Decorating on the Cheap: Throw Pillows

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An honest discussion about….throw pillows.

Yes, throw pillows. We love them, don’t we? In a living room setting, they are the perfect, non-committal mode of adding punches of color, pattern and texture to an otherwise neutral color palette. In the bedroom, they add depth, richness and inviting comfort to our bedding. They provide the perfect opportunity to make a statement about one’s design aesthetic.

However, I have two gripes about throw pillows…the first being, what do you do when you try to find a seat on a couch loaded down with throw pillows? You do just what their name implies…you throw them! When you make your bed (or in my case, “if”) you spend all that time arranging them just so…then what are you going to do that night when you crawl up in that bed?? You’re gonna throw them!

My second gripe is that they can be ridiculously expensive! I have seen throw pillows for as much as $70 to $100…for a pillow!!!! Can you believe that??? I love the design statement that a throw pillow can add to a room, but not everyone has that kind of cash laying around. I certainly don’t, and even if I did, I would have a hard time justifying that kind of cost.

So what is the frugal solution for throw pillows?

Well, I guess my first complaint was more about the amount of throw pillows. It is entirely possible to find affordable solutions, you just have to be willing to hunt for deals. Then when you find what you like, just add one or two pillows and don’t go overboard. Sometimes less is more…then you’re left with more money in your pocket for other decor.

The other solution is to work with what you have. The furniture I have right now was a gift from my mother-in-law when I graduated from college. I am still so very humbled by her generosity. When my furniture was purchased, it came with eight pillows…eight rather large pillows….again! so many!  Because our living room in our old house was so small, we ended up getting two love seats which made it even more crowded. Most of those pillows were banished to a closet and forgotten…but I held on to them for almost seven years because I knew that one day they would serve a purpose.

So, when we moved into our new house, we arranged our brown furniture in our beige living room and I was lost in a sea of neutrals. I love color so something HAD to be done. Out came the throw pillows! But again, they were all neutral, so I went to Hobby Lobby to check out their fabrics. I was able to purchase two really lovely printed fabrics which were on sale for 30% off.

Let me just say, I am no seamstress, but I am an excellent gift wrapper. This was right around Christmas, so I had plenty of practice, so I just wrapped my throw pillows with fabric and held it in place with safety pins. Voila! Instant color and pattern! =) So if you have old pillows, give them new life with fabrics that express your style. Check out the remnants and keep an eye out for sales.

The last thing you might consider is a bit of a departure, but you can still achieve the same statement without breaking the bank. The whole point of a throw pillow is to add a a punch of color, right? So what I did was to mimic the color and pattern of some pillows I could not afford on canvas. Obviously, this requires a little d.i.y. but I promise, it is so easy. I really love ikat patterns and chevrons and stripes are so trendy right now. The ikat was achieved with a really simple dry-brush technique and the chevron and stripes were achieved simply with painter’s tape. Ok, so I admit, you can’t exactly cuddle up with a canvas, but you’ll still get the look you would if you went out and bought those pillows…and I really just needed some color!

So, as you can see, adding your personality and style to a room frugally is entirely possible and a worthy adventure. I hope this inspires you to pursue the things that make your heart come alive. God created us in His image and one of the ways we reflect His image is through our creativity. I think doing so frugally stretches us and makes the victory of a completed project even sweeter! God bless!!!!

~Shanna

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