Elevate your bedroom with a pillow arrangement that complements your design style.
A set of beautifully styled pillows on the bed is a sure way to elevate your entire bedroom. Not only do they create a cozy, comfortable place to rest, an assortment of throw pillows can instantly change the entire aesthetic of a bedroom. Use them to inject color into the space, or change up a neutral bedroom according to the seasons.
To get inspiration for decorating with pillows on the bed, we're sharing designer-approved tips along with our favorite arrangements for every design style.
Practical Tips for Decorating with Pillows on the Bed
"Pillows should make the bed inviting," says interior designer Ellie Mroz. While there is no one formula for the ultimate pillow configuration, Mroz shares her tricks of the trade to create an effortlessly stylish arrangement.
"Our go-to foundation is a 22" square and lately we've been working with chic oversized lumbars as a top layer," Mroz says. She likes to incorporate soft and plush textiles such as linen, velvet, or wool boucle, and emphasizes the pillows' integral role in the room's overall design.
"We love to carry out the aesthetic of the room in the pillow but in a way that is casual—nothing overly coordinating and matching," she says. While it's essential to consider the size, shape, color, pattern, and material of the pillows is essential, Mroz emphasizes the fact that all pillows should be comfortable, too. "A designer secret: don't neglect the insert," she says. "A feather-down blend with dimensions 4 inches larger than the pillow cover makes for a perfectly plush pillow."
Keep a Cohesive Color Scheme
Use pillows on the bed to maintain a cohesive color scheme. To prevent your bedding from looking flat or boring, take cues from this pink bedroom and use your dominant color in multiple forms, hues, and materials. Here solid pink curtain panels complement a large-scale wallpaper pattern, while a mix of prints cover the pillows, upholstered headboard, and textured throw.
Bed pillows are an easy way to introduce new textures to a space. Here, a single textured throw pillow instantly adds dimension and visual interest. It contrasts solid pillows and ties in other textures—such as woven storage baskets or a macrame wall hanging—throughout the room for an interesting, layered space.
Keep It Simple
In an already ornately decorated bedroom, keep the pillows on the bed simple. Stick to a minimal number, which on a queen bed can simply mean two sleeping and two decorative pillows. If the bed sheets, quilt, and window treatments are heavily patterned, opt for solid colored pillows to allow for a resting spot for the eye.
Ground a Space with Calming Neutrals
For a calm and serene bedroom, stick with a neutral color scheme. Instead of adding a pop of color and pattern through pillows on the bed, maintain the neutral palette and add interest through texture, whether it's knitted, tasseled, or boucle pillows that add depth and dimension to a white bedding set.
Use an arrangement of pillows on the bed to contrast a dark wall color. Here, a collection of white and mustard yellow pillows pops against charcoal gray walls to brighten the space and add a light, playful touch.
Build Height with Euro Pillows
For a balanced look—especially with a tall headboard—build height using a set of Euro pillows. These square pillows are typically 26"x26" in size and create a nice, full base for smaller throw pillows.
Mix Prints and Patterns
Instead of a matchy-matchy look, add depth and visual interest to a bed with a mix of pillow prints. If you're not sure where to start when mixing patterns, start by creating a base with solid pillows, then add an organic floral print, a bold graphic pattern, and a small-scale print for a stylish arrangement. To ensure the collection of pillows looks intentional, stick with a cohesive color scheme that unifies the different prints.
Incorporate Non-Traditional Shapes
Put together a unique pillow configuration by incorporating a non-traditional shape, such as a round pillow. It adds an interesting visual element and breaks up the typical square and rectangular shapes. If there is no traditional headboard, opt for base pillows that span the width of the bed to create the illusion of one.
Mix Solids and Patterns
Use a mix of solid and patterned pillows on the bed for contrast. There are several ways you can achieve depth and contrast through pillows—one of them is with different shapes and sizes, and the other is through a mix of solid and patterned fabrics. To turn your bed into the focal point of the room, combine both methods.
Stick with Stripes
Stripes are the dominant pattern in this modern bedroom, and are featured on almost every surface. When using a single pattern such as a stripe, keep it interesting by varying its color and scale. Large stripes on the pillows juxtapose smaller stripes on the upholstered bed and even thinner stripes on the comforter.
Use Contrasting Colors
A bold black and white geometric print on two lumbar pillows contrasts the softness of dusty pink pillows and duvet cover for a cool, modern edge. The structured versus the relaxed bedding elements create visual tension and an interesting moment in this peaceful retreat.
Pair Contrasting Colors
For a foolproof color pairing, you can't go wrong with blues and reds. In this bedroom, quilted blue pillows form a solid base, striped red and white Euro shams add height and a splash of brightness, and a patterned lumbar pillow pulls the three colors together for the perfect finishing touch.
Opt for a Two-Tone Look
A white quilt and shams and deep amber pillows and blanket form a simple yet striking two-tone look in this midcentury modern style bedroom. The simplicity of the bedding is juxtaposed with a busy geometric pattern on an oversized area rug, while the gold-tone and rich velvet texture of the pillows pulls in warmth from the wood furniture and floors.
Add a Monogram
Go for classic elegance with a pair of monogrammed pillows. Choose solid white pillows and pull a shade from the bedroom's color scheme for the monogram stitching to tie the space together. This is a beautiful way to add a personalized touch in a sophisticated way.
Take a Minimalist Approach
Instead of filling half of the bed with accent pillows, take a minimalist approach with two sleeping pillows and one statement throw pillow. Use beautiful, high quality pillowcases for the sleeping pillows behind your main accent pillow and balance out the trio with a patterned throw blanket at the foot of the bed.
Use an Oversized Lumbar Pillow
Use an oversized lumbar throw pillow for the perfect finishing touch. Simplicity is the ultimate form of elegance, and if you want to give your bed an elevated look, stick with solid white bedding and throw pillows, then add a pop of color and pattern with an oversized lumbar. It cuts down on the number of pillows you need while still creating a full look.
Start with a Solid Base
A base of solid, neutral pillows on the bed offers ultimate flexibility in this breezy bedroom. You can easily add seasonal throw pillows throughout the year and experiment with color, texture, and pattern without being bound to a certain theme.
Add Charm with Stripes and Plaids
Inject charm and character into a bedroom using a mix of striped and plaid pillows on the bed. It creates a playful and timeless arrangement that looks just as good in a teen boy's bedroom as it does in a welcoming guest room. The two patterns complement each beautifully and to add to the cozy, lived-in feel, use a set of sheets with a more organic, small-scale, or playful pattern—such as the soccer ball printed sheets here.
Repeat an Accent COlor
A flag hanging on the wall inspires a red, white, and blue color scheme in this charming bedroom. The colors are repeated through the pillows and bedsheets, but with slight variation for added interest. Chambray bedding brings a muted blue tone, while off-white pillows with a Swiss cross complete the color trio.
Create a Casual Feel
A set of mixed print pillows brings a casual feel to this impressive space. Inviting textures, colors, and patterns on pillows are a great way to make a grand ceiling with beams and a statement bed such as this one feel more cozy and approachable, while maintaining the room's sophisticated appearance.
Play with Pattern
Two ikat pillows with a fringed edge detail pop against an upholstered headboard featuring a similar pattern and colors. Don't be afraid to mix patterns for a unique, designer-like look. There are six contrasting patterns used in this bedroom, and while they are vastly different, a cohesive color scheme and the addition of solid-colored elements help balance them out.
Create a Vintage Aesthetic
Elegant pillows featuring a plaid pattern and hunting and subtle fishing scenes create a country-chic aesthetic in this vintage-inspired bedroom. Along with the antique brass wall sconces, horse-themed artwork, dark wood accents, and rich colors, the pillows tell a story and set an inviting tone.
Pull Colors from Room Decor
Make the pillows on the bed an integral part of the overall room design by pulling colors from the rest of the space to use on the pillows. In this light and bright kids' bedroom, three colorful pillows pop against white bedding and echo a geometric accent wall and pastel furniture for a pulled-together, cohesive design.
Add Character with Quilted Pillows
Incorporate a quilted pillow into a casual collection of mismatched pillows for instant charm and quaint character. Quilted pillows have an heirloom quality that feels warm and familiar, especially when paired with layered blankets and a vintage-style bed for a cozy cottage-inspired space.
Match the Headboard
Match the pillow fabric with the headboard upholstery and bedskirt fabrics for a traditional aesthetic. Break up the matching pattern with a solid duvet cover and sheets, and to create visual balance use colors from the patterned fabrics in solid form throughout the room—such as the blue upholstered bench in this blue and white bedroom.
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