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Pretty, Practical Pillows

December 26, 2012 3 min read

Bring color into a room with throw pillows. Pillows aren’t just for your bed. Accent throw pillows provide an easy, inexpensive alternative to remodeling a whole room. Pillows can also solve those ergonomic troubles you may be encountering with your new deep-set sofa or your favorite, aging recliner. But don’t take our word for it; try it for yourself. Create an instant makeover by adding several large pillows to your sofa. An odd number of pillows will kick the old traditional look aside. Look for complementary pillows instead of matching designs to embrace a more artistic style all your own. Find a combination that speaks to you. For example, place a big, down-filled, striped, ultramarine pillow on one end of the sofa with a smaller, solid, brighter green one in front of it. At the other end, go for a floral or contemporary pattern with splashes of green, pink, and white. 

For a clean look, leave space between the pillows. One idea that’s worked for some is to set matching floral pillows on each end, and then arrange three smaller striped pillows in front of the larger floral pillows and in the center of the sofa. The five throw pillows create clean lines, plus guests can find their own comfort with or without them. If your pillows are too small, they become dwarfed by the sofa, chair, or bed. Instead, choose pillows that are at least 18 to 24 inches in diameter to show off the new colors you’re bringing into the scheme. Place an unexpected shape in the center, such as a long, oblong pillow. Alternatively, mix it up with a few round pillows that contrast the larger squares. Stick with linen, cotton, and duck fabrics in a modern setting. Add class to traditional rooms with silk or velvet. Tassels and fringe on pillows can enrich the room. To prevent your traditional look from getting too formal, mix up the fabrics and patterns a bit. Pair busy patterns with solids and stick with just two primary colors.

While you’re in the market for new pillows, consider how you’ll use them. If their appearance is paramount, the stuffing is not that relevant; however, if you plan to use them to help support your back, make sure you get firm accent pillows filled with goose or duck down. The pillows sold at Rug & Home can provide the support you need if you have trouble touching the floor when seated. If your lower lumbar is acting up, rely on large firm pillows — they can allow you to sit for hours in comfort while you visit with friends or watch your favorite TV show. When shopping for pillows, you must try them out in the store. Place one behind your back while sitting on a sofa similar to yours at home. How does it feel? Is it firm enough? Does it give enough? Another shopping tip is to choose pillows when you purchase a new living room rug or the picture that will hang behind the sofa to be sure the colors and patterns don’t fight. You’ll more likely avoid horrid mistakes when you buy pretty and practical pillows at the same time you make other decorating purchases. It’s like giving your room a complementary upgrade.

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