Today, ladies and gentlemen, we are going to talk about pillows. No, not the ones on your bed (which you should be ironing), but the ones you put on everything else: your sofa, your chairs, your benches, etc. There is a right way and wrong way to do this. Oh, you didn't know that? Witness:
via House Beautiful
Aw. Cute sofa, right? Cute pillows, too! However: can you sit on it? I guess you could, if you were the size of 90s Kate Moss. Or Skeletor. Or Heather Armstrong. HAHAHAAA, just kidding. The point is, there is too much pepper in this paprikash. Sofas are not for showing off 35 pillows; they are for being in your living room, where you LIVE. You sit there, you hang out, you drink too much wine, and you don't have to throw a bunch of things on the floor before that happens.
Fellow Southerner Miles Redd gets it right, as always. And he doesn't find it necessary to do that thing that many decorators do, which is to karate chop each pillow so it looks like an old-school McDonald's hat (I am guilty of this, too.).
For you Downton Abbey fans, that's Elizabeth McGovern
Let's talk scale: If you have a smaller sofa (let's say 6-ish feet or less), try a pair of 16" x 16" pillows on each end. If you must have another accent, do a 12" x 24" in a contrasting fabric in the center. If you have a larger sofa, go bigger with your end pillows: 20" or 22" square should do. If you want 4 pillows on your gigantor sofa, add a couple of 18" x 18"s to the mix. Oh, you saw the CUTEST 8" x 12" pillow at Urban Outfitters that would look so cute in your house? Pass. Go big or go Montgomery Ward.
via Lori Andrews
via Kelly Wearstler
Lori Andrews and Kelly Wearstler: they only need 2 pillows on their sofas. Because they are both FABULOUS.
Aw, shit. Here is my perfect combo: a big fluffy pillow, then a smaller one, and a throw blanket at the other end. Are you excited about accessories, or what?
via Pottery Barn
OK, so now you have some tips on pillow outsides. Now I am going to give you the real tip: down inserts. Always. No, always. You're allergic to down? I'm sorry, there will be no accent pillows in your house. Pottery Barn has great prices on their inserts, they have a ton of sizes, and they usually have free shipping. I can't tell you how many pillows I've bought from cheaper venues, replaced their insides with down, and made them look a hundred times better. Learn it, live it, love it.
So. Do you want your living room to look sad, or do you want it to look awesome? It's up to you. Scale + pattern + down = PERFECTION. Dewit.