Bed skirts are generally attached in one of two ways: anchored under the mattress or by Velcro, which is handy for certain types of beds when anchoring under the mattress is impractical.
Fabricating the decorative skirt with a “decking” made of drapery lining and sliding it completely under the mattress keeps everything in place so you’re not constantly re-dressing the bed. When making a bed skirt with a decking, or having one made, consider the edge between the skirt and the mattress. Be sure to extend the decorative fabric at least 4 inches into the decking so that if any shifting occurs, you don’t risk exposing the muslin.
Here, a separate fabric was chosen for the two beds, giving each its own personality in a room with a tight color palette: One wears a stripe, the other a small-scale print. Both patterns are customary choices for bed skirts, since smaller prints and solids are the easiest to style around.
The gathered bed skirt is one of the most popular choices, perhaps because it happens to be the most widely available at stores. It’s always a stylish idea to duplicate the bed skirt fabric as a pillow on the bed. Though you need only one matching pillow, you’ll often see an entire layer of pillows that match the skirt.
Speaking of pattern, the short height of bed skirts, usually only 14 to 18 inches, has many convinced that large-scale patterns with huge repeats are off-limits. While it’s true that extra care should be taken with pattern placement to ensure that the motif doesn’t get awkwardly chopped or disappear entirely within full gathers, a large pattern can work nicely in a box pleat.
Box-pleat skirts like this one are especially fun to design because they can accommodate a contrasting fabric in the folds. Here, the ticking stripe within the pleats coordinates with the two decorative pillows to pull the whole bed together.
The tailored bed skirt is another popular style. As the name suggests, it’s less full and ruffled than the gathered type, and it tends to veer toward the transitional. You’ll usually find tailored skirts with a single center pleat on all sides, though smaller beds can forgo the center pleat at the end of the bed.
Most bed skirts are made three-sided, which saves money by eliminating superfluous yardage on the side of the bed that’s likely to face a wall.
Lace skirts deserve a category all their own. The softly draped nature of bed skirts (also known as dust ruffles) and their status as an accent make them a fine choice for experimenting with fabrics and materials that struggle to find a place in the modern home. Lace bed skirts give a touch of antiquity to an otherwise crisp hotel-style bed ensemble, a charming juxtaposition in the right setting.
A favorite alternative bed skirt material for a little girl’s room is tulle: If ballerinas’ skirts can be made out of it, why not bed skirts?
Finally, a personal favorite and offbeat choice: grass. Make your own by banding together a double layer of hula skirts for a relaxed, tropical vibe.