Design in Depth: Off to Bed

March 19, 2013

Of all the things I have to style, beds are the hardest. I’d rather style the shelves of an entire library than have to tackle a couple of beds on a photo shoot. Why are they so hard? First of all, you don’t walk into many houses with beds that look like something out of a catalog.

Photo from HGTV, via

This bed had its sheets freshly laundered, pressed on one of those rolling linen presses, then had a bit of ironing done on it and was finished on the bed with some steam. Seriously, who’s going to go to that length to make a bed look perfect every morning unless it’s for a photo shoot?

For the beds we shoot for New England Home there’s usually been a designer involved in choosing the sheets, blankets, custom bedding, skirt, pillows, euro pillows and accent pillows. It’s a little more than just your typical bed. Here are a few favorites I’ve styled.

Just as important as the bed is what’s around it. Here, a large iron chandelier and a pair of massive mirrors on large nightstands fill this Nantucket bedroom, making it feel cozy.

Design by Elizabeth Corker; Photo by Michael Partenio for New England Home

Funky green takes this bed from boring to memorable in this design by Carol Vietor. Lots of texture is always a good thing on beds. In looking at this one again, I would have pulled the quilt down a little farther or pulled the skirt up so you didn’t see the seam.

Photo by Michael Partenio

Blingy lamps and graphic art jazz up some subtle bedding in this design by Jan Hiltz.

Photo by John Bessler

Do you ever wonder why you see so many shots of bedside tables and just a smidge of the bed sometimes? It’s typically because we couldn’t get the bed or bedding to look as perfect as we’d like in a photo. Sometimes the bed is too big or there’s not enough room to back up to get the shot. There—cat’s outta the bag.

Design by Lynn Morgan; Photo by Laura Moss 

Design by Karin Kali-Naagy; Photo by Michael Partenio

Perhaps I’ll get off easy one of these days and have to style a bed that looks like this—wrinkles and all!

Photo courtesy of French by Design

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