I think Jon will vouch that I’m known as a pillow connoisseur. He is reminded of it every night when he has to take off all of the accent pillows from our bed and then put them back on the bed in the morning. Ah! What can I say, it’s an occupational hazard! It’s a small way to finish up a room and make a space look special with a big impact. Of course, you can go and pick up ready made pillows. I have done that many times, but there is just something so nice about getting custom pillows. Now, I know you are seeing custom and thinking expensive. In the world of soft goods getting a pillow made is probably the least expensive thing you can do. However, I do have a couple of tips to share that will help make it a more worth while investment.
Tip 1: Get the right size. For most sofas I would stick with either an 18″ or 20″. Anything smaller unless it’s a lumbar pillow is just going to be way to small. For lumbar pillows I recommend 14″ x 20″.
Tip 2: Don’t be afraid of designer fabric. 1 yard of fabric should get you two 18″ pillows. One yard won’t break the bank and you will get the look you really want. So, make sure to shop around and get some quotes on fabric before you commit. Any interior designer/decorator can price out to the trade fabric for you.
Tip 3: Pick two fabrics instead of one. Stretch out your yardage and back your pillows in a different fabric. I love this doing and going with a solid or a simple pattern like a stripe or polka dot. This way if you tire of your busy main fabric you can turn it over and get a whole new look. I do this with clients all of the time. It also helps color/pattern shy clients feel more comfortable embracing the pattern. They like knowing they have an out and go back to their happy neutral place whenever they like.
Tip 4: Don’t forget the details! If I’m going custom then I want all of the bells and whistles aka I want some sort of piping or trim. I typically add a contrasting color for the piping and alternate between traditional piping and flat welt piping. Flat welt piping basically means they do the piping without the piping cording so it’s flat. It gives nice little folds in the corner.
Tip 5: Fill it up! I hate poly fill pillow inserts! They just don’t look nice. Don’t even talk to me about pillows that are just filled with poly batting and then sewn closed! Pillows should have a zipper so you can wash them if need be. I prefer down alternative pillow inserts, because Jon hates it when feathers poke him. If you don’t care about feathers then go for all feather. My favorite source for them is Crate & Barrel! Least favorite source for pillow inserts? Ikea! I find them to be way too flat! I have heard of some people using two pillow inserts in one pillow cover to remedy that, but I don’t recommend it. Just get a better insert.
Tip 6: Size matters. Make sure to get a larger insert. So, if you get an 18″ pillow cover then get a 20″ pillow insert. It you will give you the perfect amount of fluffiness!
Ready to take the plunge and go custom? I’m always happy to source fabric and get pillows made in my workroom and shipped directly to you! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org