7 Tips for Building a Colorful Winter Bed

7 Tips for Building a Colorful Winter Bed

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Maxwell Ryan
Sep 22, 2014

It was cool this weekend on the east coast for the first time all summer. Perfect sleeping weather, and my all-white bed is ready to be retired for the season. During the cold months I like to transform my bed with rich and dark colors as well as the occasional fuzzy flannel sheet. When you're buying sheets to do this, however, it can be tricky and I've had a number of clients who have bought and returned many sheets before getting it right. So I thought I'd put down a few thoughts on how to get a good bedding mix for a winter bed and show off a bunch of inspirational pics to help visualize the solution....

1. When Buying Colors, Don't Buy All The Same Color; Mix It Up

Two or three colors at a time work well and you can always use them in many different combinations. Matchy sets are boring. Have some fun with this seasonal switch and give yourself a few cards to play with. When in doubt, you can always do a color with white as your mix, which leads me to number #2..

Without the white in the pillows here, this bed would be lost!

2. Don't Abandon White, Use It For Contrast

White sheets and pillow cases create great contrast with dark sheets and duvets, so consider them a part of your mix. This also means that your summer sheets can play a roll and mix into your winter sheets, giving you more flexibility and choices.


This surprising and lovely bedding from HAY might inspire you to go dark and go stripes when you never have before.

3. Copy What You Love

The first colorful bedding I ever bought was a total copy of a picture in The Company Store catalog and it was a mix of brown, cream and white flannel sheets. I just bought what the stylists had done in the photograph and learned by reproducing it. When you see something you love, copying it is a great place to start. Eventually, you learn and become a master-builder. :)


4. A Simple Template

Here's a really simple starting combination that I've used a number of times, which you can use as a cheat sheet:

• Medium color - top sheet and two pillows
• Dark color - duvet and bottom fitted sheet
• Light color - White or off white for two pillows


5. Go Warm Or Cool

Mixing these two groupings of colors (warm: reds, oranges, yellows, etc cool: blue, grey, green, etc...) can be tricky, so keep it simple and choose combos of either warm OR cool colors.

Flannel reminds me of childhood, but it can be totally grownup as well. It's the equivalent of meatloaf in the food world: pure comfort food. Flannel also holds deep colors really well, which makes it good for a color project. Extra bonus? Good flannel does NOT need to be expensive and it will last a long time.

Linen, while good is warm weather as well, has - I THINK - a soft, cozy feeling that makes it ALSO good for winter, particularly when you get it in nice dark colors. Visually, it also takes color well and has a dark, saturated look. Non Bonus? Linen can be expensive, but there are places that are starting to sell it more affordably (such as IKEA).

7. When In Doubt, Use A Throw

If you're feeling squeamish about shelling out for a new set of sheets just yet, covering your bed with a nice, dark, yummy throw or blanket is a great way to tiptoe in the pond.

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