Shea McGee's bed styling tips are the secret recipe for a snug, luxurious sleep

The McGee & Co. founder just shared how she styles a bed for maximum comfort, and the results are stunning

shea mcgee coastal interiors
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Interior designer, McGee & Co. founder and Netflix star Shea McGee recently published The Art of Home, a book that delves into creating a home that's sophisticated yet liveable for the whole family. Now, she's taking to YouTube with a series of interior design tips and tricks – and the first installment didn't disappoint.

In The Art of Bed Styling, a video uploaded earlier this week, Shea shared the five steps she takes to style a designer-level bed. And as expected, they're a bit more complicated than stacking on a simple sheet and duvet set. Here's how Shea creates a hotel-level sleep set-up in her bedroom.

How to take your bed styling to the next level

As Shea says, 'Whether you're a minimalist, or a maximalist, or somewhere in between, these tips will guide you regardless of your interior design style.' The finished product will be luxurious and aesthetically pleasing, leaving your bed even more alluring than before. These are Shea's five simple steps to making and styling the bed like a professional.

1. Start with the sheets

The process starts out as usual, with both fitted and flat sheets. Shea uses the Claussen Tencel Sheets from McGee & Co., which she says are 'soft to the touch and really work all year round.' 

But, as she notes, different materials will leave you with different finished looks – while percale sheets will appear 'crisp,' linen will leave you with a more lived-in look. Be sure to choose a sheet set that works for your specific needs, both comfort-wise and when it comes to aesthetics.

2. Add a cozy duvet

Studio McGee

(Image credit: Studio McGee)

Picking out a the best duvet might seem simple, but quite a bit should go into the decision. Shea suggests thinking about both your sleep preferences and the environment you're living in before making the final choice. 'Here in Utah, a layered bed totally works,' she says.

Shea picks out the Hendricks Chocolate Cotton Duvet from McGee & Co., and aligns it so there's a bit of drape along the edges of the bed frame. She suggests folding the duvet back halfway, then making two smaller folds at the top, leaving an 'extra fluffy band across the bed.'

'For me, a luxurious bed has layers, and some of that down fluffiness really adds to the look,' she says.

3. Layer with a coverlet or quilt

Shea also selects a Leander Quilt from McGee & Co., which she says can go either underneath the duvet or layered on top. To layer underneath, she folds the quilt in half and tucks the edges underneath the sheets, leaving the top of the fabric at the upper third of the bed. Then, she places the duvet on top, folding just enough so the beautiful pattern sticks out above the duvet.

You can also lay the quilt on top of the duvet, tucking the quilt into the top
and contributing even more to the added fluffiness of the fold. With this look, she opted to place the quilt underneath the duvet so she could later add a throw blanket on top without going overboard on the visuals.

4. Pile on pillows and shams

Neutral bedroom painted in Revere Pewter

(Image credit: Kathy Kuo Home)

When it comes time to add the best pillows to the mix, Shea reaches for two large, white pillows for sleep and two brown, rectangular shams to match the duvet. 'Make sure you're buying shams to match the size of your bed,' she says, adding that the shams should 'fill the length of the bed.'

Depending on your preference, you can prop the pillows up on their sides, one in front of the other, or place them on top of each other. In the video, Shea opts for propping them on the sides so that the shams' color makes more of a statement.

'I would choose a stack if my sham was a closer match in color to my pillowcase back here – I think that that look is a bit more streamlined, contemporary, kind of that hotel bedding look,' says Shea.

For some clients, the shams finish off the look. Though Shea says it's simple, the combination of sheets, a duvet and quilt, pillows and shams makes a finished product. But for a more layered, 'collected' look, she adds a few more elements.

5. Increase interest with a throw and decorative pillows

A common question is how many decorative pillows to add to a bed set-up – 'I think that answer is a personal one,' Shea says.

She says she tends to go for 'odd groupings' of pillows, usually choosing three, four, or five pillows of varied patterns. Paying attention to the color scheme established by the sheets, duvet and quilt. 

Though she admits it's a bit more of a maximalist bedroom look, Shea chooses two Abbey Silk Fringe Pillows in Charcoal from McGee & Co. and two checkered Maxine Pillows from McGee & Co. To top it off, she chooses a smaller lumbar pillow, the Abigail Silk Stripe Pillow from McGee & Co. 

And for the last step, she opts for one more blanket. 'I love a drapey throw at the end of abed. You can do one that just kind of goes over the corner, but I prefer a throw that goes over the end of the bed and drapes on both sides,' she says.

Drape the throw over the duvet, leaving some intentional wrinkle for a relaxed feel.

Though styling a bed is a personal journey, Shea has shared so many thoughtful tips that are sure to leave anyone with a curated yet cozy place to sleep. 

Abby Wilson
Interior Design News Editor

I am an Interior Design News Editor at Homes & Gardens. Most recently, I worked with Better Homes & Gardens, where I wrote and edited content about home decor, gardening tips, food news, and more. Before that, I studied Journalism and English Literature at New York University. I’ve moved around quite a bit in the last several years, most recently making the trip to London, and love transforming each new space into a comfortable retreat that feels like home. When it comes to decor, I’m most drawn to unique vintage finds and calming colors.