Friends, I need to get on my soap box for a minute and talk about designer pillows and why you need them in your life. I know they can be pricey, but I beg you, please invest in at least a couple for your home. They’ll elevate your space like nothing else. I bet some of you would spend a similar amount on shoes or a handbag so I say, this month go for the pillows instead. You need rugs and accessories too, but trust me, when deciding where to spend your hard earned money on decor, a good designer pillow is well worth the investment and a very satisfying place to start. It’s true, since I’m a designer I have quite a few in my collection, but they are just that — A collection that I’ve bought over the years and I can change them up with the seasons or move them around with my mood. Try starting with 2 and supplementing with some more affordable versions from places like Pottery Barn, Home Goods or even Target! (Just be sure they have good inserts. More on that below.)

So now that I’ve convinced you, let me give you a few tips and a handful of my favorite online sources for pillows below. You can get this pile above from McGee & Co. A designer, like me, can help you build out a truly custom set, but with sources like Etsy and other designers who have online stores, you have access to some really great pillows made from designer and vintage fabrics to shop for on your own.

First, let’s also look at where to use them, because as you can see from these photos, you really need them in your living and family rooms, reading and breakfast nooks, bedrooms and almost any room in the house!

Image Via Studio McGee

Image Via Brooke Wagner Design 

Image Via Amber Interiors

Image Via JDP Interiors

Mix Pattern and Scale:

Generally speaking, you want to start with a solid or a stipe and then mix pattern scale. Keep in mind pattern variety like a blend of geometric shapes with organics or florals. In this example set of three below from Danielle Oakey Shop, we have a base starting with a small pattern, a medium geometric pattern and larger scale organic/floral. You can see a small stripe lumbar on the side chair is a perfect fourth pattern. The overall color palette of smokey grays, blues and greens works nicely together.  Nothing is matching exactly, which is totally fine! To complete a set, (like 2 ends of a sofa) try matching pillows for a more traditional symmetrical look or mix and match for a casual look.



Mix up sizes and shapes. I like to use 22” square as an anchor, mixed with 20” squares and sometimes a lumbar or two in varying sizes. A common lumbar size is 14” x 20”, but you can also go to a larger 14” x 36” as a bolster for a bed or sofa like in this example below.

Image Via Kelly Nutt Design 



Your inserts should be larger than your pillow cover to correctly fill to the corners and give a nice full look. I order my inserts 1″- 2” larger than the pillow cover. Check out this article from Boho Pillow for tips on where to source pillow inserts.

Make sure to follow Graham Hill Design on Instagram because at the end of the month, I’ll be hosting a give away where one lucky winner will be the recipient of 2 designer pillows (inserts not included). Details will be outlined in the post.

See below for some of my favorite designer pillow sources:




  1. McGee & Co.
  2. Linen and Cloth
  3. Boho Pillow
  4. Danielle Oakey Shop
  5. One Affirmation