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Decorating With Throw Pillows

Decorating With Throw Pillows

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Many people don’t think about decorating with throw pillows.  But one of the easiest ways to provide elegance and style when decorating a room is to add throw pillows to your furniture.  Adding decorative accent pillows to furniture will improve the room’s atmosphere and comfort for your family and visitors.  In addition,  knowing that you have added the finishing touches to your decor will provide you with a little piece of mind. 

Pillows have long been a creature comfort item and a decoration in homes and offices worldwide. Different types of furniture and the decor of the room or patio setting dictate the type of pillow, the fabric & colors, and the patterns you choose.

Choosing The Right Throw Pillow

Basic throw pillow (or toss pillow) selections available from most stores are square or round. Custom pillows with rectangular or irregular shapes are a little harder to find.  If you need a special shape that is found on the shelves, you will have to contact a cushion maker and have pillows custom-made to order. This is not uncommon at all since most pillows shown in stores are limited in selection.

The most popular choice of throw pillows are square pillows.  People seem to have a love affair with square throw pillows over round ones for some reason.  But there are definite decorating advantages to round pillows.

Many people choose pillow shapes to match the shapes of their furniture and the comfort it will provide using it to support their back or head.  But, a decorator with a keen eye will choose a throw pillow to accent the decor to draw you into a specific piece of furniture or pull together the room’s colors. In some cases, pillows will be chosen or designed to act like a piece of art to provoke your inner expression and imagination.

Pillow Sizes

Throw pillow sizes range from 12 inches up to and above 24 inches.  Smaller-sized throws are used on furniture as support or as accent pillows. Extra larger size throws are generally used on the floor of lounges, game rooms, or bedrooms.

Pillow Styles

Two basic pillow styles are found in stores and through designers—knife edge and boxed.  Knife edge pillows are made with two panels and sewn together with one seam along the edge.  Square Boxed pillows have six panels; a front, a back, and four sides.  Round-boxed pillows have three panels; one front, one back, and one continuous side. 


Piping is the corded trim added to a pillow with two functions.  It provides a decorative outline of selected seams and protects them from wear.  This was a concern years ago, but the way seams are made today, using piping to protect seams, does not matter. It’s simply a matter of decoration.  Optionally, knifed-edged pillows will have one single line of piping along the outside seam.  Boxed pillows have two lines of piping, one along the front panel edge and one along the back.  Piping and boxing tend to add a more sophisticated, elegant look to a pillow.

Fabric Choices

Typical stores do not provide a wide range of fabric selections for pillows.  That is because they must buy and stock the product so they need to limit their inventory.  However, shopping with a cushion maker who custom makes the cushions you want provides the greatest latitude for getting the type of cushion you want, and in the fabric you want it in.


Functionally, throw pillows help support your body but artistically provide a wonderful decorative ambiance to a home.  Shape, style, size, and fabric choice all play important roles in using throw pillows. Choose from square or round shapes and knife edge or boxed styles.  Select fabric appropriate for your decor that blends together or accents.

Most importantly, if you want or need a special style pillow or one with a special fabric, contact a cushion maker and talk to them about making pillows for you.

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