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Pillow Styling With Cindy

In the words of the inimitable Dorothy Draper, decorating is fun!

One of the easiest ways to refresh and revamp your interior space is by swapping out your accent pillows seasonally to create a beautiful, harmonious environment that nurtures your soul and spirit. With the holidays around the corner, now is the perfect time to indulge in a pillow makeover. Not to mention that since we’re all spending way more time than ever at home, it’s essential that where we live pleases us both aesthetically and from a more practical standpoint – providing the ultimate cozy, lounge-worthy factor for a laidback, luxurious holiday.

With a few simple tips from our resident pillow expert Cindy, restyling your sofa doesn’t need to be intimidating. In fact, it can be a fun exercise in expressing your creativity. “Decorative pillows are the ‘eye candy’ of a room,” she explains, “and you can create endless irresistible combinations by layering different patterns, colors and textures.”

To begin, look to hues already existing in your artwork, rugs or accessories to guide you in your color choices for your new pillows. If your sofa is a solid, neutral design, you can really play up the color and pattern for maximum visual impact. Cindy follows the rules of odds, meaning an odd number of cushions is pretty much always better than an even number. Take a look at the size of your sofa; for a larger sofa, she suggests five pillows in varying sizes and shapes (we’ll get to that) and for a smaller design, three.

Cindy likes to layer texture, pattern and color for a richly layered effect.

An effortless – and elegant – designer’s trick is to anchor each end of the sofa with two large, matching pillows (22” or 24”, depending on sofa size). Then, add two smaller matching pillows (16” or 18”, again depending on sofa size) in different colors, textures or patterns than the large pillows and position directly in front of the largest cushions. Finally, select a lumbar pillow of a different design and center it. Or, if you prefer a more artistic arrangement, place it slightly to one side. For a three-pillow design, Cindy recommends two large, matching pillows and a complementary bolster. The most important aspect is to combine textures such as linen, velvet or tassels, she suggests, while pairing differing patterns such as stripes or colorblocks with a more exotic pattern, like a woodblock, for exquisite richness and depth. It’s super-easy to unify disparate patterns through a common color palette. For example, Cindy’s African mud cloth designs mix and match beautifully in a single color, while instilling a globally inspired, artful aesthetic.

Cindy is always happy to offer personalized advice through her virtual concierge service; book an appointment today at

Happy Holidays and happy pillow styling!

And voila! A sublimely chic and lounge-worthy sofa for cozy holiday naps and Netflix binges.