Home Decor

How to Spot Luxury Looking Throw Pillow Covers & The Best Insert Ever

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I have made all of the mistakes for you and can convey this lesson with the utmost emphasis for your benefit. You can find luxury looking throw pillows for very little money, but you have to know the features that make them look higher end. What were my throw pillow “mistakes”? Really, they are just observations of my decorating adventures, and yes, a few misspent dollars to realize that certain ones never quite rose to the occasion. After years, a lifetime really, of buying throw pillows, analyzing, rearranging, buying different ones, and rearranging my sofas and beds again…I finally learned another lesson, that throw pillow inserts matter. It only took me 20 years to realize what decorators have been saying is true. This expense is worth the splurge for your throw pillows to not only look their best but to feel amazing to sit against. A good insert makes them fluff up with little effort too. The difference is astounding! Really, I cannot emphasize how astounding. Until recently when I bought the best throw pillow insert, I had no idea what I was missing!

Luxury Looking Throw Pillows Share These Features

They are textured not flat. There are many cheap looking throw pillows out there. When I say look for the ones with “texture” I don’t necessarily mean highly textured, I mean even a subtle texture, a subtle pattern with a slight embossing, or a slight raised design makes them look significantly higher end. It can even be the subtle texture of linen or cotton. The worst offenders are the smooth plastic like polyester throw pillows that have printed designs on them. Those are typically smooth and flat with no fabric feel to them. These are especially prevalent in outdoor throw pillows. I avoided this look by finding a thicker linen like textured throw pillow for my front porch bench.

If you go full throttle into texture you could end up with some cheap looking items that are too shaggy, or too bumpy to be comfortable. Look for something that simply has some dimension to the fabric. I look for fabric that looks thicker, a bit more like tapestry or upholstery fabric, and this makes it look higher quality. I love a textured print especially, like my Euro pillows on my bed. Some repeating print in stripes, geometric, floral, all of that can be done subtly and gives texture.

They are double sided. Generally, I try to find pillow covers that look exactly the same on the front and back because you can see the back of the pillow even though it is facing outward. This is the safest bet when trying to find a high-quality looking pillow for very inexpensive. This immediately tends to weed out the lesser quality looking ones. This is a generalization and there are exceptions. High end throw pillows may have two different fabrics on either side for instance, but both sides will have a similar quality fabric. The fabric on a backside will look good to be seen same as the front even if it’s meant to be toward the back. Sometimes very cheap throw pillows will use the best fabric on the front and the back fabric does not look so great.

They are filled out and soft with spring back. Your throw pillows will only look as good as the insert inside of it filling it out. But it will only be as comfortable as the insert too. What is worse than flat fabric for a throw pillow? An actual flat throw pillow. The worst throw pillows are both! As a novice home decorator, I use to be annoyed when throw pillow covers were sold separately from an insert, especially when shopping online. But this is ok because few throw pillows have quality inserts sold in them anyway! If you buy the throw pillow cover separate, you can purchase a quality synthetic down insert. Most throw pillows sold in stores have inserts but they can always be replaced. Now for specifics about the insert: Real down feathers will poke through a cover, and they are not comfortable. But the synthetic down inserts give the same weighty look and feel of real feathers with soft plushy comfort too. The best insert is not just any material, it will be called “synthetic down” or “alternative down” filling. This material sinks in and then fluffs up luxuriously. It is one of my best home finds ever. I love the feel of these inserts they are doughy soft, fluffy, yet moldable. Such a subtle thing for a home but one that behind the scenes makes it more comfortable and more luxurious.

The Most Important Tip

This is vital: upsize your pillow insert to be larger than your pillow cover. I upsize my pillow inserts by two sizes bigger than my pillow covers. I do not find that one size up always makes the cover filled out enough. I do not want a saggy cover, and this is the best way for them to look full and soft. Try one size up and two sizes up and see what you prefer. But definitely size the insert up because the best-looking throw pillow is filled out, not saggy and deflated. Although a bit of room for slouchy give is important and is a good look, but that is different from the cover looking too large for the insert. It can be a fine line and you have to gauge it for yourself. I think the thicker the pillow cover, the better it will look with a bit more give, and the thinner the cover, the more it needs to be filled out to not appear saggy vs slouchy in a good way.

Other Style Details

There are so many other features to great throw pillows such as rolled trim, fringe trim, tassels, etc. that I just love. These are optional details that don’t necessarily make or break a pillow look. But if you stick to the most basic principles listed above, your throw pillows will look and feel better for it. Then you can look for other style details to add in!

Happy Homemaking!

Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
    and all her paths are peace.

Proverbs 3:17


"Whatever is true,
whatever is honorable,
whatever is just,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is commendable,
if there is any excellence,
if there is anything worthy of praise
think about these things."
Philippians 4:8

Blogging about country living, homemaking, fashion and decor tips with a penchant for all things princessy, Barbie

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