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For those who want to incorporate international flair into their homes, throw pillows are an ideal way to do so. It is important to be respectful of the cultures whose designs you are using, which is why conscientious designers need to carefully consider mixing and matching different textiles and tapestries. Read on to learn about some of the ways savvy designers are using culturally inspired designs from multiple backgrounds on throw pillows to honor different world cultures.
“Ethnic” Textiles Inspiration
The word “ethnic” refers to designs that come from a wide array of world traditions. Sometimes these textiles are created by the culture itself, and sometimes they are simply inspired by these cultures. From Aztec to Navajo, from Balkan to Kashmiri, and even exotic animal print, there are thousands of different fabrics to choose from. It all depends on how you want to arrange them.
Respecting World Cultures
When using multicultural items around your home, it’s important to respect where they came from. For example, if you have acquired a Middle Eastern prayer rug, it’s simply discourteous to use such an item as a bath mat. Simply put, do a bit of research and know the histories of these items. On that note, it’s always respectful to contextualize your décor. Don’t simply refer to an object as “exotic” when you know its specific place of origin is Guatemala.
Arranging International Interiors
Multicultural elements can be juxtaposed together as the focus of your interior, or they can simply be used to emphasize chic, modern furniture and accessories. Internationally made dolls and small sculptures are perfect accents for bookshelves, while throw pillows are a great way to incorporate both comfort and multicultural flair. Try the traditional kilim design in this throw pillow against a muted background to make the pattern pop. Or, if you want a more local piece of culture, consider a tasteful southwest Native American inspired pillow.
It’s winter, which means it’s time to consider how you’d like your décor to complement the season. One way to add warmth and comfort is to incorporate fur pillows into your home. If real fur isn’t your thing, there are numerous other options.
Why We Love Fur Pillows
Professionals in the world of interior decorating believe fur offers a sophisticated, rich feeling during the winter. Humans forget we are animals too, and our inclination when it’s cold outside is to nest and get cozy. Fur-like textures such as velvet and cashmere are popular for the same reasons, but fur in particular can help a space feel warm and welcoming. Incorporating fur texture also adds different layers of depth, especially when combined with the warm glow of candlelight.
Less Is More
Too much fur can be overwhelming and may make your cozy home look more like a hunter’s cabin. Design experts advise keeping fur to a minimum and using it as an accent, such as with a throw blanket or pillows. This is also great for those interested in adding this design element without wanting to break the bank.
One excellent choice for those interested in fur or fur-like texture is Mongolian Sheepskin, which comes in numerous colors, from earth tones and neutrals to bright hues that pop. Crafted from rich, buttery sheepskin and suede leather, these pillows are soft and visually stunning. On the other hand, if you’re a believer in animal welfare, faux fur is a perfect alternative, adding the same richness and warmth to any interior space. Consider items like this soft, plush Amur Wolf pillow. Silky, shiny, and covered with an inch of luxurious faux fur, it’s the perfect size for a sofa or for sitting on the floor.
When it comes to gift giving, pillows can be a hit or a miss. Understanding the recipient’s taste and unique circumstances is crucial to choosing a gift pillow they will enjoy and display, instead of letting it languish in a closet (or giving it away).
When to Give a Gift Pillow
Sometimes it’s appropriate to give a pillow, and other times it’s best to go with another gift. In the following situations, a pillow is acceptable:
- Housewarming parties. The most popular time to give a pillow is at a housewarming party. After all, guests are there for the purpose of seeing the home and congratulating the owners on their new move. If it’s your first time visiting the home since it’s been decorated, you’ll want to go with very neutral colors that could be used with a variety of styles.
- Bridal showers. Giving a pillow at a bridal shower is entirely appropriate. In most cases, guests are asked to provide a gift that will contribute to the new couple’s home, and a pillow can be a very memorable and much needed gift.
- Holidays. Many people enjoy trading out pillows throughout the year. This is typically done on a seasonal basis, and styles are usually related to holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Valentine’s Day. At holiday parties, consider giving a themed pillow as a housewarming gift. It can be put to immediate use and is always appropriate.
- Birthdays. If you know the person very well, you can give a pillow as a birthday gift. Here, though, you need to be more careful. With less guidance than other situations, you can easily go astray with a style that is neither useful nor tasteful.
Considerations for Pillow Gift Giving
There is no need to overthink things, but do give consideration to the following areas:
- Style. What is the recipient’s current color scheme?
- Theme. Does the recipient have a favorite theme? (I.e. dogs, flowers, or pattern)
- Function. Does the recipient have small children or pets? (Functionality vs. Style)
At Pillow Décor, we have pillows for every occasion. Regardless of the style, material, shape, size, or color you’re looking for, we have something that will suite your needs. For gift giving, you can also consider a gift certificate – which is perfect for any occasion.
Zen Interiors: Shifting to a More Balanced Life – Starting with Your Home!
A Zen inspired interior conjures up an image of a harmonious and peaceful space, one that invites relaxation and unwinding from a busy day. Clean and airy rooms with soft light, natural finishings, textures and decorations come to mind. Today, few would argue that life can get rather hectic at times, so it is no surprise that versatile variations of Zen home interiors are so popular.
As with any decorating style, while there is always room for creative self-expression, following certain techniques will help you achieve the desired Zen look.
Zen is often associated with minimalist style. Minimalism strives to only show the essential qualities of things without excessive decorations and overwhelming color combinations. The preference is given to simple natural materials, basic geometric forms and toned-down colors.
Try to keep your design free of clutter and only introduce one or two accent pieces that fit with the overall concept. These steps will help create a sense of peace and calmness expected of a Zen inspired space.
Accent on Nature
When it comes to choosing interior finishings, using natural materials such as wood, bamboo, stone and natural fabrics is a great way to bring nature into your home. Use earthy colors like soft hues of green, pink and grey, beige and white.
Placing plants inside a room is not only visually calming but will bring more oxygen into your home. Soft textures of upholstery fabrics, rugs and throw pillows will effectively add to the relaxed atmosphere.
Try experimenting with natural scents to engage your senses. They may come in the forms of essential oils, candles, sprays or incenses. Different scents are suited for different purposes and many have healing, calming or invigorating qualities
Nature is fascinating in the way it constantly evolves. Zen inspired interiors use asymmetry as a symbol of the process of life. It is believed to help nurture one’s imagination and creativity, whereas uniformity of design is considered a sign of stagnation. Thus, placing your furniture and décor pieces asymmetrically will create a sense of movement and change.
When your decorating process is over, don’t forget the fundamental requirement for achieving your Zen – living fully and authentically in the present moment and joyfully accepting each day with gratitude. Decorated in Zen style, your home can be your daily inspiration to live a more balanced and fulfilling life.
Polka dots are one of those classic patterns that can seem timeless yet trendy at the same time, so it’s no surprise that they are experiencing a significant comeback for Spring 2014. In the world of fashion design, polka dots popped up all over the Spring/Summer runways this year. Fresh and eye-catching, polka dots appeared in bright colors, ranging from tiny dots to large spots. Depending on how polka dots are designed, they can appear young and fresh or sleek and sophisticated.
Polka Dots at Home
With polka dots making such a splash in the world of fashion design, it makes sense that interior design has followed suit and embraced polka dots as well. Polka dots are showing up as a part of all of the latest home décor lines. As with clothing, polka dots can lend a touch of sophistication or youthful freshness, depending on the styling and design. Black and white polka dots are particularly popular, as they add a graphic, modern feel to a room.
There are plenty of places throughout your home where you can introduce polka dots and work this trend into your interior design. Consider adding the following elements to your home décor:
• A polka dot bedspread. In the bedroom, make a graphic statement by switching to a colorful, dotted comforter. If that’s too much of a statement for your taste, try a bedspread with spotted details or allow polka dot sheets to peek out from underneath a solid comforter.
• Spotted wallpaper. For the uber-trendy, polka dot wallpaper is irresistible. Dotted wallpaper makes a room seem chic and glamorous.
• Dotted throw pillows. One of the easiest ways to incorporate polka dots into your home décor is to buy a few spotted throw pillows. For instance, Pillow Décor’s cream multicolor dots decorative pillow would make a stylish addition to any living room.
Once you get started with this trend, it’s hard to stop! How will you introduce polka dots to your interior design?
Ring in with Bling: Decorating with Metallics
As we settle into 2014, readers may be wondering what some of the hottest trends in decorating might be for the brand new year. One of the most prominent trends in 2014 is the use of metallic colors for decoration. Here are some ways to incorporate metallics into your living space.
Keep It Simple
Metallics can be wonderfully glamorous, but, as always, try not to go overboard. This is because a room with too many reflective surfaces can feel gaudy rather than trendy. As such, creating the right balance is important. First and foremost, make sure the metallics you choose are smaller and not too close together – think accents rather than large pieces of furniture. You can use items such as candles or candle holders, vases, or photo frames for a chic and subtle incorporation of metallic shades. Don’t worry too much about mixing metallics – if silver and gold both strike your fancy, you can definitely use both in a way that is tasteful as long as you retain an overall simple feel of your space.
Light Colors and Natural Light
Metallics can be overwhelming sometimes, which is why it’s important to use lighter colors and natural light to offset the effect. Pastels, neutrals, and natural tones are great choices for the primary color of a room, and you may even find that metallics will enhance the natural light in a room (as in the way a mirror might).
One excellent way to add metallic accents to a space is to use throw pillows. Metallics against matte colors or the aforementioned neutrals can definitely pop. Consider a throw pillow that has a neutral base with metallic accents, such as the Metallic Birds Blue Haze Throw Pillow from Pillow Décor. The wonderfully glamorous look of metallic accents simply can’t be beat, especially when paired with soft and luxurious fabrics.
The New Year is right around the corner and with it comes a lot of excitement about the new 2014 Decorating Trends. At Pillow Decor we have always maintained that for the vast majority of people, personal style will always trump the latest styles. We believe that that you should be true to yourself, and that you should not let the consumer machine bully you into making changes that just aren’t right for you. Remember our last blog about finding your personal decorating style?
However, there are plenty of times when a new decorating trend might really resonate with you. Perhaps its a new twist on something old and familiar, or a whole new aesthetic that cries out to you, telling you that it is time to shed your old skin and reinvent yourself. Or maybe you are at a new stage in your life, building a new home, renovating, or downsizing.
Whatever your reasons, it is always fun to look ahead at the trends that are coming down the road. So here is a list of the prime 2014 decorating trends as predicted by some of the the leading home decorating authorities. It will be interesting to see how they take shape over the coming months.
Five 2014 Decorating Trends
Art Is In
Whether the piece is traditional or abstract, 2014 is the year of art—and the bigger the better. Many homes will make art a focal point of the room. Want to incorporate this art trend throughout your home? Look for pillows that are inspired by an art piece you love.
See You Later Plain Jane!
Luxurious velvets and silks will replace plain fabrics in 2014. By incorporating a silky bedspread or velvet pillows into your home’s décor, it will create an elegant flare throughout your living space.
Many furniture companies are releasing new collections that are embodying organic forms and pure lines. This trend promotes comfort with functionality, so look for simple accessories with a modernistic feel. The Waverly Groovy Grille Licorice throw pairs nicely with ergonomic furniture.
It’s All About the Fur
Furs and skins are making their way back into homes, which creates a cozy and inviting look. Are you ready to embrace this craze? Look for pillows made of sheepskins or other animal-inspired furs.
Many designers are incorporating gold accents into their lines. You will see tablemats, cushions, pillows, and other accessories adorned with this lavish color. Try a metallic gold pillow on your couch for some added elegance, like the Gold With Brown Baroque Pattern throw.
Want easy, modern style at home? Try the ‘60s inspired color blocking design trend that is as groovy in fashion as it is for home décor. It’s an easy way to give your home a modern, sophisticated look.
What is color blocking?
As popular on the runway as it is on retail store racks, color blocking is a trend that makes a bold statement. Fearless fashionistas have adapted the trend for hair, make-up and even manicures. Men’s fashions sport color blocking elements, too. It’s also used in modern architecture. But no matter where you see it, the bottom line is this: To do it well, you have to commit 100%. When it comes to color blocking, go bold or go home.
Color blocking was the product of minimalist artists during the 1960s Pop Art era. In art, it is the representation of bright colors in solid, repeated blocks. In home décor, it’s layering different single-colored items over one another.
Five ways color blocking your home
Paint the walls.
You can use your walls as your backdrop for color blocking if you paint them crisp white. Or make your walls part of your blocking by painting just three of your walls white and adding a great hue on your fourth wall.
Accessories are a simple and not-too-committal way to add bold colors. Try a solid-color throw or rug, and mix it up with throw pillows in different solid shades. Or put together a selection of solid-colored vases, books, and knick-knacks on white shelves.
One of the great things about color blocking is that you can easily recreate the look on a canvas without being any great artist. Buy a white canvas from your local art supply store, use painter’s tape to create your blocking design and roll on the hues of your choice. Once the paint is dry, peel off the tape, and you’ve got an original to hang on your wall. Or you can bypass the taping altogether, and paint several smaller canvases, each in a different solid color. Hang them in a lined-up row or group to instantly add a modern flair to any room.
Color blocking via your furniture is a more expensive way to get the look, but the results can be breathtaking. We love how inviting this space looks:
Look up and down
Add color to your ceiling with a great single-colored shade for your dining room light fixture. If you’re feeling adventurous and you have a floor that can be painted, think about changing the shade beneath your feet.
Have you used color blocking in your home? Send us photos and let us share your color blocking success story! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t underestimate the statement that black and white can make in your home décor. This dynamic color duo can be simple and chic or stylishly over the top. We love how easy these home accessories can help you achieve a black-and-white theme.
This geometric wallpaper is graphic and ultramod. We found “Reflection” at Graham Brown (www.grahambrown.com). Bold patterned wall papers are becoming popular again. They are better than ever, easier to apply and more durable.
If you are thinking about a graphic wall paper like the one above, complement it with other accents that are clean, simple and more subtly patterned. For example, an inexpensive black fabric-shaded square lamp (www.ikea.com) like this one adds a soft glow to your room. This will work perfectly in a black and white theme.
Not sure about plastering up a bold black and white wall paper? There are other options. This indoor/outdoor grommet drape (www.potterybarn.com) makes a great accent when hung against neutral walls in tandem with smaller black-and-white accessories. Just as you might only wall paper a single wall, hanging a drape like this over a single window or doorway may be enough to punch up your black and white theme.
Finally, decorating with black and white doesn’t have to be entirely black and white. If you find black and white too stark, look for accents that combine classic black with softer off-white or cream tones. You get the beauty of clean contrasting lines plus the flexibility to work with your off-white accessories. Have you ever noticed how pure white throw pillows on an off-white sofa will make the sofa look dirty. Pillows like these wildly bold zebra print throw pillows from Pillow Decor (www.pillowdecor.com) can solve that problem. This black and off-white zebra pattern pillow will work beautifully on that cream or off-white sofa.
Share Your Black and White Decor Photos
If you are loving your black and white decor, share a photo of how you are making this dynamic duo work for you! Please email your photos to us at email@example.com. If we use your photo online we will send you a $50 Pillow Decor gift certificate!
Green is the hot hue in home décor this fall. Varying from lime to dark moss, this color can add style to any room.
Want to incorporate green in your home? If you’re feeling adventurous, paint a wall in your favorite shade. But if you’re not up for that kind of commitment, do what we love doing: play with accents instead.
Or go for a trio of cushions in varying shades and patterns for a tied-together look:
Your Green Stuff
Sleuth your closets for green accessories that you can group together to create impact. Take books with green in the covers and in a stack or group different green bottles and vases together for an eclectic centerpiece.
Decorating with bold patterns and colors may seem a little daunting and scary at first, but it really doesn’t have to be. Bringing different patterns and colors into your room is a great way to express your personality and taste, and if there is one place where you should feel totally comfortable doing this, it is in your own home. It can be fun, exciting and rewarding. Don’t be scared, just play around with it, trust in your own creativity, and see where it takes you. The best way to ease into this is by adding your own personality pieces to your sofas, chairs or bed by using patterned throw pillows! Cheap and easy right? You shouldn’t have to spend thousands of dollars to make a statement in your room. Pillows are a great way to transform your room into a fantastic, colorful space, without breaking the bank.
You don’t have to keep up with today’s trends or what other people are telling you is the latest and greatest. After all, what is considered hot today may be off the list tomorrow. Put the magazines aside for now, and choose patterns and colors that you like, that make you smile and that make you feel good. That’s what really matters at the end of the day.
First things first, ask yourself how you want to feel when you are in a room. Is it your place of relaxation, or is it your family’s activity hub? Decorating with muted color palettes may bring you relaxation and tranquility, whereas decorating with striking bold patterns and colors might make you feel awake, fresh and in the mood to party.
For a relaxing living room where you want to sit back in the evening and clear your mind, consider choosing soft patterns and colors. Greens and soft yellows are proven to be relaxing, as are burnt oranges and browns. Blues and reds can be a little on the cold side, but this may be the look you are wanting? Bold patterns in bright whites, reds and blues are very fresh and nautical and may be a great way to add a thematic touch to your room.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match! One of our favorite words when it comes to decorating with throw pillows is layering. For example, let’s imagine a 3-seater sofa. Now imagine two large pillows on either side – 22-inch square is a good size to use for this. These pillows could be your pattern pillow. Now, in front of these pillows add some smaller coordinating solid color pillows. 18-inch or 16-inch square throw pillows would work well. Already you have something really special going on. If you love a lot pillows on your sofa perhaps throw a 12X20 inch rectangular pillow in the middle. You could mix and match using the same solid color or pattern, but how about being a little different and choosing a contrasting pattern that is still in keeping with the same color tones? Right away you have changed a plain 3-seater sofa into your own personal statement! Don’t forget to look around your room for color and pattern inspiration. You may have a favorite piece of art or another decorative accent piece that you want to pull in. You’ll be amazed by how your whole room can come together well with a few carefully selected pillows.
While color and shape are easier to get a grasp on, scale can be a little more complicated when it comes to patterns. If you are mixing up prints in your pillows try not to choose more than one of the same scale as they may compete with each other visually.
Now that’s not too difficult is it? Give it a go, you will surprise yourself. Bring out your true personality, and most importantly, enjoy!