As a self-proclaimed design junkie I’m pretty cuckoo about pillows. I have a tendency to go overboard from time to time with my pillow passion but thank goodness for one of my fav interior designers Kishani Perera. She has laid out the throw pillow rules below.
Take it away Kishani…
Perplexed by pillows? Bewildered by toss cushions? The age old question of exactly how many pillows are enough has been heavily debated for centuries (particularly between men and women). Not to worry, we are here to set the record straight!
Here are some straightforward pillow guidelines to keep in mind when adorning your bed or sofa.
When it comes to layering toss cushions, the size difference should vary slightly. I wouldn’t suggest putting a large 24″ pillow next to a 12″ pillow, for example, without a size in the middle (like a 18″ or 20″) to balance it out. Definitely mix it up, don’t do multiple pillows in the same size.
When coming up with combinations of cushions for either your bed or sofa, be sure to mix patterns in with solids. I like to mix in at least one strong pattern in with a solid or two, and then either add in a tone on tone pattern or texture for interest. The wrong pillow fabric can downgrade the full palette so try to be mindful of the colors and fabrics you introduce into the grouping.
Try to keep your cushion count between 4-9 pillows at most (including your sleeping pillows). Rather than go with the matching euro shams to your bed set, I prefer to mix in a different pattern or color here and then add a pair of decorative toss cushions or a long bolster for added interest.
The arrangement of pillows can also be determined by the overall style of the room. For a modern space, I prefer to keep the sleeping pillows (usually 4), stacked in pairs, with a pair of decorative pillows propped in front of each stack. For a more decadent look, or more traditional space, I prefer to lean the pillows, including the sleeping pillows, on the back of the bed, creating gradual layers from back to front that go from large to small. For example, a pair of euro pillows along the back, sleeping pillows next, and a pair of decorative pillows in front.
Keep in mind that toss cushions are there not only to add color and interest, but to add comfort as well. Make sure that the amount of pillows doesn’t feel out of place or awkward, or worse, are so big you can’t sit comfortably on the sofa. I usually gravitate to a total of 3-5 pillows on a sofa but this number can change depending on the overall vibe of the space and length of the sofa. Try using just one long lumbar pillow on a sofa if you are going for a more modern/minimalist feel. For a more luxe look, go for a pair on either side of the sofa and a kidney cushion in the middle.
Amazing 411 on throw pillows, don’t you think?!? Thank you Miss Kishani!! As a super visual girl, I’ve even created a throw pillow heaven Pinterest board.
As far as the pillow innards, you can choose from natural and polyester fillings as well as those suited for outdoor spaces. Did you know that they even make earth friendly inserts out of bamboo? West Elm has a nicely priced array of decorative pillow inserts made from feather and down or a down alternative which is hypo allergenic.
I love, love, love the way throw pillows can give a sofa and room a quick facelift. They don’t have to break the bank and are even fun to change out seasonally.
Do you have a favorite style of throw pillow? Tell me EVERYTHING!!
Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.