Throw pillows serve so many functions in your decor. They add accent colors and patterns that accentuate your overall theme. They are often inexpensive to buy, or fairly easy to make. They can be changed out by the season or with slipcovers to completely change the overall look of your room. Of course, they are useful too, providing support and cushioning for backs, laps, elbows, and the occasional napping head.

Here are some design tips for effectively using pillows in your decor:

1. Use an uneven number of pillows.
Three or five pillows are best. More than five can overcrowd a sofa or bed, unless, of course, it is a really large piece of furniture. Try placing a different number on each end of the sofa, or placing several on the sofa and one on a chair.

Leslie Decorating with Throw Pillows2. Change up shapes and sizes.
Square pillows of 16 to 24 inches are good basic pillows. Pillows larger than 24 inches square can be overwhelming in any room setting, especially if they are in a vibrant color or pattern (and they certainly can be… see my next tip!). Oblong or round pillows provide a contrasting accent; if your room is a family gathering place with the kids you can even choose a fun shape like a star, shell, or flower.

3. Spice it up with colors and patterns.
If you have played it safe with neutral colors on your walls and large pieces of furniture, you can really have fun with your pillows! Choose patterns and colors that pop against a neutral background. You can mix patterns if you choose patterns in similar sizes and colors. If you fall in love with a particular upholstery fabric that is too expensive, too delicate, or just too much for an entire room, have a pillow made with that particular fabric instead.

4. Choose pillow trims that go with your decor theme.
For a modern look, choose pillows that are tailored on the edges and skip the tassels, fringe, or ruffles. Pillows that are gusseted with corded trim are a great choice in this type of room setting. If you have a more country or cottage look, ruffles are a lovely soft touch. In a formal or traditional room setting, fringe and tassels go well, especially with a gilded or metallic glimmer. Again, mix and match… remember, you don’t have to choose pillows that all have the same trims.

5. Change out pillows or covers by the season.
Changing your throw pillows in the spring and the fall is an inexpensive and easy way to refresh your decor and set a tone for the season… light and breezy for spring and summer, and snug and warm for winter. You can mix in some holiday decor too, finishing off the look with a special Christmas or Halloween pillow that only comes out for that season each year. Another way to achieve a good mixture is to invest in sturdy pillow forms and purchase different covers for different moods and occasions, keeping the same shapes all year round, but changing your colors and patterns. When pillows are not in use, they can be stored in a handy storage ottoman, kept snugly in a zippered bag or placed in lidded bin in a closet. This will keep them clean and dust-free for their next grand appearance.

And if you are in the Houston, Texas area and would like some help decorating your space with pillows, just give me a call! I’m always here to help.

Leslie Sarmiento, Your Personal Interior Decorator

Live in the Houston, Texas area? For a Complimentary In-Home Consultation, fill out my handy consultation request form by CLICKING HERE!

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