As a kid, I use to obsess over the Sears catalogue home section. I remember sitting at my Grandma's kitchen table flipping through pages of furniture and textiles, longing to redecorate my room yet again. When I was extra lucky, I was allowed to order something! I remember patiently waiting for a set of tab-top drapes in a soft sage green to arrive. When they finally did, I quickly learned that most drapery panels are sold separately! Instead of getting upset that I only had one, my Grandma and I whipped out the sewing machine and had the 86" panel chopped into two smaller café sized panels in no time!
Anyway, throughout my years of catalogue shopping, I remember being most obsessed with the "bed-in-a-bag." You know, when you buy the duvet, bed skirt, shams and accent pillow covers all in one, neatly vacuum-sealed bag. As my design knowledge developed — and "magic-of-the-mix" started to define my decorating style — I would refer to "bed-in-a-bag syndrome" as being the matchy-matchy look I tried to avoid.
Nonetheless, matchy-matchy sells! (And is often what people want.) Coordinated patterns and colours are easy on the eyes and bank account, and much more risk-free. Layering up mismatched items is a skill that is learned over time in my books, so for the less adventurous, I retract my previous comment and say, "match away!"
Here's a bed-in-a-bag at Sears that I really like! This classic cream quilt with scalloped edges is a stunner and a good choice if you prefer a matching set.
One company that has a whole new take on this style of decorating is the B.C.-based online store Nudge Home. They offer a great line of home accessories (mostly pillows and art) that have been carefully coordinated. All the hard work is done for you!
Nudge has created "designer bundles" that are sold for a package price. The bundles include four pillows in various patterns and coordinating colours, as well as a gorgeous piece of art. Just throw in a neutral sofa, a few side tables, a couple of lamps and an accent chair, and you've got yourself a living room! The bundles are a great starting point for someone who may not know how to achieve the layered look, or a jumping off colour scheme when decorating a room from scratch.
See our Fast Decorating Fixes gallery for more easy ideas.