Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pillow Talk

First of all I want to thank everyone for the amazing amount of cheering and encouragement after launching my new endeavor this weekend. I am truly thrilled and overwhelmed by the kind words, phone calls and heartfelt notes.  I hope you'll keep reading and enjoying my little nook in the interior decorating world.

And so ... it's on to a new post about something that makes me swoon ... pillows! Yes, I have a thing for pillows.  What a great pair of shoes does for an outfit, pillows can do for a room.

Imagine the following rooms, without the pillows ...

via Lonny

Twinkle Living Poker Rug


via High Gloss

Nice, right?  But the pillows really give them that pop that makes them interesting.  (Ok the artwork and lamps are also pretty awesome in the room above.)

I wish I had more sofas and beds in my house just so I could pick out more pillows! But that's the great thing about pillows ... you change them or rotate them out as often as you like ... with the seasons, when you find something new.  If you love pattern, (which I do!) it's a low risk way to bring it into your room.  Unlike wallpaper, window treatments, or upholstered furniture, if you get tired of the pattern or color after a few years (which, let's face it ... is often the case when you look at something day in and day out) ... you can simply trade it in for a new model.

Of course, I see a lot of great pillows out there that break the $100 price range. If you're getting a pair or more, it adds up and you're less likely to change them out, right?

That's why I'm always on the hunt for more affordable pillows.

Here's a few of the favorites I have around my house ...

I fell in love with this bird fabric from French General and knew I had to do something with it. I bought a yard of it for $35 and asked my dear mother-in-law if she could make me two pillows. (I love her!)  I also bought a little of this peacock blue fabric for less than $10/yard at my local fabric store to use on the back ... they make me swoon!  (And the pair cost less than $60!)

The other pillows on my family room sofa I had custom made through Walter E. Smithe and cost a pretty penny ... although they are of great quality and stand up to all the jumping and smashing they must endure by the three men in my life. But the birds are still my favorites! 

Found this floral on Etsy and the French linen one at an antiques fair (well before similar ones started showing up at Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn!)

For the settee in my living room I just wanted to give it a funky mix of modern pillows ... kind of an unexpected juxtaposition of old and new. The large ones are Thomas Paul ... the solids are from Pottery Barn and the leopard one was one I found online by just googling leopard pillow.  (Although I can't remember the source.) 

I must admit, however, that the before-mentioned pillow addiction has me eye-ing up a new mix ...

What do you think?

I got these pink ikat pattern pillows on ebay after swooning over this Madeline Weinrib pattern.

The pair of pillow covers cost $25! Check these similar ones using her fabric that cost $450!

I just tried to go back and find the shop where I purchased them with no luck, but I still remember when they came in the mail it was such a delightful surprise. It was a carefully wrapped package with a handwritten Uzbekastian return address, sealed the old fashioned way with a colorful spot of hardened wax that was stamped with an ornate design. They are beautifully sewn and the silk fabric feels wonderfully luxurious.

Which brings me to my favorite source for great pillows in designer fabrics ... Etsy.  Have you been to  For me it is decorating heaven! ... I promise, there will be many posts dedicated to my favorite Etsy shops ... but for now let's just take a look at some if it's great sources for pillows.

Purple Pajamas has a beautiful yellow ikat pillow, as well as many others. Here are some of my favorites.

I bought these next two for my son's bed ... I am loving a bold chevron pattern lately.

(I made the "B" pillow myself by stenciling the B on one of the pillows that came with the settee in my living room.  That's one of my number one rules, by the way ... take the throw pillows that come with your sofa and either use them in a different room or donate them to a good cause. Life is too short for predictable pillows!)

Some of my other favorite Etsy pillow shops ...

This is where I found the pillows I want for my living room.

I think these are fun for kids rooms or a "basement" family room ...

This where I got the floral one on my bench.

For some lovely linen or burlap pillows (swoon!) check out Petit Coterie. They are a little more of a splurge, but just one of these would make a fun statement on you sofa or bed ...

I bought this one on Etsy to put out at Christmas ...

I just did a search for linen Christmas pillows. 

Keep in mind ... these are usually just the pillow covers.  Some of the shops do sell the inserts, but you can also get your own for cheap at Ikea, Hobby Lobby, Jo-Ann fabrics or your local fabric store.  I like to buy a pillow insert that's one size larger than the cover to make it extra fluffy.  So I put a 20 x 20 in an 18 x 18 cover, etc. It takes a little work to get it in there, but it really fills out the covers nicely.

So, what do you think?  Could your sofa use some new pillows? A little ikat, or chevron stripes?  Don't be afraid to mix and match!

That's it for today ... getting ready to watch the Superbowl with my three boys ... homemade pizzas are on the menu (we love to buy Trader Joe's refrigerated pizza dough ...)  I must admit ... I'm more interested in the ads this year... still an advertising girl at heart!