1. Seek Inspiration. Find pictures of sofas with pillow arrangements that you like and tack them to your inspiration board or to the fridge. This helped me tremendously. For a long time, I thought I knew what I was looking for, but seeing it in color everyday has helped me focus without getting sidetracked on the latest trend.
2. Pick a Number. Decide on the size and number of pillows you want. Once this is done, you can decide on how many patterns you need to mingle together. As a general rule of thumb, a standard 8 foot sofa can accommodate 1-2 36" pillows and 1-2 24" pillows with a 12-18" bolster or round pillow thrown in for kicks.
3. Balance Your Checkbook. Decide on a budget. Don't get me wrong, there are some fabulous pillows out there that I would love to place on my sofa, but they're just not in my budget. Figuring out what you want to spend, will help determine where you can shop.
4. Start Shopping. Any home decor website will have a plethora of throw pillows to choose from. Sometimes I google my keywords, "indian block print pillow" and scan through the images that come up. I've found some great sources that way!
5. DIY. Finally, if you can't find exactly what you need, make it or have it made! Etsy has many artists who will sew custom pillows on request, or find a local seamstress or friend with a sewing machine. If you have the fabric, pillows can be pretty simple to make.
These tips are fairly straightforward, but putting them into action has really helped me. I've found one of my three pillows! I hope it helps you too and finds you relaxing atop your perfect pillows soon!
Image: Real Simple