Pillow Pairings

I don't know if the inevitable move we're looking forward to has got me thinking about new decor, but I thought it would be fun to give you my rules of thumb around pillow pairings! My Christmas pillows are out now, but once we have to pack everything up for the big move, I may rearrange my pillows from all around the house. I do get questions about pillows all the time through Instagram, and it's definitely an art form to get them in the right combination! Scroll through for my top tips on how to pair your pillows like a pro! DON'T USE PILLOWS THAT MATCH YOUR SOFA Pillows are a way to bring in other colors, textures, or patterns, so using pillows that are too close in color to your sofa are a wasted opportunity! There is no visual contrast between the sofa and the pillow, which takes away from the depth and layers of the design of the entire space. Keep in mind that a lot of retailers sell pillows in the exact fabric with the sofa as an added value, but it doesn't add anything to your space besides a bit of functionality. Think about even buying new covers for those pillows as a starting point for a new look! PILLOW SIZE MATTERS If you have a very deep, loungy sofa, start with a 24"x24" pillow in a contrasting color or pattern to the sofa, then layer a 22"x22" pillow with a smaller scale pattern in front of the larger pillow. You can add a lumbar pillow in front of that if you like more pillows, but it's not completely necessary. If you don't have a deep sofa, you can start with a 22"x22" pillow and then layer with a 18"x18" square pillow or a lumbar pillow in front of it. The key here is contrast - larger scale pattern or solid colors on the larger pillow, and smaller scale patterns and different colors for the smaller pillow. PAIR STYLES THAT COORDINATE Be weary of pairing modern, clean pillows with vintage printed pillows that show patina and age. Those combos naturally look 'off' to the human eye when placed next to each other. For example, I wouldn't pair a linen handpainted pillow with a fringe edge with a silk sateen geometric pillow. Think about the overall look you're trying to achieve in the whole room, and ask yourself if each pillow you're choosing contributes to that vision. USE PILLOWS WITH A MIX OF FEATHER AND DOWN I love using pillows with a mix of feather and down fill for the comfort and sink in factor. Typical pillows you can buy at various retailers have a 90% feather + 10% down ratio, but I love 75% + 25% for extra coziness. If you are allergic to down or like the feel of "bouncier" pillows, down alternatives like angel hair are great too! Pillows are the easiest thing to change to make a big difference in a space, and give you an entirely new look. Or if you have a bulldog that slobbers on everything and you can't hide it from your hubby (sorry Bri). Whether you have real reasons to replace your pillows, or you're just in the mood for a new look for the new year, we're here for it! And we may have some ideas in the works for the coming year, so let me hear it if you would be open to some pillow options from us in 2021 (hint hint)!

Hi, I'm Madi!

When I'm not designing beautiful homes, I am at home in Ventura with my husband and three dogs. You will find me biking along the ocean, kayaking in the harbor, or looking for the best local tacos. 

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Madison Nicole Design is a full service interior design studio located in Santa Barbara, California. Madison and team take on projects of all sizes, from furniture styling to large scale remodels, locally and abroad via e-design services.

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