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How to use decorative pillows in the living room

  • Living Room Design
May 19, 2022
Designer colorful pillows to enhance your living room interiors - Beautiful Homes

Decorative pillows are an excellent way to introduce colour, texture and pattern into a room without going overboard. Read on to find out how you can zhuzh up your living room with these gorgeous and fun decor pieces

The living room is a multifunctional space. You want it to be a laid-back space where you can unwind after a long day. You'd also want it to be fun and welcoming- the perfect hangout spot for your guests. Decorative pillows are the solution to this dilemma. With comfy and kaleidoscopic pillows, you can marry the two ambiences into one living room design.


Let's look at all the options vis-a-vis the variety of decorative pillows and the different ways you can set them up in your living room.


Different Types of Decorative Pillows

Here are a few living room pillows based on the decorative pillow design and style.

1. Knife-edge pillow

This is the most basic type of pillow where two pieces of fabric are sewn together to create a clean seam or a 'knife edge' seam. These come in various shapes.

Knife edge pillow design for your living room decor - Beautiful Homes

2. Flange Pillow

With this pillow style, you have a flat band or flange attached to the seam. For a decorative pillow design, you can opt for a printed base with a solid flange in one of the colours. Alternatively, you can get ones with a contrasting or a metallic band.

Welted pillow ideas for your living room design - Beautiful Homes

3. Welted Pillow

A welted or corded pillow has a cord running around it. Like the flange pillows, you can try different combinations with welted pillows.

4. Box Pillow

These have flat sides all around to create a box shape. Box pillows come in a variety of dimensions and so are also used as cushions for chairs and sofas.


5. Decorative Bolster Pillow

Bolster pillows are cylindrical and are available in many sizes. They have two construction styles- flat ends or gathered ends tied up with a cord, string, etc.

You find decorative living room pillows in various shapes and sizes. Although square, rectangle and round decorative pillows are the most popular. What's increased their popularity is that you have endless options in terms of fabrics and embellishments as well.


Silk, Jute, linen, satin, cotton, velvet, faux fur etc., are some fabric options. Many are available in various patterns and styles, such as ikat, ajrakh, bandhej, brocade, block print, and so on. Apart from printed pillows, you can also have other details. Here are a few options to consider for customised and best pillows:

  • Tassels
  • Buttons
  • Embroidery
  • Appliques
  • Sequins
  • Beaded, braided or brushed fringes
  • Ruffles
  • Crocheted covers
  • Quilted covers, etc.


How to Use Decorative Pillows in the Living Room

Now that you know all the possibilities to create custom designer pillows let's look at how you can arrange them in the living room to create a welcoming, snug and lively atmosphere.

1. Variability in Size

Designer or decorative pillows are used to bring visual interest to a room. If all the pillows are of the same size, you cannot effectively use them as décor since each would shadow the other, and the arrangement would fall flat. When layering decorative pillows, start with the largest at the back, mid-sized as the middle layers, and the smallest or quirkiest at the front.


Quick tip: The largest pillows are usually around 20 to 24 inches squares. But this would change depending on your seating. Try to match the size of the backrest to maximise comfort.

Use different variety of pillow sizes for your living room décor - Beautiful Homes
Different patterns & Colors of pillows for your living room design - Beautiful Homes

2. Experiment with Patterns and Colours

Decorative pillows are a great way to infuse your personality into the décor. Or you can use it to match the design style of the room. Furnish a colourful ensemble for a peppy design. A mix of solids and other patterns can create a themed look like a rainbow. In a minimalist living room, focus on texture more than colour. You can opt for fabrics with the same tone patterns to add depth.


If you lean towards Scandinavian minimalism, consider natural fabrics for pillows in earth tones or neutrals. A glam-style living room design would call for pillows in plush fabrics such as damask and velvet in rich jewel tones. Accent it with gold decorative pillows.

3. The Rule of Three

For those not too keen on spending time shopping and experimenting, the rule of three is a lifesaver. Achieve a chic and polished look with these three steps:


Step 1: Choose three colours to provide some uniformity. It's better to pick these three colours from other elements in the room- rugs, wall colour, artwork, etc. A few combinations that work well are:

  • Olive, tan and white
  • Red, hunter green and gold
  • Mustard, fuschia and violet
3 pillow rule for your living room décor ideas - Beautiful Homes

Step 2: Mixing patterns can create vivacious looks. Pick three patterns that fit together, and start with a lead pattern. It is generally the biggest or boldest of all. To maintain conformity, ensure that the lead pattern has all three colours. The rest can be a mix of solids, two-toned patterns, etc. A few combinations you can try:

  • Floral, stripes and solids
  • Chevron, dotted and ikat
  • Solids, plaids and florals


Step 3: Just as you'd vary the sizes and shapes of the pillows, change up the scale of the patterns. If all the designs you choose are in the same scale range, they'll fight for attention. For example, if the ikat you choose has large patterns, pair it with spaced-out chevron and small polka dots. Alternatively, you can skip a pattern and opt for a textured material such as ribbed, knit, velvet, etc.


4. Balanced layering

Control the urge to go all out. Editing is what gives interiors a curated look. When you're layering, ensure that the space taken up by the pillows is proportional to the furniture piece you're decorating. For example, a sectional sofa can comfortably hold three to four layers of pillows. In comparison, a loveseat or a chair may look better with only one or two layers.


Style tip: Experiment with asymmetry to make the seating stand out.


5. Use Pillows to Add Contrasting Details

Suppose you have a primarily neutral colour palette in the living room and want to add splashes of colour. In that case, decorative pillows for sofa, chairs and other seating are the way to go. Consider colour blocking if you're not too fond of patterns or prints. For example, primary tones look great against a grey couch. For a softer look, choose pastel tones against creamy whites.


6. Use Pillows to Create a Cohesive Look

Any consistent and cohesive design has repeating elements, be it maximalist styles such as eclectic and boho or minimalists such as mid-century modern or Japandi. Here are a few different ways to do it.

  • If there are metallic accents in the room from lighting fixtures, hardware, art, etc., mirror them by choosing pillows with the same accents. Or you can opt for solid silver, brass, and gold decorative pillows.
  • Opt for patterns present in other décor elements, such as rugs, curtains, accessories, etc.
  • Pick pillows with floral designs in a living room with biophilic décor.


Style tip: In living rooms with soft and curvy lines, you can mimic these with pillows of varied shapes such as bolster or round decorative pillows.


7. Make Decorative Pillows the Focal Point

There are ample designs of decorative pillows for the sofa. Many have such creative makes that they're nothing short of a piece of art. Take for example, sequins, crochet, intricately embroidered ones, knot pillows and such. You can create a point of interest with the right pieces of sofa pillows and layer them. To ensure that the smaller accent pillows pop, add a few neutral pieces as the base.


8. Traditional vs Modern

An odd number of pillows lend a modern flair to the living room. You have the room to play around with asymmetry and create a more casual ambience for "hanging out". An even number of pillows have a more traditional look. You can make a symmetrical composition and a more formal environment with two, four or six pillows.

Floor pillow ideas for your living room design - Beautiful Homes

9. Bring the Party to the Floor

Whether you require additional seating space or want to try an alternative layout, decorative pillows work brilliantly as floor pillows. There are a bunch of options to choose from:

  • Ottoman floor pillows,
  • Round pouffes,
  • Pillowsacks,
  • Oversized, thick square pillows, etc.

Bolster pillows would work well as a backrest and armrest. Don't forget to play with styles, textures, patterns and colours to design a custom aesthetic.

How can Beautiful Homes Help you Create a Perfect Living Room with Decorative Pillows?

With Beautiful Homes' interior design services, you get design and decor solutions best suited to your style and need. Our experts are well versed in the various design styles and are adept at multiple areas of interior design- furnishing, decor, lighting, etc. You will surely get a cosy living room that is cosy and reflects your personality.


Visit our website to browse through various product ranges and services we offer. You can also check out projects we have executed so far. You may book your 3D consultation call to understand everything that goes into achieving the best interior design.


For an in-person experience, walk into any of our stores across India. You'll find our home decor stores across Amritsar, Tumakuru, Raipur, Jaipur, New Delhi, Kochi, Karur, Coimbatore, Bengaluru and Nashik. In addition, we are in the process of opening up state-of-the-art stores across several cities.

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