Pillow Talk

The other day I showed some photos of our family room and talked about all my little junk.  One of comments mentioned that my sofa looked like a big white hole without pillows and a throw. My first thought was “whaaa? I have a million pillows on my sofa, what is she talking about?” Then I went back and looked at the photo, ahhh, I think I was washing all my pillow covers, and she was right, it did look like a big white hole.

Part of the problem with showing photos of my house every day is that we live here.  So unlike a magazine, this house hasn’t been staged or prepped {or cleaned} it just is.  I try to move rouge shoes and papers out of the way but I don’t style things much before I snap photos.  And I understand that can be really confusing when I’m talking about how to make your house pretty and then I show something that is unfinished or in progress.

I also don’t like to make a zillion disclaimers…my coffee table is gone, I don’t like that lamp, I’m working on the shelves, the sun is refusing to come out, I had to take a photo out of one of those frames for my son to use for a project, the blue on my garden stool is a little off for the room, the blue on the coffee table that is now back is being slowly introduced to the room….you get it right?  It’s a process and I’m sharing it with you.  I like to think that might be one of the reasons you hang out here.

You have all been incredibly gracious and forgiving of my imperfect home.  It’s not ever going to be done or perfect.  Thank goodness.

So, back to the very true point that was brought up. Here’s the photo in question. I think it’s a fun idea to compare a room with pillows and without pillows {and a coffee table}.

And with pillows and a coffee table and a fur ottoman and I switched the garden stool and the stump table because I move stuff every 4.5 minutes, and I’m moving it again as soon as this post is finished.

I think these pillows are so pretty all filling up the sofa like that. This is the way I would have them if we didn’t have to live here.

Here’s a little yellow added in.

Brighter colors.  This is the perk of having a white sofa.

But, in real life, I usually only keep three of those pillows on the sofa.  At least there are supposed to be three.  Someone must be using one for a fort or something.


In real life all those pillows will be thrown on the floor so that a herd of boys can sprawl out all over it or so that my husband can stretch out on it.

It’s a delicate balance.

Each of us can figure out what works for our family in every season of our life.  Maybe for you even one pillow drives you batty.  I actually LOVE a sofa full of pillows like this. But, I know that pleated one will get destroyed quickly.  And that throw back there is fragile and only comes out in our room or for special occasions.  However, all of my pillows are actually feather pillow inserts with washable pillow covers.  So, I think I’m gonna try to leave a few more out.  If they end up on the floor most of the time, I’ll put them back up on the guest room bed until we have guests and I want our room to look really pretty.

What about you, do you have a pillow policy?  Do you have anything you only pull out on special occasions?


  1. Hey there,
    I am in the midst of a crisis in my house….gah! I need to change and update but am frozen b/c I have no inspiration (and I’m a little scared to screw it up)…..but I think that you may have the ticket! Please share your pillow fabric line! I love the color and design.
    Thanks much!

  2. OK…I know this sounds weird but this post spoke to me…perhaps it was your candor about not having the perfectly kept house all the time. Maybe it was the glimpses of real life being lived in your house. But I’m thinking it was the picture in which you showed only two pillows on your sofa with the third being off somewhere as a possible addition to a fort. What I noticed was not so much the two pillows or even the lack of the third. What I noticed was the boy in the background roller-blading in your house :D…this, to me, is what makes it a home! By the way…I think your home is beautiful and I love that you move furniture around…I would too, but it does drive my husband crazy…and since I love my husband more than moving furniture around (and I REALLY love doing that) I settle for only moving things a couple of times a year! Thank you for sharing your home and your advice…have a beautiful day!

  3. I think pillows are a great way to easily change up a room – I have a neutral palate in the living room, so I like to put bright pillows on the sofa in the spring / summer, and move into the darker colors in the fall / winter. I loved the picture with your son zooming through the room on roller blades – that’s great!


  4. I’m getting the itch to change around my pillows. I think your house is so lovely!

  5. I like this post. I must tell you, I now hate lots of pillows. I always thought I would like lots of them because they are so comfy looking and they can add so much style and color to a room. Well, I bought a set of furniture (used) that is nothing but pillows, it seems (which you can see in pictures of my living room at my blog). Comfy? Yes, but we also live in our house (doesn’t everyone). Picking up, fluffing and placing pillows in the “right” place constantly is so much a waste of time and annoying. I just recently bought a new sofa (which I haven’t shown on my blog as of yet) with only two pillows and that’s really two too many. So although a few pillows look good in case of “company”, I would prefer a “white hole” to life and time consuming pillow fluffing. Whoever had the nerve to criticize must not have children or much of a life for that matter. Your house looks great I can tell you have a happy family. So who cares about pillows!!!

  6. Sorry, I can’t get past the “white sofa hole” comment. Who says that?! Really? You’re a better woman than me, Nester…..Guess this caught me on an off day, but I’m sure you’ve read worse comments.

  7. I love lots of pillows. I also spend a lot of time picking them up and putting them back on the sofas. My dream is to have a sofa full of pottery barn pillows, but that will have to wait until my boys stop using them as bases to play ball in the house! Like you said, we have to live in the house.

  8. chrissib says

    I will trade a perfectly staged room for a room full of kids anytime.

  9. I like that your house is real. I have four kids. I get it. You are so much better at beautifying your home than I am. I come here to learn from you. Thank you.

  10. I love the picture with the boy in the roller blades in the background. Lived in = perfection in my book! What’s the point of having a beautiful house if you aren’t allowed to touch it! ;) Well done…as always!

  11. love the pillows but i also love the pic with the chocolate doggie! :) i will take a cute dog over pillows any day! ;)

  12. Famous Nester, love your blog. Thanks so much for great info. I love this information. You, Edie, and many others continue to inspire so. Yea, the whole pillow deal…I bought one the other day for bedroom that I love and it o’s stacked on all the other bedroom ones making for about a 3 foot stack. Crack me up. And our little milk toast ones we sleep on all the time so cute and comfy like that old country TV show with little Joe :) I think the Wth decorating may grow in popularity. Keepnup your good work, and sendings beat regards.

  13. I love pillows – my couch has about 8 added pillows on it, my bed has at least 9 pillows and I have extra pillows shoved in all my closets. Pillows are comfortable and cute – can it get any better?!

  14. I have four boys. Pillows equal weapons! And I got sick of constantly putting them back on my couch. So….no pillows for me in this season of life. But someday!!!

  15. I love pillows! My fiance and I recently registered for gifts and he kept saying, “what are all these pillows for?” “We’re not having pillows we can’t use.” I told him that he could either use them or throw them on the floor because I wanted prett pillows.

    P.S. I love that picture with your son in the background on roller blades. Awesomest mom ever!

  16. What a difference the pillows make from the first photo. It doesn’t look bad in the first photo, just a bit sparse.
    I LURVE pillows, but James Bond says they’re “annoying.” Sigh. We have almost no throw pillows because of this and the ones we do have look sad and mangled. The dogs have claimed them as props when they sit on the sofa (and yes, they do sit on the furniture) and Indy likes to use them for…I’m not sure, but he’s always up to something.
    One day I’d like to have a little guest house that is really just for me to go get away from the chaos and clutter, that I can decorate with girly colors and loads of throw pillows. And I’d put a sign on the door that says “NO BOYS ALLOWED.” I love my boys, but I’d love to have a girly space. A girl can dream, right?

  17. I have pillows on our sectional but they keep getting thrown on the floor as well. I just fluff and place them on the sofa before I go to bed and it starts all over the next day! As pretty as they are, they aren’t always practical! But a girl can keep trying, right?

  18. I actually like to see a realistic home. I always wondered about bloggers and their endless energy. I questioned my own homemaking skills and wondered how women were able to blog, keep their homes clean, feed their family, and remain sane (not to mention change out of their pjs). : ) That was until, I read a great blog from Hooked on Houses, listing the top ten reasons why her home is not like a magazine photo. Keep up the great work and keeping it real. : )

  19. I have four pillows {down with covers} on my cream sectional. That is the magic number, right now. Thanks for keeping it real.

  20. I love the photo of how your couch normally looks. The boy nonchalantly rollerblading through the house to the left side of the picture cracks me up! Thanks for sharing a little bit of your life with us.

  21. Great posts on pillows! I recently discovered feather inserts and have been watching for “ugly” or end-of-season pillows with feather inserts. My problem is we have allergies in our house. Do you have anything you recommend putting over them as a barrier? I, of course, have the allergy pillow covers for our bed pillows but can’t find them any other sizes. Since I sew, i could resize them. But since they are not cheap, I’m wondering if any one knows of them available for throw pillows. OR, what kind of fabric to purchase to make my own allergy covers.
    I ALSO love the fabric line of your pillow cases and would LOVE to know what line it is ;)

  22. Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to finbd out if itss a problem on my end or if it’s tthe blog.
    Any feed-back would bbe greatly appreciated.

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