Avoid Theses Pillow Mistakes in Your Living Room

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Hands down one of the easiest ways to update the look of your living room is with throw pillows. Good throw pillows can make your room look more expensive and high-end. But bad throw pillows can cheapen the look of your room and the whole room’s design. In this post I’ll share how to choose throw pillows, what sizes to buy, and my favorite pillow insert from Amazon for a high-end look. So keep reading below, or listen to the podcast above, and discover how you can easily elevate the look of your room with throw pillows. 

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Pillow Parts

Before I get into how to choose good throw pillows for your home, let’s quickly mention the parts of a throw pillow.

Pillows have two parts. The first part is the pillow cover. That’s what you see on the outside; the second part is the pillow insert. That’s what fills the pillow. Both parts are important for a high-quality throw pillow that creates a high-end look in your home.

What Type of Pillow Insert

Now that we’ve covered the parts of a pillow, let’s dive into the heart of it: the pillow insert.

When it comes to choosing pillow inserts, you typically have two options: down feathers or polyfill. Personally, I avoid down feathers, and here’s why:

1. Comfort: Down feathers tend to poke out and can feel scratchy and irritating against your skin.
2. Noise: Feathers and down can make loud scratching noises when you lay on them.
3. Animal welfare: Approximately 80% of down and feathers originate from China, where animal welfare standards may be questionable. Live plucking, where feathers are removed from birds while they’re still alive, is unfortunately still practiced.

Here’s a pro tip for selecting the right pillow insert size: Go 2 inches larger in both dimensions than your pillow cover. For example, if you have a 20-inch by 20-inch pillow cover, opt for a 22-inch by 22-inch pillow insert. And if you have a 18-inch by 18-inch pillow cover, use a 20 x 20 pillow insert.  This ensures a snug fit, prevents empty corners, and maintains a plump appearance.

Now, let me introduce you to my favorite pillow insert brand: Pillow Flex, available on Amazon. I use them in my own home, and they have dozens of size options. 

Pillowflex Amazon affiliate link for pillow inserts 20 x 20
The Best Pillow Insert from Amazon

Choosing Throw Pillow Fabrics

First things first, consider the color palette of your room or home. Opt for throw pillows that complement this palette, creating a seamless flow throughout your space. Consistency in color will tie everything together beautifully.

Now, onto texture – it’s crucial! Mix it up with different fabrics such as silks, wovens, linens, boucles, faux furs, chunky knits, leathers, and velvets. Personally, I lean towards wovens, knits, and boucles and I prefer to mix them up.

Fabrics like silks and linens may show stains more prominently, which isn’t ideal, especially for investment properties. Nobody wants their pillows to look dirty, right?

Now, let’s talk patterns. Adding variety in patterns can elevate your pillow game to the next level. Experiment with solid colors, small scale patterns, large scale patterns, stripes (wide or thin, horizontal or vertical), and plaids (small or large scale). The options are endless!

Mixing and matching patterns will make your space feel more high-end, more layered, and curated.

How Many Throw Pillows Do I Need?

Wondering how many throw pillows do you think you need for your sofa? The number of pillows depends on the size of your sofa.

For smaller sofas or loveseats, aim for two to three pillows. Use one in each corner for a symmetrical look.  You could add a small lumbar or a rectangular pillow as well. Or you could do one pillow in one corner and two pillows in another corner for an asymmetrical look.

Larger sofas can handle more pillows, typically four to five. You can opt for two pillows in each corner for symmetry, or mix it up with two in each corner and a lumbar pillow centered or positioned closer to one corner for a chic asymmetrical look.

Got a sectional? Those work best with five to seven throw pillows. Place three in the central corner, and distribute one to two pillows at each end, adjusting based on the sectional’s size.

If you have a really big sectional, you might even up the pillow count further, depending on the scale. Remember, you want to make sure you’re proportional to the scale. Larger sofas can accommodate more, while smaller ones hold fewer pillows.

Pillowflex Amazon affiliate link for pillow inserts 22 x 22
The Best Pillow Insert from Amazon

How Big Should Throw Pillows Be?

Next, you might be wondering how big should your throw pillows be – again, the answer depends on the size of your sofa.

I find that a 20-inch pillow is a good starting place but it’s okay to mix up the sizes of your throw pillows. While 18-inch pillows are a common choice, I think are a little too small. I prefer you to go with a 20-inch pillow or you can even opt for larger sizes like 22 or 24 inches. Trust me, the larger scale adds a touch of sophistication that’s hard to beat.


Final Thoughts...

Did you ever think there’d be so much to chat about when it comes to throw pillows? If you’ve got more questions or need some personalized advice, don’t hesitate to reach out! You can find me over on Instagram @nestorations. Just shoot me a DM, and let’s chat about all things pillow styling!

And hey, if you’re enjoying our pillow talk, why not subscribe to stay updated on all our latest design tips? Don’t miss out on any future episodes! Subscribe here.

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Angelou Tamco