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bohemian little girls bedroom with rattan headboard and white sheer curtains

10 Key Styling Tips for Single Beds, plus Shoppable Finishing Touches for Kids Spaces

Today I want to share some bed styling ideas for single beds and king single beds. Whether they’re in a kids room or guest bedroom, these smaller beds still deserve to look amazing. Just because they’re not in the main suite doesn’t mean you can neglect them, right? Right!

In fact, I think you can actually have way more fun styling single and king single beds than you can a larger double, queen or king. You’re not trying so hard to make them feel grand or sophisticated, so play and experimentation present themselves and you really can have a ball.

Scroll on as I share my top 10 things to keep in mind around bed styling ideas for single and king single beds. The images in this post come courtesy of my mates from Metricon Homes, whose design team have done an incredible job making these smaller beds true style destinations!

single bed styling grey bed with blush and white bedding

1. Still Go a Size Up with the Quilt and Cover

I always say your quilt and its cover should go one size larger than your bed. You want it to drape over the edge of your bed and fully cover the mattress underneath it. It looks way nicer, trust me. But when sleeping, it also gives you more coverage and a snugglier feel. This is true of a double, queen, or king, and the same goes for a single or king single bed.

Now here’s the bad news: King single quilts don’t actually exist (odd, I know), so with a single and king single bed, you need to go up to a double quilt and cover for maximum drapage over each side. 

You may be able to get away with a single quilt cover on a single mattress if it’s a kids space, but I wouldn’t do it for an adult sleeping in a single bed.

single black metal bed frame styled in kids bedroom with koala cushion

2. Tuck or Let Drape: The Quilt Conundrum Solved

Some people let the quilt drape over either side of the mattress, fully exposed (as in the image above). Others like to tuck the quilt under the mattress for a cleaner look. And then there are those people, perhaps like you, who don’t know which is the right decision.

For me, it always comes down to the bed frame in question. If it’s a nice frame, or a four poster bed where the frame really is the star of the show, a tuck can be a nice way to highlight the timber or upholstery.

If it’s an ensemble bed, where the bottom mattress runs all the way to the ground and is wrapped in a valance, allowing your quilt to drape either side is preferred as it allows the bedding to take centre stage (I’ve never met a valance that actually looks attractive).

little boys room bed styling ideas black fabric bed with wallpaper

3. Give the Bed Some Breathing Room

I tend to say this about most furniture, but it’s especially true with a single or king single bed when styling: pull it away from the wall a little.

This breathing room is crucial in ensuring the bed doesn’t feel wedged in the corner. I mean, you’ve gone to the trouble of buying the bedding, and styling it on the bed. The last thing you want is for it to feel crushed and crumpled, or riding up the side of the bed closest to the wall.

It’s a simple remedy, really; pull the bed frame out from the wall at least 10cm so that the quilt cover can drape down the side without scraping the wall. If there’s room to pull the bed out and put a bedside table between it and the wall, even better. Beds always look nicer when they’re not right against the wall or window.

single grey upholstered bed frame styled with patterned kids quilt cover set

4. A Euro or Two is Still Important at the Head

I’ve banged on about the number of European pillows you need for a double, queen and king bed before. But here’s the news just in regarding single and king singles: they need a European pillow too.

Now, the amount you want to style at the head of the bed really comes down to how full you want the bed to look. If you ask me (which you are) I would always say fuller is better, but you don’t want to go too pillow crazy.

For a single bed, I would have one European pillow at the back of your pillow arrangement, sitting against the headboard. For a king single bed, you can style one at the head of the bed for a more minimalistic look, Or you can squeeze two in for a plusher, fuller appearance. 

To squeeze two Euro’s in at the head of a king single bed, you’re wise to use feather pillow inserts or these enviro ones as they’re more pliable. The image above shows you what I mean. You’d never get that look with a standard polyester pillow filling. 

little girls bedroom with rattan headboard and bohemian styling 

5. Fold Your Doona Over a Fair Bit

Folding your doona or quilt down the bed so the sheets are exposed is a must. You want to see at least one third of sheets, two thirds of quilt. Now, you might not do this every day for your own bed, because it’s a lot of work, but I highly recommend going to the trouble if the single or king single bed in question is a guest bed. 

There’s nothing better than walking past a guest bedroom and admiring your bed styling. Call me crazy, but I swear I get a high off of scenes like that! And PS, if you need some help, here’s a post on how to choose the right sheets for your bed.

If you do fold your quilt over a bit, you’re naturally going to expose more of your fitted and flat sheets. The last thing you want in this scenario is a fitted and flat sheet in the same colour (add extra gasps of horror if they’re both white!).

pink quilt cover set styled on single bed in kids room

6. Mix and Match Sheets Are a Must

When compiling styling ideas for a single or king single bed, think of all the pieces as individual, not as sets. I know, stores often sell sheets as a set, but I like to buy two sets in complementary colours and then mix and match them on the bed when I make it up. 

This approach makes the bed feel less serious, and more refined. It gives the eye more visual moments to take in, and allows you to tell a deeper style story.

If the single or king single bed is in a kids room, you’re honestly only limited by your imagination when it comes to sheets. Why not get two patterned sheets sets and combine one wild fitted sheet with a wild flat sheet? I love a pattern clash, and a kids room is the space to do it.

If the room is a guest space, take accent colours from artworks and choose fitted and flat sheet in two different block colours.

bohemian little girls bedroom with rattan headboard and white sheer curtains

7. The Pillow Grouping Should Be More Relaxed

Because a single or king single mattress isn’t as wide as a double, you don’t have to be as structured and symmetrical with your pillows. It’s not as paint-by-numbers in approach when styling a smaller bed. You’re afforded a bit more wiggle room.

We already know you’re having just one Euro at the head (or two feather-filled Euros on a king single), so the pillows and cushions you put in front of that do follow some gentle rules, but they’re by no means strict.

The images in this post all tend to follow the same approach, because it works so well. A Euro pillow at the head of the bed, a standard pillow in front of that, and then two or three cushions in front. 

Not every single bed does it this way. You can see that some beds have a Euro and standard cushion at the head of the bed side-by-side. The general moral of the story here is to keep it relaxed and not so formal.

kids bedroom styling with four poster house bed timber

8. Include Pillows in Varying Shapes and Sizes

Most single bed styling looks do have four or five pillows/cushions in total at the head of the bed. Given the size of a single or king single bed, this is the right amount from a scale perspective. Any less and it feels a bit undercooked. Any more than five and it does start to look a bit crazy.

You don’t line all the cushions up in a single row down the bed either. The Euro pillow and standard pillow are one in front of the other, but in front of those two the cushions you include should overlap one another and be in different shapes and sizes.

Different shapes and sizes is really important here, especially if it’s a kids bed. The idea is that it’s fun, playful, a little thrown together. Of course the overall look is still stylish and considered, but you don’t want it to feel laboured over.

single grey fabric bed styled in kids room with pink and sage painted walls

9. Still Layer Throws on the End of the Bed

You’ve folded the quilt down the bed a little, so now you have this big block of quilt with nothing on top. That’s where a colourful throw comes into play.

You definitely want the throw to be in a contrasting colour to your quilt cover. It can speak to the colour of a flat or fitted sheet, or you can pick up a colour you have in an artwork.

Whatever the colour, you want to lay the throw across the bed, ensuring it’s wide enough to drape over the sides. It’s up to you if you want to fold the throw over a few times so it’s thin across the bed, or if you leave it thick and exposed.

Have a play and see which you prefer; there’s no right or wrong here. 

styling ideas for a single bed kids room with koala art on wall

10. On a Kids Bed, Include Fun Cushions/Toys

We’ve covered the fact that the pillow and cushions on the bed should be more relaxed, and that’s where a fun kids cushion comes into play. In a kids room, you want to strike a balance between style and the fact that the space belongs to a real child. You’re not staging the home for sale, after all, so bring in some personalisation.

You’ll have a Euro pillow, then a standard pillow, then a cushion at the head of the bed. Make the final one or two cushions fun and intentionally whimsical. Think a round animal face, a car robot cushion, or something similarly child-friendly. You might want to include a soft toy in the scene too.

There are loads of places selling fun cushions that you can include when styling a single or king single bed for your child. Some faves of mine are below for you. How good is the avo and toast?!

kids animal cushions for bed styling

1. Chi Chi Panda Cushion | 2. Koala Cushion | 3. Robot Cushion | 4. Fawn Cushion | 5. Sun Cushion | 6. Lion Organic Cotton Cushion | 7. Fox Cuddle Pillowcase | 8. Happy Cloud Cushion | 9. Mister Fly Racoon Cushion | 10. Cockatoo Cushion | 11. Watermelon Cushion | 12. Watermelon Cushion

bohemian girls bedroom with single rattan bed styled with white quilt cover set

How do you go about styling a single bed or king single bed at home?

I’d love you to share some ideas or inspiration you have in the comments below. Shout out too if there’s an amazing kids cushion supplier you’ve purchased from that you can share with other readers.

This post includes images and/or videos of Metricon display homes and events, reproduced with permission. © Metricon Homes Pty Ltd 2021.


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Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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