet at the end of the bed for a designer-approved touch!

For this step you will need:

  • 1 quilt or 1 coverlet, depending on your preference

Note: If you are struggling with this step, House Beautiful has an excellent guide on the difference between a quilt and coverlet

  • First, fold your quilt or coverlet into thirds. Take the corners on the short edge into either hand and fold it about 2/3 of the way into the quilt. Then, take the unfolded side and fold it over the folded side. If you prefer a more drapey look, you can fold the quilt in half by bringing the two short sides together. 
  • Second, lay the quilt or coverlet across the bottom end of the bed. Arrange it so it drapes off either side of the bed. If you have chosen to fold your quilt in half, it will also drape off the back end of the bed.
Yves Delorme Flores Bedding How to Make a Designer Bed Fig Linens and Home
Fig Linens and Home: Flores Coverlets​​ by Yves Delorme

Step 7: Drape a Throw Blanket Across the Bed for a Polished Look!

For this step you will need:

  • 1 Throw Blanket of Your Choice

Note: This step is optional, but it can help to bring the look all together. 

  • First, fold your throw. You can choose to fold it into halves or thirds depending on your preference.
  • Second, drape the throw across your quilt or coverlet. Arrange the throw with the look you like. The goal is for the bed to appear casual but intentional.
Fabulous Furs Posh Mink Spice Throw Make a Bed Like a Designer Fig Linens and Home
Fig Linens and Home: Posh Mink Spice Throw by Fabulous Furs​​

We hope you enjoyed this article, and ultimately, the only designer whose opinion matters is you! Remember, like Picasso said "learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist."

Feel free to comment your favorite step (adding a decorative pillow or the fold, for example) or any questions you still have!

sophie edwards content writer for fig linens and home

Sophie Edwards

Sophie is the head content writer at Fig Linens and Home. She is a bedding, linens, and luxury homeware expert with an interest is the intersection of interior design with fashion, travel and culture. She has a BA in creative writing and sociology from Sarah Lawrence and an MSc from the Oxford University Department of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography.

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