Pillows can pull a room together, make cold spaces warmer, add color and texture, and significantly increase the comfort level of your bed, sofa or chair. Pillows can be changed out for the seasons, if you’re into that, or, just keep your look fresh whenever you want a change. As a designer, I pay attention to a few specific things when choosing them:
Pillows need to be the right size and shape for their purpose and location.
I always look for zip-off covers and covers that can be washed.
Use them for their intended purpose.
On the bed I want a large pillow that can support me while reading or, let’s face it, scrolling through Pinterest on my phone. Euro size pillows on the bed are great for support and hide those ugly ergonomic sleeping pillows that are non-negotiable. Lumbar pillows (rectangles) for just about any location provide great back-support. When looking for pillows for the living room or family space I want something that’s going to look good but can totally be mashed between the sofa and my back for support. For the sofa and large chairs I like a couple different sizes ranging from 18"-24" squares, depending on the scale of your upholstery.
Large chesterfield sofa with tall arms = large pillows.
Petite apartment sofa = smaller pillows.
Pillows can be so therapeutic when attempting to unwind and de-stress. So, make sure you can use them, but also you should be able to fluff them back up so they “invite” you back the next day for some plush comfort. There’s nothing more undesirable than a flat dingy pancake pillow. I look for pillows that are nice and plump and even over filled to keep them looking nice. If all you’re going to do is throw them on the floor, you don’t need pillows or you need to reduce the number of pillows. No, I'm not saying you can't have pillows for decoration. If they create happiness for you, then absolutely go for it with the pillows. All I'm saying is that your design should have purpose and intention. Design is not about what someone else thinks you need but to be authentic with your own creation.
I like to pick pillows that are interesting to me. For example, I selected some Batik pillows for my bed because it reminds me of sewing with Batik fabrics with my mom as a kid. Not all accessories have to have meaning, but some pieces in your home should! Where can you purchase pillows with some personality? I love Etsy which is a fabulous source for, not only finding unique pillows, but, sourcing interesting and handmade fabrics to sew yourself. (If you don't sew yet, a pillow is an excellent place to start!) For ready-made options I love to shop Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, Ikea and West Elm, and sometimes I can score something cool at HomeGoods. Check out these favorites that I’m loving right now: