How to Decorate with Pillows

Do you wonder how many pillows to use on your couch? Do you need help pulling your living together with designer hints and tips?  Jennifer Duchene shares some insider secrets to get designer looks on a budget.

Finalizing a design project after remodeling  & painting,  this is what the room looked like in the morning. Two shots since I dont have the exact line up.  Too busy prettying up the kitchen.

Another angle before

I picked up a couple of pillows at TJ Max, that are shown in vlog to accentuate a little rust in my clients living room.

Pillows pull color around room

Comment below and let me know what you think, are picking pillows an art form or a stupid decorating trick?

If you would like help decorating your home, please call me at 650.644.8592  Designer knowhow can save you time and money.

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How to Decorate with Pillows — 24 Comments

  1. I never put much thought into the pillows. It’s amazing how a small change can made such an improvement in the room. Great ideas Jen.

    • Thanks June. Its true that often its the little things that make you sit up and notice, although in this room the new rug and removing the excess also help to quiten the room, and make it flow better.

  2. You bring a thoughtfulness to design…not just with the what but even how we communicate about it as well…I love it! Thanks for the tips. I just threw out all my pillows because they had no design elements…now I’ve got some ideas for the direction I want to take.

    • Thanks Darcie, so glad you enjoyed my point of view. Happy to help move you in the right direction. Since they are so important, it is worthwhile to spend time looking for or creating pillows that pack a punch, like your jewelry!

  3. Such a subtle change but it looks so much nicer, great job.

    I’m with you, I don’t like having to move pillows justto sit down, one or two is nice, you’re able to adjust to your preference but a bunch is just uncomfortable.

    • Thanks Jean, yes subtle changes are often the most effective. Nothing worse than having a pile of pillows and nowhere to put them.

  4. You have so many fun ideas, Jen. & I love your little bit about “throw” and “toss” pillows—funny & interesting.
    It’s not hard to really change the look of a room, especially in my opinion a “neutral” room, by adding a few colorful pillows. But, as you said, they must tie into something in the room, not be completely random.
    Wonderful ideas as always Jen! and your voice is so soothing to listen too. Have you ever thought of being a reader of audio books? Seriously, you would be brilliant!

    • Heidi thanks so much, for your kind comments. Yes I was thinking the odd thing about how we talk about pillows when I was planning my vlog. I have nver thought about being a audio book reader, but it sounds like a fun job. For now I will stick with decorating because I love it so much.

  5. I love the fact that you took something that is superficially very small–a pillow (hardly a remodel!)–and created a mood change in the room. This is incredibly helpful to someone like me who doesn’t have much sense of design. I love art and have always enjoyed art, but somehow it doesn’t translate for me into intuition for home decorating! Also really like the red striped pillow in the video.

  6. Thanks for the tips Jen. I love accessorizing with pillows and personally believe that I can never have too many of them. They can really change and liven up a room. I am always changing and rearranging my pillows. I love creating a new look and feeling without an extravagant redo.

  7. I love how pillows can brighten up and enhance a room! Enjoyed your video and tips. If I had my way, I would have a whole closet full of pillows to pick from and change as my mood changes, but don’t have the money or storage room to do that! We are repainting our living room and dining room right now, so i am going to definitely look at replacing the pillows I have on our couches. Where are good places to shop without spending 100’s of dollars??

    • Thanks so much. Sounds like you have a fun project in the works Donna. Great places to shop for pillows are Ikea, they have terrific forms (down) and lots of bright modern choices. TJ Max, Marshalls, Target, Tuesday Morning often have a great array and Pottery Barn Crate & Barrel West Elm Pier One, World Market have terrific items that are well priced when they have sales. Good luck with your search.

  8. My big beef as a designer is the number of pillows clients think they need on the bed…Geez…it can take 5 minutes to get into bed at night and 20 minutes to make the bed! These days, I think less is more, and that when you do have pillows that they do make a statement…it’s another little bit of beautyâ„¢ isn’t it? And I love the pillow that your mother made…it has meaning. Thanks Jen for good info.

    • Irene I had a good chuckle when reading your comment. I dont know why people think that pillows make a bed. Seems silly when you add up all the time spent in a life moving pillows. True they are beautiful bits, that bring so much to a space. Me too, love my pillow made by mum.

  9. Judy thank you for noticing how mood changes with bits of color. You have such a gift for words, so its ok if you dont have the decorating gene 🙂 Appreciation for art is a real plus in life. The red striped pillow is fun, isnt it? I enjoy its happy face.

  10. I already commented on youtube but I really loved this Jen. I too love the way you talk about the language of pillows and about how there can be too many. I thoroughly agree with that. I need a couple of new pillows on my couch as I’m committing the sin of them all being the same right now as I haven’t got around to looking for new ones that don’t cost the earth. You have inspired me to start looking.

  11. I am not big on decorating as I feel that I don’t have the talent for it. I leave that to my sister who I think has a great eye. However, I do think that pillows had enhance a space and or a piece of furniture. Especially one that looks good and is comfy as well! 🙂


  12. Jen, that was interesting. I’ll keep it in mind. I don’t use many pillow at this time.

    I would have liked to have a longer shot of you and pillows. I found the fact you didn’t have the top of you head a bit disconcerting.

    • Good points Michael. Glad you found it interesting. I dont like the half head either. Learning video is fascinating.

  13. I always just like hearing your voice 🙂 Love pillows, don’t like having to take them off and put them back on the bed, but prefer the look so I do it anyway. Big pillow fan, like your redesigns 🙂 Thanks!

  14. Jen, this was fun. I have a question about “too many pillows”– I think I fall into that category, but don’t know what to do with the overage. A lot of the ones I have are needlepoints my mom did, and I can’t bear to turn them into throw-them-out pillows, and am in a phase of life where I’m not interested in storing more “stuff.”
    Then there are the pillows that we use on the floor when we sit there, but I don’t like to leave them on the floor because it’s too hard to clean.
    Then there are the ones that make the couch more comfy!
    Help, I’ve fallen into my pillows and I can’t get out!
    What can I do?

    • Too funny Allison, so glad you enjoyed it. It is definitely hard to let go when sentiment is attached. What came to mind is the pillows your mom needlepointed could me made into a terrific art wall. Frame them and group them. Or have them sewn together with a fabric that works, back it and create a tablecloth or a quilt. Perhaps the floor pillows can be stored in big basket or a closet? The more comfy pillows maybe you can combine some of moms pillows into comfy pillows? Use the front and recreate the pillow size and form. Regifting them to family members is another option. Let me know what you decide to do.

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