How Many Throw Pillows Do You Really Need?

In my July 2014 post, "Decorative Pillows Pile 'Em High", I stood on the roof top, figuratively speaking of course, and proclaimed the more pillows the better.  And I offered lots of fabulous images to prove it.  I stand by that proclamation.  For those non believers, I've been requested to come down to earth and make more reasonable recommendations on quantity and size of pillows. 

The pillow "Hello Darling" is 24" x 24" and it looks like a great size for that sofa.  In short, consider the size of the sofa.  I have an oversize sofa and have gorgeous silk embroidered made several years, size 18" x 18."  I was being skimpy and it cost me more in the long run. The beauty of the fabric and the pillows is simply lost on the sofa.  Oh well . . . here's my list of suggested sizes based on furniture:

• Sofas, particularly large sofas, and sectionals, a 20" x 20" or 22" x 22"
• For a lounge chair, such as a wing back, a 16" x 20"
• Occasional chairs with arms, a 16" x 20" or 20" x 20"
• Occasional chairs without arms and you are looking to pop color into the space, a 12" x 20", 16" x 20" or 18" x 18"
• For beds where the pillow is an accent, use a 20" x 20" or 22" x 22." (Note that shams would be 20" x 26" and European pillows are 24" x 24" or 26" x 26.")

From Houzz.com Hermosa Beach Modern

From Houzz.com Hermosa Beach Modern

From Houzz.com for Utopia Projects, Saudi Arabia

A question I often get is what size pillows are needed to create a layered, plush look.

I so "Love this question! If you are looking for a layered look, you can do this with all of the pillows being the same size, particularly when trying to achieve a minimal or modern look. On the other hand, if you want a more plush look, mixing different sizes will certainly deliver. Measure your space, sofa length and depth, etc."  (Yeah, I'm quoting myself here.)  Try these suggested sizes:

• 12" x 20", 20" x 20" and 22" x 22";
• 14" x 27", 22" x 22";
• 16" x 20", 20" x 20" and 22" x 22"

You can of course use the same size for a group of pillows, as seen in the above images, and certainly achieve a dramatic presentation, not to mention great comfort.  And so too can this be done with a mix of pillow sizes.

From one of my very favorite interior designer/decorator, Caitlin Wilson found on Houzz.com

From one of my very favorite interior designer/decorator, Caitlin Wilson found on Houzz.com

From Apartment Therapy for Josh's Collected Sensibility  (I LOVE the blue on the wall and had even once painted a library that color, accented with cherry built in bookcases and caramel leather sofa.  Hmm, just love it!)

From Apartment Therapy for Josh's Collected Sensibility  (I LOVE the blue on the wall and had even once painted a library that color, accented with cherry built in bookcases and caramel leather sofa.  Hmm, just love it!)

If you're still not sure, remember you can always make templates such as with brown paper or even plain white cotton fabric.  Or better yet, start with the largest pillows first and gradually add other sizes at different times.  Grow into the collection.  I love nestling among a group or crowd of beautiful decorative pillows and experiencing the wonderful comfort they give, the colors they bring into the decor, and that finishing decorative touch they bring to the room.  Perhaps that just another reason why I make them for myself and others.

What are your thoughts on how many decorative pillows you need--or want??  
Please do share.

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