A through line is at the center of all my designs. The ability to create a thread of continuity in a space is what I think is essential in creating a room that feels cohesive and pulled together. Like a great outfit, it is those little details – the playful sock pattern that peaks out when a gentleman sits down. The subtle sparkle of a belt or glint of a bracelet when a woman enters the room. These items, some surprising and others refined, are those elements, which visually create unity and provide accent moments. I see pillows in the same way – in my opinion, outside of paint, they are the single greatest weapons a designer has in his/her arsenal. When used well, pillows can unify color schemes, inject sheen and texture into a space and create visual tension by adding pattern.
This room from designer Phoebe Howard illustrates how pillows can inject color and pattern into a design scheme. The broken chevron pattern references the color and pattern on the bench while the orange pillows play up the room’s natural light and the adjacent room’s ceiling timbers.
The living room I completed in Oakland highlights how pillows when used properly can tone down a strong color palette and modernize what could be traditional slipper chairs in a modern loft. The fun pillows in Dwell Studio fabric perk up Room and Board chairs covered in blue velvet.
In this San Francisco project, Missioni velvet pillows were used to break up the long grey linear lines of the Roche Bobois. However, by railroading the pillow fabric, we were able to keep with the room’s theme of low and streamlines.
When used well, pillows can unify color schemes, inject sheen and texture into a space and create visual tension by adding pattern. Behold the power of a well-made pillow!
Courtney Lake is the owner of Courtney Lake Interiors and the blogger behind Courtney Out Loud. His work has been featured in on television and print including Life & Style Magazine, Dabble Magazine, The Nate Berkus Show, Adore Magazine, Casa Sugar and Le Rapport Minoritaire.