Pillow Style Guide: How to Choose & Arrange Pillows like a Pro

Who here LOVES pillow talk?? I know I do, and this week I'm stopping by to give you a few simple tips on how to choose and style pillows for your sofa and bed. Layering pillows can be tricky, but after reading these simple tips you will feel confident when choosing pillows for your next home refresh! 

I'm always asked how to select and style pillows when there are SO many options to choose from. My rule of thumb is that you always need a solid, a pattern, and a texture in varying sizes. These three elements create a layered and aesthetically pleasing look.

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Mixing Patterns

Mixing patterns can be intimidating, but if done right it looks SO good! When mixing patterns, it's best to do a large pattern and a small pattern. The large pattern should be at least 3 times larger than the small pattern. The large pattern should be on the larger pillow (20"x20"), and the small pattern on the smaller pillow (16"x16" or lumbar 12"x16").

Read below for the visual style guide! And don't forget to pick up your FREE printable pillow style guide at the bottom of this post!

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I took the above guideline and pulled together some real life examples so you can refresh your home this spring with ease! Which combination is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below, and most importantly, enjoy!  

 

 

Bed Pillow Combinations

 

 

Queen Bed

(2) 26"x26" Solid Euro and (1) 12"x24" Large Pattern Lumbar

I'm obsessed with Target's new Opalhouse line! Keeping things simple here with two solid aqua euro pillows and one patterned/textured lumbar pillow. Notice how I chose pillows with fringe on both of them to tie everything together!

I would opt for some cute, small diamond-patterned sheets in blue & white to really make this combination sing. 

P.S - This is the combo I chose for my own spring refresh in our bedroom!

 Target - Yarn Dye Euro Pillow - Opalhouse™

Target - Yarn Dye Euro Pillow - Opalhouse™

 Target - Diamond Tufted Lumbar Pillow - Opalhouse™

Target - Diamond Tufted Lumbar Pillow - Opalhouse™

 

 

King Bed

(3) 26"x26" Solid Euro, (2) 18x18 large pattern (1)12"x24" Small texture Lumbar

If you're not feeling very adventurous you can't go wrong with a beautiful navy and white combo! This classic, crisp look never goes out of style, and navy is a great alternative to black for a spring re-fresh. Note how for the textured lumbar pillow I chose a similar geometric triangular pattern to tie in nicely with the large navy and white decorative pillows.

 Target - White Matelasse Euro Pillow - Fieldcrest®

Target - White Matelasse Euro Pillow - Fieldcrest®

 Wayfair - Darren Geometric Design Throw Pillow

Wayfair - Darren Geometric Design Throw Pillow

 Embroidered White Pillow Covers

Embroidered White Pillow Covers

 

 

King Bed

(3) 24"x24" solid/texture Euro, (2) 18x18 large pattern (1)13"x36" small pattern lumbar

For a more bohemian look - the trick is to mix up patterns and texture. I chose a large textured pillow for the back, you would put your standard (sleep on) white pillows in front, and then place the tan pillows and the lumbar pillows in front. If you're feeling extra adventurous, throw in a fun round or uniquely shaped pillow to really bring home the bohemian look. 

 Target - Tufted Oversize Square Pillow - Opalhouse™

Target - Tufted Oversize Square Pillow - Opalhouse™

 All Modern - Bemelle Mud Cloth Throw Pillow with Double Sided Print

All Modern - Bemelle Mud Cloth Throw Pillow with Double Sided Print

 All Modern - Adali Modern Cotton Lumbar Pillow

All Modern - Adali Modern Cotton Lumbar Pillow

 

 

Pro Bedding Tip

All-white bedding and sheets give the appearance of a more luxurious, clean bed as opposed to colored sheets. They subconsciously give a clean, pure look that makes your bedroom feel like a hotel or spa - and who wouldn't want to get into bed every night and feel like you're on vacation?!

If you're worried about keeping your white sheets... well... white - you can use a blueing detergent that adds a slight amount of blue dye to sheets that have started to yellow, counteracting the yellow and making them look oh-so white again! Two brands that work well are Mrs. Stewart's Bluing and Bluette.

(As a sunless tanner fanatic, I can tell you this stuff has saved me from having to buy new sheets every month of summer!)


Sofa Pillow Combinations

 

 

(2) 20"x20" Large Pattern, (2) 18"x18" Texture/Solid, (1) 20"x14" Small Pattern

For a fun, fresh look, this coral and white combo will have your living room summer-ready in no time! In this combination, notice how the large and small patterns are the same color saturation. Since they are both relatively flat (ie. not textured) I choose a solid pillow with texture to add visual interest. 

 All Modern - Sabrina Tears Geometric Print Throw Pillow

All Modern - Sabrina Tears Geometric Print Throw Pillow

 Target - Solid Textured Throw Pillow - Project 62™  

Target - Solid Textured Throw Pillow - Project 62™
 

 Target - Coral Embroidered Lumbar Pillow - Threshold™ 

Target - Coral Embroidered Lumbar Pillow - Threshold™ 

 

 

(2) 23"x23"Large Pattern, (2) 20"x20"small pattern, (1) 11"x18" Texture

Nothing says casual cool more than denim and leather. For a casual, relaxed look this summer, you can't go wrong with fresh linen and cotton pillows in a blue denim color. Top it off with a cool, camel colored leather pillow to add some texture and lux it up. 

 CB2 -  Indigo Blue Tie Dye Pillow

CB2 -  Indigo Blue Tie Dye Pillow

 All Modern - Friedman Striped Cotton Throw Pillow

All Modern - Friedman Striped Cotton Throw Pillow

 Totem Home - Tan Leather Pillow

Totem Home - Tan Leather Pillow

 

 

(2) 20"x20" Solid, (2) 16"x16" Pattern, (1) 10"x14" Pattern Texture

I am such a sucker for anything watercolor, so I saved my favorite for last! If you're into art and color this combo is for you! 

 West Elm - Textured Silk Fringe Pillow Covers

West Elm - Textured Silk Fringe Pillow Covers

 West Elm - Silk Watercolor Pillow Covers

West Elm - Silk Watercolor Pillow Covers

 Target - Coral Diamond Tassel Throw Pillow - Opalhouse™

Target - Coral Diamond Tassel Throw Pillow - Opalhouse™

 

And that's all folks! Don't forget to get your FREE printable pillow guide to bring shopping with you next time you're out and about.