Pillows are like jewelry for a home!  And I LOVE bling!

They add color, pattern and texture. They add seasonal panache and warmth. Pillows can change with our moods!  

And they are a mini facelifts for any room...

Pillows are the quickest way to update a tired piece of furniture and bring a new burst of color into any decor!

The pillows (Pottery Barn Outlet) on my family room sofa are rather calm and serene right now. Because this room is filled with neutrals, I try to add pillows with a refined and tailored... not fussy feel.

It's difficult to get a great open shot of my pillows... the sofa "floats" between my breakfast area and family room.

In this month's issue of SOUTHERN LIVING MAGAZINE, Pheobe Howard shares some simple steps for arranging pillows on a sofa." Mrs. Howard gives her five pillow approach to creating a well composed sofa", the article reads. I think they are spot on! Here is a mix of StoneGable's and Mrs. Howard's ideas...

1. Don't be matchy-matchy! Pillows and sofa or chair upholstery should not be the same !  Use a combination of solids and patterns. Add pillows with texture for a big visual punch! Mrs. Howard says to limit patterned fabric to one set of pillows. Good advice, but I say mix patterns! Here is where you can go a little wild! Pillows are not a huge investment... experiment!

2. When arranging five pillows on a sofa, the outside pillows should be the largest. 

My two brown linen, jute trimmed piilows are 22 inches. Next to them are two 18 inch linen pillows in a deep rust. They sport a large tortoise shell button enclosure.... nice detail.  Because I wanted the pillows to give color and texture to the room without a whole lot of pattern I used two different solid colors next to each other.

3. Keep the look balanced but not too symmetrical. Throw in an extra odd shaped pillow. Here is where you can get creative. Choose a third pattern with colors that tie it to the total look.

I chose a beautiful crewel-look pillow in a very traditional pattern. It is timeless. It will never go out of style and will look good in any season. It brings interest to my neutral family room and ties in the colors of my sofa and other pillows. This will be my go-to pillow!

The embroidered pattern adds a touch of refined style to my farmhouse family room!

4. Use pillow covers and down inserts.

There are so many reasons to buy pillow covers. Pillows covers can be taken off easily to be cleaned. Some pillow covers can go right in the washer and dryer!

Pillow covers are often less expensive than ready-filled pillows. And you can control the stuffing material.

When you need a new look, just take off the pillow cover and replace it with another.

My favorite reason for using a pillow cover is that they store beautifully. When the cover is done for the season, I clean them, fold them and stack them in my linen closet. No big bulky pillows!

 Make the investment of good down pillow forms. They look and feel so much better. If you are allergic to down, use a high quality hypoallergenic down. 

I have found a very acceptable alternative to an all down insert as they can be very pricey. It is a feather/down blend insert from Pottery Barn. They are inexpensive, look nice and have been durable... without feathers popping through the casing. To see these inserts click HERE.

5. Overstuff your pillows.

If your pillow cover is 20 inches, stuff it with a 22 inch insert. I learned this trick by trial and error. Upsizing an insert gives a pillow a full fluffy look.  Thin, limp pillows are not attractive!

Use a "euro sham" pillow insert for a 24 inch pillow. You won't believe the difference it makes!

Mrs. Howard says DON'T karate chop your pillows... I didn't for these photographs. But the jury is still out... don't you just want to give those pillows a little quick chop?

I must admit, I have a wee little obsession with pillows, and change them often. Because of this I do not make a big investment in any one pillow cover. There are wonderful places to find upscale pillow covers that can keep us within our budgets... etsy and outlets are my favorite pillow haunts. And don't forget we can make them ourselves! I have a beautiful piece of washed burlap just waiting to become a pillow cover!

As always, decorating is a personal expression! Enjoy and be creative!

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I am joining Thistlewood Farm  for PILLOW PALOOZA 2012 


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