How to Dress a Bed With Pillows

Updated April 17, 2017

A bed should look warm and inviting and can be a place not just to sleep at night but to curl up with a good book, spend time talking or take time out for peace and quiet. Move on from that set of white pillows always lying neatly at the top of the bed and experiment with new ideas, fabrics, designs and arrangements. Try new colours and accessories to brighten up the bedroom and turn your bed into a comfort zone during the day as well as comfortable place to retire at night.

Remove your existing pillows and bedding for the moment to help you focus on your bedroom style and how you would like it to look. If you have the available space, shift the bed to make it central for easy access from each side.

Choose richly coloured pillows in all shapes and sizes in warm fabrics, heaped all over the top of the bed, together with embroidered shawls and a decorative bedspread to match for an exotic look. One or two big tapestry floor cushions will add drama as well as comfort and a few small silk-covered pillows dotted with beads and embroideries will look like jewels scattered across the bed.

Go for a rich and elegant look with plenty of pillows covered in silks and velvets in colours to complement your bedroom's decor. Add two or three pristine white pillow cases on each side of the bed and arrange the extra cushions neatly in front of them to suggest opulence, comfort and style.

Pile pillows and cushions high at both ends of the bed for the day time. Cover the whole bed with a thick bedspread in warm, rich fabric and turn the room into a place where you can spend time with a close friend or two, talking and relaxing. Nobody ever said that friends had to stay in the living room. Before the 18th century, it was all the rage to entertain, eat, chat and pass the time of day in the bedroom.

Remove the pillows and experiment with new sleeping habits. You might want to change the direction you sleep and open your eyes to the morning sun rather than face the opposite wall. Scatter your cushions and pillows in the middle of the bed and see what happens when you want to lie down. You might find that you discover you sleep much better when facing a different way, so break the habit of putting the pillows up at one end all the time and be open to new possibilities.


Have a set of fleecy winter pillows and fresh cotton summer ones. Challenge the accepted norms of bedroom furnishings and replace them with whatever makes you feel warm, comfortable and rested.


Make sure that pillows and cushions give you adequate support for your neck and shoulders when sleeping. Beautiful bed accessories look wonderful but if they disturb your sleep patterns, they're not worth using.

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About the Author

Veronica James has been writing since 1985. Her first career was as a specialty-trained theater sister responsible for running routine and emergency operating theaters, as well as teaching medical/nursing students. James's creative and commercial writing has appeared online, in print and on BBC radio. She graduated with an honors Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of North London.