Secrets of How to Make a Well Dressed Bed

The Question: Up until now I didn’t give much thought to how my bed looked or even how it made me feel. Can you give me some pointers on putting together a more custom look that won’t necessarily break the bank?

The Answer from David Kaplan Interior Design LLC: After you realize we spend about a third of our life in bed and that it is the first thing we wake up to and the last thing we see every night, it somehow becomes much more important. It can be a perfectly manageable decorating project that will provide instant gratification which can be changed out relatively easily when you are ready for a new look again. If cared for properly, however, it should last for several years.

First let’s assume you have the right mattress set to meet your personal preference in firmness, support and overall comfort to give you the best night’s sleep possible. Selecting a mattress can be an extremely daunting task in itself. Do yourself one of the biggest favors—read up on your options and go test them out in a mattress showroom! They vary widely in price depending on coil construction and filling materials, from airbeds to latex foam, memory foam, up to all-natural/handmade using horsehair, cotton, wool, flax. And, for a bit of downy softness there are mattress toppers available separately.

Next is the frame itself. The most economical and flexible is an adjustable metal or wood frame that you set the box spring into, and which can be attached to a headboard. Other than with platform beds, you will either need a bed skirt or an extra fitted sheet to cover the box spring.

On to the sheets and pillow cases. Acquiring a new set of sheets is always refreshing. You can transform your entire bedroom just by changing out your sheets with a new color palette or adding patterns. According to Chris Ciolli of, “Quality bedding ensures quality shut-eye. Sheets are an important element of comfortable bedding. Conventional wisdom advises that the higher the thread count, the better the sheet. However, higher thread counts come with a higher price tag and other elements such as the type of thread used and the overall texture of the fabric are important too.”

But, before settling on the sheets you will also want to decide on the type of blanket or comforter. I often specify both on the same bed for maximum flexibility with changing seasonal temperatures–lightweight cotton blankets plus a down comforter and duvet cover.

Depending on your lifestyle, to complete the ensemble you may want to consider the luxury of additional pillowsEuropean (26” x 26”) squares with shams, lumbar rectangular (variety of sizes), bolster or neck roll cylindrical shape (variety of sizes) or simple throw pillows (variety of shapes and sizes)—all of which create extra layers of color, texture, and pattern and can help tie in other furnishings in the bedroom such as window treatments, upholstery, lamps, etc., together creating a balanced look. If you take a more minimal approach note you will always see the sleep pillows. In case the casual, somewhat wrinkled look is not what works for you then you may want to re-think that.

When going for ultimate customization I even specify made to order bed skirts, duvet covers, pillow shams and accent pillows as well as custom fabricated upholstered headboards with an array of details.

Have your own questions about interior design projects of your own? You can contact David Kaplan at David Kaplan Interior Design, LLC at 212-462-4329 or online at

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