DESIGN HOW TO: Pillow talk

Throw pillows are (only half-jokingly) the bane of our existence. Finding affordable and ready-made pillows is tough, and custom pillows are unexpectedly expensive (they’re so small, how can they cost that much!?). By the time you’ve designed a room to the pillow stage, you probably already have multiple patterns, colors and textures at play, making the pillow fabrics even harder to choose. There is no pillow rulebook to follow, so we’ve compiled the following list of a few takeways from previous projects where we highlight our pillow choices, and why we chose them:

USE A PILLOW FABRIC TO TIE TOGETHER A COLOR SCHEME – we used a large scale check with the neutral colors of the sandy artwork and sisal rug, as well as the blues found in rooms adjacent to this open sunroom.

REPEAT A FAVORITE PILLOW FABRIC – we used a favorite animal print on a vintage ottoman, repeating it on a kidney pillow in this historic house living room. Repeating an element is helpful in a visually busy space.

USE AN ACCENT COLOR FOR PILLOW FABRICS – we used a client’s favorite color, fuschia pink, for two pillows in this modern farmhouse look. Often all you need of a strong color is a small amount sprinkled throughout the decor.

USE PATTERNED PILLOWS IN A SOLID, MONOCHROMATIC SCHEME – in this monochromatic scheme, we used pillow fabrics with lots of pattern to liven up the other solid fabrics. We chose modern patterns for this “mod” decor.

USE TEXTURE FOR PILLOWS IN A SPACE WITH OTHER PATTERNS – in this masculine room with multiple patterns on rug and ottoman, we used an embossed crocodile print and a soft boucle for pillows on the Chesterfield sofa.

USE NEUTRAL PILLOWS FOR A COLORFUL SOFA AND OTHER FABRICS – we used the antique artwork, original to this historic house, for color inspiration for the rich brown color in the sisal rug and pillows that have varying textures.

USE LAYERED PILLOWS FOR DEEP SEATING – we used pillows with varied sizes for these 42″ deep tight-back chairs, using the chair fabric for the larger square pillow and a navy windowpane check for the smaller kidney pillow.

COORDINATE INDOOR AND OUTDOOR WITH PILLOWS – we used these bright bohemian look, down-filled pillows to bring the interior decor and color scheme to the seating area on a covered porch, and store them indoors when not in use.

USE AN UNEXPECTED PILLOW FABRIC – we used this black velvet animal print for kidney pillows in a sentimental, vintage-style guest room. They add a fun element and modernize this kids’ room that has lots of antique furnishings.

USE A CONTRASTING PILLOW FABRIC STYLE – we used a modern graphic print pillow fabric with organic, vintage botanical artwork in this living room. The fabric’s modern pattern adds variety and the colors coordinate the look.

USE A NOVELTY PRINT TO SEND A MESSAGE – in this foyer, we used a Union Jack pillow in red and blue velvet as a nod to British heritage, but quotes or other novel prints can add a whimsical touch.

USE SPECIAL SHAPES FOR PILLOWS IN A LARGE SPACE – for this long window seat we used a bolster pillow on the ends to add variety to the space. A quilted velvet and colorful toile print finish the look.

Please see our portfolio for these, and other, projects with lots of other pillow ideas! And be sure to subscribe to our email newsletter to be notified of our next blog post, events and all things LBD.