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How to decorate with pillows in different rooms

Natasha Kurien Natasha Kurien
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More often than not, a room needs a dash of vibrant colours or original patterns to give it personality. When one is bored with the look of one’s house and wants to scale it up, pillows could be a means to cost-effective experimentation. Apart from enhancing the room’s appearance, pillows serve the function of adding comfort to the overall ambience in the space. 

Decorating with pillows is relatively easy. Primarily, you should understand the nature of each room and have an idea of how you would like to portray it. For instance, you can pick a colour and bring in throw pillows with different patterns, shapes, style and shades of the same base colour to elevate the room’s look. 

Decorative throw pillows come in a wide range of shapes, including square, round, bolster and lumbar. Before investing in decorative cushions and pillows, one should consider the decor of the room, use of the pillow, style, budget and, importantly, the needs of the people using the room.

What are the types of fabrics commonly used for cushions and pillow covers?

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Majorque Closeup


The two most important factors to consider while making a pillow are the fill-in material and the fabric used for the cover. The fill-in material is significant, as it defines the durability and appearance of the pillow. A feather-and-down fill is softer and squishier, while synthetic and foam fill-ins are stiffer and more affordable. 

The use of the pillow defines the type of fabric required to make it. The materials commonly used for making pillow covers are cotton, linen, silk, wool, satin and performance fabrics. Cotton pillow covers are the first choice for people with sensitive skin and are the best option during summer. Their disadvantage, however, is that they fade over time if they are placed in an area that is exposed to the sun. While silk pillow covers have a luxurious look and are soft to touch, they are high maintenance and considerably expensive. Satin pillow covers are known for their lustre and softness, but their downside is that they require special cleaning techniques. Performance fabrics such as Sunbrella eliminate the disadvantages of the other materials by being fade-resistant and maintenance-free as they are water and stain-resistant.

How to decorate with pillows in the living room

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Decorating the living room is relatively easy, but one must pay attention to several factors. Primarily, it is essential to decide if one prefers modern, traditional or eclectic décor. Next, one should choose a cohesive palette of colours. 

  • Modern living rooms use neutral tones, and therefore, subtle shades and mildly patterned pillows work best in them. 
  • Eclectic decor, however, is more forgiving. The colour one chooses for each pillow can complement or contrast the one next to it. The sofa can be layered with pillows in varied sizes from small to big or contrast the base colour with a bold pattern. 
  • Traditional decor restricts one to using colours that are common to the theme. Without straying too far from the style, you can pick a base colour and use pillows in multiple shades within the palette or in complementing patterns. The best way to highlight a patterned pillow on the sofa is by placing it in front of cushions in solid colours.

Ultimately, the wow factor is brought in by thefabrics used for the pillow covers. Besides a range of colours and patterns, performance fabrics offer quality, durability and sheer elegance.   

How to style a bed with pillows

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Bedroom pillows


Styling a bed with pillows is relatively simple, as one can choose one’s favourite colours. The shape and style of the pillows used to design the bedroom play a key role in setting the vibe of the room. Several types of pillows can be used in bedrooms based on their functionality.

  • Square pillows or cushions can be used in pairs and combined with an eye-catching bolster or chic lumbar pillow to add visual appeal to the room.
  • Lumbar pillows, which are elongated, lean and rectangular, are generally used as the centrepiece in front of the pillow formation. However, they can also be used at the sides of the bed as makeshift arm-rests.
  • Bolsters are similar to lumbar pillows – long and cylindrical. They are usually used as a centrepiece or as arm supports at either end of a day bed. 

When using pillows to style a bedroom, it’s essential to remember that the recommended arrangement differs for a king bed, queen bed and single bed. The king bed is wide; hence, it can be styled with more pillows and cushions. The queen-size bed and single bed are smaller; therefore, the number of pillows should be reduced to suit their size.

The pillows can be arranged in standing, sleeping or slant positions. Firm cushions stand and look better when arranged on the bed. The pillows can be stacked one in front of the other in height order or different shapes of pillows can be mixed up and propped between king pillows. In the end, the pillow arrangement is all about personal preference as one should feel comfortable and cosy in the bedroom.

Ideas for using cushions and pillows to decorate other areas of the house

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Majorque Principal


Adding prints, colours, patterns and texture makes any room stand out. Here are some ideas:

  • Big and firm pillows can be placed near bay windows to create a small settee.
  • Pillows and cushions can be stacked on a divan bed to accentuate its look.
  • They can be placed on the chairs or against chairbacks in the dining room to improve comfort.
  • Designer throw pillows can be used on foyer furniture to liven up the entryway.
  • Terrace and balconies can also be accessorised with throw pillows to elevate the look of the area and make the seating more comfortable.

When it comes to decorating with pillows and cushions, your imagination is the limit! 

For more ideas on furnishing your home read these brilliant tips on how to choose the right type of curtain and upholstery fabrics for your living room.

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