Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pillow Talk

Ok, so I am on a tight budget and I like to mix things up at my house on a very regular basis. I think the throw pillows in my den have changed 4 times in the past year. When you are in a decorating rut and your pocket book doesn't look much better, consider changing out small accessories like your throw pillows for a mini makeover. Invest in good quality pillow inserts and either buy or (if you are the ambitious, crafty type) make your own pillow covers. For pillow inserts, I really like a good down pillow. They have a nice weight to them, they refluff nicely, and they are pliable. When you get really fluffy polyfill pillows, they do indeed look nice and fluffy, but they are stiff as a board, and if you have slick furniture, like a leather sofa, it can be tough to get them to stay in place, especially if you like a lot of pillows nestled together in clusters. When shopping for down inserts, don't skimp! Look for inserts with a thick outer cover and a high fill power. Read the product description online carefully before purchasing. If the product says "down blend" this means the soft fluffy down is mixed with feathers. Feathers have quills, quills poke! If the pillow has a high ratio of feathers to down, the pillows are more likely to go flat over time and the quills will stick you through the pillow cases. Ouch! I won't go into great detail explaining the meaning of the down fill power, but for more info check out The Down and Feather Company! So much information here, and great products available to purchase also!

Now for the fun part- the covers!!! I loooooove me some fabric, and when I'm out digging through the discount fabric scrap bins and I stumble across a few lone yards of fabulous fabric, I feel like a kid who just found the prized egg at the Easter egg hunt. Is it weird that fabric gives me goose bumps? If you think it IS indeed odd, then please leave this site immediately. If you collect scraps of fabric like a crazy lady on an episode of "Hoarders", then by all means, please continue (and let out a little cheer because I salute you, comrade!) I love changing out the covers on my throw pillows. I like to change them out seasonally because it keeps my living room feeling fresh and keeps me from growing tired of pillow covers that at one point in time I just HAD TO HAVE. I like to keep a few neutral colors and patterns on 2 thirds of my pillows, and then swap out the other third seasonally with a fun print or color. (This is not a set in stone rule, it is just what works for me personally) If you are a pillow junkie, like myself, make sure you have pillows of varying sizes grouped together. Example, stack 16 inch pillows in front of 20 inchers so that the patterns and colors on each pillow get attention. If you like to mix patterns, make sure your patterns vary in scale.
Note the different sized pillows, and the varying pattern scales. The simpler, more neutral toned pillows make a nice backdrop for the show stopper yellow pillows in front. Texture is also a great way to make your pillows interesting. This nook has it all!
I particularly like this mixture of solids, stripes, and floral. The florals can be changed out periodically to give your room a more seasonally appropriate feel.     wisteria
Again, note the ratio of color and pattern. A little touch of a bold color or pattern can go a long way, and limiting the showy elements to a third or less of the pillows, makes it much easier to change the look of your room. (Keep the neutrals, swap out the bolds = mini makeover at a cost of 2 pillow covers!) kaboodle
Same principles apply in other spaces, like this bedroom. Three different patterns, all different scales and different shaped pillows.
If you have the attention span of a goldfish, and get bored quickly with your accessories, (this is meeeeee!) limit the number of bold pillows you have so that you can swap them out on a whim. If you can live with lots of color and pattern, you are tha bomb, go for for it! Just remember to vary the size of the patterns on your pillows so that each pattern can shine. If all of your pillows have the same size pattern on them, they look busy and confusing instead of standing out on their own. Consider mixing larger scale stripes, geometrics, or polka dots with smaller scale florals. An example of 3 different pattern scales would be a solid, maybe in a fun texture like velvet or burlap, a large scale stripe, and then a more detailed floral. Mix up the size of your pillows for added interest. Invest in good quality inserts up front, and you won't feel as guilty about swapping out the covers when the urge strikes!
So cliche' but I do love me some Pottery Barn pillow covers. Why? Because they always have a wide selection of patterns that coordinate, even from season to season. They usually have free shipping if you buy their pillowcases online, and you have the option to get them monogrammed as well!
Check out Pottery Barn's entire collection of pillow covers here.
For more customizable options, check out Ballard Designs. The pillows pictured here are actually outdoor fabrics! Yummy! You can pick your own fabric and trim.
Like Modern style? check out West Elm.
Like handcrafted charm? shop for unique pillows on Etsy.
Feeling brave? DIY with scraps of fun fabrics or even use vintage fabrics like tablecloths. So fun!

Cozy up and enjoy your cozy cushions!

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