Style at home: fall into bed with tips from the pros

  • Stacks of pillows aren’t for everyone, so definitely tweak the look to fit your style. (Mary Carol Garrity/TNS)

By Mary Carol Garrity Tribune News Service

Sisters Kathy and Paula have spent their lives working as a team. Now, these almost-twins still get along famously.

Except that Paula is always eager to point out that Kathy is the older of the two, and Kathy is quick to retort that at least she’s the natural redhead.

At Nell Hill’s, they joined forces to design bedding ensembles for inspiration beds and customers. I asked this Sister Act to show us how they make beds so inviting.

Cover the boxed springs

If your bed frame has attractive sides, don’t cover them up with a dust ruffle. You do need to cover up the exposed boxed springs. Use a fitted sheet or a dust ruffle for that job.

Fold down the top sheet

We’re wild about sheets with a pretty finish. To show off the detailing, we put the top sheet on the bed upside down, then fold it over the coverlet. Beautiful pillowcase sets and sheets with embroidered or lace edges take your bedding to the next level.

Add the coverlet

We like to add a light coverlet to our beds because they are nice to sleep under when you’re not ready to dive under a warm duvet. They add delicate detailing, like a trellis pattern or diamonds. The more you launder them, the softer they become.

Stuff the duvet

Getting the fill neatly inside the duvet cover is not easy.

Kathy and Paula have figured out a fool-proof system, which works best if you have two people, one on each side of the bed.

First, grab the corners of the fill and slide them in to the end corners of the duvet cover. Hold the corners in place while you pull the duvet down over the fill. Shake it out, then smooth it down.

The custom duvets usually have different fabric on each side so all you need to do is flip them over for a whole new look. Fold the duvet over the sheet and coverlet just a bit, so the buttons and contrasting fabric on the duvet’s back both show.

The duvet fills have a little ring sewn on the corners. So when making custom duvets, the seamstress sews a little tie in the inside of the duvet corners. When sliding in the insert, we tie it in place so it does not move.

Add the pillows

Our inspiration beds, all queens, usually have seven decorative pillows. The back row is a set of 27×27 square pillows. If you have a king bed, we recommend three of these. We rest the back row on top of the sleeping pillow.

Our accent pillows have a high-quality down fill. That makes them fluffy, yet dense, to hold their shape.

To get the fill into the pillow, Kathy and Paula give the fill a good chop to fold it in half, stick it in the sham, then unfold it inside the sham, making sure it extends to each corner.

We like to finish with a focal point pillow. Sometimes it’s made of a contrast fabric or features a monogram or great trim. For a queen bed, the smallest size we use is 16×30, and sometimes we go as large as a queen or king sham.

Modify to fit your style

Stacks of pillows aren’t for everyone, so definitely tweak the look to fit your style. Use a bedspread instead of a duvet. Add extra layers, folding a duvet or coverlet, or both, at the bottom of your bed. Tailor the look to achieve your bedding bliss.

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