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  • Writer's pictureSarah Pence

How to Style Your Sofa & Where to Find Pillows You'll Love

I. LOVE. PILLOWS. Seriously, I do. And I know I'm not alone. But, those delightful little decor goods can be expensive and if you like switching them up every few months with the seasons and holidays like I do - that adds up fast. Not to mention the amount of storage they can eat up while waiting for the next season's debut. That's why I like to use pillow COVERS rather than buying and storing tons of pillows. There would be a LOT, ya'll. Like...a LOT.

So, grab your favorite inserts [or shop my favorite inserts in a previous blog post HERE] and give them a fluff because we're going to talk about how to style your sofa with these fan favorite decor items AND where to shop some of my favorites!

*Please note that this post contains affiliate links and any sales made through such links will reward me a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information about the use of my website, see my terms of service.*

|| The Basics ||

Let's start with the basics of styling your sofa. As you can see below, there are a few key things to keep in mind when selecting your pillows + covers.

  • Start with a contrasting color. You'll want this to be either much darker or much lighter than your sofa color.

  • Add in a pop of color that you can easily swap out with seasonal decor or if you simply want to change up your color palette (this is why I always try to stick to a neutral palette for the bigger/permanent items in the space - so easy to swap accents and create a whole new vibe!).

  • Your center pillow should tie the look together. I find that keeping this one neutral, but with a hint of something in your palette really looks great and is easier on the budget!

  • Add in a pattern in the same color palette, but in a different scale than any other patterns you may have added so far. For example, in this group the stripe would be a larger scale than the botanical pattern, but both play off of each other with the same colors green and white.

  • Don't forget to use a bit of texture in your pillow game. Faux leather (like the one above), fluffy plush, or something in a nautral fiber is a great way to do this! Most pillow bloopers happen because they're all the same style/material/color and it causes the overall look to fall flat.

*Shop these and other designer-curated pillow looks at the end of this post!*

|| Pattern Play ||

If it's the popular all neutral all the time look you're loving right now - this tip is for you! Sometimes a pop of color just isn't your jam or maybe this is a great fall decor look for your home (I'm just saying... it totally works for both!). Either way, neutral doesn't have to mean boring. Check out this fun little tip for designing with lots of different patterns.

  • Sticking to a neutral color palette of warm browns, neutral greige, creamy whites, and black can be just the right look for your home. No bold color pops necessary.

  • Choosing a mix of solids (or in this case what I call "near solids"), large scale patterns like the linen stripes and the chevron mudcloth (textures, yall... they're in there), medium scale patterns like the plaid in the center that pulls all the colors together, and smaller scale patterns like the fine ticking stripe in brown and the mini plaid in cream create a cohesive look that is anything but boring!

*Keep reading to shop these and other designer-curated pillow looks at the end of this post!*

|| Size Matters ||

Ok, I got a little cheeky with this section, but really, when it comes to styling sofa pillows - size really does matter. Here's a few tips on how to choose the right size pillows to create a look like this!

  • Choose 2-3 sizes in 2-3 colors and layer them. You'll want start with your largest size (usually 24") in the back. Then, layer in your 18 - 20" pillows and your lumbar pillows in front of them.

PRO TIP: Use an insert that is down or down alternative in a size larger than your cover for that full cozy look you see in all the magazines!

|| The More You Know... ||

Did you know that stripes can be considered a neutral? Or that bold pops of color in your decor can change the feel of the whole room? Here's a few additional tips for your sofa styling adventure!

  • Both solid and striped pillow covers can be considered staple pieces when it comes to pillow styling. They are excellent to use as a foundation to build your design around and often serve as the neutral pieces I keep in my rotation when I swap out the prints for seasonal decor.

  • Speaking of prints - have FUN with them! If there is a particular print you love and want to incorporate into your decor, don't be afraid to go for it! You can easily build around it using the tips I shared in this post!

  • Adding a bold pop of color can change the whole look and feel of a space. Just be sure you choose wisely and complement it with balanced colors (like pairing your warm colors (yellow) with a cool neutral color (navy)) to make it feel visually pleasing rather than overpowering.

|| Where to Shop ||

It's no secret that I'm a big supporter of encouraging everyone to shop small businesses (like mine!). Whether you're shopping around for services or products, I'll almost always try to shop small first before reaching out to big box store vendors. Now, this isn't always possible depending on what you're looking for, but when it comes to pillow covers - this is where it's at! There are SO many talented vendors in this little online shopping small goldmine that we know and love - ETSY. I couldn't possibly name all the options you have on this platform but here's a few of my favorite shops! Check them out and shop the looks I've curated from a few of them below!


There you have it, my friends. The best tips to get that #instagramworthy sofa style!


Click on the images below to shop these looks hand-picked by yours truly, of course! Happy Shopping, friends!

Do you feel like you need a bit more help selecting the right pillow styles for your home? Ready to start a design project and transform a space?

Let's connect! I'd love to talk with you about how my virtual design services can help you create a home you love!

Until next time,

Be well. Stay kind.

And keep dreaming.


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