Does anyone know the pillow limit for a couch?

How many is too many?

If you went to pillow decorating school or have your PhD in pillow placement….this is your time to shine.


I mean….don’t you think one pillow looks kind of lonely and two look like they might need another and three….well….maybe three….is just a party just waiting to happen.


I really think I’m over the limit….and about a pillow away from the population of a small island in the south Pacific.




The other day I walked into my pillow-filled living room and there were little people everywhere.

Little people eating Cheetos and drinking lemonade and playing Bananagrams and watching an intense docudrama where mermaids who live in Australia were trying to decide if they could walk on land and run for student council president at the high school.

There were little people on the couch and on the table and on the chairs.

Little people who had moved all the pillows…

….to the floor. 

I stood there quietly for a moment….just staring and wondering why the pillows always ended up on the floor and trying to figure out why mermaids were even running for student council.


Compass Pillow


And as I stared…..

A hush slowly came over the room….well….except for the mermaids and their voting populace.


“Are you okay, Mom?” one of my sons asked in a whisper.




I said nothing.

I simply looked at the pillows and then I glanced pointedly back at him.

“Did you know that pillows on the ground are one of my pet peeves,” I said.

No one said a word.

They looked at the ceiling.

They looked at the floor.

They looked here there and everywhere….except at the floor….and all those pillows.


Compass Pillow


Then I heard a tiny voice from the peanut gallery, ” I think Moms have a lot of pet peeves.”


We do,” I said loudly.  “I think I’m going to write a book all about pillows and why people should not eat Cheetos on khaki covered couches without napkins…..and all my pet peeves.”

“And….” I continued….”it just might be a New York Times best seller.”


With that brilliant proclamation on pet peeves and pillows I smiled confidently and turned to leave.

And as I walked out the door…..I overheard a whispered aside from one peanut gallery member to another….

….”That is going to be one really big book.”


I’m taking my pillows and moving to Australia and maybe…..

….I can get the newly elected mermaid to put in a good word for me 🙂 


PS  The compass pillow and about 500 other incredible items for your home can be found over at Stacie Ann’s ETSY shop.

And from now until November 16, Stacie is offering a 15% discount in her shop for Thistlewood readers.  Simply enter the code thistlewood15 at check out.

So stop by and check out her shop.

She is amazing.

And wonderful.

And I’m sure her pillows are much better behaved than mine 🙂

PPS Please note:  This post was sponsored by Stacie Ann but all opinions on pillows and mermaids and Cheetos were completely and utterly my own.  For more information see my disclosure policy.


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  1. Image for Christina @ Little Victorian Christina @ Little Victorian

    I can't believe you ever thought your titles needed work. Your like a hypnotist, it doesn't matter what I'm doing, or whether i have time or not, I just can't resist. Must drop everything and read now. About pillows, I like three. My hubs thinks one is too many, so when he sits down, the pillows go on the floor. I got used to it.

  2. Image for Suzan Suzan

    LOL - I did a post once on this very subject - you can never be too rich - or too skinny - and a couch can never have too many pillows! You can't basically sit on mine for pillows - and when people come over I tell them " PLEASE - just throw them on the floor " but I scramble like a crazy person as soon as they leave putting them all back tee hee XOX

  3. Image for Linda @Nina's nest Linda @Nina's nest

    You are the best writer! I always smile when I read your blog - you are gifted with a wonderful, hilarious writing style. I must confess, I am very naughty....yes, I broke the sacred decorative rule - always use uneven numbers. I have 4 pillows on my sofa - yes, an even number - AND - two match, but the other two are completely different from one another....a medium oblong monogrammed pillow and a large PB embroidered oblong pillow. Works for me. Linda p.s. Your kids sound adorable!

  4. Image for Technicolor Technicolor

    I hope you get a lot of responses. A Poll would work for me. Kids are all grown, but pillows still end up on the floor or the back of the couch. Even visitors will move them. Usually they aren't put back either. When they do, there is this odd question on their face, "How do I do this?" So, I'm of no help with this. Was wondering not long ago when pillows came into our spaces. Odd numbers would seem to be the rule, always used in any form of art (space/area). And I love pillows, down filled primarily. Love your room and thoroughly enjoyed the story.

  5. Image for Sarah Sarah

    I want them all!!! And I was so excited to see they were affordable! Oh, can I write a chapter in your book? Hi, clean off your plate before you put it in the sink! XO- Sarah

  6. Image for Beverly Beverly

    Pillows! I love pillows. Really. I love pillows to the extent that I try not to look at pillows that don't already live in our home. Please notice I said try. I do try. I'm just not very good at it. Why is it that the world continues to be newly populated with more and more gorgeous pillows? I want them. My sweet husband doesn't share this love of mine. He would probably admit that they do look really good. But, when it comes to actually using the piece of furniture where the pillow(s) live, he gets that look on his face. You know the look, don't you? I see it every time he helps me make or "unmake" our bed. (And, facing realty may require that I admit not wating to sit with pillows, and that I do gently place them on the floor. Just long enough to sit, mind you.) Why just the other day I remarked to this same husband that I thought two of our pillows look too matchy. And guess what! He gave me that looked, and promptly exited the room. So ... back to your question. I just can't answer. It would go against my chemical make-up. Sorry.

  7. Image for Susan @ Afford Your Passions Susan @ Afford Your Passions

    I also broke the "uneven" rule - I have four on mine, but I have a sectional, so I think I get an exemption. I would totally have voted for the mermaid for student council, but the unicorn beat her :) I don't have a problem with my son (age 12) tossing pillows off the sofa - it's the two dogs who do it (well, they don't just throw them on the floor, they drag them around the house with them...) Have a wonderful weekend! Keeping my fingers crossed that you are the lucky gal to have lunch in New York with Country Living next Tuesday (have a birthday drink for me!)

  8. Image for Technicolor Technicolor

    OT....I’m taking my pillows and moving to Australia and maybe….. You must have the book "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" Perhaps the kids should switch places and read it to you every time a pillow is on the floor. I was in my 50s when a friend gave it to me. I was ready to move anywhere at the time and a couple of pillows would have worked too.

  9. Image for Cindy Long Cindy Long

    Why don't these small children who inhabit our homes realize that we decorate and fluff and add pillows on sofas for their enjoyment too?? Because it makes a house a home?? We have had the "pillow talk" many biggest peeve is when we have guests over and my husband tosses them all on the floor to accommodate more people on the sofa. Another is my children will take the large, back sofa cushion that should remain permanently in place, turn it sideways and rest against it while watching TV as our TV is perpendicular to our sofa. Do they put it back properly when they are done? NO! That cushion has become a sideshow freak in our family room and no amount of threats or cajoling has worked! So, I get it, totally feel your pain, and I will be the first in line to buy your book! When's it being released?! ; D Cindy

  10. Image for Michele Michele

    What a way to start my day. I don't have little people anymore but I have a husband who just asked me yesterday: "Um, honey, you just got ANOTHER pillow for the coach?" but he smiled that knowing smile that somehow understands my need for a Thanksgiving pillow to tie it all together." Just yesterday another pillow came to live at the Nest at Finch Rest. I rest my case and vote you the pillow mermaid student coucil prez, Karianne. I getchya, lady. Hugs. OH- PS my pillows always end up on the floor with a cat Reigning Supreme sitting high atop of his throne of pillows. Not sure what's worse- cat hair or Cheeto bits. I vote for neither.

  11. Image for Beth @ Beth @

    Girl, you crack me up! Thanks for making me smile; I love your blog. :) You and your pillows are an inspiration to me the new blogger on the block. Keep up the great work. Hugs, Beth

  12. Image for Baileywife Baileywife

    YOU ARE BRILLIANT....and so DEAD ON!! I am a pillow re-placer, and blanket folder here at our home!! But......that IS in our job description when we take those things home from the hospital, I'm SURE of it!!! :) ~Kim

  13. Image for Anne Anne

    I love your kids! They are quite as brilliant as you are. You painted the perfect scene with your words. ps your headline writing is awesome!!! xox

  14. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    You are not alone.....I think I have little elves that come the early dawn...and remove all the pillows from my sofa...and have a great pillow fight....I just smile...and start to fluff again....Looking forward to your best seller...!!... Beautiful pillows...will be hopping over for a look!!

  15. Image for Vicki Vicki

    If you wrote a book about moms' pet peeves, it would definitely be on the New York Times Best Seller List!! I don't have that many pillows but they always end up on the floor too. I'm glad to know it's not just my kids!!

  16. Image for betty betty endless battle. No one sees the need for them but us Moms. If not for us, they would ALL stay on the floor. I'm OCD symmetrical with everything, must have 4, 2 on each end, fluffed and karate chopped in center. lol

  17. Image for Maria @ Redecorate Blog Maria @ Redecorate Blog

    Lol! This is an adorable little anecdote. :-) I deal with this and I just have a HUSBAND who loves to move the pillows to the floor. Who knows what'll happen when we add some kiddies to the mix...because my pillow obsession is NOT going anywhere! ;-)

  18. Image for Leslie Stewart Leslie Stewart

    You hit the nail on the head! Pillows on the floor are one of my biggest pet peeves too! That and when they get squashed out of shape. My husband was sitting on the couch, squashing my pillows and I looked at him and said, "I really don't like you sitting on my couch." BTW, I think your pillows are just right! Have a great weekend! Leslie

  19. Image for Anne Presley Anne Presley

    Aunt Susie agrees - 1 pillow is lonely and far better to have a pillow party going on in your living room then a bunch of sad sacks. We (Auntie Susie and myself - the pillow experts we are!) actually checked all of her furniture and found that most were quite happy with their pillow population, but she did make note of one sad couch and determined to add to her current pillow population. Thanks for making our day - have a happy heart day yourself.

  20. Image for Tammy Tammy

    I always just wonder --why when the pillows land on the floor does no one else feel the need to pick them up? and when someone gets up from a couch or chair---why does no one but me ever fluff the pillows? They just leave them all smooshed and ugly. Thanks for the laugh.

  21. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    You've got quite a bunch of lovable munchkins there, Karianne! Now, as to the rule is three...two are the same, and the third is an accent. And, my pillows were and are always on the floor. What do you think the mermaids would do? Thanks for the morning laugh! ;)

  22. Image for Linda Adams Linda Adams

    Hi Karianne, You always make me smile I really enjoy your posts. You are a writer and I think you should write a book. I too do not like pillows on the floor. Here is a suggestion. find a cute accent piece storage chest for your living room and use it to store pillows for the kids to use. Have a great day! Joyous wishes, Linda

  23. Image for Kelly @ the lily pad cottage Kelly @ the lily pad cottage

    I have to tell you I look forward to reading your posts because you always crack me up! I have a pillow problem too - I even have different pillows for different seasons, who doesn't? Thanks for the laugh this morning :) PS I need to find out about said mermaid documentary, it sounds right up my daughters alley! Kelly

  24. Image for tiffani tiffani

    I always look forward to your posts..your so creative! I definately have a pillow problem too. I received a package in the mail last week and my husband asked me what it was. I said "a couple pillow covers from Ballard", he looked at me and said, "oh, because we don't have enough pillows already". What?? We can never have too many pillows! Everyone usually just sits on mine and then they take on a different shape. Ahh the dilemma. Thanks for sharing, I can relate!

  25. Image for andrea andrea

    I have been subjected to hours of netflix marathons of Just Add Water-likely the same show ( How many Australian highschool mermaid shows can there be?). My mass of pillows are usually tossed on the floor too-usually propped upfor a fort, or used as a barbie bed. My only rule is, no food in the living room, so naturally, our khaki couch is currently sporting ground in Halloween chocolate, a sticky candy or two wedged between the cushions and like yours, a dusting of cheetos powder =)

  26. Image for Pat@BPM Pat@BPM

    I have looked and looked for something that would tie in with our street name Windrose Lane. Since doing a large windrose stencil over the hardwood in the foyer was frowned upon by the man of the house, who rarely frowns upon anything, I knew I would need to look elsewhere for a little bit of a whimsical reminder of the street where we live.:-) As soon as I spotted the compass, I was thinking...wondering...itching to get to the end to find out if there was a source. Voila! Thanks Karianne! Another pillow is coming to live at our house. I just popped over and ordered the compass.

  27. Image for Nana Diana Nana Diana

    LOL- I thought for sure you were going to say...I looked at all those pillows and realized that they were a source of frustration to me and packed them away....BWHAHAHAHAA...okay-Just kidding! xo Diana

  28. Image for Janel@nelliebellie Janel@nelliebellie

    I would buy the book. I would read it from cover to cover...and think, gosh ...that woman makes me look like a saint. I have hardly any pillows. If there happens to be a pillow that survives it is by chance. Because it wasn't the one thrown to the floor and used by the dog to lay on. That is why I don't invest in them. But I tell my children...I will have a room with pillows everywhere. And I will go into that room, look about, smile...and shut the door.

  29. Image for Regina Regina

    Pillows and pet peeves . . . husbands would say that pillows probably ARE their pet peeves! LOL Alas, I just have TWO on my sofa, but on my bed, I have my 4 bed pillows, my pillows with shams, a round, white crocheted one that my great-aunt gave me as a wedding gift, a dark-green-suede-look square pillow, and an oblong embroidered satiny one that I found for CHEAP at TJ Maxx. :) I love my pillows . . . . And he doesn't even complain. By the way, I love, love, love the "You are my sunshine" pillow . . . . I used to sing that to my oldest girlie when she was a baby (just the chorus, because the REST of the song is actually quite depressing!) :)


    Karianne, I had to giggle a bit thinking of the sight in your room. sounds perfectly normal to me. I also had to laugh because I have always called pillows on the sofa toss-pillows. Good name for them since they are always tossed on the floor. I am somewhat of a pillow addict, I mean collector. They are the quickest cheapest way to change out a room so it is no natural to have a nice collection, Right? I did a post on Pillows that you might enjoy... and

  31. Image for Cynthia Cynthia

    Great post, my two miniuature doxies think everytime I bring a throw pillow in the house it is for them to lay down on so I wind up buying one extra for them when they need a new pillow. Cynthia

  32. Image for Mary Ann Mary Ann

    I haven't quite figured out the function of pillows on a couch, unless you lay on the couch and use them as, well, a pillow. Otherwise, too much time is spent picking them up from the floor or rearranging them. So, I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but I'd prefer no pillows.

  33. Image for Stacey Stacey

    I just keep telling myself the pillows have a purpose...not just beauty! If they mess them up you have an excuse for new ones. Right? Cheetos were my nemesis when my boys were little. Unfortunately I didn't figure out until the damage (stain) was done!

  34. Image for Robin Robin

    LOL! Love this post and I would totally buy that book! I used to be a multiple pillow type of person, but now - thanks to the little people - I'm a single large pillow type of girl. I just can't pick up pillows off the floor anymore. LOL

  35. Image for antiquechase antiquechase

    just moved a sofa into teen boy's room. he asked for a couple of couch pillows... I went to Target and decided why in the world would I buy him pillows?? They would just end up on the floor... I made the executive decision to have no pillows in his room and *I* am very happy :) the end.

  36. Image for Kimberly from Serendipity Refined Kimberly from Serendipity Refined

    I'm pretty certain that it was the pillows that threw themselves onto the floor....probably because they were scared of the Cheeto's...the sofa would have run away too, but sofa's are kinda bulky...and slow moving.... so it the children sat on it before it could get out of the way. Yep, I'm sure that's it....I see it happen at my house all the time... I LOVE your pillows and, for the record, I think that the ASID pillow limit for a sofa your size is 345 or 346 so I'm pretty sure that you're still okay....but the mermaid limit is 1 per sofa....let me know if you get one, I've never seen one up close (it's tough to live in Illinois sometimes). xo, Kimberly

  37. Image for Anna Starner Anna Starner

    Pillows do have a purpose ! They give us a reason to skip the gym. Some of us get enough exercise picking pillows up and arranging them numerous times a day. Just think of the money we save by not having to pay for a gym membership. Made me think of the advertisement, I pick thing up and put them down. Oh and with all the money saved on gym memberships guess what we can do? BUY MORE PILLOWS!!

  38. Image for Margaret Margaret

    Oh, honey...I went through the same pillow fight with my family! Pillows and kids and men don't mix--and I'd give anything to have those days back again. My kids are now adults, and I've noticed they do the same thing with the pillows-but at least this time they end up on the top of the couch and not on the floor when visiting!

  39. Image for Sandra @Beneath this Roof, Within these Walls Sandra @Beneath this Roof, Within these Walls

    There are never too many pillows. Except while one is picking them up off the floor. At my house, my little ones are all grown, so it is my dogs who push not only the pillows but the actual cushions into the floor. I know not why. You are probably asking why I allow the dogs on the furniture. Because my little ones are all grown---a room with the pillows in place just wouldn't feel right.

  40. Image for Dori Dori

    I was waiting with bated breath for the picture of the pillows on the floor. :-( I never saw it! LOVE these pillows of Stacy's Etsy shop though.... gotta get some! Thanks for the post. Loved it.

  41. Image for Jo-Anne Jo-Anne

    How many pillows are too many for a couch well if you can't sit on the couch because of all the pillows then you may have to many on the couch unless of course it is a pillow couch then you don't have to many till no more will fit on the couch.............because pillows love company.............but don't like to feel pillows have feelings................I have no idea...................maybe they are like toys and come alive when everyone is either out or asleep.................No you don't think so..............what you think I am a rambling fool.........................oh well I will shut up now...................

  42. Image for Des Des

    My name is Des and I am a pillow-a-holic...... and proud of it!!!!! I don't care if people throw them on the floor, or stack them up on the side,or lay them up on the top...... just as long as I can have my pillows! LOL....It's a sickness but you can never ever have too many!!!!! Have a great weekend! ~Des

  43. Image for DEANNE DEANNE


  44. Image for Cristina Cristina

    I have one of those peanut gallery members at home! He doesn't like pillows on the couch! :) and I don't mind them on the floor! You have beautiful pillows!

  45. Image for Diane Diane

    Ha, ha ha, you make me laugh! I love looking at other peoples pillows but don't have them in my home. Yours are gorgeous, and I really love that compass pillow!

  46. Image for Erin Kaven Erin Kaven

    Girl you struck a nerve with this one. Just look at the comments! but one of your commenters struck a nerve with me. Technicolor, NO POLLS!!! HATE POLLS. TIRED OF POLLS. LYING STINKING POLLS. WE NEED NO PILLOW POLLS!! Sorry, I'm a little unnerved. I just came home to find my children using my beautiful couch pillows and floor cushions. Behinds on my pretties. Kid behinds, dog behinds. Can I move to Australia with you?

  47. Image for Trina @ Trina @

    Funny! Pillows on the floor are one of my pet peeves too. Along with leaving the toilet seat up, not putting shoes in cubbies, towels on the bathroom floor. Wow...I think I need a therapist! JK...what I need is my very own house all to myself to make lovely. And then I can come back to this house with the boys and get my hugs and kisses fix before leaving for my oasis again! Great post!

  48. Image for Colleen Colleen

    I have a love affair with pillows too! I have given up the battle of having the kids replace the pillows....I love your nod to Alexander and his terrible day too!

  49. Image for Melanie Melanie

    This post cracked me up! You're so funny. I have only 3 pillows on my sofa right now because of CATS. Yes, cats. I don't dare disrupt their sleeping space.

  50. Image for leslie harris leslie harris

    No, our pillows are not better behaved. Neither do the guys in my house care either. It seems like I'm the only one that gets bugged by the mountain of pillows that come off our big brown (and ugly I might add) sectional. But I guess it's called the "lived in" look. Right? tee hee. Leslie (aka Gwen Moss)

  51. Image for kristin kristin

    I think our pillows are on the floor more then they are on the couch, what is it with kids and pillows. Yesterday i walked downstairs to find all of my throw pillows on the ground being used as baseball bases, REALLY I said, they looked up and said do you have a better idea? Oh your pillows. Need to check out the shop :) XO

  52. Image for Jill Flory Jill Flory

    My pillows are always on the floor too! Why is that? Even if no one is sitting on the couch the pillows have to be thrown to the floor! Sigh. Love all that stuff - I'm headed to that etsy shop now to add it to my favs!

  53. Image for Rebecca Rebecca

    I HATE when I wank in the family room and all the Bleeping pillows are on the floor! Where can I contribute to the book, btw?

  54. Image for Kristin in Oregon Kristin in Oregon

    This cracked me up! I read it after we returned from a little vacation condo we bought a couple months ago. It was furnished and looked "fine", but of course, I had to "nest". The first things to go were the ugly "upholstery" pillows on the sofas, replaced by some cute crewel PB pillows, some pillows I made, and one cute ETSY find - burlap with the condo's coordinates stenciled on it. Of course, I was uptight all weekend, as the pillows were on the floor, being STEPPED on, and if they weren't on the floor, they were being slept (and drooled) on... Just like home! And I couldn't even complain because my husband would just say, "I told you the other ones were fine", and remind me that when we rent the place, guests will not treat the pillows well. Sometimes, my kids would even grab the old pillows, which I'd stacked in the corner, because they're apparently more comfortable. BUT THEY'RE UGLY! Why can't they see that? (Perhaps because they 9 and 11 year old boys....) And they're hard! They're so square and firm that they actually STACK - eight high! But, they are tough. I' had to admit that... I got "the look" when my husband offered to take the old pillows to Goodwill and I said no. I decided to take them home and recover them. WHAT? "There's no room for more pillows", he argued. But the truth is, he's probably right - renters won't treat my cute pillows well, so I should try to make the old ones "less ugly" and return them to the sofas. But what about all the time and money I spent on the cute pillows? Perhaps I'll keep them in our locked closet and pull them out when we're there. Now that will really send my husband over the edge! Maybe my pillows and I better join the rest of you in Australia....

  55. Image for Sarah@20 State Sarah@20 State

    I just need to have a quite rant here...I love Etsy as much as the next person but it has a lot to answer for... My pillow collection was at a nice, managable, normal level until I found Etsy. Now I'm up to chapter 54 in pillows! I'm lucky I only have to condend with the cat cleaning it's nether regions on them...I would freak out if they ended up on the floor with the hair ball (mostly mine)/lint collection! NB. if your ever tempted to visit Australia, I would rid the futton of cushions, cat fluff and mermaid scales NB 1.1 how awesome are you, in NY, amazing blogger and owner of super cute shoes!

  56. Image for Lydia Lydia

    Oh my goodness, this just made me laugh so hard! I read it to my husband, and even he laughed really hard. It's so much more humorous when you have your own Littles and can totally relate. Lol! I don't know how I happened upon your blog, but I'm so glad I did! You now have a new follower for sure! -Lydia ~ This Marine Wife

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