how to: arranging pillows

After receiving a comment on my May/June Dabble Mag Reality Check column on bedding about how best to organize the pillows on a bed, I thought I would post a blog about it in order to answer the question and provide some images for inspiration.

Pillows are not only functional but also decorative and regardless of your style they are an important part of ones bed. Some like many pillows, others only a few. Whatever your preference, here are some ideas and tips to get you on your way to putting the finishing touches on your bedroom.

Symmetry is the most popular way to organize pillows and also the one that makes the most sense. To me, including your pillow cases with your ensemble is really important. They would typically match your sheets and compliment the scheme and besides, who wants to put these away everyday?

Tuck your pillow cases at the back of the pile so that they’re there, but don’t take center stage. Next, layer your shams, which may or may not match your duvet cover. Most bedding is sold as separates nowadays which gives you the option of mixing and matching. Front and center is a pair of accent pillows that complete the look. This is an easy and simple way to dress a king size bed. For a queen, use queen or standard pillow cases and shames, and slightly smaller accent pillows.

The queen bed above, again shows pillow cases at the back with euro shams and accent pillows in front. Another very simple approach to dressing a bed. Colour, pattern and texture will add the interest. For a king bed use king pillow cases, three euro shams and three accent cushions.

If you’re not a fan of too many pillows whether it be for the look or maintenance, this option is for you. A set of pillow cases, a set of shams and your done. This works the same way if you have a king size bed.

Like to pile them on? Or perhaps you sleep with several pillows. Start with the euro pillows at the back. Next layer your sleeping pillows one in front of the other. If you only sleep with one set of pillows then add another set of shams. Finally the accent cushions offset in front. For a king bed you’ll require 3 euro pillows, king pillow cases and 2 accent pillows.

Another simple approach, and one that I’m quite fond of is stacking pillows. Sleeping pillows and shams stacked on top of each other with an accent layered in front for a contrast in colour or texture as well as dimension is quick to put together as you’re rushing out the door.

Lastly, if you want to go against structure and have a little fun. Mix up the colours, patterns, textures and sizes of complimentary pillows. You can see symmetry is still present without the formal approach. It’s casual, relaxed and has an ere of confidence that says anything goes. Perhaps the most daring of the options yet one that I think offers a fabulous result.

There are no hard and fast rules for organizing pillows, so have fun with it. Mix it up or keep it simple. Most importantly consider the look you want as well as the maintenance of putting it all together. Having a completed space includes a bed that is made and I can guarantee that making your bed, fitted with your beautiful bedding and pillows will have a positive impact on your day :)

Images sources: 1 & 2 House and Home, 3  4 & 5 House Beautiful 6 The Marion House Book


Comments (3)
  • Avatar

    Courtney May 12 2011 - 2:43 pm Reply

    So in a queen bed it’s better to put the shams *behind* the pillow cases? I’ve always been doing it the reverse (probably because that’s how my mom did it) and it never quite looked right. I think my mom would have a heart attack if an un-shammed (shamless?) pillow was front and center. :)

    Would you recommend using the shams the duvet cover comes with or buying coordinating ones?

  • Avatar

    Siobhan May 14 2011 - 4:44 pm Reply

    Excellent educational blog – I see teaching in your future! MRU

  • Avatar

    Cynthia@exuberanthome.com May 26 2011 - 1:21 pm Reply

    Great post, love the visuals!

Leave a reply

Name (required)

Website