Amazing tips on how to use pillows to make your sofa “alive”!

If there’s one item that is most used in the living room, it’s the sofa. But this important piece of furniture can sometimes look dull and fail to stand out. A great way to redefine your sofa as a focal point is to style it with pillows.

On their own, pillows don’t do much. But combine pillows of the right fabrics, colors, prints, sizes and shapes and you’ll be amazed at how different and ‘chic’ the whole room looks.

A great thing about pillows is that you can change them to suit different occasions, moods and seasons. This way, your couch will look revived with every passing day, event or season.

Below is a guide that you can use for picking pillow colors, patterns, fabrics and arrangements that will make your sofa “alive”.



The color palette of your room should serve as a guide for the pillow color you choose.

Multiple colors in a pillow may create a sharp contrast with the sofa and the rest of the room. But by including an element of your room’s color palette, you blend the sofa with the rest of the room.

Notice how in the example above, the multiple bright colors add brightness and contrast to this otherwise dull couch and room, while the grey helps to bring congruence between the wall and couch.

Don’t be afraid to play with colors. Make them brighter in the summer and spring to create a light mood and use darker tones to create a cozy feeling in the dull winter months.



Image from Pinterest

Most people are shy about patterns, choosing to stick with solids. And if they do venture out of their comfort zone a little bit, they tend to go strictly with geometric patterns. But swirls, floral prints and other odd patterns can be a lot of fun and create a lot of appeal depending on how you use them in a room.

To achieve a stylish and tasteful look with patterns,

  • Stick to a color scheme.
  • Don’t go pattern-crazy because this will end up looking cheap and will overwhelm other accent items you have in the room.
  • Restrict your choice to 3 patterns at the most. To make them cohesive, stick to the same style and shape of pillow.
  • An odd number of pillows help to achieve the best effect because you can alternate designs.
  • You can include a pillow with a solid pattern to break up the contrast.





fabrics and texture
Image from
Fabrics & Textures

Nothing screams monotony like cushions that have the same fabric as the sofa itself. To create interesting and eye-catching textures in your upholstery, go for pillows made of silks, faux furs, corduroys, velvets, knits and weaves.

There are two ways you can make use of texture:

  • You can include pillows made of plain cotton fabric to call attention to the individual textures.
  • As long as you stick to the color scheme, you can alternate different textures.

Notice above how the texture of the small pillow contrasts with the solid texture of the larger pillows. The pillows also stick to the color palette of the room.





numbers and arrangement
Image by Lindsay Letters courtesy of Pinterest
Numbers & Arrangement

To achieve the most impact with your pillows, you have to layer them properly.

Odd numbers achieve the best arrangement. Depending on the size of the pillows and the couch, you can use 3, 5, 7 or more to create a modern feeling. Even numbers of pillows create a classic feeling.