As I get older, I find that a lot of things in life serve as a microcosm of other things and events. I find parallels in the most surprising situations. I have finally realized the richness and complexity of subtext. I guess I have age to thank for this new found wisdom and perspective. This must be the universe’s consolation prize for all the years of mundane and at times, unpleasant responsibilities of adulthood.
Making one’s bed is one of those tasks that serve as a microcosm of other more important events. it is time to stop throwing the covers up in the morning and walking away. This video (seen here) is my favorite explanation from a Navy Seal of why making one’s bed in the morning is so important. As Admiral McRaven so accurately states in his commencement speech, “if you can’t do the little things right, you will never be able to do the big things right”. Making one’s bed (and design for that matter) is not just about placing pretty pillows in the right spot, or choosing the right patterns and colors, it is about taking as much pride in one’s home as in one’s appearance. It is about doing the things we should and putting forth effort, even when no one is looking. I spent many years suppressing my desire and urge to design. It was a profession that was “too shallow” and not “cerebral enough”; however, I came to realize I was wrong. I was too narrowly focused. It is not about the “stuff” we surround ourselves with. It is about the feelings this “stuff” evokes in us. Think of the pride you felt when you finally swapped out the furniture you had from your college apartment. There are countless studies on how our surroundings effect our mood and relationships with those around us. This has proven true countless times in the clients I have worked with over the years.
So, make your bed in the morning. Take an extra 60 seconds and pull the blankets tight, arrange your pillow and take a moment to relish in your first accomplishment of the day.
Now, we have established the “why”, here is the “how” of arranging one’s pillows.
The key to successful pillow placement is in the graduation in the size of your pillows. You can lay your sleeping pillows down flat and layer your decorative pillows in front of them; or, you can stand your sleeping pillows up and layer them behind your decorative pillows. For a simple look, keep your decorative pillows in the same color family, varying the tones you use. It is important to vary the shape of your pillows as well. Use both square and rectangular pillows. You can add bolster pillows (cylinder shaped pillows) as you get more confident.
These two pictures below, illustrates this concept beautifully. I love how pattern is used in the same color family to give the beds a layered look.
In these two pictures, the bedding is kept simple and crisp with two accent pillows serving as the graphic pop to each bed.
In the images above, I purposefully kept the arrangements simple with simple colors and patterns. As you gain confidence in styling your bed, you can play with color, pattern and texture. A good rule of thumb is the more pattern you have in your duvet or bedding, the more simple the pattern and colors in your pillows should be (and vice versa).
Let me know if this was helpful. I will post again in the future to expand on this topic.
Thanks for reading!