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Pillow Talk: How to Use Pillows in Staging

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By Audra Slinkey, Home Staging Resource

I gotta say it, I LOVE pillows! I’ve seen so many spaces transformed with the simple addition of pillows that I had to share some of my favorite photos of pillow inspired spaces, as well as my top six tips to styling and staging with pillows!

My friend HSR Certified Gregg Churchill, an amazingly talented Australian Home Stager and Designer knows the art of pillow placement, so I’m using some of my favorite photos of his work exclusively to give you my top tips and to conclude with some of my favorite places to buy pillows …

Tip #1 – You Can NEVER Have Enough Pillows, so Go Big!

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Photo credit: Gregg Churchill, Mr. Home Staging & Design, mrhomestaging.com

Can you imagine if this furniture were not dialed in with pillows? This is a perfect example of how the right placement and selection of pillows can transform couches.

Tip #2 – Don’t Get “Matchy Matchy.” Mix It Up!

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Photo credit: Gregg Churchill, Mr. Home Staging & Design, mrhomestaging.com

As a designer, there are things you want to “match” to add calm and symmetry to a space (like the tables and lamps above). BUT when it comes to pillows, have fun and get a little crazy! I love how Gregg completely breaks the rules here with his color and pattern choices to make this otherwise boring, white space…POP!

Tip #3 – Use Pillows to Guide the Eye in Staging

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Photo credit: Gregg Churchill, Mr. Home Staging & Design, mrhomestaging.com

Okay, imagine this room without the pillows. Again, Gregg breaks some rules beautifully by drawing the eye up and away from the dated terra cotta tiled floors to the colorful, selection of pillows contrasted against the white couches. Not only does he distract but he connects the floors with the space through the choice of two similarly colored pillows….love it!

Tip #4 – A Square for Every Chair

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Photo credit: Gregg Churchill, Mr. Home Staging & Design, mrhomestaging.com

I have to say, I love the on-trend, coral pillows on the end chairs of this dining room as a way to connect the art with the space. By using a clean, bright, color palette of similar tones it all just flows well together, so add those pillow squares to the chairs when it works like this.

Tip #5 – Add Drama and Go “Colorless”

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Photo credit: Gregg Churchill, Mr. Home Staging & Design, mrhomestaging.com

This is probably my favorite photo because Gregg removes all the color from the space for dramatic effect, so the buyers walk in and go…whoah! The reason this works so well is because he cleverly inserts plenty of textures and pattern (fuzzy rug, platinum lamps, geometric throw and pillows). Gregg deleted the color from the space, which allows a buyer to notice the architectural elements they are buying that are special in this room, i.e. the wainscoting and hardwood floors.

Tip #6 – Pillows Make Spaces Happy!

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Photo credit: Gregg Churchill, Mr. Home Staging & Design, mrhomestaging.com

This room without the pillows? You would have zapped all the “happy” out of the space.

Audra

Okay, I admit it…I’m a pillow junkie! This is why I like to buy pillow covers at www.etsy.com (search for “pillow covers” and look for good reviews), which means I can store them better. I also look for pillows with zipper enclosures for easy washing and storing.

I shop at HomeGoods, Pier1, BurkeDecor, WayFair, BallardDesign, and PotteryBarn (most of which I get my “To the Trade” Discount).

What are some other pillow tips you want to add?

phpgKLtM0AMABOUT THE AUTHOR: Audra Slinkey is president of the Home Staging Resource, a RESA Accredited home staging training and certification company. Slinkey has personally trained over 3,000 stagers worldwide and is a bestselling author and international speaker. She also serves as president of the American Society of Home Stagers and Redesigners. Connect with her on Facebook!

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This post was contributed exclusively for REALTOR® Magazine.

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