Throw pillows, toss cushions, decorative pillows… whatever you call them, they take a lot of daily abuse. At my house (with kids) we sit on them, use them as back rests, shove them in corners to prop ourselves up, put our feet on them, set our laptops or dinner plates on them, and much more. With all that, they don’t always look magazine perfect, but when company’s coming we want them to look just right. So what do you do to get your throw pillows in shape?
On a recent trip to Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams in Montreal, I met with Thierry to discuss pillow perfecting techniques: namely fluffing, karate chopping, and pulling.
Here, Thierry is showing the first pillow technique, which is fluffing. He’s fluffing a large decorative pillow filled with down feathers. The technique is simple: just press the sides to fluff in order to get a big puffy look. Then the large freshly fluffed pillow is placed in the corner of the sectional, where it sits perfectly straight and serves as a backdrop for the smaller pillows to rest.
The other pillow technique is the karate chopping of the pillow. This down-filled golden yellow pillow is chopped a couple of times, then Thierry grabs it by the corners to puff it up and to soften the “knife” imprint.
When dressing up your sofa with cushions, the key is to have different fillers for your pillows. Buy some filled with down and others filled with synthetic material — it makes for a more interesting look and you can mix the fluff and chop techniques to keep the display interesting and vibrant.
Note that down-filled pillows are more expensive than the synthetic ones, but buy them depending on your purpose. Do you change, update your cushions every month like my 85 year old mother does? She changes the look of her white leather sofa (picture below) by switching pillows to match holidays, the weather, or her mood. They’re all synthetic, they’re inexpensive, they look great and they make her happy, which is the most important part. Note that synthetic pillows can slide on a leather sofa, whereas feather filled pillows are heavier and keep their shape so they stand up straight on a slippery surface.
Another option is to buy pillows with a zipper and change the fabric cover as often as you want while re-using the same pillow. This way you don’t end up with a closet full of pillows.
There’s no right or wrong way when styling throw pillows, it’s all about a matter of preference, so fluff and chop away. It’s your house, your pillows, and your couch.
If you need a good laugh, check out this hilarious YouTube clip of Jennifer Anniston and Ben Stiller stabbing pillows with a knife in the movie Along Came Polly.
Co-Founder of Under The Roof Decorating