I think the argument over pillows between the sexes has been going on since the beginning of days. I don't know any man that likes pillows. Here is the basic difference of how women feel about pillows versus men: For women, pillows make the bed more romantic. It's like we're in a fairy-tale waiting on our Prince Charming to come and swoop us away. Every woman wants a beautiful bed. For men, pillows are just additional crap that has to be removed before going to bed. Men, this is a losing battle. Get used to the pillows because they're here to stay. I have accessory pillows in all of my rooms (with the exception of the kitchen and bathrooms). Pillows add a little extra pop of color, especially in spaces where the decor is monochromatic or very neutral.
Let's talk about pillows on the bed. As long as I can remember, I've always had pillows on my bed. I can remember going to Dillard's Department Store and going to the Linen Department. I always loved seeing the different bedding sets displayed. What made these beds so beautiful was the pillows. I think the biggest mistake many people make is too many pillows. This is why men hate pillows. I have seen beds with as many as 10 accessory pillows piled on top. Usually the pillows are randomly and haphazardly displayed. That's when you know there are too many pillows on the bed. I have seen beds where the accessory pillows are piled on top of the pillow shams. Accessory pillows should always be placed in front of the pillow shams or pillow cases, never piled on top of the pillow shams or cases.
Here is my basic rule for pillows on the bed. I have a queen sized bed. I use two European shams (You can use 3 Euro shams for king beds). Euro shams are a must because they anchor the look. You can buy the 24 inch pillows that go inside the shams at Garden Ridge or Bed, Bath & Beyond. Don't use standard pillows--it doesn't look right. Euro shams are placed next to the headboard. I then place either my sleeping pillows or the pillow shams in front of the European shams. If I have pretty pillow cases, I will place the pillow shams in front of the Euro shams, then the pillow cases. Next, I place three accessory pillows in front. The accessory pillows don't have to exactly match the comforter. I think it's a more interesting mix to purchase accessory pillows with some of the colors of your comforter but a different pattern. The picture below shows my bed as it is dressed for the fall and winter. The accessory pillows did not come with the comforter set, but they match up with it pretty well. When I'm ready for bed, I just removed the Euro shams, pillow shams, and accessory pillows.
You may be able to get away with 5 accessory pillows, but you are pushing the limit. I know someone whose husband doesn't understand the concept of Euro shams. She had to remove them. Her husband makes the bed up before he goes to work (he's the last one out in the mornings). So, she had to give up her Euro shams because her husband didn't understand the need to have them. Now that's really sad.