July 15, 2012

Photograph © LLC

In my last blog post, I talk about being inspired by the summer season. With a change of season comes a natural desire to change things up in our homes. Throw pillows are a major tool to make this happen whether in the hands of an interior designer, or design-savvy home owner.

Throw pillows add color to a room, tie together the colors in a room or simply add a layer of texture to an otherwise understated décor by layering them tone-on-tone. They can easily be added or subtracted until the level of color feels right.

If you are ambitious, you could consider changing up the entire feeling of your décor by removing any existing rugs, pillows and art and beginning with the “blank slate” of your major pieces of furniture.

Toss a cashmere throw across the back of your sofa in a contrasting color and then pulling the two colors together with your pillows. Make the rug neutral or make it bold: younger homeowners have been flocking to FLOR carpet tilesfor their versatility and sheer youthful exuberance.

At my friend Cindy Fitzgerald’s house, we ran an experiment by changing the art, pillows and, in one case adding orange FLOR tiles. The shift in mood is noticeable.

© Catherine Holliss, Sander Architects, LLCa

Try this at home and send us the results. Use your own pillows or check out the decorative pillow covers from

As for your art – there are several ways to change it up. If you are a major collector then take the time to rotate the pieces and change the locations – they might even surprise you and give you a whole new appreciation of the work. If you have small, inexpensive pieces then consider pulling them together into a unified look by reframing all of them in the same size and color frame. Hung in a grid, the overall effect creates a substantial statement regardless of the value of the works.

Another fun idea that you might consider is buying a blank stretched canvas and tossing paint splatters across it in your own Jackson Pollack-inspired creation. Use the same colors as the throw and the pillows with one loud addition for spark and surprise.

I bought a large stretched canvases on sale because I am curious to try this one out. My thinking is that if I do not love the result, or if I grow tired of the colors, I can always overpaint with white and start again. The paint hidden beneath the white background will only give the entire piece of art more texture.

At least that is the thought. I will certainly blog about this one when I get time to experiment.

A favorite of designers is to use neutral furniture and rugs and then explosive color in curtains, pillows and art. Why? For the obvious reason that accessories are easily changed for a total personality change. 

The world of color awaits you. All you need do is to find the throw pillow that expresses the inner you, be brave and follow the famous admonition to “just do it.” It might just change your life.

Written by Catherine Holliss

Interior Design Blog Writer,, LLC

Director of Interior Design, Sander Architects LLC.  


Photographs © Catherine Holliss unless otherwise noted. 

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