When thinking about new bedroom ideas, we often turn to five star hotels for inspiration; crisp white linens in high thread counts, neat tucks, perfect symmetry and not a wrinkle in sight. But if immaculate presentation leaves you cold, if you live in a state of organised chaos and like it, and if making your bed every other day is more than enough, then consider yourself part of the messy bed camp!

Bedroom ideasImage: Styling: Bree Leech & Heather Nette King for Dulux. Photographer: Lisa Cohen.

1. Size up your bed linen
It’s always better to have too much than too little fabric to play with when you’re trying to pull off a messy look, so consider going up a size when buying flat sheets and quilt covers. Unlike tucked and taut beds that can get away with the right size linens, messy beds succeed on excess! Allow linens to cascade to the floor, creating an abundant and billowy look.

2. Choose fabrics that drape well
Following on from above, a messy bed won’t work with stiff, starchy material. It requires soft, relaxed fibres that will fall gently into lofty furrows. Think French linen and stone washed fibres that look even better when tossed aside and loosely rumpled.

3. Let it all hang out
“Hospital corners” have no place in the messy bedroom. In fact, there’s really no reason to tuck anything it all. Simply throw on your top sheet (if using) and let it fall where it may, straighten up as needed then repeat the same process with your quilt. The more overhang the better – let excess fabric collect on the the floor.

Bedroom ideasImage: Via Pinterest

4. Avoid symmetry
Fight the urge to have the left side mirror the right. Arrange pillows at varying angles and don’t feel like you have to work with pairs. An odd coloured pillow slip thrown in looks effortless, and a quilt tugged slightly askew and turned down on an angle will also do the trick.

5. Make a show of your sheets
Since your sheets aren’t being tucked away out of sight, they’re an important player in the overall look and colour scheme of your bed linen. Choose colours and materials that complement your quilt cover; linen on linen in solid shades or a classic pinstripe is a great way to go. Whatever you do, make sure your sheets are worth showing off, because in the messy bed there’s rarely anywhere to hide!

6. Consider inserts
To create a lovely ‘lived in’ look, choose pillow and cushion inserts that have sluggish recoil; pliant fibres that won’t spring back into shape unless you plump them. Think feather and other fills that have a down-like consistency that crumples nicely.

7. Choose the right accessories
The messy bed is unfussy by its very nature, so keep bells and whistles to a minimum. The devil is in the undone elements, and not so much the detail; a textural cushion, some lofty euros and a slapdash throw is more than enough. Avoid things like bejewelled bolsters, highly embellished cushions and busy prints that belong to a more deliberate look.

Bedroom ideasImage: Homespace by Darren Palmer (Murdoch Books). Photography by Felix Forest

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