to pillow or not to pillow?

One of my fave blogs, Things that Inspire (hello!), posted a VERY interesting debate stemming from Domino’s decorative pillow issue.

Of course, I had to put in my two cents. When does one use decorative pillows, and where do you draw the line?

Here’s my rule, for what it’s worth. Generally speaking, if you have a bed skirt that reaches down to the floor, decorative pillows are MORE than welcome. The feminity of both vignettes create an inviting bed that you just can’t resist!

HOWEVER. If you do not have a bed skirt, or if you simply use a duvet toward the foot of the bed, decorative pillows look a bit too fussy. A sparse, minimalist bed should be kept as is rather than adding a product that may create visual dissonance.

Here are a few pics from Domino mag that help illustrate my rule. And hey, if you love the pillows, leave ’em. Design is all a matter of perspective, anyway!

No bedskirt? No decorative pillows!

Bedskirt? Decorative pillows!

Bedskirt? Decorative pillows!

No bedskirt? No decorative pillows!

Bedskirt? Decorative pillows!

  • Well, lookie there, you are on to a new design rule! Or maybe it is already one and I hadn’t thought about it. Hmmmm…. I always think about the headboard. Padded to me means less need for lots of pillows, hard headboard means more pillows are nice. But, what do I know. I like to make up rules so I can break them.



  • Thank you! I love it when bloggers give great design commentary. I am not a designer, I am more of an artist who reacts instinctively based on what visually appeals; I know what I like and what I do not like, but I have no idea what the general reasoning is behind the rules.

    I am going to do a VERY tailored bedskirt. No ruffles will be found on my bed this time around. I think that calls for a few restrained tailored pillows.

  • Ha… Things that Inspire– I am SOOOO not a designer, but that’s just a personal rule I like to live by, BUT… I think you are DEFINITELY entitled to a few restrained decorative pillows. ;)

    Thanks for your sweet words, Melissa! And yes, the headboard sometimes can be the caveat! :)

  • Eureka! I removed my bedskirt for a less fussy look but left the decorative pillows (wood headboard). The result was definitely less pleasing than the original. Now I have a couple of design guidelines that make sense to me. Gracias!

  • AJ at home… you sound VERY familiar! ;)

    And Jessie— you’re totally right. It’s all in what you love!

  • This advice is the kind I like–simple and straight forward. I can deal with 2 choices!

  • Finally, a design rule I can get behind. Simple and straightforward. I have an antique iron and brass bed with a tailored bedskirt and a six-foot-tall headboard…I like how a pair of European shams look when they’re layered behind two standard sized pillows. I don’t consider this quartet of pillows decorative, though, because they are necessary for when I lean against the headboard and read! :)

  • FC: I’m so glad you can relate to one of my fave design rules! Your bed sounds GORGEOUS!

  • Neat! I used to go through this thought in my head without realising its actually a debate! Interesting & works too. I totally buy yr point & the pretty pics helped illustrate it with panache. Loved the last pic :)

  • Thanks for solving this debate! I like your rule. Truly, I am guilty of too many pillows. Pillows help satisfy my need for textiles, and were much needed because my modern style can become cold.

    Do you by any chance know the source of the pink lamps in the second photo?

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