The ultimate guide to creating a comfortable, stylish bed

Untuck our tips for styling an inviting bed and create your ideal nest for sleeping, dreaming and breakfasting in


The ultimate guide to creating a comfortable, stylish bed

Your bedroom should be your sanctuary, the one room in the house where you go to relax, unwind and get a good night’s rest. The average person spends at least 50 hours a week asleep in their bedroom, and then there’s all the time you spend getting dressed, reading or just taking some time out. With this in mind, it’s important that your bed is not only comfy but looks and feels inviting.

As the largest item of furniture and the focus of the room, the bed deserves careful thought when it comes to styling. Whether it features a striking headboard or stunning bedlinen layered with pillows and cushions, your bed should be personal and reflect the colours and textures you love.


Upholstered headboards are a big interior design trend at the moment and bigger definitely seems to mean better. If you have been pondering a new headboard, now is the time to have a good look around as there is an abundance of styles to choose from.

Button headboards in linen or heavy-duty fabrics are a traditional favourite but velvet appears to be the hottest fabric right now, followed by wool felt. Slip-cover headboards are a great option if you want to be able to change things up, as you can simply remove the old cover and replace it.

For a headboard to really sing, it should be placed against an uninterrupted wall with no window, so it doesn’t lose its impact. If you have no choice other than to place your bed beneath
a window, it’s a good idea to forgo a headboard entirely as it will block light if it impinges on the window and will compete with the shape of the window, creating an unappealing arrangement.

However, if you can’t add a headboard, or don’t want one, there are other tricks that will still make your bed the hero of the room.


1 General Eclectic linen pillowcase pair, $59.99, from Shut The Front Door. 2 Copper herringbone cushion, $125, from Thread Design. 3 Lily tassel blanket, $139, from Jamie Kay. 4 Loft Oxford pillowcase set, $49.90, from Wallace Cotton. 5 Paxton pom pom throw, $55.95, from Adairs. 6 Silver linen queen bedhead with buttons, $749, from French Country. 7 General Eclectic charcoal king duvet cover, $269, from Shut The Front Door.

Pillow and cushion headboard

Headboards can be costly so if your budget doesn’t allow for one, try creating the illusion of a headboard using a pillow arrangement. This look will still make a focal point where your bed meets the wall but at a fraction of the cost of a headboard.

Start with two large euro pillows at the back, then layer two standard pillows in front and finish off with some scatter cushions. This look can be as symmetrical or casual as you like, so play around until you find the configuration you like best.

Bed linen

Choosing the right bedding fabric is essential for a restful sleep. Here are the pros and cons for each type:

Linen is very popular for bedding at the moment and is available in a vast range of colours, making it a great choice as a base for layering with cushions and throws. Patterned linens are out there but can be hard to find for duvet covers and quilts.

This fabulous fabric is breathable and temperature-regulating, meaning it is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It also becomes softer after each wash. Linen seems to have broad appeal and even kids love this soft fabric. Its wrinkled, lived-in appearance is great if you like a more casual look, but a little care is required to look after linen bedding, so consider this before purchasing.


Cotton remains the most common fabric used for bedlinen. This natural fibre is resilient, breathable, easy to maintain and affordable. However, cotton does wrinkle easily, so ironing is generally required for a nice smooth look. If you are a lover of pattern you will find plenty of options to suit your taste in cotton.

Polyester is a synthetic fibre that is often mixed with other materials. It is a highly durable fabric and can usually survive years of washing and wear. It is easy to clean, highly wrinkle-resistant and dries quickly, which makes for easy care. On the downside, polyester tends to pill, won’t soften over time, tends to have a scratchy feel that can irritate sensitive skin and can be hot as it isn’t particularly breathable. However, polyester is the most affordable bedlinen material on the market.

Cushions and throws

A few scatter cushions that coordinate with your bedding, artwork or bedroom colour scheme are a great way to tie the space together and make any bed look more inviting.

A throw draped or folded over the end of a bed can be an effective way to soften the corners. Ideally your throw should be wider than your bed so it doesn’t float on top. If your bedding is plain then adding a patterned or textured throw or cushion will help to break up the colour.


8 YHG Valentina faux fur cushion, $49.99, from Farmers. 9 Gramercy queen sheet set, $191.95, from Adairs. 10 Tamara Stripe queen quilt, AU$169, from Kesem Boy. 11 Grandiflora headboard cover, from $149.90, from Wallace Cotton.

Other tips

  • A clutter-free space is always more relaxing, so keep bedroom furniture and objects to a minimum. Keeping clothing off the floor and wardrobes tidy with doors closed will help to create a restful space.
  • The colour in your room has a big impact on the way you sleep. Soothing colours such as soft blues and greens with white or off-whites will help you drift off to sleep more quickly than brightly coloured walls, which can stimulate the senses.
  • A bedside table or stool is an essential piece of bedroom furniture – before you buy, check it isn’t too high or too low. Ideally a bedside table should be at the same height or slightly lower than the top of your mattress. Also, bedside tables don’t need to match each other or any other items – the days of matching bedroom furniture are over.
  • If you love to read before bed, some kind of task lighting will be required. A directional lamp is useful, but a bright table lamp should be fine, too. The right lighting choice can really bring your bedroom to life.

Words and styling by: Vanessa Nouwens. Photography by: Wendy Fenwick.

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