Don’t be jealous of the perfectly put-together, Princess-and-the-Pea-style beds you see in the catalogs. Commercial photography stylist Denise Morales-Kalajdzic is the first to admit that no one’s actual beds look like the ones they create. “A lot of what we do on shoots is nothing you would do at home,” says Morales-Kalajdzic, who’s done work for the likes of Peacock Alley and Neiman Marcus. Even if you do perfect the layering, folding, and karate-chopping necessary to style a bed that’s fit for its closeup, the second you take a snooze, your set-up looks downright nightmarish. Morales-Kalajdzic shares five tips for creating a bed that will stay looking beautiful, night after night.
How to Give Your Bed A Spring Refresh
We expect our bed to provide us with nightly refreshment, so it’s only right to return the favor from time to time. The onset of spring and warmer temperatures is the perfect time to freshen (and lighten) up your linens. We asked designer Mary Cates—whose Lovers Lane shop, Mary Cates and Co., stocks an expansive assortment of bed linens and pillows from lines like Bella Notte, Kevin O’Brien Studio, and Walter G.—for her top tips on refreshing your bed for the season.
Freshen Up Pillows One of the easiest ways to breathe new life into your bedroom is by changing out throw pillows to match the season. For spring, Cates says her customers are craving color—even in places traditionally reserved for neutral tones, like dust skirts and coverlets. “We’re seeing a resurgence of coral,” she says, noting that violets, pinks, and yellows are still popular.
Good in Bed If relaxed comfort is the name of your game, Ettiene Market’s new collection of linen bedding is the stuff your dreams are made of. Spun from organic flax and hand-sewn in Lithuania, the lightweight and ultra-breathable sheets, pillowcases, and duvet covers will give you that fresh-sheets feeling, night after night.
Turn Down Gradually Though a lighter coverlet is usually sufficient in warmer weather, in the early days of spring, Cates recommends keeping the duvet folded at the foot of the bed for nights when there’s a chill in the air. Once spring is fully underway, remove it completely.
Store Carefully “Most down comforters can be dry cleaned,” Cates says of prepping heavier linens for storage. After cleaning, she recommends folding your piece gently in a zippered bag—the original packaging, if you’ve still got it—and packing it away until temps cool down again.
Bedding Basics: A Stylist Shares Her Top Tips
The secret to a bed that looks like it belongs in a photoshoot? Don’t sleep in it. “A lot of what we do on shoots is nothing you would do at home,” says Denise Morales-Kalajdzic, a commercial photography stylist who’s done work for the likes of Peacock Alley and Neiman Marcus. Apart from adopting insomnia, here are five of her tips for creating a beautiful bed that’s comfortable, too.
Become a Pillow Pro Morales-Kalajdzic’s optimal arrangement is two Euro shams in the back (three for a king), fronted by two standard shams, then two pillowcases, finished with a pair of decorative pillows. Go for goose down fill, which retains its shape and resists lumps. And store the pillows you sleep on away during the day.
- Layer Up When it comes to bedding, she says, “I like layers—at least two.” For a modern look, she suggests a thin coverlet with a duvet folded at the foot of the bed; the reverse for traditional types.
- Duvet or No Duvet? Morales-Kalajdzic prefers winter-warmth duvets for their thickness and loft. “You can shake them and the feathers expand,” she says. Pay attention to the stitching pattern: Those with deep channels, she warns, can create unsightly settling.
- Fight Wrinkles For a wrinkle-free bed, Morales-Kalajdzic suggests sateen sheets—and matelassé. “I especially love a matelassé dust skirt, because if the skirt is wrinkled, the whole bed looks messy,” she says. If opting for cotton sheets, make sure they’re blended with a more forgiving material.
- Get Steamy in the Sheets Morales-Kalajdzic swears by a handheld steamer for getting pesky wrinkles out of linens.