Sofa Pillow Styling: Basic Tips

February 19th, 2013

In my mind, the best party would be one where I was invited to a city loft filled with a dozen sofas and hundreds of pillows stacked up on shelves and someone hands you a glass of champagne and says “go style some sofas with some of these killer pillows”.  Add of course there would be some design loving friends and bloggers present – call me crazy but that’s my idea of a really good time. 

Nancy from Minnesota wrote to me the other day asking about pillow styling on her neutral sofa and how to go about picking accent pillows that look modern and fresh. Every sofa needs a few toss pillows for comfort but also to give it a finishing touch. I believe in mixing them up so they’re coordinated but not too matchy matchy. 

For any sofas anchored on a rug, that rug should be the first thing you pay attention to – the pillows should complement and not compete. The simplest way to do it is to use a color that’s already present in the rug. Below is a neutral ‘goes with everything’ gray striped rug and a basic white sofa.

Mixed Neutral Palette.  There are four patterns on this sofa and they all work together because they all carry a varying shade of the color in the rug from light gray to charcoal. Include a classic stripe, a geometric or two (notice one is large and one is smaller in scale) and then add a contemporary floral or paisley or block print motif with a pop of color. gray and white rug and pillows on sofa

hampton sofa + striped rug + pillows: graphic gray / mod floral / small chevron / stripe

 

Monochromatic Palette.  Use a similar formula to combine any number of toss pillows in a single color. Below a large scale geometric is paired with a smaller scale floral and combined with a navy border pillow and an embroidered medallion pillow in indigo. Use one or two more of the same patterns on chairs that sit adjacent.

monochromatic pillow styling

manchester sofa + seagrass rug + pillows: trellis + floral + medallion + border

 

Complementary Color Palette. Complementary colors are ones that are opposite each other on the color wheel, the blue and orange, purple and yellow, red and green and their varying shades. Coral and teal are also complements since coral is a version of orange and teal is a blue hue – below you see a combination of the two using a larger scale and medium scale botanical, two solids, and a small scale geometric.

blue and coral pillows

chaise sectional + trellis rug + pillows: coral needlepoint / teal lumbar / coral geometric / spruce solid / russet botanical

 

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Girl’s Room Dresser Redo

February 17th, 2013

I’m sentimental about an old wood dresser that sits in my younger daughter’s room. I bought it 13 years ago when we first moved to our town (I know because I wrote the date on the back!) and originally painted it for my oldest daughter. When the younger one was born she inherited it and it’s been in her closet for years. I couldn’t bring myself to replace it knowing that both girls have shared it, so I decided to save some money, treasure the sentiment, and instead give it a new look.

We’re doing the gray + white+ lavender thing in my nine year old’s room and even though I was dying to bust out some bright color she’s already got an aqua desk on the other side and lest it get too hodge podge I kept the palette classic with a gray + white medley.

painted white dresser with gray overlays

I found this dresser at one of those inexpensive “everything raw wood” places 13 years ago that’s filled with dining tables, bookcases, shelves, etc. and they’re ready to paint or stain in any color you choose. It was painted white long ago on a cool day in March on the porch of our rental home. I gave it little glass knobs, a mini pink stencil in the corners, and stained bun feet. Witness one of my first furniture makeovers!

You can see I’d already started removing the basic glass knobs when I snapped this picture last week but I’ve gotta give this dresser credit – the paint job has held up for over a decade.

old dresser

For the upgrade, I ordered these ring pulls and some custom Anne decorative overlays to give the dresser a more modern look, but I realized when they arrived I had to move the position of the hardware on the dresser for it to look balanced.

change position of pull

 

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