Decorative Pillows

Could your home use a quick and easy update, or a fresh jolt of interesting color, texture or pattern? If so, new decorative pillows are one of the fastest and most affordable ways to accomplish these goals. Decorative pillows make lovely accents in any style home, and you can find fabulous coordinating pillows to complement any type of furniture or home décor.

In the bedroom, you can use decorative pillows to create a focal point, and to set a mood of comfort, luxury or simplicity — whichever you prefer. Use decorative pillows to express your style, and your own unique tastes.

In the living room or family room, you can use decorative pillows to create the mood and feeling you want the room to convey. Choose pillows that will liven up your couch, loveseat or recliner. The pillows you choose will determine whether the overall effect is luxurious or plain; trendy, traditional, contemporary or transitional; urban or country.

Decorative pillows are a great place to introduce trendy colors, or seasonal décor. If it’s Christmastime, you can bring out pillows decorated with pine trees, angels, stars or other popular holiday motifs. Then when the holiday is over, you can either choose pillows appropriate for celebrating the next holiday — Valentine’s Day — or put back your regular, everyday pillows.

In the dining room, some trendsetters are accenting their dining room chairs with colorful patterned pillows. This can make the dining room seem more comfortable, and at the same time, it adds color and eye-appeal to the entire setting.

Pillows works well with some, but not all, dining room furniture. If you’re curious about whether pillows would look right in your dining room, you can grab a few pillows from other rooms (or possibly from the neighbors, if you don’t already have any of your own.) Then place them on the dining room chairs, just to get a general idea of how they’ll look. You’ll have to use a bit of imagination, as they’d probably be the wrong size and color, but it will at least give you a general idea of whether cushions would work with your dining room set or not.

Let’s take a look at several different shapes and styles of decorative pillows you could incorporate into your interior design.


Types of Decorative pillows

There are a variety of different shapes, dimensions, styles and types of decorative pillows. Some of the most popular are as follows:


Bolster Pillows

Cylindrical or tube-shaped pillows could be referred to as bolster pillows, or alternatively, neckroll pillows. Bolster pillows make especially attractive decorative accents when grouped with other decorative pillows on beds or seating. Their unique shape adds artistry to a variety of different design styles, and they work well into contemporary, traditional, transitional and country-style homes. Bolster pillows are also functional, as typically they fit comfortably underneath your neck when you want to prop your head up in bed or on the couch.


Knife-Edge Decorative Pillows

Knife-edge decorative pillows are thin around the edges, and thicker in the center. To identify a knife-edge pillow, be on the lookout for one single seam that holds the fabric in front and back of the pillow together. The seam would be placed along the outer edge of the pillow, and possibly embellished with tassels, cording, fringe or trim of some sort. High-end pillows might also incorporate a zipper or other closure into the design.


Box-Edge Decorative pillows

Imagine a boxy, square or rectangular-shaped foam block with either a plain or beautifully embellished fabric covering. That’s the basic idea of a box-edge throw pillow, although you might also find versions that are round or triangular. As compared to the knife-edge design, pillow manufacturers use a more complex system of seaming to create the covers for this sort of throw pillow. Again, high-end pillow covers usually have zippers or other closures incorporated into the design, allowing for easy removal of the cover so it can be laundered separately from the pillow form.

Pillow Fabrications

Most of the time, pillow makers use woven fabrics to manufacture their thow pillows. It’s also possible to use felt or knitted fabrics as well. Additionally, there are handwork techniques that can be used for creating pillows; handmade laces and hand-crocheted fabrics also work well.

It’s possible to design decorative pillows of just about any fiber content. Popular fibers include rayon, silk, linen, cotton, poly/cotton, polyester, wool, acrylic, vinyl, and blends. Sheepskin, cowhide, leather, suede, fur and faux fur are other possibilities.


DIY enthusiasts enjoy making a variety of different decorative pillows using needlework techniques including needlepoint, quilting, cross stitch, embroidery, knitting, crochet and weaving.


Pillow Trims, Tassels and Embellishments

Throw pillow designs may incorporate one or more of the following types of embellishments:

  • Beadwork
  • Ribbon
  • Pockets
  • Tassels
  • Fringe
  • Piping
  • Welting
  • Gimp
  • Cord
  • Ruffles
  • Flanges
  • Lace
  • Buttons
  • Decorative stitching
  • Netting
  • Applique
  • Cross-stitched, embroidered or needlepoint designs

Pillow Closures

Some pillows have closures, and others do not. Those that don’t have them tend to just be sewn closed, with no easy way to access the pillow inside its cover. When caring for this sort of pillow, you can either spot clean any areas on the cover that need it, or you can wash the entire pillow.

It’s easier to care for pillows that have closures, since you can remove the pillow form from its covering and launder either part separately.

Some methods of closure include zippers, buttons and sham closures.


The Contents of a Throw Pillow

Decorative pillows all include some sort of stuffing on the inside. Many pillows derive their shapes from pillow forms, which typically consist of foam covered by a thin fabric covering. Other pillows have loose stuffing, which could be either natural or synthetic. Choices include wool batting, polyester fiberfill, polyurethane foam, goose down, goose feathers, polystyrene beads, beanbag beads, or other material.


DIY Decorative Pillows

If you’re feeling creative, you can make your own decorative pillows using a variety of different craft techniques.

Now that you know more about decorative pillows, their design and their many uses, you’re better-equipped to incorporate them appropriately into your home décor. Best wishes for success with choosing the perfect decorative pillows to accent your home, and to express your own unique style.

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