Layering Pillows

The large beige sofa in our family room was in need of more color. Since a new sofa or slipcover were out of the question, the next best option was more pillows. My favorite thing about pillows is that you can change the color scheme of a neutral room simply by changing out the pillows. If you get tired of the colors or the patterns become dated, you can easily update them without breaking the bank.

My biggest challenge, however, when it comes to layering pillows is how to coordinate fabrics. Fortunately, I was able to find some great resources that simply explained the methodology behind coordinating fabrics.

According to Brain Patrick Flynn (via, a homemaker tv show producer and interior designer,  you should limit yourself to one large scale pattern. Since I already had chosen the Richloom Invigorate Confetti as my inspiration fabric, which is a bold, large scale pattern, now I just needed to coordinate other fabrics around this one.


This weekend, JoAnn’s had their decorator fabric at 50% off. I ended choosing a solid suede-like fabric in a ginger color and a small scale blue textured pattern.


And yes, I broke out the trusty sewing machine yet again and made 4 more pillows (two ginger and two small scale blue pillows). I had a few bird’s nest issues (sewers know what I’m talking about) and one pillow is more of a trapezoid than a square.  You can’t really tell unless you hold it up and examine it – so don’t!

I love that they add plushness and color to the sofa. I haven’t totally settled on how to layer and mix them. This is how they look on one side of the sofa and there are three identical ones on the other side. Brian Patrick Flynn says to have an odd number of pillows so as not to look to formal or matchy-matchy. So, maybe I’ll throw one more bold-colored medium scale pattern in the mix but for now this is how we roll. For more top secret designer tips, be sure to check out Decorator’s Secrets: How to Layer Patterns Right.


Do you have any rules for layering pillows or coordinating fabrics or are you a rebel?

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One Response to Layering Pillows
  1. Syndi @ Beachnut Lane
    January 30, 2012 |

    I love the fabric you chose for this project! I agree that changing pillows and accessories is the easiest way to change the look of a room.

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