Dwell On This: Edit Your Throw Pillows

Dwell On This: Edit Your Throw Pillows

By Gregory Han
Unless you’re building a pillow fort, you only need a couple.

To riff on the wisdom of a notorious poet, mo’ pillows, mo’ problems. Of course, there’s a subjective line between cozy and cluttered, but if your bed or sofa requires reshuffling every time you settle down, it’s a clear sign that it’s time to edit your throw pillows.

Soft, supportive accoutrements for lounging appeared in Mesopotamia around 7,000 BC, but it was the Greeks and Romans who really made pillow talk a thing and available to all classes (though the well-off rested on feather- and wool-filled cushions while everyone else settled for straw and reeds). Fast forward to modern times, and our couches and beds are strewn with pillows both for decorative purposes and comfort. In excess, however, these props become cumbersome and actually detract from the form and function of a space.

Instead of obsessing over quantity, focus on quality. A pair of plush pillows strategically placed at each end of your seating arrangement, accompanied by a third in a complementary color or pattern, strikes a balance between symmetry and visual interest. The goal is to accent, not overwhelm. Similarly, a narrow lumbar pillow across the bed acts as an embellishing em dash and a supportive bolster for reading. In short, if your pillows usually end up on the floor, it’s time to address the problem. 

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