How to Arrange Pillows on a Bed, From the Stack to the Reverse Pyramid
One setup creates an instant headboard.
Published Jun 8, 2022 1:00 AM
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If you think it takes a master class on how to arrange pillows on a bed to achieve a picture-perfect magazine setup, then you’re probably putting too much pressure on yourself. Lifestyle expert–level training isn’t necessary, only a little patience and creativity. Our first tip for pillow-arranging excellence? Carve out a few minutes to properly make your bed so there’s no messy sheets or hastily folded comforter clouding your vision. Then follow one of Domino style director Naomi deMañana’s five simple formulas, below.
How to Arrange Pillows on a Bed
2 standard pillows in solid-color cases + 2 king-size pillows in patterned cases
Lie the larger pillows flat on the bed to build a base (we like how adding the stripes first nicely complements the quilt). Leave a bit of space between the two so they don’t look too crowded. Put the solid pillows on top, making sure to center them. This tiny detail gives the arrangement subtle symmetry.
Why this setup works: It mimics the shape of a bed frame if you don’t have a headboard to hold up your pillows.
The Reverse Pyramid
2 standard pillows in solid envelope cases + 2 king-size pillows in patterned cases + 1 rectangle decorative pillow (we like 20-by-26-inch ones)
Prop your king-size pillows up against the headboard, making sure that the case openings are even with the edges of the mattress. Leave a small space—maybe an inch or two—between them. Position the standard pillows in front to create a second row. Be sure to center each for added dimension. Lastly, add the rectangular cushion, aligning its center with the space between the king- and standard-size ones.
Why this setup works: Too many decorative pillows isn’t practical. “You don’t wash them as often, they’re generally not that comfortable, plus you just end up throwing them off on the floor,” says deMañana. In other words, less is more.
2 standard pillows in solid envelope cases + 2 king-size pillows in patterned cases + 2 rectangle decorative pillows in a solid color (18-by-18 or 16-by-16 inches, depending on your mattress size)
Line the king-size pillows up against the headboard, leaving a few inches in between and allowing the case ends to fall even with the side of the mattress. Gently lean the smaller-size pillows against the king-size ones so that the top few inches of the larger pillow peeks out above. Repeat the previous step with the decorative pillows. Each side should be identical to the other, creating a mini V-formation.
Why this setup works: You get an interesting sculptural arrangement without it feeling too fussy. The trick is to use the correct size pillows. “If you’re using flat pillows, add an extra row so that your arrangement doesn’t look too wimpy in comparison to the bed size,” says deMañana.