OMG IT’S WEEK 5. This week is all about wrapping up the last details for next week’s One Room Challenge reveal. One of my big last tasks (of many other last tasks) is settling on bedding for our guest bedroom.
If you’ve hopped over to this post from the ORC website – welcome! I’m Emily, this is my blog, and I’m working on undecorating the 1929 tudor-ish home I share with my husband, Andy, and our corgi, Penelope. This is where I should describe my style so I guess I’d say it’s something along the lines of traditional-modern which doesn’t sound like a real thing. I am glad you’re here.
Last week I asked for recommendations on a linen duvet – you were all so helpful! I heard great things about the linen duvets from H&M and also got a tip that IKEA has one that’s reasonably priced. I ended up going with the West Elm Belgian Flax Linen duvet cover. I was worried it would be too bright white until I realized that’s exactly what I needed to go with the lampshades.
Pictured above is a pile of linens and pillows n’ things I bought to see what would work best. Spoiler alert: I’m returning most of it! Both the patterned throw and blue stripe pom pom throw are so tiny and too small to properly drape along the sides of a bed.
Are you in need of a recap? Catch up on the previous weeks’ progress here:
- Week 1 – The guest bedroom plan
- Week 2 – Window treatments
- Week 3 – Making abstract art
- Week 4 – Layout and progress
I’ve got some advice for you, are you ready?
As I scramble to complete my list of tasks for the ORC reveal, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’ll shoot my reveal and how I can help others show off their hard work. And one thing I’ve accepted about myself is that I can’t stop myself from giving unsolicited advice. I think this makes me fit right in on the internet but maybe not so much in real life and thus, as most things are, I am better on the internet.
I consider myself a professional dabbler and one of the things I’ve professionally dabbled in is being a bedding stylist for product and lifestyle photography. I’ve learned a few tricks for styling textiles as well as photographing interiors and I’m going to share them with you right now. This isn’t a guide on how to dress your bed (Studio McGee has a great foolproof bed dressing guide) to but how to make your well-dressed bed look its best.
How to make your bed look dang good in photos
If it’s a textile you need to steam it!
Out of the package and even out of the dryer, textiles often have folds and creases that can ruin a good photo. This goes for bed linens, throw pillows, curtains, towels, all the things! A clothes steamer or iron will be your best friend in lifting out those sharp lines. Look at that big, beautiful lumbar pillow. Out of the bag, it has sharp creases and wrinkles. Linen, of course, is meant to have a lovely crinkle – but that doesn’t mean it should look creased.
With just a little steam magic you can see the harsh wrinkles falling out of the pillow cover.
It’s also totally fine to steam the pillowcase by itself, hanging clipped to a pant hanger rather than on a pillow insert while reaching the whole way across a bed.
Much better! The steamer pictured above is one from Rowenta, who I’ve always trusted for irons as well. I must say I don’t love the attached hanger on this one, as the clips underneath can be hard to get to. I prefer standing steamers to handheld ones because their tanks have a higher water capacity, you don’t have to hold the weight of a tank of water while you steam, and they double as a place to hang the thing you’re steaming.
Stuff your sad pillow corners.
Pillowcase corners, especially the ones that go on standard pillows (the kind you actually put your head on to sleep at night) are often under-stuffed, sad and empty. Pillow inserts often don’t fill those corners (but you should buy pillow inserts that are larger than your pillow cases, btw) and you can make them look better by filling them with fiber fill stuffing.
Yeah, it’s the stuff used to fill stuffed animals. I’ve even used paper towels in a pinch.
Be careful not to overstuff, you want the corners to look like an extension of the pillow, not a party hat. Stuff all four corners.
Perky pillow on the left (also steamed) and sad droopy pillow on the right.
Support your pillow ruffles and flanges.
If your shams have a ruffle border or flange (flat, unfilled border beyond the pillow case’s seam) they aren’t going to stand up on their own. The answer is tape. If you want to get intense, you can use metal tape that you can bend to sculpt ruffles. For something less fussy, I’ve always used regular old masking tape. The picture above shows some very expertly styled pillow flange and there’s definitely tape back there.
To wrap up: My Top 3 Bedding Styling Tips
- No folds, no wrinkles – If it’s a textile, you need to steam it.
- No sad pillow corners – Use stuffing to perk them up.
- No droopy ruffles – Use masking tape to get those ruffles to stand up straight.
And while I’m at it:
5 Tips for Better Interior Photos
- Don’t go too high – it shouldn’t look like you took your photos while hovering in the corner of your room.
- Something needs to be straight – Even in old houses, there is a nearly straight line somewhere. If you’re shooting into a corner, make sure that line is straight up and down. If you’re photographing a bed straight on, make sure the headboard is straight. You can rotate your pictures in photoshop to fix anything askew or if you’re using your phone, turn on the grid option in your photo app.
- Watch your rooms to know when the light is best – Avoid bright, harsh light. You may love the look of light streaming in through your windows and falling dramatically onto your floors and walls, but it doesn’t make for great interior photos. Wait for a time when your room glows with even light throughout. On that subject, an overcast day is actually better for photography than a cloudless, sunny day.
If you made it this far, and I do mean both to week 5 and to the end of this post, I have a corgi reward for you.
“I didn’t see you there. Welcome to elegance.”
This is the most expensive bedding in the whole house and you bet it’s not for me and Andy and you bet I put a corgi on it.
SHE LOVES IT.
Remember to follow along and see what the Featured Designers and Guest Participants are up to! I could not be more excited to see Allison‘s brass trellis and tufted bed (her new black doors are stunning) and I am in love with how Jewel and Mila are using bright, bold colors this season. Nicole is making an incredible day bed for a friend’s nursery and Erin is killing it DIYing the most luxurious bathroom ever.
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