Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pillow Talk

Call it what you want.  My Achilles Heel, the thorn in my side, the bane of my existence.  Truth be told, I hate decorating with pillows.  More to the point - I suck at it.

I can put together a tabletop display or assemble a decent vignette without batting an eye.  I love to put the finishing touches in my decorating.  To me, accessorizing is like an aphrodesiac.

But the one thing I struggle with in nearly every room is pillows.  Which is especially frustrating because these days, pillows are the thing - indoors and out.  Never before has there been such a plethora of fabric choices for your outdoor seating.  Perhaps that is my problem in a nutshell - too many choices.  I can be the most decisive person given a choice between A and B, but put me in a room with a thousand different pillows and I break out in hives.  Too many choices can be a bad thing for someone like me.

But someone like me also loves a good challenge.

One decorating challenge I have managed to overcome is mixing the old with the new.  I'm a traditional girl at heart, and I have an appreciation for all things old and worn.  Pieces with a history have me at hello.  But decorating with them can be tricky.  There's a fine line between traditional decor and grandmom chic.    

The easiest way to balance old and new is also the most inexpensive - with your accessories.   Which brings us back to pillows.  I love the contemporary pillows I'm seeing all over these days with their funky geometric patterns and cheery bright colors.  I've even seen pillows all blinged out with rhinestones and sequins.  But what intrigues me the most are those of you who are able to mix pillows using fabrics and colors that don't match.  That takes serious skillz.  I have a nasty old habit of coordinating colors.  To date the most I've been able to use in a single room is three.  I also have a thing for balance, which requires two of the same.  BORING!  I find a pillow that I love and I buy two - one for each end of the sofa.

So, I've decided to challenge myself to buy, or rather NOT to buy the same two pillows ever again.  What I wasn't prepared for was how difficult that would be.  For someone like me.

Here are some examples of pure pillow fabulosity that I've come across in blogland recently.

Marty's living room sofas dazzle with these pillows in contrasting colors and fabrics.

Kim at Keller Creative has clearly mastered the art.  In my wildest dreams I wouldn't be able to pull this off.

Absolute perfection.

And Oakridge Revival cleverly uses a bold patterned pillow to bring contemporary style to an old but stylish chair.

See how it brings life to this beautiful room?

And this brown leather sofa from Hernando House goes from dull to wow with a mix of new and old pillows in an array of colors, sizes and styles.  I love how this room looks lived-in but chic at the same time.

And the name of this blog tells the tale.  Involving Color is a genius at mixing colors and styles, using artwork as well as pillows to bring a contemporary vibe to this chic space.

What I love most here, is how Candysu wasn't afraid to introduce bold colors in a room with neutral beige walls and window treatments.   I would have never thought to do this, but it works so well.

In my living room I have no excuses.  I have a brown leather sofa, which in the decorating world translates to a blank canvas.  I also have yellow walls, which goes with every color on the wheel.  So what's my problem?  Baby steps.  I'm taking baby steps.  The palette in this room is blue and yellow.  So far I've used the colors blue and yellow.......

The above pillows came from Walmart.  Given my problem with commitment, why spend a lot?  The one on the left is a bit outside of my comfort zone with its bold geometric pattern, but that is the point.

Another bold pattern, this pillow is from Burlington Coat Factory and is a bit out of shape.  But again, it's blue and yellow.

Not bad, but I'm looking for wow.

In the master, I've been shopping for accent pillows for months.  I finally took the plunge with this pillow from Pottery Barn.  I knew this one was right so I didn't mind the splurge.

This was the look before my splurge pillow.  All of the bedding here is Pottery Barn, but I wanted more color.

Subtle change, I know, but I love the soft colors.

Also goes well with the artwork on the opposite wall.

This canvas is huge.

Not much brave going on here.  Just not sure how hot  pink or bright orange would work in this room.

So what are your decorating challenges?  I'd love to hear from you!



Comeca Jones said...

I love your bedroom space. I am not a color person at all although like you I hope sometime I can get over that fear lol.

Yvonne@StyleBurb said...

I struggle with the whole mixing patterns and colors of pillows as well. Every time I try to mix things up it looks 'off'. I love the way your bedroom looks... the canvas is amazing! The thing I like about pillows, though, is that they're cheap and not a lifetime commitment.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Sorry - I am of no help. Someone told me years ago that I was afraid of color. :-D I tend to stick to neutrals - safe colors.
Happy Easter to you and yours.

Debra said...

I understand your pillow situation. I see so many neat ones but I find it hard to commit especially if they're expensive. I finally have my couch pillows looking like I want but I think it has more to do with the couch than the pillows. Your bed might look good with a pop of black - still neutral but will make a statement.

My biggest decorating challenge is and always has been window treatments. Again, committing to something expensive is hard. But I've been happy with the drapes/panels I have bought at KMart- not as much of a commitment. :)

Gemma said...

I am a sucker for cushions - I have 13 on my bed!

Darlene said...

I also find pillows to be a challenge. I would like to go hog wild with them, but that adds up, and of course, I always like the more expensive ones. So I end up with nothing. That picture of the white couch scared me to death!!!

Shari @ My Cottage of Bliss said...

Oh mercy, can I ever relate to this post! I can't master the art of throw pillows either. I couldn't help but chuckle about you placing "twins" at the opposite end of the sofa because I do the same thing! :) Wish somebody was teaching a "Pillows 101" class. Even with the thousands of pillow offerings in stores and on-line, I can't seem to find much of anything in the colors I like to decorate with. And another thing...WHY are pretty pillows so darn expensive???

Wendy said...

Decorating challenges you ask? Arranging my living room furniture around that darn over sized window! I think I move my furniture on a weekly basis! Love you inspirational pictures of pillows! And liking your pillow choices!

Laurie Anne said...

I too struggle with pillows, although it seem more about actually keeping them ON the couch and OFF the floor. Oh the joys of having kids :0)

john said...

I love your bedroom. It looks very beautiful. All pillow looks beautiful.

ohiofarmgirl said...

Ok, I am the odd man out...I adore pillows. Your sofa is a good start but one thing might be to add different sizes or shapes. And don't forget texture too. Love you pottery barn pillow. Dianntha

CAS said...

I love decorating with pillows, & like using color/pattern & texture. I think you're doing a great job, even if you are taking baby steps.

Hope you and your family have a great Happy Easter!

-Kelsey said...

Thanks for stopping by!! I think I will be your newest follower :)

Shelby said...

Kim! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a sweet comment! I just got sucked into your blog for a bit - I love it!

Daniella said...

WOW! I never had a problem with pillows before, but you have now overwhelmed me!!! lol!
Thanks so much for visiting me today!! I'm so happy you found me, and now I've found you! Your blog is awesome!
I've only been in my new house 3 months, and I hate that it's not "Perfect" yet!! ugh. It takes time, I know, but it is driving me crazy!! Your home is beautiful!!

Thanks again!!

Tami said...

Hi little Jersey girl Kim!! Thank you for stopping by today. I am in Ocean Township close to Asbury Park. I love your home..and don't beat yourself up over the are doing a fine job!!!
At least you are enjoying decorating..I love it too! Have a wonderful weekend! xoxo Tami

Hope said...

I love it.... especially our bedroom... can you come decorate my house!!!!

Thanks for the follow, I love your blog!!! I am now following you back and will definitely be back for more!


Susan @ Busy at Home said...

Hi Kim! Thanks for coming over to my blog! I'm following you back.

I am pillow-challenged, too, at least in my own space. I have patterned (floral) couches which are only a few years old and so I'm kind of stuck with solids. At least, I feel that way.

What about a bolster pillow on that leather couch?

Kristen said...

Love those bright and colorful pillows!! Thanks for the comment on my bird pillow - I'm now a follower of your blog! Can't wait to read more posts :)

Turning a House into a Home

The Uncluttered Lifestyle said...

Hi Kim. The bedroom seems so restful. The accent pillow was a wonderful choice. Keep up the baby steps... new follower here.