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I’m Gonna Throw a Pillow – 4 Steps to Throw Pillow Sanity


Yes, I am a designer and yes, I use throw pillows on occasion, but sometimes I just want to scream with the excessive amount of throw pillows I see.   A couple are fine but when it becomes a physical fight to sit or lay down – this is a problem.  Okay this is going to be a soap-box moment of DIY – no you didn’t.   Really, seven pillows?  This is hardly necessary and just looks silly, like one can’t make a decision.  This is a living room not a Bedouin tent.

Being in the design community I will surely ruffle some feathers pointing out this silliness because a number of otherwise good designers are guilty of this in a big way.  If a room really needs one more fabric do something with it!  Put it on a chair, drapery, ottoman, something other than another pillow.  Um-teen pillows is just lazy decorating.

Interiors should be comfortable and easy to use, not a wrestling match.  We don’t rearrange the furniture to have a conversation, we shouldn’t need to dismantle the throw pillows.

Here is my 4 step guide to throw pillow sanity.

1.  Rule of thumb: if you have to remove a pillow from a piece of furniture and place it on a table or floor to sit down you’ve got throw pillow failure.

2. Too many throw pillows are visual clutterMore than one pillow to aid each person who will reasonably sit on a sofa is too many.4.  A bedroom should not need a piece of furniture to hold pillows removed from the bed so you can sleep.  They are not attractive scattered across the floor as a tripping hazard in the middle of the night either.   Have you ever seen a bed dressed with so many pillows half of the mattress is covered?  This is for selling in a showroom not real life.  A couple are fine but a truckload is overkill. 4.  Flat, hard, or lumpy dull looking pillows do nothing visually or for a person’s comfort.   These need to go.  Pillows are not sloppy soldiers waiting for their next assignment.  If they don’t look cushy and inviting, they don’t belong in the house. Here is a beautiful example of well done in the throw pillow argument, in the latest issue of House Beautiful.   I know it is not just me.

Just the other day, I met with a new customer who “hates” her existing sofa, after a round of Q&A, it is purely because she has incredibly refined style and there isn’t an ounce of clutter in her home.  What is on her 3 person sofa?  EIGHT pillows, some of which are back cushions.  For her this is bothy physically and mentally unsettling to have to negotiate and look at.

A throw pillow will not transform a room, adding one more will not help.  Pillows on seating are supposed to be there to support comfortable seating not to fight with.  Too many are too many.  We need a throw pillow revolution!  Will you join me?Photos: House and Home, Curbed and House Beautiful.

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