Not sure where to start when it comes to choosing accent pillows? We caught up with our in-house textile designer, Courtney Crews, to get the details on how to select a color palette, mix pillow patterns, and more. See our Q&A with her below to learn the basics on accent pillows and shop our favorite combinations.
Where does color come into the mix? Should I start with a base color first?
"Solid colors instead of patterns don't have to be boring. Choose pillows made from pure materials to bring texture—this makes a difference because you can see and feel the quality. Our Chunky Wool pillows, Leather pillows, and Italian Velvet pillows are all great options to create a base layer for your pillow combination."
What are some of the basic rules to mixing patterns?
1. Choose a palette
"The right mix of colors will ensure the patterns you choose feel cohesive within the space. If you're starting with a neutral sofa, consider if the upholstery color is a cool or warm neutral. If it's a cream fabric or tan leather, look for pillows with browns, yellows, and amber tones. Then add a pop of contrast with peridot or green."
"For a cool-toned sofa in a gray or blue hue, pillows with blues, greens, and hints of black are ideal. Purple can transition between warm and cool easily. If you don't want an entirely tonal space, you can mix in some contrasting colors. Pattern is a great way to incorporate more colors while still tying back to the tones in your space. For example, a patterned pillow with blues and pops of orange (like our Jackfruit pillow shown on the chair below) will pair well with a mostly blue, cool-toned space."
2. Balance your mix of pattern types
"The key to mixing patterns is to vary the size and scale of your pattern choices. A super detailed, small-scale pattern works well with a large-scale graphic pattern. Sometimes if you have a small scale pattern in a single hue, like our Woodward shams, it reads as a solid color, which makes it easier to add in a large scale pattern like our Eden duvet and shams."
Shown above, front to back: Strawberry Thief 16 x 26 lumbar pillow cover, Linen Standard Shams, Eden Organic Linen Euro Shams, Stitched Linen Euro Shams
3. Choose the right size pillow
"The size of your pillow can make a big impact on how it functions and feels in the space. Keep this in mind if you're mixing different sizes; try doing a bold pattern on a larger pillow, then layer a smaller pillow in front in a solid hue to tone it all down—or vice-versa"
Here are our quick guidelines for pillow sizing:
- Euro (26 x 26): Ideal as a base layer of pillows for your bed. Two side-by-side is perfect for a queen-size bed, whereas three is best for a king-size bed to make it feel more full and luxurious.
- 16 x 26: This size is ideal for the finishing touch in the middle of your bed.
- 20 x 20: For an ultra-layered look, use two of these in front of your euro pillows, then complete the setup with a smaller lumbar pillow in the center.
Shown above, front to back: Strawberry Thief 18 x 18 pillow cover, Geo Block Print 24 x 24 pillow cover, Woven Linen & Cotton 26 x 26 pillow cover
- 18 x 18: This size is ideal for loveseats, studio-depth sofas, and accent chairs.
- 20 x 20: This is the most popular sofa pillow size; it works great on our standard classic-depth sofas and studio-depth sofas.
- 24 x 24: This size works best as the base pillow with a deep-seat sofa, or as the single layer of more decorative pillows in a formal living room.
- 26 x 26: Use these on a deep-seat sofa or a large sectional for an oversized, luxurious look.
- 16 x 26: Place one of these in the center of your sofa or sectional for an added layer of comfort.
Create the perfect pillow combination for your space—shop our quality accent pillows to get started. Looking for more decor advice? See our Rug Style & Design Guide.