Think about it: visiting a friend’s home or looking through a magazine or scrolling Pinterest; throw pillows are always something you notice, whether subconsciously or consciously. They are there on the sofa, bed, chair, and floor adding color, pattern and texture to the room.
The glorious thing about these pretty little accents is that they are affordable. There is a decorative pillow for any budget that will make a great impact on your space, taking it from tired to fabulous.
As you are inspired to organize and refresh your home this month, take a good long look at those throws around your house. Could they be better, more colorful, and puffier? Here are some things to know about having great throw pillows that make a powerful impact on your home décor:
Look around the room. What really stands out to you? What do you love? A color or pattern on a chair or a bright stack of books? Maybe you love a sculpture on a shelf or a beautiful light fixture.
Key in on the color(s) of your favorite piece(s) in the room along with the furniture on which your pillow will be placed. This is a great starting point for searching for a complimentary throw pillow.
Throw pillows should be larger than a lot of people think. On a full size sofa, the corner or side pillows should be around 20” square or larger, smaller sizes get lost. Then, a complimentary pillow or two on the sofa can be a bit smaller. A club chair can accommodate a simple 14” x 24” lumbar pillow nicely and many times it doesn’t even need to be moved by the person sitting.
Beds are fun, anything goes and the more the merrier. King size beds can accommodate up to 30” square pillows. I love finishing off a bed with a nice big lumbar pillow in front. If figuring out proper scale is daunting for you, ask a custom pillow cover maker or interior decorator.
If the scale is off, you lose the impact your pretty new throw pillows can have.
The fun part! The internet is your friend, start a Google search or hop on Etsy’s marketplace and search for the color and scale you have determined you’d like to go with. For example, search “20” orange pillow cover.” You’ll be amazed at the selection that pops up. After you’ve found a few examples of your main color interest, search for a smaller pillow with a complimentary color. When you’ve zeroed in on what you like, I highly recommend requesting a sample of the material. Computer monitors differ and if you are going to get your pillow project right, this is a great insurance policy. If a sample is not an option, make sure the pillow cover is easily returnable. If you have the budget, visit a designer or decorator who will have amazing sources for pretty pillows.
This is just as important as the cover, maybe more so. You can change the cover with the seasons, but the insert will remain the same. I can’t tell people enough: “Invest in good inserts!” A quality insert takes your decorative throw pillow from pancake to pouffy.
In home magazines or on Pinterest, those big, fat “v”- chopped pillows have that luxurious look because they are filled with feathers. Over time, the feathers will continue to have that full look when fluffed and a cheap, synthetic insert will only get flatter and flatter. In my opinion, a down or down & feather blend insert is the only way to go to achieve malleable, full-looking pillows. Some people have allergies to the feathers, so a high-quality synthetic insert can be a suitable alternative.
As you work your way around the house freshening things room by room, take notice of places that could use a little uplift. Pick a piece of furniture or a room and take the steps we’ve discussed to really brighten and uplift your space affordably. Once you’ve had success, try the next space and eventually enjoy easily refreshing your home with perfect pillows that will make a fantastic impact on your home décor.
Elizabeth Andersen is a purveyor of unique and hard-to-find home décor through her online shop on Etsy, The EA Shop. Here Elizabeth sells décor she hand-crafts such as decorative pillows and accent pieces cast with cement. She also curates and sells unique vintage pieces.
Elizabeth offers interior design services including custom sewing, home décor arrangement and design, and renovation consultation to achieve one-of-a-kind spaces for her clients. Elizabeth has a background in high-end residential construction, luxury residential and hospitality architecture, art and interior decorating.