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Try This: Mix and Match Your Bedding

Have fun when the seasons change by swapping out sheets, comforters and blankets on your bed. Seasonal change or even when you are simply changing the sheets to wash them, are the perfect times to give your bedding a mix and match makeover with the bedding you already own.

Could your bedding use a wake up call? Do you change the bedding on your bed every season?

I do, two times a year for seasonal changes to lighten it up for the warmer months of the year or to cozy it up for the cooler seasons.

There’s no rule that says your sheets and bedding have to match in the way retailers like to sell them the “Bed in the Bag” way.

How to style pillows on a bed when mixing and matching bedding in your bedroom.

I often post about how to use the furniture and decorative accessories you already own and move them from one room to another to change the look of each room, but now… why not do the same for your bed?

Blue and white bed pillow shams with reversible design.

If your linen closet is anything like mine, you may have quite a few bed linens stored there that over time you have simply forgotten about.

picture of pillows on a bed showing how to mix and match bedding on a bed using color, texture and pattern.

Time to get in there to see what you actually have and can use to give your bed or any bed in your home a free and fun makeover.

After taking the winter weight plush comforter and the channel stitched velvet quilt and shams off my bed, I wasn’t sure I wanted to put on the sheets and comforter I had last summer, but I didn’t want to buy anything new.

Blue and white bedding getting mixed and matched to create a new look for the season.

So instead, I gathered all the blue and white bedding I owned and then played around using all of it on the bed instead of only using one matching set of bedding.

Blue and white pillow sham covers

These pillow shams have been folded neatly in my linen closet for the last 5 years! Time to use them again.

Mix Sheet Sets, Toss Pillows, Shams, Comforters and More

To mix patterns so they will look cohesive, there are definitely some key points to keep in mind: scale, color, and balance.

Mixing bedding sets on a bed to create new decorative appeal without having to spend any money.

When selecting the bedding options from your collection of bedding, remember to include a mix of scales such as pairing Damask print shams with polka dots sheets and a small patterned quilt to create visual interest.

Be inventive and make up a new color story for the bed if your room color scheme is neutral. There are no rules that say you can’t mix a bunch of colors and textures to create an inviting and colorful bed in fun and unexpected pairings – no matching needed.

A Few Mix and Match Bedding Ideas to Try

Here is where you can have fun with any matching bedding set you already have. Mix it up with other sets to design a new look for your bed.

  • Find a unifying element by taking color cues from a print on one piece of bedding. This could be the main color you want to use. Then choose the rest of the bedding that coordinates with it or simply looks good together in an unexpected way.
  • If you change only one part of your bedding, change the shams. Sham covers can add a pop of color, seasonal style, or pattern. Plus, the large size makes the bed feel more comfy-cozy.
  • Is your comforter or duvet reversible? Flip it.
  • Look around your house for a decorative pillow in another room that would look good on your bed.
  • To make a print on the bed pop, pair with white sheets, comforter or spread.
  • Mix the new with old and vintage looking.

How to Arrange Throw Pillows on a Bed

If you have a collection for decorative throw pillows for your bed, here are a few styling and arranging ideas for them to change the look of your bed up from time to time or seasonally.

The Hotel Inspired

Very symmetrical – stack two bed pillows on top of each other or propped on the headboard. Lean two more pillows in front of these and then a bolster in front.

The Pillow Collector

The pillow lovers styled bed.
Photo: Macy’s

When you love decorative pillows so much and can’t have enough of them on your bed. Then go for it and add as many as makes you happy.

Casual Ease

Pillow styling on a bed using an odd number of pillows.
Photo: Pottery Barn

When you want an easy, effortless look, use an odd number of pillows. The aim to achieve ‘casual’ is to layer up bedding and accessories for an effortless look that doesn’t look like you tried too hard.

Piled and Propped

Adds a little bit of hotel inspired with a casual air.

The Karate Chop

Add a karate chop to the top of your bed pillows or poke the middle of your pillows to give them dents for a lived in look?

The Sandwich

Pillow styling ideas for beds using a lot of decorative pillows.
Photo: Emily Kate Roemer Stying: Megan Hedgpeth

When you have a large number of bed pillows at your disposable and like lots of color and pattern. Prop large shams or pillows against the headboard and sandwich patterned shams in between the propped pillows and 2 standard bed pillows covered in colorful pillow cases.

The Matched Set – Reversed

Mix and match pillows on a bed when you only have 2 shams and 2 standard pillows.
Photos: PotteryBarn

If you have 4 pillow shams – 2 of one color and 2 of another, try this bed pillow placement idea. Or if you only have 2 sham-covered pillows and 2 standard pillow case covered pillows, reverse which one is in front for the other side of the bed.

The Avant-Garde Rebel

Different ways to style pillows on a bed.
Photo: Pottery Barn

Don’t like following rules? Then this bed pillow placement idea may be just your thing.

The Minimal Zen

navy blue and white mix and match bedding on a king size bed

And finally… the warm weather look I went for that makes my husband Ed extremely happy – is using only the actual pillows we put our heads on when we sleep.

I may sneak in the two shams that I haven’t used in 5 years though. :-)

Where Do You Put Decorative Throw Pillows When Sleeping?

Where to put decorative pillows when sleeping. In a large floor basket.

Where to put the decorative pillows when you are sleeping on the bed can become a problem if you have a lot of decorative bed pillows to take off every night.

I try keep my throw pillows at a minimum and do like the look of large sham covered pillows over smaller decorative ones for my king size bed.

I place them in a large basket at night that is across from my bed. Sometimes I move the basket to the opposite corner, but it is always in my room. Its only use is to place throw pillows in at night.

When these throw pillows are not in use for the season, I store them in my linen closet.

So the next time you change the sheets on your bed or are doing a seasonal change, don’t take styling the bed too seriously.

Play with your bedding and mix it up!

The bed styling that reflects your personality and style is the one that is right for you.

My Bedding Resources

Mixing patterns on bedding

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6 Comments

  1. Your bedroom and bedding are beautiful! I like your ideas for trying items in different rooms. I couldn’t find something I wanted to use in the summer for the queen bed in our guest room so I put one of my king-size quilts on the queen bed and it works great. I’d been using a blue and white set (I still really like it but had used it forever!) in that bedroom and the “new” quilt with lots of colors really made a nice change. I found a blue and white comforter at Sam’s for $30 for King and used existing white Euro shams then found some printed shams on Etsy that coordinate well so now I have a new look on the master bed.
    Just sent a link to your post about your “door” headboard to my sister as they want to do that. Your pictures and directions are spot-on! Thank you.

    1. Hi Sue – I like the idea of using a larger quilt on a smaller bed. I bet it looks really nice and hangs down lower on the sides of the bed. Thanks for sending a link to my post to your sister. XO If she has any questions, tell her to ask in the comments.

  2. I loved changing out the look of my bedding every month, but I didn’t love storing a lot of bulky comforters and pillows in my linen closet! I hit upon this idea: I bought three quality comforters in white, black and blue. I bought a whole bunch of different toss pillow covers from Shein for $3 each. I made from fabric or crocheted coordinating bed scarves. The bed scarves and toss pillow covers take very little room to store, yet allow me to create a whole new look each time I change them out on my three basic comforters! I have all the holiday looks plus some for each season change and a few whimsical just-for- fun looks, all possible with stream-lined storage.