Nestling down and curling up comfortably between sumptuous sheets is one of life’s simple pleasures. A delightfully inviting slumber can bring a satisfying sense of poise and repose after long days, allowing one to drift peacefully and seek refuge in the land of nod. Some say that bed-makers are often more content during their days, yet a picture-perfect bed needn’t be free from crumples nor wrinkles. Imperfect beauty is the chemistry that happens when a look is pulled together in an effortless way; it’s precisely the irregularities that make it all the more desirable. Imperfection and linen are so intrinsically linked – the beauty of this natural textile in the bedroom, as with any room, is that it is not perfect and so styling a bed should be adopted with a comparable approach.
Rest easy and follow these insightful tips from stylist Ali Brown, whom recently created the most stunning bedroom scenes at The Linen Works’ latest photography shoot.
“Thoughtful bedding efforts can make all the difference; a few carefully considered purchases generally mean that you bedding will last longer and offer timeless appeal in abundance, Blissfully soft with a dreamy texture, linen bedding will always remain a perennial favourite of mine. To dress your bed, it’s best to first lay the foundations and start with the bottom layer. A fitted sheet will serve well for a neater aesthetic and straight lines. I’m always drawn to a white sheet, as it offers a fresh and crisp look that is a good neutral base to build upon.
Next, lay your flat sheet with the finished side facing into the mattress; this ensures that it is the right way up when turned down. Choose a white flat sheet for a seamless finish, or mix and match with barely-there neutrals like Picardie Ecru or Toulon Dove Grey for added interest. Make sure that you have left enough flat sheet available at the head of the bed to be able to fold over your duvet. Tucking the sheet underneath the mattress with crisp hospital corner folds at the bottom will help to avoid any unwanted movement.
A duvet cover provides a wonderful focal point for your bedroom. This doesn’t mean that pattern or bold pairings are obligatory; simple, understated yet luxurious designs can make just as much impact. Instead, select unassuming bedding with delicate details like mother-of-pearl buttoning. A good rule of thumb is to have a few different duvet covers so that you can rotate them as you desire. Opting for a complementary colour palette will allow you to create charming combinations from season-to-season. Linen is breathable and regulates body temperature amongst other benefits, so it is a great option for all year round.
Once you have placed you duvet inside its cover, loosely manoeuvre into a desirable position. What I adore about linen bedding is that it takes minimal fuss to make it look beautiful. For a sophisticated look, ensure a little more structure when styling and iron crisp once laundered. Those that prefer a more laid-back feel should embrace the relaxed aesthetic of linen and create movement for a lived-in style that looks pleasingly inviting for weekend idling.
Your pillow arrangement depends upon your visual preferences; perfectly aligned Oxford Pillowcases stacked on top of one another lend themselves well to a formal setting while Housewife Pillowcases, without a border, offer a casual, pared-back appearance. If you decide to mix and match both styles, I personally prefer sitting the Housewife Pillowcase in front of the Oxford design. Don’t be afraid to play around with their positioning and plumpness as well as bearing in mind the practicality of your pillows, as difference sizes will also influence. A mini cushion is always a welcome addition when propped at the fore of a cushion arrangement. Once all elements are in position, continue to dress your bed by adding a further layer of softness and decorative interest. A lightweight, hand-woven linen throw makes for a tactile finishing touch that can be as practical as it is striking on warmer days when only a little covering is necessary. Of course, more than one throw layered at the foot of the bed can also work and will bring equal delight – just ensure you pair pieces that share similar textures and tones to help balance out a room and bring a unified feel.”
Ali is a London-based Interiors and Food Props stylist. Having worked on notable projects for the past sixteen years, including twelve years at Homes & Gardens magazine, she now works as a freelance stylist. See her work here: alibrownstylist.com