How To Style Your Bed With Pillows | Pillow Talk


OK, friends, let’s get down to it. Today on the blog we’re engaging in a little pillow talk. No, no, no—not like that! We’re chatting about how to accessorize your bed with pillows. Pillows give master bedrooms, children’s bedrooms, and guest bedrooms that final touch to complete the space. It might sound like we’re promising the world, but perfecting your bed can make a remarkable impact. Doesn’t that make sense? Typically, the bed is the largest piece of furniture in a bedroom, so it’s no wonder that styling it well makes such a big difference.

You might be thinking, “But that’s just it! How do I style it well?” Don’t worry. We’ll break it down for you bed by bed: How many pillows you need and in what sizes, without overwhelming or underwhelming the bed. We’re aiming for “just right.” Picture a Goldilocks and the Three Bears do-over a la interior decorating. (Should we trademark this?)

It’s true that there are no set-in-stone laws when it comes to interior styling, but there are some general rules of thumb to consider. We’ll begin with bed size.





One king pillow + one to two accent pillows (instead of a standard pillow that doesn’t fit the entire width of the bed). We like accent pillows that are anywhere between 20 – 24 inches by the same width.  

This photo is from a Studio McGee project that we've got heart eyes for. Check it out here. We love how Studio McGee added a stuffed animal to the mix of accent pillows.


Two standard pillows + two pillow shams + one to two accent pillows.

This photo is from another Studio Mcgee Project that we are absolutely obsessed with - check out their project here.

What the heck is a sham, you ask? A standard pillow has a simple pillowcase that typically matches the bed sheets. A pillow sham accentuates the bedding and/or throw blanket. A pillowcase and a sham are essentially the same size and used for the same purpose (sleeping), but shams are usually more decorative.

DWK Interiors - Pillow Talk  - How to style a bed with pillows


Two queen pillows + two queen shams + two to three accent pillows OR a single bolster pillow.

This bed is from a project of ours in Cranston. The bed and headboard is custom made and we chose to add metallic touches to the pillows to accentuate the bedside tables and the wallpapered accent wall.

What the heck is a bolster? A bolster is a long narrow pillow. Typical bolster pillows range from 7 to 13 inches wide and from 22 inches long to 32 inches long, but you can get extra long bolsters in much longer lengths.



Several combinations are possible for a king size bed, but here’s our favourite: Three standard pillows + two king shams + three accent pillows. Another option is three standard pillows + two king shams + two accent pillows + an extra long bolster.

This photo is from a project of ours in Crescent Heights. We knew we needed to perfectly style this grand four poster bed and opted for subtle pink and coral tones on hotel quality sheets - letting the shimmery four poster bed speak for itself.

dwk interiors master bedroom how to style a bed king size pillows
dwk interiors pillows how to style a bed king size

Oof! So many pillows! Your next question will likely be, “Where do I sleep?” Which leads us to our next topic: pillow storage. There are several nighttime routines you can follow, but the most common way to store your pillows is to walk into the bedroom and throw all the pillows on the floor, except one, and go to sleep.

A better suggestion would be either to have a large basket for overnight pillow storage or, if your bedroom size permits it, to have a bench at the end of the bed that doubles as storage. Here are some of our current favourites:

We also like to suggest accessorizing your bed according to seasons. You don’t need an entire new “wardrobe” for your bed—simply work off of the colour palette you’ve already set for the bedroom, ensure your bedding is in line with it, and possibly have different accent pillows for each season (either a different pattern or print). Don’t worry if that seems like too much to coordinate. We’ve written a blog post with the 4 Tips to Incorporate Pattern Like a Pro. Find it here.

Another shot from our  Priddis Project Reveal .

Another shot from our Priddis Project Reveal.

Now that you have the right number of pillows on your bed, we have one more accessory to suggest: place a throw blanket at the end of your bed to complete the bed’s “outfit.” A throw blanket is also perfect for seasonality. In the winter choose a heavy wool blanket, and in the summer a light cotton throw. Throw blankets are also perfect for adding colour, pattern, print, accentuating the room’s colour palette, or adding texture with pom poms, fringe, embroidery or other details.

Here are some throws we currently love:

Are you ready to take on all the beds in your home? We think you’ll be shocked when you see how much of an impact it can make in each space. Let us know if you tried it out in the Comment section below.