Inspiring Interiors

Casual beds.

While I can certainly appreciate the work that goes into assembling something that looks like this every morning, I must say I prefer a bed that looks a lot more casual. Messy, even.

(Per Magnus Persson)

(Martin Löf)

(Pia Jane Bijkerk)

(Sköna hem)




Bed-making is overrated, anyway. I do it about 50% of the time, and not very well. I think the right approach is to buy bed linens that are a good, heavy weight, skip the hospital corners and turn-backs—and then spend 30 minutes artfully “rumpling” the bed every morning. Of course.

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  • Reply stephanie April 6, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    i love that first image. i’ve been looking for a quilt like that for a while. i never make my bed unless comapany is coming over.

  • Reply Nina April 7, 2009 at 12:01 am

    Agreed. Bed making is overrated. Especially when you have to drag a sleeping dog off the bed in order to do it.

  • Reply Magda April 7, 2009 at 12:05 am

    Yes yes yes!

    When I first read the heading I (internally) hung my head and groaned, for my pet hate at the moment is messy unmade beds in styled interiors. So deliberate, and in my opinion, self-conscious. (Perfectly made, faultlessly smooth hotel-like beds are just as unappealing, but at least without the annoyance factor.)

    But your selection is perfect! I always think, “Why not just take photos of beds looking real?” Like these ones! Yay!

  • Reply Emma April 7, 2009 at 12:19 am

    agreed! I think the trick is in throw cushions or nice big poofy top cushions. I usually just straighten up the quilt and then arrange the pillows slightly and done. artfully relaxed.

  • Reply suzanne April 7, 2009 at 12:35 am

    my father was a drill sargeant (no, really) and was super strict about bed making. as a result, i have not made my bed since the day i left for college in 1994. ha!

  • Reply Cacamilis April 7, 2009 at 5:30 am

    It seems in American films or TV shows that no matter how badass someone is [even someone who smokes!!] they always manage to make their beds.

  • Reply jaboopee April 7, 2009 at 5:46 am

    Isn’t there something really divine though in getting into a freshly made bed with beautifully laundered crisp sheets…..mmmmmmhhhhh .

  • Reply lindsay April 7, 2009 at 8:10 am

    I love a wave of neutral textured bed linens. These are some lovely examples.

  • Reply kellyt April 7, 2009 at 8:33 am

    Although I do make my bed every day, it’s in a very casual way, with pillows showing and quilts, duvets, flipped down. I have never liked those pics with overmade beds, i.e., with every pillow and sham arranged just so, all matchy matchy, looking like it came from “bed in a bag.” My one bed-making pet peeve, people who take the covers and all the way up to the headboard with the pillows underneath. Yuck, I hate that! Reminds me of how I made my bed when I was five!

  • Reply Townhouselady April 7, 2009 at 8:35 am

    The comedian Jim Gaffigan said, “I don’t make my bed for same reason I don’t tie my shoes when I take them off.”

    Hey, sounds reasonable to me.

  • Reply kellyt April 7, 2009 at 8:36 am

    One more thing, I recently read on someone’s blog how her idea of heaven was slipping into a freshly made bed with clean sheets and clean-shaven legs. I agree!

  • Reply Jill April 7, 2009 at 8:37 am

    I could crawl into one of those no problem… I am really liking the white lamp with a black shade and the black light with the white shade!

  • Reply Virginia @ Where You Hang Your Hat April 7, 2009 at 9:16 am

    I don’t have a casual style like you do but I do like my bedcovers simple. Give me a comforter and two pillows each for me and my husband. Can’t understand a bed with a bajillion pillows, at least outside a hotel.

    Townhouselady, I just love Jim Gaffigan.

  • Reply ace April 7, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Any idea where the duvet is from in the 5th picture down. It’s gorgeous!

  • Reply Anna at D16 April 7, 2009 at 10:15 am

    ace: The duvet is from the Foxglove range at Habitat. (I really wish we had Habitat in the US!!!)

  • Reply Fiona April 7, 2009 at 10:45 am

    I really thought the first picture was a pic from your house. Seems like it is totally your style–although I am obviously only judging from a blog.

    I love having a made bed, though! No one is ever in danger of being able to bounce a quarter off my covers, though. (My MIL is another story. She could be in the military!)

  • Reply Patricio April 7, 2009 at 11:01 am

    I really like the one with the white wooden floor, it’s kind of rustic… but it seems really heavy, cousy and warm

  • Reply Ceci April 7, 2009 at 11:13 am

    I LOVE this post! The 3rd picture down gives me a couple great ideas for my own bedroom. Love it!

  • Reply kim@dti April 7, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    this post made me laugh. I’m finally patching/painting/decorating my bedroom this weekend and want to bust my Malm bed into a zillion pieces and just make a simple base for my mattress that won’t be seen….just like in these photos. so i never have to tuck in another freaking duvet/sheet/coverlet.

  • Reply Anna at D16 April 7, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    kim: I can’t wait to see what you do. I am so DONE with headboards!

  • Reply josh (in wonderland) April 7, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    what’s the point of making it when you’re usually gone the whole day and won’t see it again until its time to climb in it again.

    what i will do is just take the duvet and relay it on the bed. since it’s usually on the floor or halfway there.

  • Reply Amanda April 7, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    I LOVE the 6th picture from ShootFactory. I like the textures of the blankets.

    When I make my bed, I just pull the comforter up, turn the edge down and put my pillows on there. Nothing fancy and it’s ready for me to climb into at night 🙂

  • Reply jennifer in sf April 7, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    “and then spend 30 minutes artfully “rumpling” the bed every morning” Hilarious!

    I usually make a stab at throwing the comforter/top blanket over the bed when I get up, but there’s no precision involved. My main problem is that I love white/cream bedding and have a black cat. Oh well.

  • Reply Adam April 7, 2009 at 5:48 pm


  • Reply Tatyana April 8, 2009 at 12:08 am

    I love all the photos. Makes me feel better knowing I’m not the only one who doesn’t have 300 little pillows on our bed.
    We have two pillows and a comforter that we pull up when we get out of bed, and then I throw a blanket on top: 1 min. total, if.
    Also, I’ve never understood the use of the flat sheet; I have around 8 of them that I’ve never used. I wish I could buy bedding with just a fitted sheet and two pillow cases.
    As for the headboard… I just got one, only because we are moving to a place where the bed will have to go under a very low window.

  • Reply Shashi April 8, 2009 at 10:38 am

    I have 6 pillows on my bed, nice big ones so I can lean against them and read the paper in bed on sundays. When I get out of bed I just throw all the pillows on and pull up the duvet, nothing fancy – very casual but still looks like something to dive into.

  • Reply malo April 8, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    I totally agree. Tidy and to well matched made beds scares me 😉 Great post!

  • Reply emily April 8, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    why oh why is there not a habitat here in the U.S. and even more why oh why…you can’t order online!!! I have been scouring uk ebay for some time trying to get that duvet, but who in their right mind would get rid of it??
    I just need to make friends with someone in the UK so they could buy it and ship it to me…any takers???

  • Reply Sarah S April 8, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    As a little justification for not making the bed, I’ve read that by leaving it unmade, you allow it to air out and it gets less bacteria building up. So, less work and better for you!

  • Reply Kate April 8, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    “I am so DONE with headboards!”

    YES I am in total agreement with this, my next project is to hack the Headboard off my wooden bed frame and to also paint or stain it… Now to just pick a colour! but this post has given much needed inspiration to get on with the project!

  • Reply melodie nelson April 8, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Any idea where the throw at the end of the bed in the first picture (or anything similar) can be had? It’s just what I need!

  • Reply Emily April 9, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Hi Anna, This is unrelated to the post but can you share what steps you took to paint the paneling in your bathroom. We have unfinished wood paneling all over our house and in the bathroom as well and I’m not quite sure how to properly paint it. I’ve messed up and re-done so many paint jobs in my house that I’m a little afraid to start. Advice?

  • Reply Anna at D16 April 9, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Emily: Don’t be afraid! 🙂 The most important thing is to use good-quality materials, and don’t skip steps. Here’s the process I’d recommend for your paneling:

    – If the paneling is indeed unfinished (i.e. no polyurethane, just naked wood), don’t wash it unless it’s really grimy. However…
    – If there’s any kind of coating on the walls, clean well with TSP substitute; let dry.
    – Fill holes, knots, etc., with wood filler (I like Ready Patch); let dry.
    – Sand filler & any rough spots with fine-grit sandpaper.
    – Vacuum well (use a brush attachment).
    – Wipe all surfaces with a tack cloth.
    – Spray any knots or dark spots with a shellac-based primer (I like BIN in the spray can).
    – Prime all wood with a really good primer-sealer (I like Bulls Eye 123).
    – Apply two coats of paint. I like Benjamin Moore Satin Finish for all of the woodwork in my house. It’s subtly glossy against my matte walls, and it’s very durable.

    You’ll be fine, I promise! Feel free to ask questions if you need more support!! I’ve done a lot of painting wood in my time. 🙂

  • Reply Emily April 9, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Thanks Anna! I’m feeling braver already. 🙂

  • Reply Anne @ The City Sage April 9, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    These photos are much more welcoming and approachable than perfectly done beds, aren’t they! It seems like the owners of these beds would be much cooler to hang out with too!

    I make the bed every day—but the irony is that I do it at night right before I crawl into it! I love the feeling of getting under tidy blankets, but I can’t be bothered to make the bed in the morning! My mother has always found this to be VERY weird 🙂

  • Reply Maddy April 10, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Oh yes, I would much rather spend time rumpling the bed then spend time making the bed!

  • Reply Beaman the Interiors Chap April 10, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    The picture overlooking the bed in the first image would give me nightmares I think. Great photos. 🙂

  • Reply katelynjane April 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    I love it that there seems to be an ART to messy-bed-making. Now my bed looks so good! We used to have a bed like the top picture, but our dog would put her nose in our face every morning so it go old…we just bought a bedframe and I love being that high up. But the making it is a huge issue for me. I hardly have time to do my hair in the morning let alone make the bed!

    Sigh. Now I feel good about my messy bed.

  • Reply Kellie April 10, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Just a word of caution. We have a casual bed type situation and the only thing that sucks is that all the bedding slides off the end of the bed! We are constantly waking with cold shoulders (not for each other though :-)).

  • Reply Jaimie April 11, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    I like a simple European-style bed. Down duvet in a duvet cover, no flat sheet (just a fitted sheet on the mattress). Two pillows each for my husband and I, plus one throw cushion for a little bit of colour and extra propping for reading in bed.

    In the morning I plump up the pillows and prop them up, smooth out the fitted sheet, and turn the duvet down over the footboard to let the bed air out. That way it looks relatively tidy, but it’s letting some air circulation happen. Now that I’m home on maternity leave, if I’m so inclined, I can pull the duvet up later in the day so it looks nice, but when I’m working full time I often just leave the bed ‘open’ all day.

  • Reply Jaimie April 11, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Oh, forgot to add one thing: the times that I do like having a flat sheet are in the summer. Some nights it is warm out but lying there with nothing covering me at all can make me feel strangely vulnerable.

  • Reply Bespoke Letterpress April 13, 2009 at 10:01 am

    oh my, they do look so comphy and inviting. Do you think they would mind if I climbed in and had a nap?

  • Reply Margo April 13, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    I’m with you Jaimie! My duvet covers are made out of the same 400TC fabric as my fitted sheets, so all it takes is a quick shake to make the bed. I am also not a big fan of headboards, I use 2 “Euro” pillows (28 x 28 in. – covered in the same sheet fabric) they look great, are comfy for leaning up against to feed the baby and wash like a dream!

  • Reply catastrophe April 14, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    all of them are gorgeous! i especially like the last two though, for their soothing colours..

  • Reply verhext April 15, 2009 at 12:23 am

    the last 2 hurt my heart, i have that last one saved in “perfect beds” on my hard drive. ai yiyi. one day when i dont live in a depressing little cave.

  • Reply karen April 15, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Bed making is so overrated…you’re just going to mess it up that night.

  • Reply Sara April 16, 2009 at 12:00 am

    who makes the black lamp in the first photo? I love the shape of the shade!

  • Reply Anna at D16 April 17, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Sara, it looks a lot like Joe Colombo’s work, but it’s not! I wish I knew, I really like it.

  • Reply Sara April 19, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    thanks Anna, you identified a lamp from an arent pyke interior I saw on Remodelista:
    the coupe floor lamp by Joe Colombo!

  • Reply nicole May 8, 2009 at 5:28 am

    i love these inspiration photos! does anyone know where that printed sheet in the third photo is from??

  • Reply Tommy Bahama Bedding June 18, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    I love the bed in the ShootFactory photo – it just looks so cozy & comfy 🙂

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