Podcast, Episode 6: Bedding Expert & Stylist Beth Mars Dean

Our bedding guru answers your questions and shares the secrets behind a catalog-worthy bed

This week, we are interviewing our own bedding expert, the stylist that makes all of the beds in our gorgeous rooms, Beth Mars Dean. You probably never knew a bedding stylist exists, but she’s the lady that makes sure all of our beds look picture perfect and snooze worthy. For all of your bedding questions answered, be sure to listen to this episode!

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • The most recent catastrophe that happened with our photoshoot
  • The surprising amount of time it takes to make a bed for one of our photo shoots
  • All of the extra things Beth adds to her beds that you wouldn’t normally use
  • From start to finish, how Beth makes a gorgeous catalog-worthy bed
  • Whether all of us make our beds every day, what the nation-wide average is, and what percentage of our How to Decorate readers make their beds everyday
  • How many pillows each of us have on our beds
  • What Beth’s bed looks like and how she makes it every day
  • How Beth became a bedding stylist
  • How you can create a luxurious bed in a realistic way

Decorating Dilemmas:

Orange is my favorite color, but I have trouble coming up with other colors that work well with it. I have a duvet that has an orange greek key border. What else can I pair with it so it won’t look random?

Lydia, there are all sorts of colors that would work well with your orange bedding. Almost any shade of blue would work well because orange and blue are opposites on the color wheel, so they complement each other. Go for another pattern, like a paisley, to contrast the greek key. Karen suggests finding an inexpensive sham set that has both orange and another color in it. Then, use the secondary colors in that sham to draw your color inspiration.

I hate making my bed everyday, but I’m trying to be better. How can I style my bed so it’s more streamlined and doesn’t feel like so much work in morning?

Just focus on smoothing out the sheets tightly to the top of the mattress. Beth suggests not focusing on tons of pillows and instead just pull your sheets and quilt up to the top, and you’ll be fine. No need to pull everything off.

How many throw pillows are too many on a bed? –Melinda

We admit they all four of us have around 8 pillows on the bed (including the ones we actually sleep on), but we admit that if your pillows start to come down your bed halfway that’s too many. Around one third the way down your bed is a reasonable amount.

Any creative solutions for making the pillows and throws look good in the bedroom, just in case, you know, for some STRANGE reason the bed doesn’t get made every single day? -Greg

Maybe get a basket where your pillows can live when you’re in the bed. That way if you don’t make your bed in the morning, the pillows are neat in the basket. You could also put them on a bench at the end of the bed.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Please send in your questions so we can answer them on our next episode! And of course, subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts so you never miss an episode. You can always check back here to see new episodes, but if you subscribe, it’ll automatically download to your phone.

Subscribe in Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.


  1. Reply


    January 6, 2017

    Great show ! Thank you !
    I have a navy and white ikat quilt and shams and was thinking of painting guest room wall a coral .
    I’m obsessed with a coral wall but don’t know what to do with bed . I feel ikat plus loud wall is garish , any suggestions ???

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      January 9, 2017


      So glad you like the show. Thanks for listening! In terms of your bedroom, I don’t think a coral wall with an ikat bedspread is too much but that all depends on your space and the quilt itself. One trick you could try is to add in lots of solid pieces with your ikat quilt. So maybe a solid white duvet cover at the foot of the bed and some extra shams in solid white. That way, you’re cutting the visual weight of the pattern so as not to complete with a coral wall.

      Another option could be to incorporate lots of coral accents — maybe some wall art over your bed, coral throw pillows on the bed — instead of painting your wall coral. That could also be a good way to test out your color palette before really diving into the accent wall.

      Hope that helps! Best of luck.

  2. Reply


    January 4, 2017

    Hi design team! I searched and searched and found the bed of my dreams, a Theodore Alexander design. Now it’s time to get linens and such. This bed is so pretty what would draw the eye to the lovely inlay of the wood that I looked so hard to find. It’s the Brooksby bed on the TA website in a king. Thanks for all your help!

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      January 4, 2017


      Because the bed you’ve picked out is a rich mahogany wood, we think it’d be nice to balance the dark with fresh white linens. The key to a perfect all-white bed is to choose several different textures. Maybe start with a classic quilted matelasse (like our Signature Diamond Matelasse) then add a linen duvet cover at the foot of your bed.

      In this episode of the podcast, we talked about our Casa Florentina Washed Linen Collection. What a gorgeous final flourish this luxurious linen would be on a duvet folded at the foot of your bed.

      Finally, instead of large Euro shams which would cover the intricate inlaid headboard, consider four simple standard shams, like our expert Beth has on her own bed.

      Best of luck and happy decorating!