Pillows Add Punch at All Price Points

Cindy Beyer Design Tips

This is a sponsored column by Cindy Beyer, a Reston-based interior designer and Reston Now Best Reston Business Award winner. Find her online at www.CindyLBeyer.com.

Pillows are the ultimate accessory. If your room is looking tired and you are contemplating a complete redo that would mean tossing out the furniture, don’t rush into anything. There are many ways you can refresh your space for a fraction of the cost. Pillows, throws, candles and new accessories are the easiest way to get more bang for the buck.

Let’s concentrate just on pillows. There are countless types of designs and price points.  The least expensive are the ones you can find at the discount stores such as Home Goods, Marshalls, Tuesday Morning and Pier One Imports.  I usually start searching these outlet-type stores if we are under tight budget constraints. The only point to remember is that you have to visit those stores often, because the stock is always being replenished. You will need to have patience and time on your hands.

If you are not successful with the discount stores, try the Internet or stores such as Pottery Barn and Frontgate. I have had success at both sources.

Throw pillows/Credit: Pottery BarnKeep in mind that most good pillows will have a zipper so you can change out the case and keep the forms or inserts. There are many types of forms ranging from 100-percent down to 50-50 blend to fiber.Down fillings tend to be squishy, so if that is not the look you want, I suggest a blend.

Once you have the inserts, you can change the case out seasonally. This is also a good way to pull your room together. For one Christmas, I gave my son and his wife a nice pillow with a “Woodie” station wagon embroidered on the front. Hey, it’s better that the socks I got for Christmas from my Mother.

Now to the good stuff….custom-made pillows. What can I say about a perfect pillow? When working with clients, I like to round out the design and pull it together with a few pillows made in the drapery fabric or the main fabric in the room. These are usually larger sizes with smaller accent pillows made in coordinating fabrics. These can be any shape and size from a kidney pillow to a 36-inch boxed floor pillow.

Most workrooms will  custom size your forms to any pillow you want, but I keep to a few standard sizes like 12″ x 18″ kidney, 18″ square, 20-22″ square. Rounds and bolsters can be any size. I even made a bolster to look like saltwater taffy.

You can use the same fabric and change out the shape and edging detail by using a contrast welt, fringe, tassel fringe or beaded fringe. Be aware of the type of fringe you choose as not all trims are child friendly. Try not to choose one that is looped on your pillows, especially if you sit little Johnny down to watch “Dora The Explorer,” only to find out that he has pulled all the loops out of the fringe.

Keep in mind that custom pillows can be expensive, but can provide a great finished look. My advice is to use custom pillows sparingly. Try intermixing them with the more cost effective ones you find on your searches.  You will be surprised at how the room will POP!

If you need any pillow help or advice, please feel free to contact me at cindylbeyerdesign.com.

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