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the beauty of an unmade bed

the beauty of an unmade bed / jones design company

This week is Make Your Bed week hosted by Crane + Conopy, an online resource for gorgeous bedding at affordable price points. They generously sent me a new white duvet and shams with handsome gray piping detail (see it here) which looks so crisp on a bed – made or unmade.

My plan with this post was to show you how I make my bed. What sheets I use (these) and how I like to layer a thin quilt (like this) for texture and warmth and how adding the perfect white duvet just adds that extra cozy, luxurious touch.

And then I caught a glimpse of my unmade bed and had this deep metaphorical moment and thought I’d share that with you instead.

Before, let me just say that I really do like a crisply made bed. And I really like white bedding (as shown here). And I appreciate companies like Crane + Canopy that make buying nice bedding basics simple and affordable.

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I’ve always been a bit of a i-dotter and t-crosser.

As a child I liked my dolls lined up and my penmanship precise. There is a preschool class photo from 1982 with a smiling little red-head sitting up nice and tall with ankles crossed, hands folded, hair perfectly ringleted. It’s so typical of me. I like a tidy room, drawers all the way pushed in, dishwasher loaded just so (I’m embarrassed to admit I’m one of those).

I like a made-up bed with top sheet flipped down over a thin coverlet, a wrinkle-free duvet neatly folded at the foot of the bed, pillows all propped up in a row. I like the kids to stay off of it once it’s made and I like the feeling of walking into my room at night, pulling back the smoothed covers and snuggling in.

If my bed is made each morning, it makes me feel like my life is in order. If the rest of my day feels out of control or messy, at least my bed is crisp and put together.

 

But lately, I’ve noticed I haven’t been quite as regular with making the bed.

I was in my bathroom the other day putting on makeup or doing my hair or something and glanced out the doorway into our bedroom. This is what I saw:

unmade-bed

A rumpled bed with covers haphazardly thrown back, pillows not at all symmetrical or stacked neatly, bedside tables filled with books and water glasses and bobby pins, curtains half-opened, the rod all off-centered.

And what I saw did not make me feel out of control. It did not compel me to quickly smooth the duvet or straighten the pillows or fix the curtains.

What I saw looked like life. 

It looked like a welcoming spot to rest my body each night.

It looked like a quiet place to refresh my soul each morning.

It looked lived-in. Not staged. Not perfect. Not made just-so with hospital corners and starched cases and rules to stay off. It was messy and loose and approachable.

And it looked beautiful.

This may be a stretch taking cues on life from a moment of glancing at an unmade bed, but it resonates with my heart.

There is truly nothing wrong with making a neat bed or keeping a tidy house or hanging your clothes by color. These are lovely qualities that make for more organized and less chaotic household.

Yet in that moment of looking at my rumpled bed, I saw such beauty.

I want my heart to be a little more like that unmade bed.

Welcoming. Graceful. Comforting. Refreshing.

That is the beauty of an unmade bed.

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Thank you to Crane + Canopy for the crisp white duvet and shams. It is the perfect backdrop for doing life. For more on making a nice bed, click here.

22 Responses to the beauty of an unmade bed

  1. Anne Risher October 2, 2015 at 7:55 pm #

    Hi, I love your bedroom! I have almost the same bed frame and am looking for lamps like that. Do you mind telling me where you found them? Thank you for this great post!

    • emily October 5, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

      Our lamps came from Restoration Hardware almost 10 years ago. Still classics!

  2. Darlene Bulthuis September 15, 2015 at 1:56 am #

    I’m in lovelovelove with your chandelier!!! Where did you get it, please? :)

    • emily September 15, 2015 at 10:18 am #

      It is old – we took it with us from our old house in Seattle :)

  3. Colleen R September 14, 2015 at 5:28 am #

    Amen, sister! lol!
    I actually hate a made bed. Messy beds (and desks) are comforting chaos to me!
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. jen September 12, 2015 at 5:47 pm #

    I’m totally not a bed-maker, and you have now given me a second justification for continuing to not make my bed. The first was not nearly as poetic as this post…turns out the bed bugs die off faster when you don’t make your bed in the morning!!

  5. Lorraine Glach September 12, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

    I just love this – I thought I was the only one. It seems that with my bed made it’s a great start to the day!! LOL

  6. Erin September 12, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

    Emily, this is beautiful.

    May I ask where your bed is from? It’s so lovely.

    • emily September 14, 2015 at 9:06 am #

      Our bed is from Restoration Hardware about 9 years ago.

  7. Judy H. September 11, 2015 at 2:42 pm #

    On very rare occasions, I leave our bed unmade. If I do, I just close the bedroom door. My problem is when I get ready to get into that unmade that night. For some reason, it doesn’t feel right. There is something about the unfolding of a “made” bed that is inviting and feels better when I get into it. There have been times when I am making our unmade bed at 9 p.m. just so I can have the pleasure of unfolding it in a couple of hours and sliding onto smoothed out sheets.

  8. Heather September 11, 2015 at 2:33 pm #

    So beautifully written! While I’m a big fan of neat and tidy, sometimes the “mess” is much more beautiful.

  9. Audra September 11, 2015 at 12:10 pm #

    Hi Emily, I’m Audra your friendly neighbour from the Great White North. I so enjoy reading your posts and agree with the messy bed (mine has been messy for a week now!). I too, love an organized life and get way too overwhelmed when spaces and life are chaotic; sigh…the price of being an A-type (or as I like to refer to it, Audra-type). But things like this are such a good reminder to slow down, do less and in essence, get more done. By more, I mean the important stuff like resting—actually sitting down and zoning out for 10 or 15 min, outside or indoors. Kid time—I’m realizing more and more every day that time is flying by and I don’t spend near enough of it having fun with my babies (6, 4 and 2 years). I’m finding when I do slow down, my to-do list still gets done but with way less stress and I become more graceful, approachable and beautiful (on the inside)—at least for a while until that urge to do, do, do takes over again. Thank you aways for the beautiful reminders to take time for ourselves, our babies and husbands, and our precious lives as how quickly we forget <3

  10. Ali September 11, 2015 at 11:34 am #

    I absolutely love your bed! The headboard and footboard are exactly what I have been searching all over for! Do you mind sharing where it’s from? Thank you so much!!

    • emily September 14, 2015 at 9:07 am #

      The bed is from Restoration Hardware about 9 years ago and unfortunately, no longer available. My best friend has nearly the same one from PotteryBarn (I think also unavailable!).

  11. Kristen R. September 11, 2015 at 11:26 am #

    My husband and I have always been bed makers and it is the first chore we’ve taught our kids. But the other day he read that article floating around on Facebook about why not to make your bed because of dust mites or some such bug ?. It completely freaked him out so now my husband is teaching the kids how to “neatly” keep their beds unmade…

  12. lisa September 11, 2015 at 9:54 am #

    Despite our age difference….you and I were separated at birth!. I’ve always made the bed first thing, but lately occasionally “forgot”. I don’t think anyone cares and it can be freeing to let go once in awhile. Life is short – enjoy!

  13. Susan Shipe September 11, 2015 at 9:44 am #

    I do get what you are saying here; however, our bedroom is my happy place at the end of a day. There is something lovely about pulling back the linens and crawling into uncrumpled sheets and covers. I love everything you post but I have to disagree with you on this one thing! I am not a perfectionist either – it’s just, well, it’s our bed!!! xo

  14. Ashley Servis September 11, 2015 at 9:24 am #

    I don’t make my bed regularly and actually this morning I was telling myself that I wanted to get my life in a routine and more organized. But then reading your post your right, it looks and feels welcoming and loved.

  15. Ann B. September 11, 2015 at 8:46 am #

    You know how life can be with little babies… I was driven to distraction if my bed was not made. As you said, a made bed feels like ones life is in order. And, if the rest of the day was out of control at least your bed was made. One thing, and my husband did many, was to make the bed in the morning. It was my salvation to a totally chaotic day with 2 small babes. To this day, 27 years later I still need to have my bed made. My daughter, who is 22 and still living at home while going to university does not make her bed. It drives me crazy. Wish I could let go like you. A made bed still gives me order and calm in the day. Just walking past our bedroom and seeing a made bed makes me feel together. And do you know what? My husband bless his heart, still makes the bed.

  16. Kelly Randall September 11, 2015 at 7:54 am #

    That was a wonderful post to start my day! I love my somewhat precisely made bed, but it is a real blessing to grow into being able to see it with fresh eyes when things aren’t perfect. I love your perspective and that you enjoy ALL the moments in your hectic life. It should be what we all strive for.

    Blessings!!

    Kelly

  17. Beth September 11, 2015 at 7:26 am #

    Your unmade bed is gorgeous! :-)

    Could you tell me the color you have on the wall behind the bed? I absolutely love the way it looks and we have been on the search for the perfect gray for.ev.er. Grays are so weird. I do realize that it may look very different in my home but I would love to know the color and give it a shot! Thank you!

    • emily September 14, 2015 at 9:09 am #

      The gray color in our room is Bedford Gray by Martha Stewart for Home Depot. It is a nice gray, a bit cold, but not blue. If you want a warm gray, try Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore – it is my favorite gray!

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