This post on bedroom pillow styling I’ve been planning on writing ever since I moved in! Whenever I post pictures of my bedroom on Instagram, they get the most saves of anything I post, so I know people are into bedroom decor and curious about how to pull together their own space. I’ve had basically the same bedding for probably four years now and after sprucing it up a bit with each move, I have it in an arrangement that I absolutely love.
STYLING THE BEDROOM
First a word on your bedroom in general: spend more time in your bedroom than you do any other room in the home, so this is a room you should really try to make your own personal sanctuary. Perfectly styled and perfectly calming and perfectly comfy. So often, it seems people neglect their bedrooms while tackling the rest of the house, but it’s such a fun space to express your personality even more so than you do in a common space. And, like I said before, you spend the most time in this room, so you deserve to have a bedroom you love.
Our bed has elements from all over. The bedding is actually PB Teen, which is a great resource if you love bold, graphic prints. Navy and white is my color scheme for life, and this print reminded me of a Japanese wave design – it’s so sophisticated, you’d never guess it’s from PB Teen. I took that print from PB Teen and then also combined it with a classic white and navy duvet from PB Teen so that I’d be sure the navy hues were the same. The seahorse pillows were an Etsy find and the headboard is from Wayfair.
SELECTING A COHESIVE THEME
The first thing to do when styling your bedroom pillows is to start at point A and look at your bedding as a whole to make sure you have a cohesive theme going on. Choose a color palette and keep it to 2 to 3 main colors. You can pull in some other colors in smaller scale patterns, but typically in a bedroom, you want a calming effect, and a calming effect is often achieved by limiting the palette and keeping it a bit visually restrained. Speaking of visual restraint, remember if you’re bringing in pattern, keep in mind scale. You don’t want to have two large scale patterns next to each other. Go for one large scale, one small scale. I did just one pattern altogether.
CHOOSING YOUR PILLOWS
To pull together your bedroom pillow arrangement, you’ll want to select a variety of shapes and sizes. A few of the most popular include Euro shams, standard shams, standard pillowcases, king pillows, and accent pillows. Let’s walk through each one:
- Euro Sham: a 26″ by 26″ square
- Standard Sham: a 20″ x 26″ rectangle typically with a flanged edge
- Standard Pillow: a 20″ x 26″ pillow
- King Pillow: a 20″ x 36″ rectangle pillow
- Accent Pillow: a pillow purely for decorative purposes typically 16″ x 16″ or 18″ x 18″
Another note about the pieces that make up our bed – we don’t have a flat sheet. I haven’t used one in years, and fortunately I ended up with someone who didn’t use one either. We have a fitted sheet and two duvets, which are used depending on how cold it is (also, it’s just easier to have two duvets with two people, especially when one tends to roll over with an entire duvet cover in the night – sorry!). A flat sheet just gets tangled up in the duvet cover, it’s a pain when you’re making the bed, and so on and so forth. Forget the flat sheet. And, seriously, get a second duvet if you have a bed partner.
STYLING YOUR PILLOWS
There are a few ways to approach arranging your pillows. Of course no one way is right, but there are several tried and true methods that are worth mentioning, and I tend to gravitate towards those styling arrangements that keep things symmetrical. Symmetrical is calming to the eye and isn’t that what we want in the bedroom?
But, back to the different pillow arrangements, first, I’ll cover the ones I don’t use in my own home and then dive into what I do.
- Stacking Pillows: You can stack two standard pillows with cases or shams right on top of your bedding and then put an accent pillow right in front of them if you want a little pop of pattern or color.
- Standard Pillow Line Up: A minimalist approach would be to put standard pillows in pillowcases in the back with standard shams in the front to dress it up a bit. No euros, no accents, just simplicity.
- Solo Accent Pillow: You’ll often see combinations of Euro shams and standard shams pulled together with one solo accent pillow in the front. I think this look still looks pulled together, but beware falling into the trap of loading on multiple small solo accent pillows. It can look jumbled quickly.
So, what do I do in my own home? I’ve lined it up for you below, step by step. We have Euro shams in the back, which are perfect for leaning against the headboard if I’m reading in the evening. In front of those are standard shams (full disclosure: I just realized in this picture that these are actually the printed standard pillowcase version of my shams, which must be in the laundry). Then, we have standard pillowcases, which typically would go behind the standard shams, however, with out bedding, I liked the pop of white in between the printed shams and the accent pillow. In the very front are 16″ x 16″ accent pillows. Styling my bed with this pillow arrangement is just enough to give the bed a big dose of personality without seeming “too much.”
MAKE YOUR BED EVERY DAY
This is where functionality comes back into play. When you keep pillows to about 8 or less, it will only take you two minutes to make your bed, and you won’t end up like Along Came Polly.
Two minutes is totally doable in the morning. And, yes, if you only have two pillows, it will take even less time, but that level of minimalism is not for me, so I’m willing to sacrifice a minute or so.
Making your bed in the morning already puts you into a mindset of productivity and tidiness from the minute you wake up. I do it before I do anything else. I don’t brush my teeth, I don’t get in the shower, I don’t do anything before I make my bed. If I don’t, I just feel like something’s off and my room’s too messy to concentrate on getting ready. Starting your day off with a made bed just feels better.