Before and After: Bedding


We’ve had this Pottery Barn quilt on our bed on and off for 8 years. We bought it as a splurge when we put our Clintonville house up for sale in 2008, to “stage” the bedroom. I love the happy colors and whimsical pattern, and that the quilt is reversible (the other side is a groovy ’70s floral). It’s become really soft over the years, too. So soft in fact that it’s ripped in several places. So, it was time for new bedding.

To me, an all-white bed is the standard in a chic bedroom. In 1997, when I was living in L.A., my chicest (and most blunt) friend Jordana stopped by my one-room apartment to give me decor advice. The first thing she advised was to replace my shabby chic floral duvet cover with a simple all-white one (she also strongly advised against the fuzzy toilet lid cover and matching toilet-hugging floor mat that I thought created a finished look in the bathroom).

Her words still loom large in my mind. Nearly 20 years later, it’s still a chic look — although they’re showing it with striped, brightly colored bohemian pillows and $600 Moroccan wedding blankets (see Amber Interior Design for examples).

With two young kids and a bulldog, the all-white look just didn’t seem practical for us.  How about light gray instead? First I tried a gray Belgian linen duvet cover from Pottery Barn with some brightly colored pillows from West Elm to make it pop. But, it didn’t really pop. So it all went back.

Next, I tried the Malibu patchwork quilt from Pottery Barn, thinking it would give me a southern California look. I guess I was basing that on the name because once I got it on the bed, it was more like the cot coverings you’d see at Camp IWannaGlassaWaWa.

So finally, I landed on this.


I’m so happy with it. It looks and feels super-soft and luxurious. And Barrak likes it too. He isn’t one of those HGTV husbands who lets his wife make all the design decisions. He definitely has opinions and tastes and actually has a great eye for design, color and balance.

My favorite elements are the white quilt and Moroccan pillow. The lady at Pottery Barn didn’t think the Moroccan pillow matched the rest but it was an important checkbox for me — a nod to the $600 Moroccan wedding blankets they’re showing in hip southern Cal abodes.

The key is to layer patterns and textures, and mix and match your pillows, which takes a pretty penny. To get that big puffy look in the Pottery Barn floor sets, they actually stuff TWO duvets in their duvet covers!

Except for the duvet itself (just one), which is from Bed, Bath and Beyond, I got this bedding from Pottery Barn using a 15% off code.

I think it would even better if we had a headboard but that’s for another time.

Stay tuned for more home improvement makeovers!


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