Decorative pillows are one of the quickest ways to elevate a space or transition your home from season to season, but finding the right ones isn’t always easy. Questions like, "How many should I get? What size is best? Which colors and patterns suit my style?" are all ones that can turn a seemingly simple task into a decorating dilemma. The good news is there are no rules or absolutes when it comes to this key piece of décor, but it can become tricky to pull it all together and create a cohesive look. So, before you begin your perfect pillow pursuit, here are a few important considerations to help ensure that your only pillow problem will be deciding which are your favorites.
We’re often asked how many pillows to put on a sofa or sectional and although there isn’t a definitive answer, there are general guidelines we like to live by. One of the most important factors in pillow placement is whether to use an overall even or odd number of pillows on a piece. For instance, if you prefer a traditional look, use even numbers on either side. Another option is to use even numbers and then to add an odd numbered pillow in the middle (for symmetry). If you prefer a more eclectic look, use odd numbers and display your pillows with asymmetry in mind. And of course, if there seems to be too many pillows on your sofa, you can always ditch the ones that came with the couch in favor of adding more decorative designs—something we do here in the store quite often!
Although pillow size can vary, these are a couple of our favorite configurations for a standard sofa and sectional:
Color and Texture
Pillows are a low-stakes way to add color, playfulness and style to any space and help create a sense of continuity between your rugs and artwork. Begin narrowing down your choices by picking an anchor color that coordinates with the fabric of your sofa or sectional. From there, you can build by incorporating the other tones within your space. If you prefer to keep your color palette simple or even monochromatic, try blending various textures—soft linen, nubby cotton, plush velvet—to keep the space cohesive without looking boring or too matchy-matchy.
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To fluff droopy down pillow inserts, simply put them in the dryer on air-dry for 10 minutes.You can also add a couple of clean tennis balls to beat out any clumped areas as the dryer spins. Air drying will also remove any trace moisture that may be in the pillows, helping to prevent mildew.
When mixing patterns and prints, the best way to ensure a cohesive ‘pillowscape’ is by sticking to a common color palette. While the hues of the pillows themselves don’t necessarily need to match, they should relate to the overall color scheme of the room. Vary the size and scale of patterns, mixing larger prints on the bigger pillows with tighter prints on the smaller pillows. Then, incorporate an occasional solid or neutral pillow to give the eye a place to ‘rest’. If you love pattern and want to create a statement by layering prints on top of prints, pick a general style—all block prints, for example—to avoid a jumbled appearance.
“I like print on top of print on top of print. Coming from an art background I don’t mind mixing things up—my team is always editing me.”