Ever wondered how to arrange pillows on a bed or a sofa? Have you seen beautifully made beds or sofas in someone’s home that look like they came out of a magazine and wonder how they got that designer look? Well hopefully after reading this, you too can achieve the same look.
I would say in the big scheme of decorating, pillows are probably the least expensive way to change the look of a room. You can even change out your pillows seasonally as you change your other decor items, to reflect the season. Pillows can add a pop of color if that’s what’s needed in a particular space or you can go with tone on tone look. Pillows re like jewelry which can be neutral at times or sometimes we just want some bling. They embellish one’s space.
Decorating in general always looks best with odd numbers whether it be 1, 3, 5, 7 or even 9. Think of how much better 3 vases filled with flowers look on a table verses just 2 or how 5 objects on a mantel look verses 4. However, pillow arrangements are one of the few exceptions that quite often break this rule and still look amazing. Although odd numbers in some arrangements still look great.
Whether using an even or odd number of pillows, always use unique fabrics, patterns and textures for interest. All should have a common denominator such as theme and color though. When placing on a bed, sofa or chairs never use the same fabric as the bed, sofa or chairs. Although, you can certainly use contrasting welting or maybe a strip of fabric out of the same fabric as the object they are placed on.
For instance, on the queen bed in the following photos, I place two standard size pillows in a rather large scale pattern with several colors and contrasting knife pleats. Sitting directly in front of these I placed 3 18×18 pillows that pick up the coral and a hint of green from the two pillows they sit in front of. These have been welted in gold which picks up a hint from the pillow itself. Note in the photos how they are made out of a totally different fabric but have colors in common with the first two pillows. Lastly, I have placed a lumbar pillow in front of the last three made out of yet a totally different fabric but that picks up the soft green of the two pillows closest to the headboard. This pillow adds some dimension to the look because if you look closely at the photos the fabric has some fine roping that has been sewn within. It also has contrasting flanged edges and corners.
Another example is on a sofa, start with 2 matching 20×20 pillows and place one at each end of the couch resting them on both the arms and the back. Then add 2 pillows that match one another but that are totally different than the first two. Make sure that they are of a different texture, pattern, or color. Then front and center place a lumbar, yet out of another fabric than the 20×20 and 18×18 or made of a variety of fabrics or even with some heavy embroidery or large buttons to add depth and dimension. Then lastly, add a throw which adds another layer of interest and texture. Even if it is just hung over the arm and is just peaking out it adds to the layered look.
If ever using just 1 pillow in perhaps a wing or side chair for example always use one that is truly unique. Maybe made of a rich, vibrant fabric or with different trim such as fringe or trim tape or one that has a unique embroidered or button design that coordinates with the theme of the room.
Pillow inserts are every bit as important in achieving the designer look as the pillow cover themselves. Down (if there are no allergy concerns) or synthetic down are the inserts of choice and give that karate chop look as well as that great feel. The key to inserts is to always purchase your inserts an inch or two larger than your pillow cover to give a very full look to the cover. When purchasing from Sunset Stitches all the pillow covers are stuffed using this concept and are hypo allergenic.