During a year when we’re all spending more time at home, it’s important that our homes feel comfortable, comforting, and – most of all – deeply us. In my experience, introducing some new pillows into your space is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to bring colour, style, and personality to a room. And opting for oversized floor cushions can also provide more seating options for when it’s safe to invite guests round for dinner again!

Whether you want to brighten up your living space or add some fun to a bedroom that feels boring, here’s how to choose, arrange, and style your pillows like a pro.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns in the living room…

Mixing and matching patterns can really bring personality to a space and stop it feeling like a showroom. And, let’s be honest, a room decorated only with striped pillows? It can feel a bit too nautical.

If you don’t know where to begin when it comes to mixing and matching, I recommend choosing one plain cushion, one striped or geometric pillow, and one pillow decorated with ‘natural’, curved shapes – think paisley or florals!

…and in the bedroom!

There’s a tendency to want to make bedrooms feel a bit more cohesive. After all, duvet covers, base sheets, and pillowcases usually come in matchy-matchy sets! But you shouldn’t be afraid of mixing it up.

Let’s imagine you have a blue-green patterned bedspread. Ditching the matching pillowcases in favour of block-colour blues and greys or leaning into a tropical vide with burnt umber and orange shades can make an old bedding set feel fresh again.

Then, you can complement these mismatched colours with pillows that tie the two hues together for a feeling of real cohesion.

Choose different sized pillows…

There’s nothing clunkier than four identical pillows lined up along a sofa. Not only does it look too put-together, it definitely doesn’t give off a modern, relaxed vibe either! Instead, it can make you feel like you’re sitting in a waiting room.

So, be sure to choose pillows and throw cushions in different shapes and sizes. While some people really love the classic square and rectangular pillows, I’m personally all about circular and irregular shaped pillows right now! They really bring a room alive.

…but think about your space!

You want different sized pillows, but you don’t want the wrong sized pillows. Don’t overload a twin bed with 17 different scatter cushions! Instead, opt for a standard pillow and a lumbar support. But what if you’ve got a king bed with a tall headboard? Choose large, tall pillows that will add height to the space!

And in the living room? Say you’ve got a large sectional sofa. You can definitely be a bit more adventurous but don’t choose pillows that are so large they take up the entire seating area. Similarly, don’t choose solid, chunky pillows that are uncomfortable to lean against and use. Instead, go for squishy, moldable pillows that will enhance your seating area rather than detract from it. Functionality and style should go hand in hand!

Stick to the ‘odd number’ rule

Odd numbers of pillows and throw cushions make a space feel inviting and modern. If you have a large sofa, you can get away with five pillows, whereas a smaller sofa is probably best suited to just three pillows. However, if you do want a traditional – perhaps more put-together look – you can totally go for even numbers of pillows.

Add a lumbar pillow into the mix

Speaking of functionality…this is more important than ever when styling your bedroom pillows. After all, your bed is likely where you spend most of your time!

Both single and double beds should have one or two ‘standard’ rectangular pillows – whether soft and feathery or firm and memory foam – as well as a cylindrical lumbar support pillow.

These lumbar pillows not only add style and intrigue to the space, they’re also super practical! Prop it behind your back as you sit in bed on a lazy Sunday morning or wedge it between your legs while you sleep for enhanced hip support. You’ll wonder why you didn’t buy one sooner!

Create a cushion nook in an unused corner

Styling cushions and pillows like a pro can also mean using them in unconventional ways. Have you got a neglected corner of your home that isn’t used for much? Perhaps it’s awkwardly shaped or in an out-of-the-way spot. Consider padding it out with cosy, comfy cushions and pillows to make a tiny reading nook or pet bed! You can even string up fairy lights to make it cosier still. 

Figure out a cohesive colour scheme

This is maybe the most important piece of styling advice! One way to make pillows of different shapes, sizes, and textures feel ‘right’ is to ensure they have some commonalities in the colour scheme department. Even if you have a giant beanbag, a fluffy block-colour cushion, and a velvet-textured, heavily patterned throw pillow, it will totally work as long as they have colour in common.

Break the rules!

While all of the above tips will work to bring fun and personality into the living and sleeping spaces, there’s no reason you have to listen to them. Sure, colour cohesion is cool but you can also go wild and throw together all sorts of rainbow colours for a space that feels bright and lively! Try out a few combinations and figure out what works for you and your space before making any final decisions. After all, these tips are about making your home feel ‘you’. Only you know what that means!