BUILDING A PRETTY PILLOW COLLECTION

You have come to the right place today! I have a post that will help you collect pillows to make the most fabulous arrangements on your sofa! Do you often look in magazines and sigh at how beautiful the sofas look with their gorgeously arranged pillows and say, “I wish I could do that?”. Well, my friend, you can! And I’ll show you how.

Pillow arrangements are not magic and you do not need a degree from design school to have the prettiest pillow arrangements in your town! With a little thought and practice, I’ll show you how to build the perfect pillow collection just for you!

Let’s get started!

Here are 5 rules that will help you collect pillows that work together on your sofa or chairs. 

KNOW YOUR COLOR PALETTE

It is important to do first things first so when it comes to building a pillow collection you can mix and match from you need to know the color palette of the spaces you want to use the pillows in.

Not only do you need to know and recognize your color palette you need to know if your colors are predominately warm or cool colors.

And you need to know what accents or color pops you are using too!

I call my color palette BLOND. It’s filled with warm neutrals, rich caramels and lots and lots of white. So when go to look for pillows these are the colors I know will work together.

From time to time I like a bit of warmed up gray in my rooms too. I know gray does not sound like a super exciting pop of color but it works wonders for my color palette.

KNOW WHERE YOUR PILLOWS WILL END UP

I used to buy pillows on a whim. I would go to a store, like HomeGoods, and make a beeline to the pillows! Then I would get overwhelmed by all the beautiful pillows and buy them liberally! Remember I LOVE pillows!

But when I got home and tried to arrange all these beautiful pillows they look horrible. I would get so frustrated! I could certainly pick gorgeous pillows I just could not make them work together.

The pillows weren’t the problem. I was not thinking ahead.

We need to keep in mind how we are going to use pillows on our sofas and chairs before we go to HomeGoods or look online or end up in your favorite place to find pillows.

Unless you know exactly what you are looking for the chances of getting the right pillow that will look perfect on your sofa is slim.

So, make a plan.

I love the classic look of a 5 pillow sofa arrangement.

For a 5 pillow arrangement I know I will need …

  • two 24 inch pillows or pillow covers and inserts
  • and two 18-20 pillows or pillow covers and inserts
  • one lumbar pillow or pillow cover and insert

And for the two chairs in my living room I like…

  • two small lumbar pillows or lumbar pillows and inserts
  • two 18 inch pillows or pillow cover and inserts

IF IT DOESN’T WORK DON’T USE IT

I have a mantra when it comes to decorating…

BE RUTHLESS

So if I get a pillow and it does not work with the other pillows I am collecting I get rid of it. I take it back to the store or give it to one of my girls or friends. I just don’t keep any pillow that won’t create beauty in my home!

And you should do this too! These outlier pillows will end up collecting dust.

EXPAND YOUR COLLECTION

Once you have perfected your favorite pillow arrangements for your sofa and chairs then you are ready to expand your pillow collection.

The object is to find pillows that work so well with what you already have that they can be easily changed out.

So if I want to change out the 18-20 inch pillows I’ll by two pillows or pillows and pillow covers. Never one! I have bought singles before and they end up sitting on a shelf in the basement!

Even though there is only one white pillow with jute trim in the pillow above, I have two.

TAKE PICTURES OF WHAT YOU HAVE

I snap a quick picture of all the pillows I buy with my iPhone and keep them together in a folder so I always have them handy when I’m shopping. I even use the images when I am in my living room toying with the idea of changing my pillows and all my pillow are in the basement. Those pictures save me steps!

It’s also a great idea to take pictures of the pillows arranged on your sofa and chairs. This helps you remember what pillow arrangements you like and want to repeat.

I just love the pillows on the white spindle chairs (above). I’m so glad I took pictures of them so when I change them out for something different I won’t forget these sassy pillows together so I can repeat the arrangement again.

Pretty pillows add color, texture, interest and beauty to a room. Creating a collection is smart! It helps you easily create arrangements that you know will work with the furnishings in your home.

149 Comments

  1. Love your insight with pillows and I love how they can change a room. Thank you again for your amazing creative thoughts.

  2. I am always struggling with pillow arrangements. I am trying to build up more pillows so I can mix them up. Your ideas help me to understand placement, so I will try this.

  3. Hi Yvonne – I think I’m “missing something” – I thought that the monthly reader appreciation winner was posted on your Facebook page (although I wish it was announced on your blog) anyway I still can’t find it on the Stonegable Facebook page. What am I doing wrong? Thanks and again thanks for sharing your home and great ideas with us – love the podcast too. (I tried to use the contact me feature , but I kept getting an error -something about the “captcha” not sure what that is.)

  4. I guess the best way to have pillows if you don’t have a place to store seasonals and/or color changes is to buy pillows with zippers, making it easier to change and to do it more frequent. Unless you can make your own pillow covers!

  5. It helps to have a great pillow stash too, you always have such pretty pillows! I love the blue and green pillows!

  6. I have a pillow addictjon too! My problem is where to store them. My solution is to reuse the same pillows over and over. I just change the look by using covers. I’ vs found some really nice cover with zippers,good quality ,on line for each season. This free up space and makes my addiction much more affordable.

  7. I have the same arrangement of 5
    on my couch.Your green against the
    neutral couch is striking and fresh
    for spring.

  8. Fun and useful pillow info! But the thing that I was drawn to most was the coffee table arrangement using the window and covered books! WOW. Am gonna copy that stat!!

  9. I have 2 large white sofas facing each other. I use 2 euro shams on each to anchor, then two 18″ pillows next to the euro pillows. I can use pre-made shams for the end pillows and smaller, custom pillow covers from online retailers and Etsy. It makes for lots of changes when I get bored, but is cheaper than a pair of new slipcovers.

  10. I love pillows! I also enjoyed listening to your podcast. It was fun, informative, and entertaining. It was nice to put a voice with a face!

  11. I love pillows. And baskets. And black and white. And this year’s color Greenery. And your fabulous info on pillow collecting. I am always on the lookout for fresh ideas and I love the large-medium-long “rule”. Thanks as always! xx-hb

  12. I love th pillows with the large button! It’s nice to change out pillows with the season but I have no room to store off-season!

  13. Lessons learned…Love the green pillow arrangement…my number of pillows is 7 (maybe too many )…I also was drawn to the coffee table and the window used as a tray. Going on the hunt for an old coffee table like that and giving it a white wash for the spring. Love all you do !!!

  14. I love your five pillow arrangement! I’ve already started with the middle long pillow. I’ve bought a pillow insert and so far have two different covers for it. Now I’m off to find the other pillows. Thanks!

  15. I am enjoying the podcasts with you, Anita, and Kelly! I really appreciate knowing where to go to find the exact or similar items that I see on blogs! Thanks for including that info.

  16. I just recently started reading your blog. I love your style. There is so much to learn! Love your ideas on pillows!

  17. I love pillows but don’t have storage space. Finding pillow covers not so easy except online, which makes it difficult to be sure of colors. Always love what your designs.

  18. Like the rule of five. I always knew things looked better with uneven numbers but never thought about it for furniture. Thanks

  19. Loving your podcast and your pillows. Do you have any ideas on how to keep pillows from sliding on leather?

      1. That is a tricky one Jan. One way is to put a nubby throw over the arm of the leather piece and then put a nubby pillow on top of that. Look for a post about this issue and how to solve it this summer.

  20. I love pillows too. My favorite pillow source is Pottery Barn. I have the inserts for the sizes I like and them buy the pillow covers. I just use a large hanger and fold the pillow covers in half and hang when not in use. This way I can change them out for every holiday and season. Thank you always offering such wonderful advice. Love your blog.

  21. Love your ideas, I am with Susan, I hate when people sit down and squash the pillows, LOL, ??. Also a great way to store extras is to buy pillow covers at Hobby Lobby, just use the same pillows, and change the covers!!!! I love all of your combinations, but I love the
    Sunflower ones!!! Thanks for all of your ideas!!!

  22. I love pillows and the way they make a couch or chair look so fluffy and comfy! But I have kitties that get hair on everything and it’s just one more thing to try to keep un-furred. 🙂 I’ll just live vicariously through the blog world.

  23. You have made me a believer! I love all of your pillows and ideas on how to use them!!! I sure hope you get better soon.!

  24. I’ve recently ‘happened’ upon your blog & I love it! Love the advice about pillows & everything else! I really like how you take the time to spell everything out for us (and I need this!) I’ve been spending hours on here just checking everything out!
    Thank you for all of your great advice & hope your foot/ankle is much better & you are soon up & around!

  25. Yvonne, what a beautiful selection of pillows! Thank you for sharing your tips today. You have been in my prayers, so here’s hoping you are feeling much better???

  26. I’ve always loved pillows! Absolutely enjoyed seeing your pillow arrangements. Thanks for the inspiration!

  27. I have a neutral sectional sofa and love it. I change the pillows for the seasons or ‘just because’. Is there any thing you might suggest for the size difference. I love your style and have become quit a fan of your blog. I have found I love it even more than the MANY magazines I have stacked every where. I look forward to a more personal read in the morning. Thank you!

  28. I love your ideas so much wish I could bring you home with me for a day to get some ideas flowing for my awkward family room.
    Hope you’re well. Many blessings.

  29. I love pillows for pizazz but I have so many and storage is an issue I now try to purchase only pillow covers.

  30. Yvonne I’ve truly learned so much from your blog and tutorials. Everything from recipes, to how to make wreaths, to style tips for our home…..you’ve helped me out tremendously. Thank you so much and I pray that healing comes quickly and effortlessly in God’s power!
    Colleen

  31. I, too, feel that I have a pillow addiction…..I have a King size bed and I just purchased two more pillows….so not I have two shams ( to match the bedspread of course), then two bolster pillows, then two 20 inch butterfly embroidery pillows and of course a lime green pillow to pull some color into the room and to blend with the floor rugs…..I love it….and the only problem is where to put them when time to go to bed 😉

  32. I love how you decorated with these pillows. I especially love the greens. You alway make me want to get up and try to do something to my home when I click onto your site, because I know everything I see will make me turn green with envy. Your work throughout your home is amazing.

  33. Love pillow talk because I too have a love and obsession of pillows!!!!
    Don’t you love when pillows are different on both sides … The versatility … Is great!!!

  34. I follow your formula on my sofa – two big ones, two medium and the oblong one in the middle. I put the same two big and medium ones on my lovesseat. I’m not sure having them match exactly is the best way to do it. What would you suggest for a lovesseat in the same room?

  35. I love your arrangements; colors and style; pillows have always been a headache for me..the problem is I have a leather sofa and loveseat and it is difficult for me to find harmony …but maybe you have answered my questions..someone told me that leather couches do not require pillows..what is your view on that one…I love your site so much..thank you

  36. Love the pillows. I use the green and white in my living room and kitchen in spring and summer. I keep my house neutral, then switch things up seasonally with pillows and accessories. Thanks for all of your beautiful photography and ideas.

  37. Love everything about your site. I read it daily and have tried several of your delicious recipes and decorating ideas. Please continue to send us your ideas.

  38. Your instructions for arranging pillows was plain and simple. I get it now! ha Thank you for another lesson learned! Class dismissed, ha!

  39. Your pillows are gorgeous. Wish I knew where to find some bright fun pillows for the porch. We live on the river so some with fish would be nice. I enjoy your blog immensely.

  40. Thank you for tips on the pillows and also I read a post you did last year about the pillow cases, that’s is an excellent idea!

  41. I am new to your blog. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! Thanks for sharing how to store pillows (covers). I am a pillow addict. I have a bedroom closet stuffed with pillows. I will start shopping for covers instead. 🙂 I am curious….are those brass lamps in your living room?

  42. I love the look of throw pillows but dislike having to remove them when company comes as we have furniture with short (instead of deep) seats, because we like to touch the floors when we sit. Consequently, the pillows look great but are in the way when we sit down. I usually throw them up on the top of the furniture. Ditto with the decorative pillows on the bed. At night, I have to stack up all those extra shams and pillows but I’m thankful I have them.

  43. I have always loved the way you decorate since I found your blog. The five pillow is the way to go to make an effortless look. It looks great and fresh. Your way of using different things for decorating makes every room look so wonderful. I love your blog and everything on it. I have been coming to your blog for most of my decorating needs and find ways to decorate that I have not thought of before. Thank you so much and keep up the good work for all the blog friends who need help.

  44. Yvonne, I look foreward to reading your blog everyday . I have used many of your ideas over the years and have told my friends about you posts . May God bless you with many years of health and happiness .

  45. I love this! Pillows are such a simple way to add pops of color, drama and most importantly COMFORT to a room. I love mixing things up with my pillow arrangements. If I get tired of a throw pillow, I just make a new cover for it and I love it again! I love the 5-pillow arrangement too. It’s the perfect balance of pillows on the couch without getting too crowded.

  46. Great pointers on arranging pillows! And the old rule to use an odd number in arranging still applies. Thank you!!

  47. Your pillow arrangements (5) was so perfect. So I have taken your comments to heart. I have been sewing new covers for my collection. Thanks for all of your great help.

  48. I never gave the color green much thought as an accent – aside from Christmas, of course. Thanks for opening my eyes to a new color!

  49. Inspiring post as always. I recently (within the past year) discovered what an amazing accessory pillows are and I’ve been having pillow fun ever since … so of course I love when you talk pillows!! And with so many pillow options out there, you could talk pillows every day — and I wouldn’t mind!!

  50. I LOVE your pillows!!! I think my all-time fave tip you have given (that I have read thus far on your posts), is to use the same inserts, but buy different covers! So great, in so many ways! 😉

  51. Love the color combinations you put together! Any recommendations for how to arrange on a sectional couch?

  52. I always get great ideas and inspirations from your posts. Right now I am loving calm and serene neutral colors in my home. I am using shades of taupe and cream with different patterns and textures while still following the default setting. I am told my Amazon Alexa can play podcasts, hopefully I can figure out how to use Alexa to listen to yours!

  53. Ok now I’m confused. I came over from the inspired room who has a lovely gold & silver pillow pictured with your link & there’s not picture of that on your post– nor are the fellow bloggers she lists and you list for Home Style Saturdays the same.

  54. I love your website. You have a great design sense. Thank you for a great tutorial on pillows. I guess that I’ve always been missing that 5th pillow. I also love your ivory sofa. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. If I may ask, who is the manufacturer and if you know, what is the style name? I don’t usually subscribe to blogs, but yours is special. It fits my style.
    ~Page~

  55. Yvonne… I love your pillow tips. Your home is lovely. I’ve been doing this for years. My living room is black and ivory and I use seasonal color in pillows and accessories. AND I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that takes photos! You’re spot on, girl! Have a blessed day.?

  56. Hi Yvonne,
    As always, great advice. I have a question though. I’ve purchased pillow inserts, from Pottery Barn, so not cheap. Should I have to be straightening out the inserts all the time? That’s what I feel like I’m doing on a pretty regular basis. Thanks in advance, for any advice.

    1. Are you straightening out the inserts inside the pillow? If you are then the insert does not fit the pillow well. Try using a pillow insert one size larger than the pillow cover. This gives you a nice, full pillow. So if you want to fill an 18-inch pillow cover get a 20-inch pillow insert. And one other thing, you get what you pay for when it comes to pillow inserts. Cheap ones are often made from lots of pin feathers and they poke through the pillow insert. A mix of feather and down is the best. Hope this helps.

  57. A friend of mine told me the other day that all trim and welting on pillows is “out”. I have not heard that and I just bought to custom made expensive pillow covers with added contrasting welt. Without tithe welt they would look not nearly as nice. Have you heard this too? I was surprised

  58. Yvonne, I love this post after spending so much on beautiful pillows not to have them work out. I have a sage colored sofa and still have not found the perfect pillow. Your home looks great and love love all your tips.
    Thanks so much

  59. In this post about pillows which I loved, I noticed the material ON THE SOFA and the draperies. Would you kindly tell me who sells the fabrics as I would like to order thenm. Looking gor both for quite awhile. Amazing they are both there on your site. Love your site. Thank you.

  60. Can you tell me where you find your furniture? I am looking for a square armed sleeper sofa the color of yours-very light.
    Thank you!

  61. Thank you for a very informative lesson on pillows. I have a question, however. I have a small living room and I have chosen to use 4 chairs – 2 facing each other for a conversation group. So, my question is should I use 4 18-inch pillows that are the same pattern and 4 lumbar pillows that are the same pattern or use similar but different patterned pillows in each chair?

    1. Hi Sally, great question. I think it all depends on the other patterns in your room. If you have lots of other patterns it might be best to keep the pillows the same. But if you don’t have lots of patterns in your room it might be nice to maybe choose three different patterns for your pillows and one solid color and mix them up a bit on your chairs. I would love to see a picture when you are finished. Sounds so pretty.

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