Rookie Mistake: Boring & Basic Pillows

Over the past 2 years, we’ve both immersed ourselves in the world of interior design and home decor and it’s safe to say we’ve learned A LOT along the way. You can bet your bottom dollar that when we started out we didn’t know what a euro sham was, we didn’t know how high to hang curtains, and we thought the word “vignette” was strictly a theater term. Boy oh boy, we’ve come a long way.

Now don’t get me wrong, we are in NO way professionals. Instead, we’re just two gals learning what looks good as we go. But we did think it was finally time to compile some of the tips we have learned so far and share them with all of you in a fun format. And that’s how our “Rookie Mistakes” series was born.

how to style pillows on your couch

Because many of you are also new to the home decorating game, we thought it might be fun to tackle some common decorating mistakes (ones that we’ve both made in the past!) and offer some advice on how to combat these “no-no’s.”

Today’s ROOKIE MISTAKE is all about throw pillows on your couch or sectional Blue-Pillows

I consider our white sectional to be my first big “adult” purchase. While living in Wisconsin, Finn & I used an old, hand-me-down, blue, leather couch as our main seating area. But when we moved to St. Louis, I was excited to purchase a piece of furniture all my own.

Living-Room-White-CouchEnter our white sectional (read more about it in this post).

JcPenney-Couch-cushionsMy Big Rookie Mistake

I loved the couch immediately (& still do!), and loved that it came with 3 matching pillows. I was all set! No need to purchase any other pillows for my new couch.

Wrong! See, that was one of my first rookie mistakes as a new home decorator. Instead of using the white couch as a neutral base for patterned, colored, and textured pillows…I just let it be a big blob of white for a while.

Once I started reading blogs and looking at catalogs, I quickly realized that some throw pillows would look pretty dang awesome on my white couch.

How to Style Throw Pillows

Geometric-Gray-PillowMy pillow collection started to grow and our couch was boring and basic no more. All of the pillows on my couch are from HomeGoods and I’ve changed them up over the past few years. Whenever I visit the store I always browse their pillow aisles to see if there is anything I simply must scoop up and bring home (not gonna lie…a pillow usually ends up in my shopping cart!)

Caseys-Living-Family-Room-PillowsNow this may seem like an obvious “no-no” to some of you, but I see this rookie mistake happen all.the.time. I’m not judging anyone, (everyone is entitled to decorate their homes the way they see fit), but things could be a lot more personalized, and a lot less “big box” if people swapped out their couch pillows. <– simple fix, BIG impact on a space.

pillowsAdding throw blankets and a variety of pillows is also a great idea if you aren’t in love with your couch. Take the attention away from the couch that you can’t replace just yet, and instead let guests focus on your rockin’ pillow collection.Blue-Patterned-Pillows
As for the pillows that came with the couch…I still have them! In fact, I use them in other places around the home. I’ve also used the inserts and replaced the white covers with pillow covers that I love. So there’s no need to toss perfectly good (down-filled) couch pillows, instead re-purpose them!Casey-Couch-Family-Room-Pillows-Blanket

So there you have it…our first ROOKIE MISTAKE has been corrected and we are both officially all aboard the throw pillow train <—much to the dismay of our husbands who simply don’t get what’s so remarkable about stuffing the couch with gorgeous pillows!

Here are some of our favorite throw pillows (affiliate links used for your convenience).

More Throw Pillow Posts

If you have more pillow questions (where we buy pillows? How many pillows is too many? What colors, patterns, textures should you buy?) then these posts may be of some help!

white sectional couch with blue and gray throw pillowsCasey_Sig


  • Heather

    I am currently making a big rookie mistake with my couch pillows. I am using what came with the couch and they SUCK! haha The problem is I am sooo cheap and my dog makes pretty things dirty. I really think it is time to reunite with the sewing machine to fix this problem

    • hahah, Heather that is hilarious! We wouldn’t want new pillows to get ruined either, so we totally get it!

      Making your own pillows…girl you got talent! Wish we could pull that off 🙂

  • I’d love some tips on how NOT to do a bookshelf. I know you have a few “to-dos” on here but seeing what not to do helps too!

    • Thanks for the suggestion! We will definitely brainstorm this idea… we too learn by hearing what “not to do”. You’re the best, Diana!

  • Amanda

    Love the pillows! When I purchased my giant gray couch it came with 2 large pillows and 2 medium pillows. I went out and purchased some smaller accent pillows. I then headed to Ikea where they have about 50 different pillow cases that fit the standard “came with the couch” size pillows. They have a zipper, and are finished nicely. I still have different size pillows that I use as well, but I like the $4-$6 covers because I can use the pillows I already have, and over the last 4 years I have purchased many different pillow cases the change them up for something new. I am even able to switch up the cases for different holidays. I wouldn’t have room in my storage-lacking apartment to store 15 pillows, but I can store the different cases. Target recently started carrying a similar product, and I think I like the patterns better, but I believe they ran from $15- $20.

    • What great insight, Amanda! We love the idea of keeping pillow covers on hand so you can swap them out easily, and they don’t take up much space! Awesome.

  • I love the painting above your couch. Am currently paralysed trying to choose one for my living room. Huge empty beige wall is my nemesis.

    • Thanks so much Teresa! Once you find a piece you love you’ll just know that it’s perfect to cover up that big beige wall