It may be obvious, but I think it’s worth mentioning that I don’t have any interior design qualifications. That’s what I love about this modern DIY internet age, though! I (you! we!) can learn anything! I’m a fresh student of this art, and I hope that all the love I pour into my home projects will always make me feel like just a little girl playing house. My imagination soars and my soul is fed when I make time in my life to create! Even if that just means rearranging the pillows now and then!
With that in mind, today I’m going to share what I’ve learned first-hand about styling pillows, and I’d be lying if I said it’s all come easily to me. Pillows can be hard! I have had all too much fun in stores, piecing together the perfect pillow combinations, only to come home and be sorely disappointed with the new spread on my sofa.
So, here are some things that have helped me delight in straightening the pillows each day, sometimes multiple times a day, because this little chore is much more fun with pretty pillows!
1. Bookend larger/matching pillows on the sofa.
I tend to like an eclectic mix of pillows, but I’m happier with the artsy look if I have them framed in with a little order. It’s almost like making a sandwich. You can put all sorts of ingredients in the middle, but the slices of bread should match, or at least be very similar, to better hold all the artsy goodness together.
2. When you’re getting creative in the middle of your pillow sandwich, make sure your colors/hues complement one another.
There’s a little bit of personal preference that plays into this, but also some technique involved. You can go study the color wheel, or go with your gut like I do. Just make sure that the pillows you have share either a similar tint, tone or shade. Tints are when white is added to a color; tones are when grey is added to a color; and shades are when black is added to a color. Maybe a little more information than you wanted, but basically, they should convey the same mood. You don’t want a loud obnoxious pillow next to a serene pastel.
3. Decide on a color scheme and then find pillows within that pallet that have different textures, patterns and sizes. Using a variety of textures is my favorite way to mix things up! Florals mixed with ruffles and stripes is always a winner in my book. My cute girl hopping on the bed for an impromptu photoshoot is always a winner in my book, too!
4. Perhaps my favorite tip: break the rules.
If you like the way it looks, then you’ve succeeded! Like anything, pillows can be a form of artistic expression, so definitely have fun with it. Something I recently have done (and I’m sure I’m not the one to come up with this), is put king-sized pillows at the heads of my girls’ twin beds. And then I put twin-sized pillows in front of the kings. It’s nice when you can layer different pillow sizes. Different shapes are always a plus, too. I eventually want to put a round pillow in place of that square one.
5. Double Stuff!
For decorative pillows, It’s a good idea to purchase a pillow insert that is a size bigger than the pillow case itself. And for your everyday pillows that you lay your head down to sleep on, feel free to put two pillows inside the pillow case if it’s feeling a little frumpy. People (ahem, my children) may not want to lay their heads down to sleep on a double-stuffed pillow, but it’s definitely great for styling! I always get frustrated when I can’t pull the “pillows-for-sleeping” out of their slump.
6. Mix-match your bedding sets.
Okay, this has been so fun for me! I love taking the pillow cases from a sheet set in one room (especially if it’s patterned) and pairing it with a different bedding set in another room. For example, I got a really cute striped duvet set from Ikea last summer. The duvet is still on our guest bed, but the king shams that came with that set are the ones on my girls’ beds, and the pink pillow cases that came with my girls’ sheet set, are in the guest bedroom. I suggest having some continuity in style and color throughout your home, so why not swap pillowcases and patterns from one room to the other to easily mix things up and yet still provide that continuity.
7. Consider taking off the cookie-cutter end-pillows that came with your couch set.
I don’t know about your couches, but mine came with some extra pillows. I say ditch what isn’t necessary to the set. This will give you more room to put fun and unique pillows on your couch that reflect your style. Your sofa will look much more sophisticated! In fact, I took the end pillows off my sofa and inserted them into the floral sham above! It filled it out beautifully!
Bottom line, have fun as you try to think outside the box! I seriously mess with the pillows in my house all. the. time. There are so many possibilities for combinations, and it’s an easy way to make my home feel fresh and alive! Alright, that’s enough pillow talk for tonight! I’m off to bed!