Build Your Bed – Mix Ready-Made and Custom Pieces for Just the Right Combination

Have you ever wondered exactly how our stylists create those dreamy beds that make you want to pause your shopping and burrow under the covers for a good nap? Or is that just me? Either way, in this blog post I’m revealing some of our biggest bedding secrets to help you build your dream bed.  

Making the Bed: Bedding Basics 

While the “appropriate” amount of decorative pillows allowed on a bed may still be up for debate (the more the merrier, in my opinion), there are certain staples that no bed is fully dressed without.  

Sheets – There are two main schools of thought on bed sheets: those who believe they should be all-white only and everyone else. I happen to favor a crisp white sheet, but do enjoy playing it up with a fun texture or pattern every now and again.  We will often mix whites and creams – don’t be afraid of combining for your perfect match! 

At the shop we’re fond of what we call “dressmaker details” as a fun way to incorporate embroidery and design elements into our pillowcases and pillow shams. It could be anything from a boldly colored stripe to a fringe of eyelet lace to a pleated corner. Dressmaker details add an unexpected something that can really level up your bedding design. 

Pillows – Use pillow shams instead of pillowcases to give a more finished look to standard pillows. Match or coordinate these to your sheets, or use them to layer in another color or pattern. Use king–size shams and pillows for a king bed. A pair of large Euro square pillows in the back add height to the bed and layer in pattern or texture (don’t forget to use three Euro squares for a king sized bed). 

It’s a personal preference on the number of rows of pillows that adorn your bed. It’s quite common for a bed to feature a row of Euros in back – 27″ X 27” is our recommendation – followed by a row of 24” x 24” pillows and a front lumbar or bolster. At Nell Hill’s, we LOVE our pillows so you’ll typically see four rows per bed in the shop.  

Pillow inserts are an important consideration as well! We use inserts that are one inch larger than the sham size to provide a full, plump look to your pillows. We always recommend that you invest in your inserts to maximize the life of your beautiful pillows! 

Duvets – When we create custom bedding, we utilize special inserts for our duvets in slightly larger than the duvet dimensions to ensure a luxurious inviting bed – the Super Queen and Super King. This helps eliminate the annoying dead space in your duvet that frustrates us all.  

Finding Bedding to Fit Your Budget and Lifestyle

Don’t forget that a flawless design doesn’t need to be entirely bespoke! We often combine ready-made bedding components with custom pieces to fit different budget and lifestyle needs. Children and pet-friendly families especially benefit from easy, machine-washable ready-made bedding. 

Using a solid color coverlet or quilt leaves plenty of room for your pillows to do the talking! We don’t believe in such a thing as too much pattern, but we understand that not everyone is a maximalist at heart. A solid coverlet can set the tone for an unexpected fabric combo in your pillow choices or duvet, or lets you feature a funky textured throw without worrying that it will clash with other textiles. Add some dimension by layering multiple solids that pull different colors from your focal fabrics.  

Adding in ready-made options to your design is the perfect choice for someone who really likes to mix it up, as well. Anchor your design with your basic coverlet and rotate your pillows seasonally, or whenever you need a change. My husband would surely roll his eyes at this piece of advice – and our growing collection of pillow shams. 😉 Lastly, while not a ready-made option, I revealed one of my favorite budget-saving tips in this recent bedding design roundup – reversible duvets!  

There’s a lot that goes into making a stunning bed, but the best part about it is that there are no real hard and fast “rules” to break when building your own dream station. Our recommendation? You’re going to spend about 1/3rd of your life in bed, so make it a place where you can really rest, recharge, and wake up feeling inspired. As always, choose quality over quantity and don’t forget that design is in the details! Happy decorating!