How to Choose the Right-Sized Accent Pillows

The perfect combination starts with selecting the right sizes.

06 June –

How to Choose the Right-Sized Accent Pillows
How to Choose the Right-Sized Accent Pillows
01 Playful Office Space

Nothing can bring a room to life like the perfect assortment of toss pillows. Whether you’re putting the final touches on your space or refreshing a seasonal vignette.

Switching out your accent pillows is one of the simplest ways to bring personality, pattern, and dimension to a design, giving it a whole new life with the addition of a single print. After years of creating pillow combinations for design projects, Shea and the design team have learned a thing or two about curating the perfect pillow look, and the first rule of thumb to consider is that it all starts with choosing the right size. 

In general, you should start with the largest pillows in the back of your assortment, and build a triangle with smaller pillows from there. Typically, two-to four-inch size increments work best for layering pillow combinations. If you’re thinking about refreshing or adding to your accent pillow look, check out more of our guidelines and examples below. And peep inside Shea’s book, The Art of Home, for extensive styling guides, from pillow sizing to light fixture hanging heights.



Shea suggests styling a single pillow on a lounge chair to add an extra layer of dimension.

  • Single Lumbar 
  • Single 20-22″ Pillow 



Shea and the design team typically use four to five pillows on a sofa—symmetry creates a traditional look and asymmetry is more casual. You can also follow this suggestion for a bench or nook.

  • 22-24″ pillow at the back, layer a smaller pillow 20-22″ in the front 
  • 24-22″ pillow at the back (in the corner), layer in a lumbar 



Shea and the design team use anywhere from seven to 10 pillows on a sectional—two on each end and three in the corner.

  • 22-24″ and a 20-22″ on the sides 
  • 22-24″, 20-22″, and a lumbar in the corner


Twin Bed

Keep it simple with one to two decorative pillows in addition to the sleeping pillow and sham.

  • One single lumbar 
  • 22″ in the back, one lumbar in front 


King or Queen Bed

Shea and the design team use three to five decorative pillows in addition to the sleeping pillows and shams. If you’re going for a minimalist aesthetic, use one long lumbar across the bed.

  • 24-26″ pillows and an extra long lumbar 
  • Large lumbar or headboard pillow 
  • Twp 24-26″ and a 20″-22″ pillow and a lumbar 
Date Posted
06 June