Breakfast in bed is one of those things that sounds great in theory. You wake up to the sweet smell of coffee (just the way you like it!), fresh pastries, and the Sunday paper. How wonderful! In reality, though, breakfast in bed often means you’re either carefully eating a protein bar while your children pounce on your bed, or you’re ready to spend the rest of the day trying to get syrup out of your sheets. Before you resign yourself to eating cold cereal out of the box over the kitchen sink, let’s see if we can make the whole breakfast-in-bed experience more like the one you pictured in your mind.
We spoke to Josh Young, a Chicago-based artist, designer, tastemaker, and cozy-breakfast expert, to get his tips. Keep reading to take notes for yourself or just send this to your loved one and know that you’re finally going to get the breakfast goals you deserve.
1. Keep the food simple.
We’ll say this once: Messy dishes like eggs Benedict and waffles have no place in the bed. “The food should be simple and easy,” says Young, who suggests fruit, avocado toast, coffee (of course), and croissants ordered from Williams Sonoma. (They’re shipped frozen, so they just need to be thawed and baked for 18 to 20 minutes.) With a menu like this, you’re not dealing with syrups or anything too complicated. “You can graze and enjoy the moment, reading your newspaper and sipping your coffee,” Young adds.
2. Grab a tray.
No one should ever try to carry a cup of coffee AND a plate of croissants AND a bowl of fruit—that’s just asking for trouble. “A tray makes it easy to transport the whole thing in and out of the bedroom in one fell swoop,” Young points out. He recommends finding a tray you like and putting it to work as a decorative piece when not in use for breakfast. Young keeps this cane tray on top of his secretary desk and styles it up nicely with a coffee table book. It helps that the tray is lined with acrylic so it’s extra easy to clean after meals.
3. Have a staging area.
Young has this Lacourte Upright Desk in his bedroom and finds it incredibly useful. “In pre-war hotels you always find a beautiful secretary desk, I was inspired by that, and now happily find that it serves many purposes,” he says. “During breakfast in bed, it acts as a staging area where you can place the tray or the elements of breakfast you’re not currently enjoying, so you’re not tripping over it or having to leave it on the bed.” No matter what furniture you have in your bedroom, make sure you have a surface cleared off before you bring in breakfast.
4. Add lots of pillows.
“Nothing feels more luxurious in bed than having a ton of pillows,” Young says. “Bonus: They’ll help you prop yourself up when you’re reading or eating breakfast.” Coveting his cozy setup? He has the Lacourte Bed in black and the Williams Sonoma Chambers White Hotel Bedding. “I wanted there to be high contrast,” he says of the dark lacquered headboard and the crisp, clean white bedding.
5. Don’t skimp on style.
You know those linen napkins and silver serving pieces you stash away until company comes? Young says to pull them out! “By elevating the presentation while you keep the food simple, you make an ordinary moment more chic and more special.” Plus, a fancy teapot will help keep your brew warm while you sip on your current cup.