November 18, 2013


When designing my master, the bedding was the first thing I selected.  After making my headboard, I found this duvet from Crane & Canopy and used it as the launching point for the rest of the space.

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Photo by James Young

From there I found the West Elm duvet I used as a throw at the foot of the bed, and after searching for quite some time for the right pillow combination, my friend Danielle suggested the coral floral pillows from Goods by Grinn and lumbar from Caitlin Wilson.  I love the combination.

The bed is the biggest part of a bedroom.  The right bedding and pillows can really make or break a space.  But how many, what size, and how do you put it all together?  Today Jana Bek of Bek Design is sharing her tips and tricks for the right way to make a bed (twin, full/queen, and king).  She is like the bedding sensai.  First, a bit about Jana.

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Photo by Erik Melvin

Jana is stationed in Ann Arbor Michigan but spends a lot of time in New York for clients.  She started her career in fashion merchandising and product development for Macy’s Merchandising Group & Henri Bendel’s in New York (fancy lady!).  Her heart was always in design.  She obtained a second degree in interior design, then helped launch Caitlin Wilson’s fabric line.  She then started working as a buyer for One King’s Lane.  This woman really knows her stuff.

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 Bek Design photo by Erik Melvin

Q)  Where do you start when dressing a bed?

A)  I consistently recommend classic white duvets for clients because they always look crisp & can easily be cleaned. Textured duvets, though they photograph beautifully on websites, can easily look messy. The next step is deciding which throw pillows to make the bed pop.

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 Bek Design photo by Erik Melvin

Q)  How do you select different patterns and colors to go together?

A)  Since the patterns & colors usually only come from throw pillows in my spaces (and occasionally throws) I’ll speak to that.

I start with the headboard. Is the headboard a dark color? If so, I’ll add a light solid or lighter patterned pillow for contrast. I’ll go darker if the headboard is light. It always varies for clients, but usually there is a combination of 2 patterns & a solid pillow (one pattern/solid for the pillows in the back, one for the pillows in the middle, and one for the lumbar or bolster in the front). I usually mix a geometric print (think trellis, or fretwork), a multi colored floral that is the anchor for the assortment), then solid pillow or border pillow like these from Caitlin Wilson textiles.

Find a multicolor pillow you love as your base which will be in the middle of your assortment, then decide what colors you want to highlight in your multi & find a geometric & solid pillows to coordinate for your back pillows & lumbar or bolster.

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 Bek Design photo by Erik Melvin

Q)  Do you suggest going on trend, or sticking with a classic style?

A)  My feeling is that your home should be a place you love – and furnishing a space can become expensive so invest in pieces you love. I usually go more classic or the foundation pieces (classic English roll sofa for example) then go bold with the pillows & accessories as they are more affordable to update as your taste changes.

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 Bek Design photo by Erik Melvin

Q) Once you’ve selected the style and bedding, how do you put it all together?

A)  If you’ve taken time making sure your pillow assortment all ties together, you should be good to go! If you want a little more color or contrast, add on a throw or quilt at the end of your bed that coordinates with your pillow assortment.

Q) What is the proper way to make a bed?

I always direct my clients to this video because it best matches my aesthetic & is so thorough.

Q)  How many pillows, which sizes and styles, etc go with each size of bed?  (i.e. twin, full/queen, king)

A)  King – 3 22”x22” pillows at the headboard, followed by 2 20”x20” pillows in the middle, then 1 14”x20” or other lumbar size pillow in the front.

If you have a very high headboard, I would go with 3 – 24”x24”, followed by 2 – 22”x22” then a 16”x30” pillow in the front.

I do love going with oversized bolster’s on king bed’s (14”x40”) if my client’s budget allows (as they have to be custom made).

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Queen – 2 – 22” in back, 2 – 20”, in the middle, other lumbar size pillow in the front.

Twin: With twin beds, I style differently depending on the style of the space. If it’s a kid’s room I’ll usually go with 1 – 20”x20” pillow then a fun shaped small accent pillow in front. For a sophisticated guest room, I’ll stack the twin pillows atop each other then put a fabulous bolster pillow in front.

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Jeff Andrews Design  

Q)  Are there any rules/guidelines you suggest?

A)  If you want your pillows to look very full, go a size up in the insert size (so if you have a 20”x20” pillow cover, go with a 22”x22” insert).

Etsy is a fabulous source for pillows. Once you find a pillow you like, search for it to make sure you are getting the best price. Also, most Etsy vendors will send you a swatch to review the print/color before you order. I highly recommend doing this.

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 Bek Design photo by Erik Melvin

Thank you, Jana!  And she’s a girl after my own headboard-makin’ heart– she made the orange and teal headboards!  Go, girl.

Wonderful tips and guidelines to follow.  Now, off to make my bed:)

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  1. Aly

    November 18th, 2013 at 11:03 am

    I am loving this post!

  2. Shavonda@AHomefullofcolor

    December 21st, 2013 at 1:09 am

    I LOOOVE this post. It’s so informative. Beds can be really tricky and this is the perfect guide to getting them right! Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Keisha Schultz

    February 25th, 2014 at 7:37 am


    I commented on your giveaway from yesterday and mentioned the my fiancé and I moved in together. We have this little nook in our loft that we have set aside for an AMAZING bed. Last night we were browsing your blog and ran across this orange headboard.

    WE WANT IT!! Do you know if Jana sells this headboard or has a tutorial on how to make one?

    I’d really appreciate a follow-up to this post or my email.


  4. Jen

    February 25th, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Hi Keisha! Jana made it, and I don’t think she sells it. But I’m hoping to do a tutorial for a similar tufted headboard soon. I don’t know if she has done one or not. It’s amazing, isn’t it? Thanks so much for reading! xx

  5. Jennifer

    March 15th, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    I love this post, but I’m a little confused. Do you sleep on a 24×24 pillow? Where are the “regular” sleeping pillows? I have a king bed with a 18×40 lumbar pillow. It’s absolutely gorgeous, but I’m trying to figure out what other pillows I need. I have a tall headboard. I’m just not sure I want to sleep on a square pillow. Is that weird? LOL

  6. Jen

    April 2nd, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    Hi! No way, I sleep on a regular pillow! The 24×24’s go in front of the standard pillows for decoration. No square pillow sleeping around here! Ha!

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She’s Jen. He’s Jon. We’re believers in the power of home, fearless DIYers, and eternal optimists who know with a can-do spirit, elbow grease and some guidance, you can create a home you love. We love a good project—or 20. Stick around and we’ll have you pulling out the paint brushes and fluffing throw pillows in no time.

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