In the summer, I like my bed lightly dressed. But when the weather cools off, I love a bed layered in rich colors, fetching patterns and touchable textures. Here are some irresistible bedding ensembles:

In the summer, I like my bed lightly dressed. But when the weather cools off, I love a bed layered in rich colors, fetching patterns and touchable textures. Here are some irresistible bedding ensembles:

-- Black and white and chic all over: This bed creates a DMZ in the battle of the sexes. The strong yet simple color palette of black and white appeals to the guys, as does the combination of traditional menswear fabrics, like the bold plaid and hound's tooth check. But it can go female-friendly by including a romantic paisley and kitten-soft gray velvet pillows.

-- Pea green with envy: Earthy yet luxurious, this bedding ensemble mixes different shades of green with wild abandon. Mother Nature tosses all manner of greens together, and so can you. A soft and romantic dust ruffle finishes the bed perfectly.

-- Plum perfect purple: Color trends in interior design closely follow those in the fashion world, so it's no surprise that purple is coming on strong. Mix an invigorating blend of colors and patterns that shows off a sublime palette of plum and blue. By using some ready-made bedding, such as a purple quilt and shams, you can stretch your decorating dollar to have enough left to invest in a few show-stealing pieces, like luxury sheets, reversible duvets or custom pillows finished with unique details.

-- Sugar and spice and everything nice: This bed features a feather-soft palette of winter blue and soft brown. Thanks to bold patterns, it's anything but boring. Layer two reversible custom duvets on this snuggly bed. With a flip of the blankets, you can get several different looks so you won't ever tire of this ensemble.

-- Marigold and gray greet the day: This contemporary bedding look celebrates one of today's most popular color combos: marigold and gray. Go with a toned-down interpretation, as easy on the eye as a field covered in fresh snow. But you could also go with a bright yellow and deep gray and get a completely different effect.

-- Autumn bliss: This bedding ensembles pulls in autumn's most riotous colors, like rust, brown and amber. Blend plaid and floral fabrics for a good compromise for him and her.

-- A study in blue and brown: With a muted fall and winter palette of brown and blue, you can get funky with the fabric. Pull together a crazy assortment of patterns: an animal print, a chain, a herringbone, a floral and a solid. Invest in a few killer custom accent pillows.

-- Royal chambers: Ever want to be queen for the day? Create a bedding ensemble that makes you feel like royalty every single day. Pull together the richest colors of the season -- deep red, black, camel and cream -- and bring them to life with patterns so bold they demand your respect. Combine the traditional and the contemporary in a set of custom pillows. A combination of the traditional toile, animal print, plaid and damask print in these irrepressibly bold colors really works.

-- Coral and black: Contemporary yet romantic, this bed interprets this season's hot coral hue in a brand-new way, giving it more lush layers for the cold winter months. Mixing the bold contemporary patterns with a simple, unassuming ticking ensures the overall ensemble will have some punch but won't be overwhelming.  

-- Cozy cabin: Dress your winter bed in a charming assortment of country textiles. Repeat the well-loved colors of red, white and blue in a host of dissimilar fabrics and patterns -- dots, simple plaids or a horse-blanket stripe.
    
The column has been adapted from Mary Carol Garrity's blog at www.nellhills.com. Reach her at marycarol@nellhills.com.