Sunday, November 3, 2013

How To Stage Your Bed Like A Professional

Have you ever wondered how Pottery Barn gets their beds to look so high end and polished? Or seen a display at Macy's and wondered why yours never comes out that way? It's actually quite easy once you learn the details that goes into dressing a bed. It's a lot simpler than it looks, and the outcome will yield more than the effort put in.

The trick to getting that professionally staged look is in the pillows and the way they coordinate with the bedding. 

Note: This is a fail safe way, feel free to color outside the lines.

There are many bed pillows from the neck roll to the boudoir, but you really only need 3 types: The euro sham, the king or standard sham (depending on your bed size), and the standard sleeping pillow. Everything else is extra, but these basic three are all you really need to get that beautiful bed look.


More often than not people forgo euro shams. Not because they don't want them but because they have no idea what they are or what they're used for.

Euro shams are like the basics or foundation of a great looking pillow display. You will almost NEVER see a staged bed without them. For some reason people look right through them and only see how beautifully made the bed is. Without euro shams it's nearly impossible to get that staged bed look. The standard size for euro shams are 26x26. You often have to buy these separately, but this is a good thing and I'll explain why later.

The amount of euro shams need is dependent on the size of your bed.

A twin will only need one. A full size will need two. A queen will need between 2-3 (depending on you), and a king will need three.

Euro shams that are 26x26 should be filled with inserts that are 28x28. This will give it that full plumped look. If your euro shams are 28x28, find inserts that are 30x30. Don't worry, they're out there. But for now, 26x26 euro shams are more than enough.

Euro shams are where you can get crazy with colors and texture. This is where most of your beds personality comes out and it's where you're going to really set the tone for your overall bedding.

This is also the best place to switch out pillows as the seasons change. Observe how easy it is to go from one look to another.


King and standard shams are the decorative pillows that will often come with a bedding set. They aren't meant to be slept on, just for display. For bed sizes twin and full, use standard shams. For bed sizes queen and king use king shams.


There are simple rules to coordinating your pillows with your bedding. The rules are as followed:

1. Standard sleeping pillows always coordinates with your cover & flat sheets.
2. King and standard shams coordinates with either the duvet or the blanket/quilt.
3. Euro shams coordinates with either the duvet or blanket, but only in the case where the 
     sham isn't coordinating with one or the other.
     For example: If the king/standard shams coordinates with the duvet, then the euro shams 
     must coordinate with the blanket. If the king/standard shams cordinate with the blanket, then 
     the euro shams should coordinate with the duvet. 

Here are a few examples of how this works.

The example below does the opposite. The euro shams coordinate with the blanket at the foot of the bed while the king shams coordinate with the duvet. Notice also how they chose to use two shams (standard and king), forging the sleeping pillow for the standard sham but keeping with coupling it with the sheets.

Once you feel you've mastered this basic method, you can then venture out and try something a little more complicated such as the example below. The example below does the same as above, trading in the sleep pillow for standard shams but keeping with coupling it with the sheets.

If you take the time to look at staged beds you will see that the same rules are applied over and over again. It's really that simple.

Good luck! :-)


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