By:StoneGable August 2, 2014

Here is our blank canvas. This is my living room sofa. It’s the Pottery Barn Comfort Sofa (without slipcovers) . The color is flax.One of my favorite things about having a very neutral living room is that I can add any color I want to it!  But for now, we are going to stick with neutrals.

Pillows are like the jewelry of a room. Sometimes jewelry is understated and some times we want to bring on the bling!  Right now we are going to dress this sofa prim and proper…  with the best no fail pillow arrangement!   Very classic… like a sting of lustrous pearls!


Start with 2 matching large square pillows… a 24 inch square is perfect. They go at the ends of the sofa resting against the sofa arms. Easy peasy so far!Remember we are keeping it neutral. I chose a neutral nubby woven pillow with black piping. These are our ANCHOR PILLOWS.


Add two matching pillows, smaller than the first, with some design or texture.I chose 20 inch pillows in a light linen with a white embroidered design. The designs compliment the white dots on my Curlacue Chest. These are our DECORATIVE PILLOWS.


This is the fun part. I chose a long, ivory envelope style pillow with two big buttons. Remember nothing flashy. We want a classic, easy calm look! This is our INTEREST PILLOW.This is the most often used pillow arrangement. Easy to construct and very safe. Odd number pillows are almost always the most pleasing to the eye.It’s really taking shape!  Our sofa is not quite done yet. There is one more thing to add.


A throw gives another layer in interest and texture and color. Just look at the difference a nice throw makes. We are using a white cable knit throw. You can just see it peeking out from behind the left end pillow.


It’s great to have this no fail formula under your decorating belt, but it’s even more important to use pillows that YOU love!

Now that we’ve mastered this arrangement with neutral pillows let’s add a pop of color… say GREEN!

I love love love green, black and white!!! Notice the new position of the throw. It is softly draped over the sofa back and falls onto the seat of the sofa.  But now let’s change up the throw… can you see how the look changes?

Now let’s try a few other pillows…

Here I have added a pair of black and white applique flower pillows. Many experts will tell you to get rid of pillows that come with your sofa. I say, don’t! Restuff them with a good down insert and use them somewhere else or repurpose them. These pillows came with our family room sofa (thankfully the whole sofa was NOT that floral!).  They work great on the sofa in the living room.

Did you notice that there are an even number of pillows on this sofa?  The pillow arrangement is still pleasing to the eye because the throw works to unify the pillows and they act as one!

Here are a few things to remember that will help you create classic pillow arrangements…

USE WHAT YOU LOVE. You need to use pillows and throws that YOU  love. It’s your home… flaunt your own style!!! If you take one thing away from this post it should be to DO WHAT YOU LOVE!

Use pillows to make a statement!

Change up pillows seasonally.

Buy pillow covers and down inserts. You can store the covers neatly in a drawer and use the inserts over and over again!

Give pillows a good shake and punch in the sides to redistribute the feathers in the insert… but don’t beat them up!  Flat pillows look old and tired.

Scale is important when mixing stripes and patterns.

If something doesn’t look right to you… then it isn’t!

Keep a big basket handy to toss pillows into before sitting on a sofa or chair.

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