Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Question For You Stylists

You know a styling trend has arrived when it trickles down to New Orleans. Lately editors have been asking about styling that messy bed look for home decor stories and photo shoots.

The bohemian messy bed

It really is tricky to making an un-made bed bed look appealing and glamorous.

The modern messy bed

Do you start with the bed made up and then mess it up? Do you spray the sheets with water and crumple them by hand?

The romantic messy bed

Maybe you can get in the bed and kind off kick the covers around to achieve a natural look. You know if you fuss too much it will look stiff and fake, which is pretty funny when you think of it.

What does the messy bed say to the reader? Does it say something romantic?

The implied lifestyle messy bed

Does a messy bed imply a languid relaxed lifestyle that most of us crave?

All in the mix messy bed

Is there a devil-may-care off-hand attitude somewhere there in all the beautiful bed linens?

The boudoir messy bed

How would you style the messy bed look? Add some clothing? I think shots with a fancy pair of designer shoes and a Kelly bag/designer purse in it are so overused.

The Selby messy bed - Kate & Andy Spade at home

The Selby is a master of the messy look. He usually puts people in the messy beds.

The Selby - the reality of hip messy bed

There's kind of a swagger to it all. Some people hate it as being hipster and smug. Some people love it as being fresh and exciting, the antidote to all those perfectly made beds that have been in shelter magazines for years.

The Selby anti shelter magazine messy bed

Do photos of messy beds give us a voyeuristic sneak peek at the reality of the private life taking place in the home photographed?

The Selby

Would you allow your bed to photographed unmade? You've waited a long time to get a photo shoot of your project.

The Selby makes the stylist jump on the bed to get the perfect messy bed look

You've purchased new linens, and ironed them, You've fluffed and primped the pillows for hours to get just the perfect look, and the editor walks in and tells the stylist to mess it up. Could you handle it?

Is it easier on a fashion shoot then a home decor shoot? After all fashion editorial has been way ahead of the shelter magazines in presenting avant garde editorials.

Fashion model messy bed

I started looking at images of messy beds for inspiration. I love the ones with movie stars in messy beds.

Sophia Lauren and Carlo Ponti in their messy bed

Some of them are staged for movies, and publicity shots, and for magazine stories.

Sophia Loren alone in a messy bed
Love the whole styling job of this room

Since the movie stars are actors, they really know how to be comfortable in a messy bed. They know how to work it.

Marilyn - the master works the messy bed

No movie stars here at my photo shoot. Just an uptight home owner with a hurt puzzled look as I tear into her beautifully made up bed.


How do I explain that this is glamorous and au courant?

Catherine Deneuve - French style messy bed
The props inspire me!

Stylists! Tell me your tricks and secrets of how to make the messy bed fabulous!

Brigitte Bardot - French style messy bed 2

I practice every morning, by not making my bed. Alberto and I work all night to get just the right effect!

Audrey Hepburn - messy bed excellence
A sleep mask and a cat are so much better than a Kelly bag

Don't forget to watch stylist and blogger and Design Star winner Emily Henderson's new show Secrets From A Stylist which premiers on HGTV on this Saturday February 26, 9 PM Eastern, 8 PM Central. Maybe she'll show us the secrets of styling the messy bed!

Emily Henderson secretly styles the messy bed


Lila said...

I love this post. It's so fun and actually, quite interesting. How does a stylist make a messy bed...messy?! I think I like the implied messy bed out of all the pics. There's something not as dirty as the others for some reason.
Lila Ferraro

Jenna@simplybonvivant.com said...

I love the messy bed appeal. I think its because it is "allowing" you to see into the secret part of someones life, whether its real or not. I love having people in the pics because again it makes it real...I would say getting in the bed and then tweaking it after would be the best way!

Margaret said...

I find this look revolting. If you are in the bed, it is not messy. It is serving its purpose. If you are outta the bed, it is made. Unmade = laziness. What's next? Ring around the tub? Dirty dishes in the sink?

Mr. Goodwill Hunting said...

No messy beds for me. When you get out of it you should make it up. I don't like the look at all. Martha Stewart said...oh NM....lol

Mr. Goodwill Hunting

Carollynn @ designGumbo said...

I love the Marilyn, Brigitte, Sophia and Audrey images, and while their beds are kinda messy, they're really "Hollywood" messy and some how they're still glamorous. The others, no, if I'm paying for a magazine, I want to see the bed looking pristine and fabulous. In the real world, Tim, the dogs and I have perfected the art of "messy bed" look, each and every night.

Sabina said...

V, you know I don't make the bed..I'll smoothe the comforter maybe. Love these pictures, they look so inviting, makes me want to crawl in and take a nap or read. But Marilyn in that eyelet lace dress, who's looking at the bed?

Anonymous said...

With the price of fine linens, custom pillows and antique textiles, who would want to display that finery in such an unpleasing way? Give me the bed made up, linens turned back beckoning one to crawl in and enjoy the luxury.

Gerry said...

Funny post. Wasn't Marilyn beautiful in that picture?!?!
I don't like seeing pictures of fully clothed people with shoes on lying on the bed. Andy Spade with his boots and a sports jacket on to me just says the photograher came in and said sit on the bed and I'll take a picture. Not a natural shot at all unless you're just checking into a hotel and seeing if the mattress is going to be comfortable. Of course, I don't lie around on my bed in the daytime unless I'm sick so it just seems odd to me. I agree with Mr. Goodwill Hunting (and Martha), the bed should be made when you get out of it....:)

Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES) said...

Valorie- But didn't Emily post on her blog how she hated the way they styled the bed in that picture?

She wasn't involved in that shoot and was bemoaning how some things were just out of her hands...


...and yes, I am tuning into her show and have to find a friend with cable to watch it! I'll be doing a post on Emily on Friday!


Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

I mastered the messy bed long ago. I'm not very good at getting my bed made....it's only made when company comes over and now since it's so chic to have an unmade bed...maybe I won't even do it then.

I can't wait for Emily's show. I read on her blog that she was unhappy with the way the photos of that room came out though...she couldn't be there for the photo shoot and was upset that the bed was not as neat as she wanted it. So....she didn't intend for it to be messy.

Anonymous said...


my unmade bed is now "en vogue". I have always been before my time and once again, this proves it!

Thanks for a great post! You've made me feel like a master at this.

Petunia said...

I love the messy bed look in pictures. Looks closer to the real thing I will get if I try to recreate a look and probably because I LOVE a messy bed. When I get back in it at night it feels like I am picking up right where I left off in the morning...in my cozy fabulous bed!...where I really wanted to be all day. :D

Reyna said...

Growing up, I've always hated making bed...and now that I'm all grown up, I STILL HATE IT! This post is super fun, Valorie! I love love LOVE it!!!

littlebadwolf said...

turned-down is one thing, but a princess is more likely to find pee than pea in some of those beds.

an occupied bed in a film scene is different, but even that should not be a rats' nest unless it is part of the script.

h. m. settoon said...

i like a casual, comfy, boho look, so i like a messy bed. but all messy beds aren't created equal.

Kwana said...

I love these pics but my unmade bed never looked so good.

Renae Moore said...

I prefer made beds but in my 'old' age I don't feel the need to make it everyday. BUT, in the magazines it's not always off putting. I kinda like it in certain situations!

Jan said...

Well,whaddya know - I'm a messy bed stylist and I didn't know it.
Nice post Valorie.

nanne said...

if anyone wanted to take a picture of my unmade bed, they had better bring some matching pillow cases...i mean, i love my well worn collection of hand-me-down from my children pillow cases-- sponge bob, ariel and all of their friends...but, i usually hide them under my pretty custom made shams...

my sheets are another sad story...very worn and comfy but....not pretty, even in a cool, hipster, boho way...

my bed is living a sham of a life!


Rhianna said...

I like a messy bed, as long as the sheets are clean, white, and crisp.

Kathy Carbone said...

The sixth photo is so me! My bedroom in our Tampa house looks almost like that, especially its hardwood flooring and windows. Hmm... As I have noticed in most artistic people like us, messy bed simply reflects how creative we are! We don't care about the clutter that much, do we?

VictoriaArt said...

How did I miss this one??? LOL!
Is it the reality - kicks - in bed? Our beds look every morning like that and then I ruining it by straightening out the sheets!!!! NO MORE!
MY daughter is already way ahead of me....and she's got the model looks too! Now I need a kitten.....
Thank you, darling!