A Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Beautiful Bedscape

Learn the ins and outs of achieving a bed that is as gorgeous as it is inviting.

Giving your bed a style makeover can transform the look of your bedroom, but knowing where to start can be daunting. We consulted Kate Kazlo, owner of The Home Market in the Third Ward, for expert advice in key topics, such as how to layer blankets and duvets, the secret formula for mixing patterns and where to start with pillows.  

“We get these questions all the time,” says Kazlo. While she doesn’t think there is one right way to achieve great results, she believes there are some guidelines that make it easier. 



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Moving a bed through the four seasons is more about layering, and changing out a few items, rather than having completely separate looks. Kazlo advises starting with a solid-color base for linens and duvets, quilts or throw blankets. At least half of the pillows should be solid, too. This makes it easier to integrate seasonal patterns, such as plaid in winter or floral in spring. 

Photo by Khloe Arledge via Unsplash

Before you buy, keep in mind that investing in machine-washable bedding is a must. Kazlo is partial to linen and cotton percale. “They get better every time you wash them,” she says. For the top of the bed, duvets can appear shapeless, so Kazlo prefers a “puff” – a quilted bedspread in luxe linen that looks and feels like silk. “If you want the best of both worlds, a puff gives you more structure, but with fluffiness,” she says.

Come spring, try a textured blanket or lightweight quilt as the topper, and fold the puff or duvet at the end of the bed instead of pulling it all the way back. “Textures layered with other textures” are crucial in creating a stylish look, according to Kazlo.  

When it comes to pillows, she suggests making a triangle-shaped silhouette in this order from the back: two “sleeping” pillows with pillowcases, two king Euro pillows, and then two decorative pillows (this is an ideal opportunity to inject pattern). Finish with an accent pillow in front, smaller than the others and significantly different, such as one adorned with tassels or fringe, or oblong instead of square.  

Those king Euros are key as they “lift everything up,” says Kazlo, adding support and extra cushioning. “It gives you a nice height if you’re leaning back and [reading] or watching TV,” she says. 

If you feel inclined to integrate more than one pattern, there’s a formula so the bedroom isn’t a clash in design. 

“Have two of the same elements so it ties together,” says Kazlo, such as a floral print or specific hue. These should be from the same brand so they are identical as opposed to complementary. 

Kazlo’s personal taste tends toward neutrals, such as taupe, light blue, icy gray, ivory, cream and white, which are not only trending but also super relaxing. “You just want it to seem like a dreamy cloud,” she says, about the ideal bedroom setup.


This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s April issue.

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A seasoned writer, and a former editor at Milwaukee Home & Fine Living, Kristine Hansen launched her wine-writing career in 2003, covering wine tourism, wine and food pairings, wine trends and quirky winemakers. Her wine-related articles have published in Wine Enthusiast, Sommelier Journal, Uncorked (an iPad-only magazine), FoodRepublic.com, CNN.com and Whole Living (a Martha Stewart publication). She's trekked through vineyards and chatted up winemakers in many regions, including Chile, Portugal, California (Napa, Sonoma and Central Coast), Canada, Oregon and France (Bordeaux and Burgundy). While picking out her favorite wine is kind of like asking which child you like best, she will admit to being a fan of Oregon Pinot Noir and even on a sub-zero winter day won't turn down a glass of zippy Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.