Throw Pillows 101

BoopadabooMarch 18, 2013

In the past I have purchased a few small throw pillows for a bed. they were never really used and were OK for the guestroom, but I would not want to deal with them on my everyday bed. :)

Fast forward to now and I would like some for my family room. I would like pillows that are actually usable for napping and are cozy and comfy. I think I have read on here that pottery barn makes good down inserts so I think I will go with them unless someone has a better idea.

What I am struggling with is size. I think I would want 20 inch since that is the same size as a bed pillow. Does that make sense?

Does it look strange to only have one size? Should I get some 22 inch pillows also?

I am going to have some made on Etsy. Hopefully this will not be strange but I am going to have them made from vintage sheets. :) I found some pretty ones and when I buy regular fabric I have a hard time cutting it up for some reason. I keep thinking I will want it for panels. I know I am nuts. :)

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What I did once was buy a standard bed pillow and put it in a sham to lay on my sofa. It looked nice and was perfect to nap on.

I wouldn't buy expensive inserts though. I've had some cheapies for a long time and they've held up over the years. The fun part is buying the pillow covers to change things up.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 11:25AM
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Depending on the size of your sofa, you can get oversized ones and various shapes too. I find beautiful ones on Amazon.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 11:55AM
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A 20 inch pillow isn't going to be the same as a bed pillow. It's a 20" square.

I would definitely go with the down inserts. They make such a difference in how your pillows look. So much better than foam (IMO). I have gotten several at PB (watch for a sale), but look on-line and you may find some at better prices. I've also been lucky enough to pick up a few at places like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, etc. with down inserts for such a good price (and removeable covers) that it doesn't matter if I use that cover or not - I got the insert for a steal.

On my sofa I have two 22" (I believe that's what they are) and two 18". Or maybe it's 18 and 20. I would use different sizes. Also, I forgot to mention - buy your insert larger than your cover. I use a 20" insert in an 18" cover, for example.

I also use lumbar pillows. Look at PB online for examples of different shapes/sizes used together.

I love pillows and think they make a huge difference in a room. I changed out my sunroom pillows and throw yesterday for a springier/summer look.

We're not couch nappers and the pillows on our sofa aren't actually used that much but I love the look. I usually tell friends/guests to just put them out of the way if they bother them. If they like to use them - that's okay too!


    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 11:59AM
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thank you - this was very helpful! :) I think it makes sense to do some measuring of my sofa.

I don't nap on the sofa either, but sometimes when the kids are sick they like to use a pillow and rest for a bit and I could see them sitting on them too. - the younger ones anyway. I thought that 18 inches would be too small since a regular pillow is at least 20 inches. I think I like the idea of the lumbar pillows, but the sizes seem rather long. so maybe I will start with 2 20 inch pillows and 2 24 inch pillows.

I think if I understand Tina I would need to buy 2 22 inch and 2 26 inch inserts to have them properly fluffy.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 4:59PM
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Oh Boop - I hope I didn't sound like I was telling you what to do. Properly fluffy - well I'm probaby not "proper" at all! LOL I'm just saying what I like although I know have probably voice my "feather" insert 100 and 1 times. I truly think it makes a difference. But again, that's me and my opinion.

I forgot you have children. Another thing about feather inserts - I think they feel better (I like a feather/down bed pillow too), and you can lay on one and flatten it out, "wallow" it to death and plump it right back up.

You are right on your sizes. Maybe go and look and compare the types inserts, and see what you like best. Also, for napping and the kids - you could use a couple of bed pillows in there - with our without some coordinating covers. I'd just have a basket or cabinet or something where I could stash them as needed. You want the kids (people in general!) to be as comfy as possible.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 8:42PM
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I personally like my pillow situation to be asymmetrical. Meaning, you don't have to "bookend" the same pillows on either end of the sofa. On my sofa right now, I just have one 20" (I think, or it might be a big larger) square pillow and one smaller rectangular pillow, mismatched, at one end of the sofa. I can't have more than that because people sit on this sofa every day and my family would just throw all the pillows on the floor if they were in the way. I also have a pillow on each of two chairs, which sometimes get used on the sofa if someone is really cuddling up there. None of the pillows match each other but they all sort of coordinate.

My living room is not formal, which matters somewhat, I guess. But even if it were formal...I suppose I might have two matching (fabulous) pillows on each end of the sofa, plus a third "wild" un-matching pillow.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 9:10PM
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I didn't take it that way at all tina! I realized last night that I ordered a pillow from potterybarn kids last year for DS's room. We haven't' set up his room yet so it is in the closet. It seems huge to me, so I need to take that out and bring it downstairs and that should help me with sizing I think. It is 26 inches.

I had bed pillows in the room and they just looked really funny and kept coming out of the cases.

I was thinking 4 pillows because I have a loveseat and a sofa. I like the idea of a wild card though too :)

I also like the idea of having all different pillows. Most of the fabric I have could make two pillows, but I guess I could just have her send me back the extra fabric. I have to get my stash organized. I am thinking these right now....

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I don't know. I have such a hard time deciding. I also have half a yard of a blue velvet and a denim.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 9:55AM
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