I love a good pillow mix. One that doesn’t look too contrived or that it is trying too hard to stick to the “rules” but is secretly following the pillow rules! A mix of color and patterns with pillows is totally an art form. How we put together a good pillow combo can really be unique to every person and that is what makes it so fun. I think we take pillows way too seriously. They don’t have to be. Pillows can be carefree and playful. Even if you prefer a more formal and traditional look- yes, even then they can a great mix of color and pattern.
I do have some pillow “rules” I like to follow. The reason I stick to these made up rules is because it’s a no-fail way to love your pillows. That is what matters- if YOU love your mix of color and patterns on your pillows. But following the pillow rules will save your from running around trying to put together the perfect combo.
Nesting with Grace Pillow “Rules”-
#1– Bookend the pillows on your sofa. Meaning do a matching set of pillows in each corner. Same goes for a sectional- I like to do a matching pillow in each corner. These end pillows should be the largest- typically 22″-24″ depending on your sofa or sectional size.
#2– Don’t buy pillows smaller than 20″ for a sofa. I really don’t know why anything smaller than a 18″ is even made? I guess for a really small chair. (A kidney shape pillow is a great way to add a smaller pillow to the mix).
#3– Try to buy pillows that you know you won’t get sick of it in a couple of months (and that is hard to always know). When I put together the different pillow combinations below I had an inexpensive floral in the mix and my eye kept going right to it on the design board- so I took it off and it felt so much better and less “matchy”.
#4– Go for down interests (unless you are allergic). Make sure that your insert is at least one size larger than the casing.
Bonus points if your pillows can mix in different rooms in your home. If you are like me and like to change things up then this is a great way to keep things fresh and updated without having to purchase all new pillows when you get in that mood for change.
Notice below I have “bookends” with matching pillows on each end and they are 22″ and all the pillows have down inserts.
Mud Cloth White and Black Pillows (similar) /// I Love You Pillow /// White and Black Center Pillow (similar) /// Solid Cream Pillow (similar)
Just a slight variation with a darker pillow- just to show you a slightly different look.
And a different pillow combination in our family room. I really could mix any of the above pillows with the pillows below. That is what I love to look for in pillows- that they could interchange throughout our home.
Pillow combo below is an example of a grouping that could work on a sectional! Now- this just gives you can idea….you really could add another pillow here or there- just play with it! But typically two on each end and three in the center is a great place to start.
Notice that these pillows could also mix throughout my home too! And this also shows that inexpensive pillows can mix with expensive pillows. The pillows in white are 24″ with fringe and they are indoor/outdoor pillows they are closer to $100 each. The black and white pillows are all around $10! But those white pillows are my favorite because they mix well with anything. They are my “base” that will stay.
White Fringe Pillows // Black Tassel Pillows (similar) // Black Leaf Pillow // Round Fringe Pillow
I put together four different pillow combinations to show different ways to mix patterns on your pillows.
The pillow “bookends” on each pillow combo are really classic pillows that make a great base- that could be staples in any home.
Row 1– Tassel Pillow Cover (amazing price) // African Pattern Mustard // Round Denim Pillow (cutest shape!!)
Row 2– White with Black Mudcloth // Gray Solid // Blush Stripe
Row 3– Two Tone Blush Pillow with Zipper // White Medallion // Onyx Stripe Pillow
Row 4– 24″ Large Navy (my same pillows but navy) // Blue Rug Pillow // 20″ Leather Pillow
And a couple of fun examples of a mix of color and pattern on some great pillows…
Such a timeless pillow combo. Below shows the same sofa- but with a different mix of colors and patterns. (Source House Seven).
Such a timeless pillow combo. (Source House Seven).
This combo is really classic- shows exactly my “rules”. (Image Source)
This all blue combo- but different patterns is really a great timeless look! Notice that the pillows are not “bookends” on each end- but they are really similar so it works. Makes this combo look like vintage finds. (Image Source)
I hope that helps your mission to find a fun mix of colors and patterns with your pillows! PS- it also helps to do a Design Board of all the pillow combos before you order them. (See how to create a Design Board HERE the easy way!)
Brooke, I saw your home in HGTV magazine. Congratulations! Thanks for the pillow “rules”. I am thinking about changing mine up. The spring brings lots of decorating changes in my home 🙂
طراحی سایت مشهد says
Too many Thanks
Great tips and thank you for the sources for pillow shopping!
[email protected] says
I really love your style. It’s a little different from mine but I still find inspiration. I’m also loving the community you’ve brought together on FB; such a positive atmosphere. I have two couches in my living area, so I do still do the same pillow combo on both? Thanks 🙂
[email protected] says
Oh thank you! I really appreciate that! Yes on the two sofas I would do the same combo but throw in a different one on each.
I have a couch that has five large pillows as the back cushions (there are no other cushions) and they are each 22 x22 already. If I wanted to add layering what size pillows should I add as my two end pieces – the same 22 x 22 or smaller? Love you blog!!!!
[email protected] says
Hello! Yes I would do 20″ or 22″ would be great!