Table Talk With Becky Shea

Brunette woman holding a cat on a brown couch styled with a brown velvet custom pillow and a mauve velvet custom pillow with a circular wooden table in front

New York-based designer Becky Shea recently styled some of our new neutral pillows with two fan-favorites, Frida Pink and Eden Pink. Follow along to get to know Becky and see how she created an elevated look by pairing the pink hues with neutral tones. 


First off, tell us a little bit about yourself!

I’m a first-generation Cuban-American with lineage rooted in Spain, where my great-grandparents were born and worked before migrating to Cuba in the early 20th Century. After my grandfather became a prisoner in Castro’s notorious forced labor camps, he and my parents, who were children at the time, fled to Miami on one of the last “Freedom Flights” in 1973 to start from scratch with all their possessions and our family heirlooms gone. I spent much of my childhood in my grandfather’s woodworking studio, which I believe helped nurture my love for craftsmanship and design. Spending time in his woodworking studio after school or during the summer sweeping the floors and smelling the fresh cut wood is something that is deeply ingrained in me and has led me to purpose millwork and furniture design myself. I love simple design where form and function are perfectly harmonized. 


How would you describe your style? 

Laid back luxury meets Organic Modernism. I find inspiration by simply being outside. Whether it’s the streets of New York, another country or in our forest upstate. There is something to be said about being outside. You can experience so many different versions of inspiration - architecture, food, music, dance, cultures, religions, ethnicities and so much more. I’m inspired by people, landscape, art and nature.

Grey couch in living room styled with a Beige Animal Print custom pillow and a brown velvet custom pillow on top over three illuminated windows

Pictured here: (1) 22" Rosie pillow piped in Walnut, (1) 22" Walnut Velvet pillow


What does your home say about you?

Our friends and family have had a consistent message about our home. It’s beautifully appointed and feels like home. Knowing your space makes other people feel like home is the most rewarding compliment an interior designer can receive.


Walk us through how you styled the pillows! How did you choose which patterns and piping to use?

I loved how Rosie and Mauve paired together, especially since the piping correlated to the walnut velvet pillow. This little nook is right off our kitchen and the colors felt very copacetic with our ceiling detail and kitchen tones.   

Couch styled with a Beige Animal Print custom pillow and a brown velvet custom pillow next to a throw blanket with an open book on top

Pictured here: (1) 22" Rosie pillow piped in Walnut, (1) 22" Mauve Velvet pillow piped in Walnut

We created a little corner on our sofa that has a medley of fun prints combined with a solid walnut velvet which helped ground the prints and align with our walnut sconce. I like to mix sizes and always toss a small lumber to really spice things up. The Eden Pink was no exception!

Grey couch styled with a Beige Animal Print custom pillow, a brown velvet custom pillow, a pink floral custom lumbar pillow, and a pink chinoiserie tiger custom pillow next to an illuminated window

Pictured here: (1) 22" Walnut Velvet pillow(1) 22" Rosie Pillow piped in Walnut, (1) Eden Pink Lumbar piped in Fern Velvet, (1) 22" Frida Pink pillow piped in Fern Velvet


How do you approach styling with different sizes? What's your rule of thumb for how many pillows go on a sofa?

I like to mix sizes when I’m selecting pillows for a space. I start with the largest pillows on the outside - these are usually the 24” SQ or 22” Q, and then I work my way in. Sometime’s i’ll duplicate a size but in a different color or print if we need to fill in a space. If I can apply a range, I’ll usually do the next size down from the largest and layer in 1-2 of that shape/size.  

Brown couch styled with a brown velvet custom pillow and a mauve velvet custom pillow with a circular wooden table in front

Pictured here: (1) 22" Mauve Velvet pillow piped in Walnut, (1) 22" Walnut Velvet pillow


Do you stick to any design rules when mixing and matching patterns and colors?

Always have solids at the end and mixed into the assortment to keep the assortment from looking too busy.


One of our mottos is "a little goes a long way". What are a few ways to elevate your living room that don't require a full renovation or splurging on new furniture? 

New pillows and throws are always at the top of the list, followed by window treatments and a fresh coat of paint. If you want to go even further without introducing a renovation, changing out light fixtures in existing j-boxes or installing a plug in sconce can really change the look and vibe of your home.

Printed rug laying in the forest with a stacked brown velvet custom pillow and a mauve velvet custom pillow and a book on top next to a wooden chair with a pink floral custom lumbar pillow

Pictured here: (1) Eden Pink lumbar piped in Fern Velvet, (1) 22" Mauve Velvet pillow piped in Walnut Velvet, (1) 22" Walnut Velvet pillow


Favorite design book?

Pacific Natural at Home by Jenni Kayne 


Color crush of the moment?

Burgundy and Hunter Green


Wallpaper or paint?

Very tough choice, but I’ll go with lime wash paint


Favorite project you've worked on?

Hoaglands without question. We had complete creative autonomy where the client trusted us to do our job and never medaled or asked for approvals. It was an enormous responsibility that I held very close to my heart and soul. More clients should let go and let the designer do their thing because the results of that project still leave me speechless when I’m in the home till this day.


Loving Becky's look? Shop her pillow bundle here!