Pillow-holics Anonymous

Hello. My name is Karen, and I’m a Pillow-holic.

My husband says I have a problem. But how can I help myself with so many fabulous pillows I see daily?!  A hazard of the job, I suppose.  Cute, pretty, fun, sophisticated, furry, soft, floral, geometric, solid, fringed and flanged, I love them all!  And I think I own at least one of each kind I just mentioned!  Whoops!

So maybe I do have a problem.

But is there a more affordable and immediate way to change the look of a room?  I think not!

So if you are ready for a change, but don’t have the budget to redecorate or buy new furniture, this may be the solution for you!

Allow me to illustrate.  I recently worked with a client who has a goldy-brown sofa, with olive-green undertones.  (You know, the one we all bought in the 1990s.)  This client knows her sofa is a bit over-loved, and she wants to update her furniture for sure, but she is a grandmother to toddlers. Toddlers who live just down the street from her.  Toddlers, people, in her home almost every day!  So for now she is keeping the old run-down sofa and she is going to allow the grandkids to do gymnastics on it and eat ice-cream on it, and not worry about it.  (And who can blame her, that’s what grandparents are for!)

Golden Sofa Before

Well-loved sofa and loveseat

The problem is, she is trying to update her new-to-her home.  We already picked out paint colors for the entire home before she moved in.  Now she is trying to make the home hers, and make new purchases only where and when necessary.  So how to update without buying new furniture?  We bought new pillows and a rug!  We also found some curtains that will really make this room feel complete.  And the best part is, we found it all at Home Goods, ALL of it (8 x 10 rug, 4 panels of curtains, and lots of pillows), so everything was extremely affordable.

Here are some Before and After photos:

living room before1

BEFORE, gold/brown sofa needs new life

And after ….

with pillows rug 2

AFTER, with the addition of pillows and rug


AFTER w pillows & rug

AFTER, with pillows and rug

With the purchase of a rug and some pillows, we added some color, fullness, and a little life and personality to this room.  The rug was marked half off too, so it was a real steal!

We also found some great curtain choices for this room:

curtain & pillow choices

Curtain choices with pillow updates

Which curtain would you choose?

I have to say, we really scored big time finding the floral pillows that have the olivey-tan background color with the spa blue color she wanted to incorporate!  These pillows tie together her sofa colors and the new colors of her rug, her updated wall color, and the items she hopes to buy in the future when the toddlers are no longer toddlers.  They allowed us to add the solid spa blue pillows.  They just give this room a more complete, welcoming, and updated look!


After, with pillows and rug

In the works: some custom built-in cabinets or benches for either side of the fireplace … stay tuned!

Now I’ll share a little secret piece of my life.  It’s something I allow myself to indulge in several times a year — each new season, each new holiday, and sometimes just if there’s a good sale.  It is entitled “The Changing of the Pillows.”  (cue dramatic music here)

Every season and every holiday, I change the pillows in my living room and foyer.   And it makes me so happy!  I’ll share a few pictures with you, so you can see more examples of how simply changing the pillows can change the whole look of your room!

Here is my living room this winter, after I took down my Christmas décorations:

living room winter

I chose white, silver, and fur to be my accent décor for winter.

Living Room Winter look


A close up of the pillows I used at Christmas and all the way through February:

pillows with texture

pillows with texture

I used winter-white and gray pillows with texture for my winter look.   Cozy!


Then this spring, I changed to floral pillows, choosing yellow and light blue to be my accent colors.  And I changed the throw blanket from white fur to a knitted teal blue:

living spring '16

Spring pillows in living room


A close up of the floral pillows:

yellow floral pillows

Light and springy!

I use the same floral pillows in the fall, but add more goldens and other fall colors.

In the foyer I change the pillows up as well, to create different looks and different moods:

Fall foyer


spring foyer




gold metallic cowhide, navy, light blue


Now I’m not saying that all you need is new pillows, and you have completely redecorated!  But pillows pack a big punch for the buck, that is for sure!

Another quick and affordable update is to paint your walls, but that is for another post …

One important thing to keep in mind when choosing pillows is to make sure the pillows relate to something else in the space, without competing with it.  The color or the print or the feel of the pillow should relate somehow to something else in the room, and help create a feel of cohesiveness.  Sometimes you have to add some other small décor to pull it all together. In my case, I sometimes change the stems in my glass jar in the foyer, or the items I have on my coffee table, for example.  In my client’s case, as illustrated above in this post, we had to find the same base color as the sofa in the floral pillows, along with the spa-blue color, before adding the solid spa blue pillows.  We also bought a rug with the same greeny-spa-blue and touches of gold, which helped anchor her new color choice.

I must confess that owning neutral sofas and rugs allows me to indulge in my “problem” a little more freely.  But even if you have a blue sofa, or a red sofa, or a whatever-color sofa, you can still change your look with the use of pillows.  If you notice, I keep the same turquoise chairs all the time, without changing!


Colorful pillows added to blue sofa. Colors relate to art and decorative items in the room. Photo by Justin Coit for mydomaine.com


Prefer a softer look? Have a brown couch? Here are some beautiful updated pillows for ya’! Image found at www.thehomepicz.com.


So I say change it up!  Have fun! Try a new look!  Go buy some new pillows!  And if you feel you can’t choose correctly on your own, I would be honored and SO VERY EXCITED to help you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Pillow-holics Anonymous will start meeting on Tuesday mornings at 9am.  See you there!  😉