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Read This Before You Buy Another Throw Pillow!

(in photo two 24" squares, one 22" square and one 18 x 26")

How do you know what size throw pillows will work for you?  Liana, "The Pillow Master" has a great eye and is an excellent seamstress for all soft fabric décor.   Here are her sizing tips for pillows.

(Incidentally, Liana is beautiful and sort of in "doesn't like to be in the limelight"...but I dragged her here anyway :)

The rest of this post is thanks to Liana...

An interior designer will be able to determine the right size and number of pillows to best suit your furniture.  And as I normally tell my clients:
..." hiring a designer, is more affordable than you might imagine, and not only will save you time, and headaches, but also will keep you from making expensive mistakes."
But, if you enjoy tackling the challenge, here are some tips for selecting adequate pillow sizes for sofas, chairs, and banquettes.

Note : These are not rules, but simple "fool proof" tips to create seating arrangements that are comfortable, balanced and in good proportion.

A pillow cover, when laying flat, will have a certain height and width (in this case we have a 20" high x 20" wide pillow cover). 
 Once stuffed, the cover will gain another dimension, and its depth will be a number of inches taken from the height and the width of the flat cover. 

In other words, once stuffed, your 20"pillow cover will no longer measure 20" high.
Here is a dimensional size chart for pillows (these are approximate dimensions, and apply to designer grade well-filled pillows).
Pin or print this chart as I typed it up for you (and for me) from Liana's hand written notes.

Try to follow the proportions of your sofa, and avoid getting pillows that are too small (as it looks cheap and generic), or too big (gigantic pillows will look more like back cushions and will rob the depth needed for seating ). 
May I comment here?  I have a client who thought she was getting a great deal on a bunch of designer pillows from Etsy (before she hired me), and when she got them they were only 12" x 12" stuffed, you can doll pillows!  For squares, I rarely order less than 22", 20" minimum.  OK, I will shut up now. Just look at Debbie's pretty pillows...

Measure your sofa's BACK HEIGHT and SEATING DEPTH.
To determine the best depth of the pillow, leave at least 16"~17" of depth for comfortable seating.  For the height, it's a good idea not to let the larger pillows surpass the sofa's back height.
The height and depth of your seating will determine the SIZE of your pillows (refer to the chart above).
Also, get good, over-sized down and feather or feather alternative inserts to avoid the sad, dilapidated pillow look.

The width lengthwise of your sofa will determine the NUMBER OF pillows. 
I love the way five pillows looks on my 6' sofa but four (below) gives some room to sit.

Look how cute these lumbars on this 
loveseat look by Marie Flanigan... 

Arm chairs:
I find that arm chairs are mostly comfortable with lumbar pillows instead of squares. 
Again, measure the BACK HEIGHT, SEATING DEPTH and SEATING WIDTH. Choose the pillow height at half of chair's back height, and pillow width at the zipper, as close as possible to the seating width. 

A lumbar pillow should give enough seating depth, but if your chair has extra deep seating, choose instead a large square pillow to provide a full back support of an added back cushion.
Juxtaposition Home 

Banquettes :
If you have a backless banquette (like a window seat for instance), choose large square pillows that will function as back cushions and will provide a full back support (leave at least 15"~16"of depth for comfortable seating).

If your banquette has a padded or upholstered back, then lumbars or smaller square pillows should give you the right amount of support. Remember to save at least 15"~16" for comfortable seating depth .

With my 6 foot wing settee, the back is high enough to accommodate 24"pillows but the seating depth is not deep enough.  The best way to address this situation was using taller lumbar pillows which are less deep than squares, to balance the higher back.  I used here  three 18"x28" lumbar pillows.

Below is a six foot love seat with deep seating and a high back.  While it's a small sofa, the high back accommodates 24" pillows that will also provide needed support.

My 7 foot RH Belgian Track arm sofa is the 38" classic depth. As seen, it has shallow seating and shorter back cushions, while this is a larger sofa than the previously shown, the height x depth ratio won't allow pillows larger than 22".

Me again.  This is Liana's living room.  She bought that mirror on the mantel from Craig's List for $10, removed the frame and then antiqued the back. And look at her pillows.  You can see why she is the Pillow Master!
Thanks so much, Liana, 
for sharing your knowledge and great style.

And thank YOU for visiting!!!

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via classic • casual • home