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A well-styled bed is an essential part of a well-styled room. Interior designers have mastered the art of styling a bed and who knew that a few pillows and blankets could drastically transform a space, taking it from college dorm room to magazine-worthy. With worn pillows and a lackluster comforter, our bedroom was definitely leaning towards the college dorm room side (and not in the cute way you see these days), so I embarked on a mission to demystify the secrets of bed styling and I wanted to share with you what I discovered!
How I Gave My Bed a European High-End Look on a Budget
As previously mentioned, our “before” bedding look was nothing to get excited about. I thought about sprucing it up every time I looked at it, but various reasons held me back. The biggest one being I was just so CONFUSED by bed styling.
I read the guides and looked at the magazines, but I was left with even more questions than answers.
What pillows give that “choppy” look? How many layers do I need? How many pillows? What sizes? The pillow inserts are supposed to be bigger than the cover? Okay, so now I need to remember different dimensions now? So I need 24 x 26 and 22 x 22 and 50 x 1,000 x infinity x beyond?
And then I thought that if I did go through with making the bed look pretty then we’d have a million little pillows to have to take care of. Now, our bedroom is small. I can’t even sneeze without hitting my head on both walls, opposite sides of each other.
Meaning, there is no room for anything else! Let alone a million throw pillows.
I share these wildly dramatic but still very accurate hesitations with you because maybe you’ve been holding off on making your bed look beautiful because you’ve felt these same things.
Or, here’s another hesitation that I know holds people back. “Maybe in the next house.”
I told myself this for a while too. See, I don’t really like our bedroom. It’s tiny. The baseboard heaters eat up all the space that is there. The bifold closet doors never open right. I strongly dislike the view out of one of the windows. So I just kept telling myself that it made more sense to have nice bedding in the next house.
Truthfully, that thinking makes no sense and it’s just a little bit self-pitying. And then in a home decor book, I read something along the lines of not waiting to make a space look nice because “compared to your last house, this was the next house.”
Wow. Doesn’t that hit home? When I was in my first home I dreamt about getting some of the things that I have in my current home. Back then, this was the next house.
And of course, things, lives, and styles refine and change and it’s not wrong to desire something else, but it hit home for me how much contentment has nothing to do with your circumstances and all to do with your heart. And also, why wait years to make something nice when you could do it now and enjoy it all in the meantime?
Okay, so that finally brings me to the actual bedding makeover part!
Before & After
A french country space is calming, warm, soft, and weathered, but also sophisticated and beautiful. To achieve that French country style that I love, I went with neutral colors, linen-looking textures, and cozy knits. The soft colors of beige bedding and white walls make the bedroom feel very calming.
And best of all, I found a high-end-looking formula that’s easy and works!
- Fold back your duvet about 2 times
- Stack two sleeping pillows on top of each other, for a total of 4 pillows
- Place 2 or 3 down throw pillows in front of these pillows (mine are 20×20, queen bed)
- Add a lumbar pillow
- Throw on a blanket
I know some people start with sheets then do a quilt then a comforter and I’m just like….you lost me. That’s too much for me, personally. I like this formula because it’s easy and though it’s quite a few pillows, it doesn’t actually seem like too many when crawling into bed at night or making the bed in the morning.
FYI, it’s the down feathers that make everything seem fluffy and pillows “choppable”. Also, having an insert bigger than the cover can make it seem extra full and fluffy too. You can play around with the pilows and do more or less. It’s totally customizable.
I’m glad I finally did this because the new bedding has completely elevated our room! It’s beautiful, calming, and cozy. Plus, the mixture of linens creates a very European look. The best part is, it can be done on a budget.
People say you should invest in your bedding and I don’t disagree. I definitely notice a difference between my $10 pillow and my $60 pillow, but I don’t want to go all out either. I prefer to aim for the middle because our bedding takes quite a beating.
I work in bed sometimes (I know I know you’re not supposed to), so this means eating and drinking on the sheets. Then it’s inevitable that our toddler is going to jump on our bed, spilling the coffee in my hand. And when a toddler crawls on your bed, the strangest things happen. Blood and dirt seemingly come out of nowhere and get left in their wake.
I don’t want something so expensive that I’ll cry if it gets ruined, but I do want things that feel luxurious. That’s why I gravitate towards down goose feathers in the mid-price range. It feels like a fancy hotel room!
- Duvet insert
- Duvet & pillow sleeping covers- Ikea ÄNGSLILJA (similar option)
- Queen pillow inserts here and Ikea
- Throw pillow insert- Ikea FJÄDRAR (similar option)
- Throw pillow covers- Ikea VIGDIS (similar option)
- Throw blanket- Ikea (similar option)
- Lumbar pillow insert
- Lumbar cover (should have sized down on the cover, it’s a little big for the insert)
When it comes to your French country look in your bedroom, don’t run to Hobby Lobby and buy all the toile blankets and French signs and home decor. Take inspiration from French country design for your own home and mix natural materials with vintage pieces, like a vintage chandelier for example.
Related: What is French Country Style? | The Difference Between French Country, English Cottage, & Farmhouse Style
For a beautiful French country bedroom, keep these French bedroom styling tips in mind:
Soft color palette
When it comes to colors, think simple, muted, and natural. Gather inspiration from the French countryside. Rolling hills of sage green with rows of lavender plants and golden yellow sunsets are all great places to gather color ideas from. Whereas modern farmhouse style these days may have a stark black and white contrast, think creamy, comfortable, and warm for your bedroom as a base and add in other natural colors from there.
Don’t forget the end of the bed for style
If you have the space, the end of the bed is a great place to have a vintage bench, a dresser, or a pair of chairs. Not only does it add style to the room, but it’s practical too. After all, where else are you going to toss all your throw pillows at the end of the night? This could be a great place to add a piece of antique furniture too to bring in the weathered look of French country interior design.
Let the headboard shine
In a living room, you’re focused on chairs, couches, tables, and maybe even a fireplace, but in a bedroom, your bed is, of course, the most important part of your room. You can’t overlook your headboard or bed frame as this is a great focal point.
A more traditional look for your French country bedroom would be a bed frame in antique brass or something wrought iron. Traditional French country furniture was passed down from generations and has a weathered look. Though not completely traditional, a tufted or upholstered headboard gives a glamorous and romantic look to French style.
Incorporate natural textures
One of the best French country bedding ideas is to incorporate natural textures. Cotton, linen, and knits are good options to give an old-world feel. Skip the shaggy faux fur and pink silks!
Some say toile bedding is outdated, some say it’s a classic, and some say it’s out but making a comeback. I’ve included a few toile options, but my personal favorites are stripes or linen. No “comeback” is needed on those prints and fabrics because they will never go out of style!
French Country Bedding Ideas
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Bedding brands to check out (from budget-friendly to luxury):
Even if you don’t use these French Country bedding ideas on your master bedroom, they still work for a guest bedroom too!
To see our French kitchen and for more home inspiration, check out the posts below!
Our Budget-Friendly French Country Inspired Kitchen Reveal
My Havenly Living Room Review & Experience