HOW NOT TO OVERLOAD: Guide to Sustainable Pillow Decor for Every Room

By Cielle Song


Pillows, those soft and versatile companions in our homes, hold the power to elevate both comfort and aesthetics in every room. They are more than just functional accessories; they are the cozy embrace waiting at the end of a long day and the artistic touch that ties a room's décor together. As we strive to curate spaces that offer solace and style, finding the perfect pillow arrangement becomes an essential art. This art, however, need not come at the cost of overconsumption. In this guide, we embark on a journey to discover how to select practical pillow arrangements for various rooms that work best for you, from the living room to the family room, day room to window seat. We'll explore the delicate balance between comfort and aesthetics, all while championing responsible consumption and sustainable choices that align with our values. 

In this article, our attention turns to thoughtful pillow arrangements, tailored for every room. Steer clear of the common mistake of overloading with pillows, only to find that the desired comfort and necessary back support remain elusive. Our aim is to present you with pillow layout choices that not only promote reduced consumption but also deftly achieve equilibrium between crucial back support and a gentle, inviting softness.

1. Dayroom, Reading Nook, and Bay Window Seat Ideas

Let's begin by delving into the overlooked nooks of our homes — those cherished corners that gift us with precious moments amidst our daily routines. Whether it's savoring a family breakfast by the window seat, indulging in a book and a warm cup of coffee within a cozy reading nook, or simply unwinding on a daybed for some much-needed respite, these intimate spaces offer invaluable experiences. Regrettably, they often fall under the radar or are adorned in styles that align with trends, yet fall short of providing the essential comfort required for these cherished moments. Our intent is to provide you with creative design tips that elevate aesthetics, deliver crucial back support, and effortlessly maintain tidiness and order amidst the hustle and bustle of busy lives. 

1a. Reading Nooks

Ever wondered why, even with a collection of throw pillows adorning your reading nook, it still feels as if that essential lower back support is elusive after just ten minutes? The majority of these nooks boast upright lines that extend from the seat, and when you lean against the corner with throw pillows, they seem to sink in at your lower back. It's a common scenario. Our solution? Introduce a pair of bolster cushions, sized at either 8x24” or 6x18”, to these corners. This strategic placement can significantly reduce the need for numerous decorative throw pillows. The cylindrical design of bolster cushions offers a sturdy foundation that effortlessly supports your body. Coupled with another generously sized square pillow, your haven is now perfected for diving into your favorite book accompanied by a soothing cup of afternoon tea. This arrangement not only enhances your comfort but also uplifts the nook's aesthetic, imbuing it with a designer-style elegance.

1b. Bay Window Seats

Window seats and reading nooks often converge, yet here I'd like to concentrate on the distinctive charm of bay window seats. These particular seating nooks are commonly nestled within kitchen areas, often adjacent to casual dining tables, or even found in select bedrooms. The focus here lies in accentuating the inherent beauty of the windows that frame these spots, which suggests a judicious use of pillows to avoid obstructing the view.

To achieve this, take measurements of your seat's length and consider positioning three bolster pillows, sized at either 8x24” or 8x36”, arranged in a manner that gracefully follows the contours of the seat's back. Such an arrangement not only introduces a contemporary touch but also bestows essential back support while ensuring that the windows remain unblocked. This layout creates an impression of space, visually expanding the room. If you find this setup a bit too understated, you have the option to incorporate a pair of decorative throw pillows, strategically placed at the junctures of the bay windows as shown in the illustration. 

1c. Daybeds

Daybeds, much like window seats and reading nooks, hold the potential to serve as multifunctional gems within our homes. It can be found in various spaces, from living rooms doubling as guest accommodations to dedicated nooks in bedrooms. Thus, for daybeds, it's essential to strike a balance between comfort, style, and functionality. Opt for a pair of 8x24” or 8x36” bolster pillows along the width of the daybed’s sides. Add a layer of plush comfort with a pair of generously sized square throw pillows, positioned at the forefront of the bolster cushions. 


For those who seek an extra layer of cushioning, a wonderful option to consider is incorporating a pair of 14x36” lumbar pillows, placed along the length of the daybed's backrest. These pillows not only infuse additional coziness into your daybed but also maintain a sense of orderly elegance. As an added advantage, these generously-sized lumbar pillows can also double as the perfect nap-time bed pillows, ensuring your moments of rest are as comfortable as they are rejuvenating.

2. Bedroom Ideas: King & Queen Beds Pillow Layout

Our bedrooms stand as intimate oases within our homes, cherished spaces that should evoke the pinnacle of comfort. It's within these realms that we seek to introduce practical pillow arrangements for your beds, ones that seamlessly fuse aesthetic allure with essential comfort and support. These arrangements offer a refreshing departure from the excess of decorative pillows that can overwhelm a bed. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that when you unwind at day's end, your bed provides relaxation without necessitating significant effort when the morning sun rises anew.

Why these arrangements?

  • CREATING SPACE: You may have observed that our pillow arrangements for beds deviate from the conventional approach of using an abundance of decorative pillows. Instead of crowding the bed with an arrangement of six throw pillows across three layers, forming a triangular layout (which can make the bed seem cramped and the space visually constrained), we opt for a more streamlined approach. First and foremost, it's essential to ensure you choose a pair of premium sleeping pillows (my favorite from Macy's). Not only do they serve as the cornerstone for a restful night's sleep, but they also effortlessly enhance the bed's aesthetic with their luxurious appearance. We then select a single (or two) statement pieces placed at the forefront, complemented by the option of two or three euro pillows. This arrangement introduces a modern classic elegance to the bedroom while simultaneously creating an illusion of spaciousness, lending the bed and the room an expanded visual appeal.


  • BOLSTER SOPHISTICATION: Bolster pillows occupy a pivotal role within our carefully curated pillow selections. These versatile décor pieces introduce both depth and a distinct focal point to your bed's arrangement. The unique cylindrical shape of bolster pillows not only adds visual interest but also bestows them with a remarkable functionality. Beyond aesthetics, bolster pillows serve as reliable supports for a multitude of activities, such as indulging in a good book or catching up on your favorite TV shows while in bed. Their design provides a sturdy foundation and gentle elevation for your upper body, effectively alleviating strain on your back and neck. When paired with euro shams, this combination offers additional cushioning and coziness, especially when you're seated upright in bed, contributing to an enhanced overall sense of comfort.


  • STREAMLINED CONVENIENCE: In the realm of design advice, our approach consistently leans toward solutions that simplify your life. After all, the prospect of entering your bed at the end of the day, burdened with an array of pillows to remove, only to then reverse those efforts the next morning while making the bed, is far from ideal. This layout with an extra-long bolster pillow or lumbar pillow at the forefront, accompanied by the option of euro shams or other generously sized square throw pillows arranged at the back, has proven to effectively alleviate the stress of your bed-making routine.

3. Formal Living Room and Sitting Room Ideas

3a. Classic Sitting Room: Deep 2-Seater Sofa + Accent Chair

  • SYMMETRICAL CHARM: Position three 22x22 square throw pillows in the center of each sofa seat and the accent chair. These pillows should feature a cohesive pattern or color that resonates with the room's decor, evoking symmetry and balance.

  • LAYERED COMFORT: Place a 14x20 lumbar pillow in front of each square pillows. Opt for lumbar pillows with complementary yet distinct designs. Layering these pillows offers lumbar support while introducing a touch of elegance.

  • ELEGANT ACCENTS: Adorn the accent chair with a set of square and lumbar pillows that echo the patterns or colors of the sofa pillows. These pillows tie the overall look together, offering a touch of refinement.

  • WHY THIS ARRANGEMENT? Within the confines of this traditional and classic small sitting room, the artful stacking of square and lumbar pillow sets achieves a remarkable effect. This technique not only accentuates the depth of sofa and accent chair but also imbues the space with an undeniable sense of opulence. The result is a room that exudes a seamless cohesion and a well-composed elegance, extending a warm and inviting welcome to any guests who step within its confines.

  • FOR A MINIMALIST LOOK: Opt for a single lumbar or square pillow of your preference for the accent chair, rather than opting for two pillows.

3b. Mid-century Modern Sitting Room: MCM Sofa + 2 Accent Chairs

  • BOLSTER BRILLIANCE: Placing two 6x18” or 8x24” bolster pillows on the accent chairs. Opt for bolsters with a fabric that complements the mid-century modern aesthetics, perhaps a slightly textured solid or geometric pattern.


  • LUMBAR COMFORT: Position two 14x20” or 14x24” lumbar pillows along the sofa’s backrest. These decorative pillows should feature a minimalist design that aligns with the clean lines of mid-century decor, offering both lumbar support and visual appeal.


  • SLEEK SYMMETRY: Through the artful integration of dual sets of bolster and lumbar pillows along the back cushions of both the sofa and accent chairs, your sitting room will effortlessly attain an organized and harmonious arrangement. Adding to this layout's versatility is the freedom to interchange the pairs of decorative pillows between the sofa and accent chairs according to your preference!


  • WHY THIS ARRANGEMENT? This arrangement of pillows stands as a true embodiment of the era's design ethos, seamlessly fusing functionality with style. It complements the sleek lines characteristic of mid-century modern furniture, all the while prioritizing comfort. Moreover, it affords you the flexibility to seamlessly interchange the pillow sets among the furniture pieces as desired

3c. Transitional Sitting Room: 3-Seater sofa + Accent Chair + Daybed

  • BOLSTER SOPHISTICATION: Begin by placing two 8x24” bolster pillows at the ends of the daybed. The cylindrical form of these bolster pillows adds a touch of refinement instantly while concurrently serving as versatile accessories for neck support, back comfort, and leg relaxation as you unwind on the daybed.


  • SQUARE HARMONY: Position two coordinating 22x22” square throw pillows at the opposite corner of the sofa. These pillows should feature a cohesive pattern or color that resonates with the room's decor, evoking harmony and balance.


  • LUMBAR ELEGANCE Lumbar Elegance: Layer a 14x20” lumbar pillow with one of the square pillows already present on the sofa. This arrangement offers ideal lower back support while also infusing a subtly asymmetrical visual element into the room's design.


  • WHY THIS ARRANGEMENT? This carefully crafted pillow arrangement gracefully embodies the modern classic and transitional styles, merging contemporary flair with an emphasis on comfort. The combination of bolster, lumbar, and square pillows creates a symphony of visual harmony that elevates the room's overall appeal, resulting in a space that resonates with both elegance and coziness.

4. Family Room Ideas - Sectional Sofa and Couch

Within the inviting expanse of your family room, where a cozy sectional sofa takes center stage, we are poised to curate pillow arrangements that seamlessly merges comfort with style. These arrangements is poised to ensure optimal support for lounging and relaxation, while also elevating the sectional’s inherent allure.. As we've delved into previously, the inclusion of bolster pillows serves as an anchor, with either a pair of 6x18” or 8x24” bolster pillows establishing a solid foundation at the sectional's ends. This is particularly effective for contemporary-inspired pieces with narrow armrests. The next step involves assessing your sectional's specific design. Depending on its configuration, you might opt for a decorative pillow set, typically comprising three throw pillows, or choose the alternative of an oversized lumbar pillow (36” or 48” long) strategically positioned along the back of the longest side of the couch. This lends a striking and impressive aesthetic. Please refer to the accompanying illustration for a more comprehensive understanding of these recommendations.

What are your thoughts on these throw pillow décor ideas? Did you discover something that ignites inspiration for your next project? Perhaps you have a layout in mind that wasn't covered in this article? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to share this article using the buttons below or leave a comment.

Cielle Song, Founder of Cielle Home

Cielle Song


The founder of Ciélle Home, a self-taught textile designer turned entrepreneur, embarked on her creative journey with a fervent passion for crafting exceptional soft furnishing goods. In 2022, she transformed her artistic vision into reality by establishing Ciélle Home that resonates with elegance and comfort. Prior to that, she was a CPA and worked at Goldman Sachs for six years. This career transition underscores her unwavering commitment to pursuing her true calling and translating her innate creativity into beautifully curated soft goods that enrich homes worldwide.

Leave a comment