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Styling a Bed

Want the designer look in your bedroom? Marissa Waddell shares some of her key considerations for styling a bed and developing a striking pillow story in the bedroom.

How was your weekend? We were bombarded with rain, so all outside projects were put on hold until it dries up a bit. However, it did allow me to focus on organizing my office for a while and I’m getting close to having it just the way I want it. Those of you who have been asking about my office closet makeover, I promise you will see the after photos soon. Between our basement renovation, the Outdoor Extravaganza and wrapping up client projects before summer holidays, that particular project took a back seat. I’m sure some of you can relate!

A while back, I stumbled upon a clever visual on Pinterest for arranging pillows on a bed. After tracking down the source, I discovered that Marissa from Marissa Waddell Interiors and Roost was the creator and I asked if she would share some tips for styling a bed. Thankfully she agreed, so here goes…

Styling a Bed

Styling a Bed - How To Arrange Bed Pillows by Marissa Waddell Interiors

One of my favorite decorating duties is to pick out and arrange pillows. There are literally a million ways to style pillows on a bed! I made this little cheat sheet of my 10 favorite ways… but how do I decide which one to use? That decision process is usually three steps for me:

1. How big is the bed?

King-size beds usually require arrangements with two or three big Euro pillows. Queen-size beds can handle standard or Euro arrangements. Most of these arrangements work for twin-size beds, too– just half the number of pillows (round down for odd numbers).

styling a bed - bedroom by Opal Design Group


2. Is there a headboard?

The height and visual weight of the headboard have a big influence on which arrangement is most appropriate. Typically, the bigger the headboard, the bigger the pillow arrangement.

Styling a Bed - Master Bedroom Emily A. Clark


3. Reality check.

As much as someone might love layers upon layers of pillows, it’s sort of a waste if they’re not going to spend the time to make that kind of bed every morning. For busy people–parents with small children, especially– I usually suggest a simple arrangement with a showstopping print.
It’s as simple as that!


Thank you, Marissa! Your cheat sheet for styling a bed is super handy and I love that you consider both form and function in your pillow selection process.

So, do you keep it simple and paired down or do you like a bed full of pillows? I’d love to know.

Enjoy your day!

Shauna Oberg - Satori Design for Living


  1. I’m #1 on the Euro side.  I’m liking the standard side to though.  Might need to change things up a little bit.  Thanks for sharing.

  2. Love my pillows on the bed! I’m one of ‘those’ gals ;-) And I do take the time every day to place them on the bed nicely… but I have to say, there are ‘those’ day that make me wonder what it would be like to slip on over to the simpler side of pillows-on-the-bed life! Thanks for sharing Marissa’s cheat sheet with us!

  3. After 15 years of arranging pillows on beds & shams, shams, shams, in our B&B, I’m at a point where I think I want to remove the shams, possibly even go with a variation on your #1 standard arrangement. Am I shooting myself in the foot? Are shams absolutely necessary, or should I simply add a few pillows?I like multiple pillows on the beds, we use 4 sleeping pillows on each bed along with a couple more on some, not so many on others. Your comments are really appreciated!

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