You don't want to spend your mornings tucking and folding, so here's the secret to simplifying an otherwise tedious task: Ditch your flat sheet and sleep with only a soft duvet-which is how the Europeans do it. Come morning, just follow these four simple steps to give your bed a relaxed yet refined look.
1. Make space. Clear off all pillows, throws, and anything else that's on your bed. You need space to work.
2. Toss your duvet. Do this while standing at the side of the bed-preferably the side that's closest to the door. (It's a colossal pain to make your bed look perfect from every angle, so just focus on the one you'll be looking at most often.) You want the duvet to be off-center at this point, so aim high and long: Short it at the foot of the bed and give the side opposite you some extra length. This will make the duvet easier to adjust in the next step.
3. Fine-tune. Staying where you are, tug the duvet toward you until the side edge is parallel to the floor and the duvet is just about centered. (Don't sweat it if it's not perfect.) Then move to the foot of the bed and pull the duvet down, leaving a few inches between the top of the duvet and the headboard-enough to give you a generous drape at the bottom.
4. Bridge the gap. Use your pillows to cover the space between the duvet and the headboard. We laid our pillows flat, but you can angle yours up against the headboard if you prefer. That's it. You're done. No tucking involved.
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Photo: CN Digital Archive