White bedding gives a fresh, crisp appearance to a white bed.

How to Accessorize a White Bed

by Mary Cockrill

White beds convey a pure, angelic appearance in a wide array of styles and sizes. From sleek, leather headboards to metal ones with fresh, country appeal, white beds provide a neutral canvas for decorative accessories and comfortable bedding. Look to a bedroom’s existing window treatments, color scheme and other furnishings for style and color accessorizing clues to enhance your white bed.

1. Bed Linens

Bed linens, such as sheets, blankets, quilts, comforters, pillowcases and coverlets, offer a way to accessorize your white bed with attractive, functional materials. Layer the bedding to create a luxurious, inviting look. Carry on the white theme by outfitting your bed in pristine white sheets and blankets covered with a fluffy down comforter. Use a bedskirt attached between the box springs and mattress to conceal the open space below your bed for a tailored appearance. Choose bright-colored bed linens to foster a vibrant, energetic mood, or soothing blues, greens and beige to promote an oasis of tranquility.

2. Pillows

Prop up a variety of plump bed pillows in assorted sizes – king, queen, standard, square – against your white headboard. Use smaller bed pillows for twin and standard beds and larger bed pillows for king and queen beds. Cover your bed pillows with crisp white pillowcases or shams against white bedding for a monochromatic look, or incorporate black pillow casings for a striking black-and-white contrast. Teens will love you for covering their bed pillows in lime green, hot pink, grapey purple or juicy orange pillowcases or shams. Add a touch of sophistication to your bed with monogrammed pillow shams. Incorporate a variety of decorative toss pillows in assorted sizes, shapes and fabrics to increase the visual interest of your white bed.

3. Making a Bed

Sloppily made beds make a white bed an unattractive eyesore. One way to neatly make your bed is to first stretch a fitted sheet over the mattress, followed by a top sheet and lightweight quilt, blanket or coverlet. Turn the top sheet back a minimum of 14 inches over the lightweight covering to create a pleasing, layered look. Fold a duvet or comforter in thirds, and lay it over the foot of your bed to deliver a tidy appearance during the day, while keeping it within easy reach at bedtime. Next, prop up bed pillows against your headboard, followed by two square European bed pillows. King-size beds may require three European pillows. Add a few attractive toss pillows to complete the well-made look.

4. Other Ideas

Accessories placed near your white bed contribute to its overall aesthetic appeal. Hang framed or canvas artwork on the wall above your headboard to increase its visual height and interest. Select thematic prints and colors to complement the style of a white bed, as well as your other bedroom furnishings. For example, enhance a contemporary white headboard by hanging an abstract canvas painting on the wall behind it. Lighting can also accessorize a white bed. Center a sparkling chandelier over your bed to add a dash of glamour. Situate a padded bench or settee at the foot of your bed to elongate its appearance with practical function and style. For example, enhance a French Country bed design by choosing a bench with curvaceous, white metal legs in a distressed finish topped with a velvet seat cushion. Apply a colorful paint hue or wallpaper pattern to the wall behind your white bed to ramp up its aesthetic appeal.

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