Don't feel intimidated by making your bed!
You can get a very good looking bed (with virtually designer quality) by keeping it simple and easy. My own bed is so simple and uncomplicated that it takes only a few minutes for me to make it up.
Do I really need all that bed "junk?" Retailers also have a "more is more" attitude, loading the beds with multiple odds and ends and piling on layers of plush downy bed coverings a mile high. Often the glamorous and cozy fantasy of it all gets consumers to buy it, only to have a complicated and time consuming chore awaiting them when they have to make the bed every day in the real world. Another problem is the throw pillow debate. A compromise is usually needed between you and your partner (and/or children) about how many of these accoutrements are needed on the bed.
1) Decide what you (and your partner) really need on your bed when you sleep. In the past I couldn't sleep with a super plush Down (or Down Alternative) covering. I would kick it off in three minutes because I would literally roast! Nor could I use a heavy blanket, for the same reason. So, I sleep under a top sheet with a lighter all-cotton woven bedspread on top...year round. (My partner sleeps on top of the covers...I don't know how!) I need the flexibility of pushing aside the cotton outer cover when I'm warm, and pulling it back on when I'm colder.
I guess I'm a "hot" sleeper. You may be a cold sleeper or a medium-temp sleeper; and luckily most down, down-blend and down-alternative comforter options are readily available along with online tutorials on which ones are suitable for you.
2) When making the bed, put the best looking Bed Covering on the very top. Take your Bedspread, Blanket, Quilt, Comforter or Duvet (a Fabric Slipcover for the Comforter) and put it on top of all your other bedding, after smoothing out all the linens underneath. If you're just starting out, the easiest color option for your top bed covering is white. It is always a crisp and versatile base for building your bed ensemble. I would recommend covering a standard down Comforter with a Duvet rather than using it in its plain state. The stitching and the sub-divided panels on a standard Comforter do not make the most attractive bed cover, whereas the Duvet is always more upscale.
If you have a platform bed or an upholstered frame, try tucking in your Bed Covering. It'll have kind of a retro look, and will also look so crisp and attractive. If your bed has an exposed box spring, it's always best to let your Bed Covering drape over all the sides. Don't fold the Bed Cover back on itself. Keep it flat.
DESIGNER TIPS: If you want a really luxe looking bed with a drapey effect, buy a Bed Cover one size larger than your bed. Let is cascade over the sides and let it pool on the floor. Avoid the "Full/Queen" option if you have a Queen bed; the cover will always look too small for the bed. Buy an actual Queen size or larger. On a King Bed turn the bed cover so the longer sides hang over the sides of the bed.
3) Place your Sleeping Pillows upright against your headboard or wall. Spread them apart a little. Face the open ends of the pillow cases toward the middle of the bed. If you face the open ends toward the outside of the bed the fabric has a tendency to flop and often exposes the pillow forms inside.
4) Place Throw Pillows in front of the Sleeping Pillows. An attractive basic formula is a "3-2-1" look, with 3 Throw Pillows or Shams acting as a back row, 2 smaller Throw Pillows in the middle row, and 1 "Star" pillow in the front. This combo achieves a balanced look, in that the pillows get smaller as they come forward. This formula is a good compromise to the "too many/ too few" throw pillow debate. Here are some general sizes for the pillows...
King: (3) Back Row- 26"or 24", (2) Middle Row 20", (1) Front 12"x20".
Queen: (3) Back Row- 22"or 20", (2) Middle Row 20"or 18", (1) Front 12"x20".
Twin: (2) Back Row 20", (2) Middle Row 18", Front 12'x20". (Use 5 Pillows)
Tip: The front pillow should be whimsical or luxe which can express your personality. A fur lumbar pillow, for example, is a great textural element to place out front. It's fun and yet high-end looking. Velvet is also a great look.
5) Take a clue from Hotel Bedding. Use a Bed Runner. Hotels in general have gorgeous beds, evoking a sense of holiday, relaxation and luxury. Try Throw Pillows with a matching Bed Runner. You may not have thought of it before but a Bed Runner serves as not only a simple and beautiful finishing touch, but helps keep the bed cover clean. You can sit on it to aid in getting dressed and undressed, or you can place gym bags, purses, make-up bags, travel kits and suitcases on it while you pack and unpack. It's so much easier to clean the bed runner than the entire Bed Covering. Keep the Bed Runner on the longer side.
6) Enjoy your bed and enjoy your life. With a few easy steps, your bed can have a designer-look, hotel-look or luxe-look (use your favorite moniker) that is super quick and super satisfying. Tip: When you make your bed every day it starts you off with a sense of accomplishment, and you haven't even left your house. The confidence to continue your day is established; and after you've lived a fulfilling day you can retire to a welcoming and gorgeous bed. All the best.