Anyone can have a sofa. A couch. Maybe even a love seat or a chaise. And the smart decorator selects solid color or neutral pattern so you don’t get locked into just one style for the rest of your sofas life. But nothing says come in a get comfy like a scatter of throw pillows you just can’t not touch.
But with so many options, how do you choose?
I put together these 4 groupings in polyvore just on a quick search of “throw pillows” and they all have a few things in common:
- A mixture of complimentary colors
- Different sizes and shapes
- Contrasting textures and materials
- An eye for what patterns can work together
I think it’s best to start out with one focal point–either a big pillow with a strong pattern (like the zebra-stripe in the top right corner) or a smaller accent pillow with a stand-out motif (bat-signal anyone?). Then you can branch out by finding colors that work with your first pillow. Choose at least one solid or otherwise monochromatic pillow to keep things from being to confusing, but don’t be afraid to mix a geometric with a natural, like the blue set in the lower right.
And then sometimes it’s just worth it to be fun, like the ruffly yellow pillow in the top left or the giant pear pillow below.
Things don’t have to always be so matchy-matchy, as long as you can find a common thread (hah!) between them. Throw pillows and curtains are one of the quickest ways to change up the look of your room on a whim.
But once you’ve got them, what do you do with them?
Care of Feeding of Your Throw Pillows
First, fluff your throw pillows on a regular basis. Never fluffed a pillow before? It’s quite simple, really. Just squeeze the pillow from the sides a few times–kinda like playing an accordion really fast–then give the pillow a quarter turn and repeat. This breaks up any matting or compression that might be happening as the pillow gets leaned-on, hugged, or otherwise smooshed.
Airing pillows out is also a good idea, just be careful of doing so in direct sun as the colors in the textiles can fade. This can work in your favor, though, if you want to whiten linen or wool pillow covers: the sun will act as a natural bleach without the weakening of fibers.
For keeping them nice and clean, I’m a big believer in the power of Scotch-Gard–especially on fabrics that cannot be easily cleaned at home. I hate paying for dry-cleaning of those few pieces of clothing I bought that can’t go in the washing machine, I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay dry cleaning on throw pillows!
Second best is to make or buy pillow covers that can easily be slipped off and cleaned independently of their stuffing. This also has the added benefit of being easier to change out your pillow-schemes for seasons or occasions on a whim, and less to store in the linen closet.
If deep cleaning is required, there’s a good cleaning guide available at Overstock.com.
One last tip for today: if you’re looking to insure a match between your curtains and your throw pillows, buy another curtain panel (or panels from coordinating lines) and use it to make simple pillow covers. A perfect match every time!
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