Last weekend I went home to Tennessee to enjoy an "only child" weekend, and found myself giving my parent's house a little bit of a makeover (not that it isn't cozy and warm, but I couldn't help myself). Thankfully they don't mind! Not only did we paint the guest bathroom and accessorize, purchase a giant rug for the family room, but we also started playing with mixing in new pillows into the family room trying to pull together the whole room. We weren't as successful as I had hoped, but it got me to thinking about how difficult it can be to mix and match pillows to create an overall cohesive look. So I have rounded up a variety of different pillows to create 5 different looks that can easily be pulled together as well as a few tips!
Tips & Tricks
- The first and probably the most logical tip is that the whole process is much easier if you stick to a color family. That doesn't mean every pillow needs to be blue, but each one should have a relationship to the grouping of pillows whether that is in the neutral family or one particular color like the gold & blue on the first example. You can expand past just one color, but keep in mind they should all meld.
- If you already have quite a bit of color in your room, neutral pillows can be a great way to go. The best way to add variety is to bring in an assortment of textures. The texture can be more 3-dimensional like the faux fur ad striped pillow above or the golden pillow that has a rough texture, but is still 2-dimensional.
- Don't play it too safe, add a little bit of weirdness into the mix! I have a gold pillow that I LOVE that I actually made from a skirt that I shortened. It is known as the "skirt pillow" in our house. If you already have a pillow that you love, create a palette that will work with it.
- Have a little touch of sparkle! I don't mean go all barbie or over the top disco, but having a little bit of a sparkly thread or silver print adds a little dimension and fun!
- If you want to go bold, go for it! Just remember that you may want to hold back a little on the texture and pattern front and keep things simple. That doesn't mean you can't have fun, but try to have a couple solids in the mix.
- Patterns seem to be the trickiest, but it is all the rage! The best trick for patterns is if you squint and everything reads the same then it isn't working (actually that is just a good design trick in general). Make sure you play with scale, texture and color when you start mixing and matching. Again, bringing in a couple of solids like the beautiful blue pillow and throw above help set a background for the diamond patterns.
- I think the sofa industry has made everyone believe that you need two matching pillows on your sofa that match your chairs. You don't. It is great to mix and match shapes and sizes. Not every pillow needs to be an 18" square. You can mix different sizes including 20" sq, 16" sq, 12"x21"l, or even a giant 30" sq. Of course, you don't want 3 30" sq pillows, but if you have a tv room and you want something to snuggle up to a 30" might be perfect! So play with a few different sizes together and in different settings.
- Go for pillows that you are drawn too and typically they will work together. I have a friend who LOVES blue. I have tried to mix in warmer tones, but she always comes back to her tried and true, blue. In fact, I think she would paint her whole house blue if she could!
- New pillows can be a great way to freshen things up for the season. That doesn't mean you have to buy all new pillows every season. Now you can buy really nice pillow inserts and switch out the covers as much as you want. A great source for the inserts is Pottery Barn or West Elm. I typically will go to the outlets and buy the inserts and then "splurge" a bit on the cover.
- Speaking of splurging... I don't think you have to spend a small fortune on pillows to have them be amazing. You can find some great ones that aren't expensive, which would be most of the ones listed above. I do however sometimes splurge on one "focal" pillow that I think may bring the whole look together or I just can't resist!
Hope this inspires you to freshen up your space for spring and doesn't make pillow shopping so daunting. Just remember that playing with texture, color, and scale is the trick and just don't over do it! I am hoping to do a "real-life" example when the new sofa arrives, which means new pillows! I can't wait!
Do you have a particular favorite from above? I can't decide which I love more, which I think possibly means I need more rooms/houses to fill them with (of course, the hubs wouldn't agree)!
Happy pillow shopping!