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Top Ten Throw Pillows

By 08/23/2010January 27th, 201737 Comments

Lately I’ve been obsessed with toss cushions because I’m selecting fabrics for the pillows that will be on my new sofa and in the bedrooms. I never design a room for a client without them. Here are my favourites:

1. Love this big floral for the drama and the way it pulls together the kelly green and turquoise.


2 & 3. Here are two of my favorites on the same sofa by Eileen Kathryn Boyd. The raspberry cushions with the one inch flange in a contrasting colour and the long one in the light and dark green. If you are not crazy about pattern, it’s a great way to add more than one colour on the same cushion.

Image from Cote de Texas

4. In this space designed by Tobi Fairley in House Beautiful, I love the knife edge cushions with the flat braided trim for contrast.

Interior Design by Maria Killam
5. I also love cushions with bands and contrasting buttons like the ones I designed for this client in Yaletown.
6. These solid, knife edge cushion are more contemporary than the the standard 1/4” piping found on most off-she-shelf pillows. I love the way she has the pink on one side and orange on the other.

7 & 8. I really like this way of dressing a bed. Keep the pillows in the back that you sleep on and have the decorative European shams in the front with a rectangular cushion in a contrasting pattern. Fabulous!

9. Wide striped fabric sewn like this blue and white one is another look I love. Keep in mind, you need a lot more fabric for your workroom.

10. Last but not least, I also adore this look (also by Sarah Richardson), the square pillow in white with the contrasting square insert!

Which one is your favourite?

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me for on-line or in-person decorating or colour consultations.

Related posts:
How to Decorate with Throw Pillows; 5 Rules to Follow
Does your Home have Colour flow? Take the Toss Cushion Test
10 Commandments for a Happy, Chic Home

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  • pve design says:

    Having children, pillows always seem to ensue a fight or a fort! 🙂 Love all the winning images and ideas for pillow talk. I need some new pillows now.

  • Susan says:

    I love them all. I crazy about toss cushions… especially filled with feather down.

  • Bethany says:

    My favorite pillow is the first one with floral patterns on it. So pretty!

  • Greet says:

    Wonderful cushions! Imagine cushions and pillows didn't exist!!
    I love the first picture and the 5th picture! Beautiful all those pillows on the bed! This is definitely my style!

  • Tammy@InStitches says:

    I love the pillows you did with the buttons ! The trim on Tobi's pillows is a flat braid with a greek key design. Love, love, love me some pillows !

  • Karena says:


    Pillows are such a great way to change a rooms feel quickly. I love the bed pillows and the ones with inserts. Gorgeous!!

    Art by Karena

  • Kim@Chattafabulous says:

    Maria, I could pick a favorite pillow no more than I could pick a favorite child. My love grows with each new addition. 🙂 Happy decorating – can't wait to see your new space.

  • Kate at Dream To Life says:

    This is great! Finding the right toss pillows (and knowing which ones are right!) is a daunting task! I'm in the middle of it right now….thanks for the post!


  • Mary says:

    I would never leave my sleeping pillows out on my bed. They are wrinkled and usually have mascara stains. YUCK! When I make the bed in the morning they get put away in the closet and only the pillows in pretty shams and toss cusions are put out on the bed.

  • Penelope Trunk says:

    I love the way the picture frames are spaced in the room that you designed, Maria. I know this is a pillow post, but the organized squares next to the ascending, relatively unorganized squares is really nice.


  • diane@onlinefabricstore says:

    Hi Maria

    The trim in pic #3 appears to be a standard braid trim with a greek key design. Grosgrain is a ribbed ribbon that you use to tie bows in little girls hair. (or trim pillows as Tobi often does..checkout her site) I have a closet full of pillows and encourge my clients to switch them out often for the changing seasons or just your changing moods. Also a great way to introduce a trendy color into a room without making a big commitment. Cant wait to see what you choose for that yellow sofa!

  • Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle says:

    I think I need a 12 step program to break my addiction to buying pillow covers. You do realize that you are enabling me through this post, right?

  • Donna says:

    I love texture and embellishments so I would say my first favorite is the one with buttons, the second is the one with ribbons. And the third choice would be the square in the middle pillow.

    I have to say that the idea of adding the contrasting flange is fabulous! I will be doing that soon on my pillows when I re-cover them. I'm glad you showed us these.

    PS. You were featured today on my post along with other recent commenters. I wanted to say, "Thanks". :o)

  • Melissa @ Veranda Interiors says:

    I will admit that I am a cushionaholic myself. I love mixing fabrics, patterns, and colors. Such an easy way to change up a room and also the only reason I own a sewing machine. 🙂

  • Maria Killam says:

    Haha Karen, I seriously have the same problem!! And Mary, I love your commitment to having a fabulous bed every day ( my sleeping pillows only come off the bed if company is coming )
    Thanks for your comments!!

  • Kat says:

    Great pictures! I really like #6, the two colors look so good together.

  • Between you, me and the Fencepost says:

    I agree with Penelope. I really love the pictures on the wall and up the stairs. That's what made me stop and stare something about it is very dramatic. Maybe because I'm tired of my walls and I have a tonne of pictures I want to put in frames and put up but to make the frames look fabulous they need a professional touch. Back to pillows: I can't believe you put your sleeping pillows in the closet everyday. I love you and your perfectionist ways to keep your home beautiful!

  • Nichole@40daysof says:

    Hands down, the first one! I want the chair, I want the pillow. I want, I want, I want!

  • Kimberly Grigg says:

    I love the green and white chair and throw pillow in the first photo! Very striking… yet soothing. Love your blog! Thanks, Maria!

  • Maria Killam says:

    To Between you and me. . .
    Sweet sister, read the comments again, it's not me that sticks the pillows in the closet. Although maybe when my bedroom is finished I might get there. . . never say never!

  • Lissa @ After Adornment says:

    I would have to say #1 is my favorite. I have been working on getting more pattern into our home and this picture is great inspiration for that….perfect pattern on pattern!

  • Ann says:

    Cute collection of pillows, with my favorite being your black and white pillows with contrasting bands and buttons.

    The whites with the black and green looks so fresh and clean.

  • Teresa @ Splendid Sass says:

    All of these pillows are beautiful, but I love the leopard and paisley. As ususal, helpful post.

  • Ideezine says:


    Love pillows they soften the room and add color punches where needed. So I love all the photos of course. I'm a perfectionist too.


  • Sarah says:

    Ooo, so many to choose from…I love the green and raspberry combo, the polka dot and the yellow and white cushion…I love pillows too…thanks for the great photos! :))

  • chanteusevca says:

    Maria, are you reading my mind lately? You do it very often. Not only am I searching for an entry area chest, but I've been going crazy looking at fabrics for toss cushions and at many of the beautiful handmade cushions on Etsy. I have told my husband that we need a "wardrobe" of toss cushions to always be able to mix it up, change looks inexpensively with the seasons or my moods. Not sure he's buying it, but I am! We alraedy have nine extra pillows/cushions on our bed, so I don't know why he's concerned about a few more. As for favorites, how in the world can you ask? They all rock. I will say I'm partial to the first one because I adore those colors and I have several hydrangea bushes in my yard. But you have also included many of my favorite photos in your and Sarah Richardson's portfolio. Thanks so much for another wonderful post right when I need it.

  • Mona Thompson says:

    All nice dependent on where you are going to use them, but I'm crazy for the first green and blue floral one.

  • traci zeller designs says:

    Great post! And I'm with you – I LOVE that way of dressing a bed, but it only seems to work with a queen bed. It gets a little unwieldy with a king. Or have you had better luck?

  • DesignTies says:

    Hard to pick just one favourite — which is probably why I have way more throw cushions than a person really needs!! 😉 But if I had to choose… I think the turquoise & green floral cushion in the first picture 🙂


  • Kelly Berg says:

    There's so many things you can do with pillows, aren't there? I think I like the first one best because it feels the most relaxed. Lately I have been drawn to pillows that you can really get comfortable with.
    Funny – I'm kind of in pillow mode myself! My mom offered to make some covers for me and I went to the fabric store in search of the perfect fabric. Didn't really find anything. Came home and looked through some of my vintage stuff I've been picking up and decided I'd cover them with some embroidered kitchen towels. I'll let ya know how they turn out! I'm hoping they will feel a lot like that first image. 🙂

  • Melissa Blake says:

    Those look soooo cozy!! Awesome post!

  • Lazy Gardens says:

    Cushions … instant cat toy, and the cats can dis-em-fowl a down cushion in less than 10 minutes. Polyfill takes longer, and for some reason they usually ignore bed pillows and foam cushions.

    I need to teach them to vacuum up the mess.

  • Karen Davis says:

    Love the Tobi Fairley pic with tufting behind them!

  • Tanja @ Postmodern Hostess says:

    I especially love the green and pink combination! I recently had some great success changing the entire character of a room with nothing but a few pillows and lampshades. Check it out here.

  • Renae says:

    I love pillows, and have had so many custom made! West Elm has fun and funky ones too….found some goodies there too!

  • pve design says:

    I miss those old fashion tufted round pillow that my grandma had, and I love bolsters too. I guess anything sort of waspy, and that has sort of a high class look.
    I am also loving black and white pillows.

  • Happy Homemaker UK | Laura says:

    Thank you for your lovely blog – I have enjoyed following it for months! In an effort to grow, I would be honored if you consider following my blog ; )


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