What’s the secret to changing the world? Making your bed.
At least, that’s what Navy SEAL Admiral William H. McRaven thinks. In a University of Texas at Austin commencement speech, he said making your bed gives you a small sense of pride. If you do the little things right, he says, you’ll get the big things right, too.
No one gets bed-making right like Missy Grasso, one of our senior designers. If you love the bedroom design inspiration photos in our magazines, on our blog, and on our social networks, then you’ve seen her work. We asked her for the inside scoop on how to make a bed worthy of a photo shoot. Here’s how she does it, step by step.
Gather Your Bed Linens
- Pillows: 2 to 4 standard or queen, 2 euro
- Shams: 2 to 4 standard or queen, 2 euro
- 1 down comforter
- 1 duvet cover
- 1 mattress pad with elastic edges
- 1 fitted sheet and 1 flat sheet
- 1 or more blankets, quilts, or coverlets
- Plenty of accent pillows
Make It Gorgeous
- Insert the pillows into the pillowcases and shams. Also, insert the comforter into the duvet cover—we have some great drawings in our sidebar that will make it so much easier to deal with duvet covers.
- Put the mattress pad and then the fitted sheet on the mattress. Tuck both in tightly on all four sides, and pull them taut so that everything is smooth on the top and corners.
- Lay the flat sheet on top of the fitted sheet, finished side down. We want the cuff to show when we fold it back later. Center the flat sheet on the mattress, with the cuff 6 to 8 inches from the headboard, and make sure it’s even on all sides.
- Add a blanket, quilt, or coverlet. Center it on the mattress and make sure the top touches the headboard.
- Fold the layers back so that your sheet cuff is about 12 to 16 inches from the headboard. Then, at the foot of the bed, tuck both of these layers in tightly; we love hospital corners, but if you don’t use them, we won’t tell.
- Add another blanket, quilt, or coverlet if you want. Lay it on top of the mattress, and fold about a quarter of its length back so the first decorative layers are exposed. At the foot of the bed, you can leave the corners untucked.
- Drape your comforter and duvet cover. Give it a quick shake to fluff it, and lay it on top of your mattress so the top is touching your headboard. Fold the comforter and duvet cover back; you can fold it back to one third or one half its length, depending on the look you want.
- Pile on the pillows. Prop the euro pillows against the headboard first, and then rest the other pillows against them. You can also drape a throw over the top near the foot of the bed.
- Finish it off with accents. As you add decorative pillows, play around with colors and textures. These are a few of our favorite looks:
CHANGE YOUR DUVET IN NOTHING FLAT
No more pulling, prodding, or praying to get your comforter inside!
- Turn the duvet cover inside out and lay it flat on the bed (with the opening at the foot). Lay the comforter on top.
- Starting at the closed end, roll both duvet and comforter together.
- Invert the duvet opening around the ends of both sides of the bundle (like a sandwich bag)
- Button or zip the duvet closed.
- Unroll the bundle in the opposite direction (back toward the head of the bed). Give it a few shakes, then fluff
Show Us How You Style It
This is how we style a bed, and we’d also love to see the way you do it. Share your bedroom design inspirations on Instagram and tag them with #EthanAllenDesign.
Finally, look to the right: You’ll see a place to type in your email address and subscribe to our blog posts. It’s a great way to get more tips from design masters like Missy, right in your inbox.
Go ahead—make your bed! You just might change the world in the process.
—The Ethan Allen Design Team