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The Power of a Pillow can Change a Room

When friends ask me what they can do to give their space a refresh, one of my favorite design tips is to believe in the power of a pillow. Even one new pillow in a bedroom, living room, or study can suddenly make a space feel fresh and bright. Pillows don’t need to break the bank either or take up too much storage space. Pillows with removable covers are my favorite, and you can find very affordable pillow forms out there. (I recently picked up a few at IKEA. and their prices were super affordable.) With the right pillow, you can change the covers out seasonally or whenever you need a little change. Plus, if you’ve always wanted to learn to sew, this is a great first project!

Want to make your own and not sure where to start?

Here are my favorite places to find fabrics for pillow covers.

Shop vintage fabrics.
If you’re like me and love to hunt through antique stores and vintage shops, be on the lookout for vintage fabrics. Some shops have bolts of yardage they can cut down for you, or you can repurpose pieces such as curtains, dresses, bedding, scarves, shirts, anything! You can also quilt pieces together first for something unique.

Upcycle your textiles.
What do you do with your clothing or home textiles when they’re no longer functional? Instead of recycling them, repurpose them into pillows. Suddenly that favorite sweater can still be in your life, just in pillow form! I find this touching to do with other people’s textiles who were important to you, such as your grandfather’s shirts or your grandmother’s linens.

Take a dyeing workshop.
Shibori is a hot trend right now in fashion and home furnishings, and with that trend has come a renewed interest in learning how to do it. Shibori is the word for resist dye techniques where fabric is folded, sewn, tied, or otherwise bound and then dyed. When you pull the fabric out of the dye vat, you have a gorgeous pattern where the dye could not reach. Best of all, these fabrics are all unique, and it doesn’t take a lot of fabric to wind up with pieces big enough for pillows.

Beautiful shibori pillows made by Kathy Phillips from Springs Creative.

Visit your local fabric store.
Definitely the easiest option! It’s exciting to see more and more people showing an interest in sewing. While you can find fabrics at big-box retailers, many towns have independent fabric shops that are hidden gems. The best part about buying local is you’ll be meeting other people in your community who sew and can give you advice and help.

Order a digitally printed fabric.
I’m sure it won’t be a surprise to anyone that I love to make pillows out of my own designs. I was an early adopter of Spoonflower from the minute they launched. Take a stab at designing your own fabric or buy fabric from one of the independent designers on their site, like … you know, Design Pool.

Pineapple Surprise Pattern P1321 in Yellow on Pillow for Home or Hotel
Pattern P1321

Have you changed up a room using the power of a pillow? We’d love to see it! Post your photos on Instagram and tag us so we can see.

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Kristen Dettoni

Kristen is a visionary textile designer based in Southern New Hampshire with a track record of industry-defining contributions dating back to 1993. She is the Founder of Design Pool and Domanda Design and is an occasional blogger. Her creative influence is reflected in her work across multiple sectors, including automotive, office, hospitality, healthcare and home furnishings. Kristen is an accomplished designer with over thirty years of experience in design with a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She maintains an art practice and exhibits her artwork in juried and group shows throughout the United States. Her artwork has received numerous awards and honorable mentions. Whatever her creative pursuit, Dettoni approaches it with a strong belief in the power of good design to transform our environments and ultimately, our lives.


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