A Few More Words on Pattern Mixing & Pillows

Last week I talked about the concepts behind pattern mixing and walked through a kind of formula for selecting fabrics or pillows.  While that formula is what would be considered the “ideal,” I realized after posting it that I have personally never purchased pillows or selected fabrics in that way.  It would require starting from scratch and creating a whole new color scheme all at one time.  I love the idea of it and have done that with my kids’ nurseries and bedrooms as well as for clients, but never with my own living room.  I’m always working with what I already have; adding to or changing my collection.

And truly, isn’t that how life is?  Your home is meant to be a collection of things over time.  Most people don’t decorate rooms all at once and then say “its finished!”  Things change with seasons of life, changes in taste.  As you change, grow, mature, so does your home.

So what do you do if you already have pillows that feel matchy-matchy but you’re not wanting to start completely from scratch?  Here are a few tips on how to add to your collection but still work with what you’ve got.

Find a colorful fabric/pillow that has your colors plus a few more.Living Room // The House of Figs

In my house its the big Turkish Kilim pillow I bought on etsy.  It has the black, gray, and mustard colors from some of the other pillows, but also added in a lot of other color- blue, purple, red, pink, etc.

Search “Turkish Pillow” on etsy for a whole range of similar looks.  You could also find a great colorful floral or geometric.  Just make sure the background isn’t white and it has lots of color.

Add in large pillows in a solid color that contrast with or brighten up your couch.

I love a velvety or linen texture- something that will be different than the fabric of your sofa.  My white ones are linen from Pottery Barn that I bought eleven years ago.  Yes, eleven.  The gray solid ones are from HomeGoods.

Add in a textural or “wild card” pillow.

In my house, its always been this pillow from Ikea- the Lappljung Ruta.  I’m in love with the black and white goodness of it and it has this nubby texture that is just amazing.

Ikea Black & WhiteI recently bought this one from Ikea and love the color and texture as well.Ikea Isunda Pillow

A few more tips on pillows:

  • Toss or recover the pillows that come with the couch (couch manufacturers are usually not designers)
  • If a pattern is really bold, I like to think of it as “one of a kind” and only use one pillow in the room that has it.  More than that can feel overly matchy.
  • Remember to consider the background, scale, and type of patterns like I mentioned in my last post.  Go for contrast!
  • Feather filled pillows keep their shape over time much more than poly filled.  They can be smushed and refluffed a million times.

Pattern Mixing Pillows

That’s it for now… I’ll be back soon!



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2 Responses to A Few More Words on Pattern Mixing & Pillows

  1. Jill Burnside February 10, 2016 at 1:32 pm #

    Whew! So glad to read there’s no need to start from scratch! You’re teaching me to look at what I have, keep what I love, move things from room to room, and take a little time and make a little space for the thing that’s coming next.

  2. Carli February 10, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

    This is great and very helpful, I have such a hard time not-matching things, I recently purchased a really nice brown/tan cowhide pillow cover (totally out of my comfort zone) so I’ve been trying to work it into my decor of tans, blues and browns. Any tips on animal prints?

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