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Pillow Talk

Posted On December 2, 2022

A curated collection of pillows can say a lot

By Elizabeth Sugg  »  Photos by John Patota


Want a little interior design pick-me-up? Go to a home and interiors store, the more locally based the more unique choices you may discover and explore the joy of a simple update of your surroundings. Recently on the journey to writing our arts section at One Eleven Main in Southern Pines, I was struck by the store’s living room sofa and its vivid floral pillows that looked like watercolor paintings in each corner. I immediately wanted to go sit and enjoy a few quiet minutes, the pops of color brightening my day. Maybe pillows can talk but it’s up to us to put together a collection that speaks to us.

According to co-owner Erin Reville, oversized pillows are what’s current. “For a sofa that is 36- to 40-inches deep, you want a 22-inch square,” she says. That’s a lot bigger than anything I have so no wonder my living room sofa hasn’t been making a statement.

Not only do pillows in your chosen color wheel liven your sitting areas and bedroom, they also jazz things up in a big way on a relatively small budget. One Eleven Main’s pillows are custom made by a Winston-Salem gentleman who makes each one from fabrics he has especially sourced. A 22-inch plush living room pillow begins at $120 and up for something that creates a distinguished aura.

If bold color isn’t for you, look for a neutral in a pattern that will pull you to a cozy spot in your home. The key to choosing both color and pattern is to look at your room with a discerning eye and find a color or pattern that is a common theme and build on that. Combining patterns is great as long as you hold the mixing and matching to only three so the room doesn’t get too busy. Consider filling the pillows with feather inserts or a plush substitute so they give comfortably when you sit or lay down. The karate chop to the pillow top that we all do now when fluffing doesn’t happen with the old-style foam forms.

In the past a 22-inch pillow might have been fronted with an 18-inch square, and that is certainly a classic look, but according to Reville, don’t be shy about having two sets of the 22-inch on your sofa. If that doesn’t appeal to you, consider a lumbar pillow, one that might be oversized and ride in the middle of the sofa cushions, or ones that nestle beneath the height of each larger square.

If you enjoy fabrics, one of my favorite places to stop in is Not Just Linens, the upholstery store on US-1 in Vass. You can find velvets, linen, leather, faux fur, you name it, and the staff will help with the names of people who can make pillows for you at a reasonable price. With winter looming and the sunset falling just past 5pm, a little pillow talk might be some good company in the new year.