pillow collage

Pillow Talk. How to Spice Up Your Home!

Are you looking for a quick and relatively inexpensive way to brighten up your decor?  Well, we have a plan!!  We are pleased to introduce you to Alison Johnston ASID, a designer in the San Francisco Bay Area. Alison is the owner of Johnston Home Interior Design. Her designs focus on fresh California living. Whether a client needs help designing an entire new home, from blueprints to molding to furniture, or just wants to redo a room or two, Alison brings a fresh, professional approach to every project.  FabList asked Alison her thoughts on how to quickly freshen up a home, and she immediately decided that she’d love to focus on pillows. She loves textiles and sees pillows as big-impact items that are not permanent and won’t kill your budget. Thank you Allison, and now for her Pillow Talk!


The weather outside is frightful … well maybe just gray and rainy.. . and if spring hasn’t shown up in your yard, we can bring it into the house. And the easiest way to bring it? Pillows!

I source so many designer pillows from Etsy. Today I’m going to share my favorite makers from this site. I’ll also share companion pillows from well-known retailers and a few hidden gems. Don’t forget to scroll to the end for my HOT TIP on buying the perfect pillow.

For a bright and cheerful look I love the Etsy shop PopOColor. Wouldn’t this be a fresh combo? Here I show you how to mix patterns with a similar palette with this Schumacher Leaf Green one or the Brunschwig Green Kashmiri. I always add a solid pillow as a background player, such as this darker velvet from Crate and Barrel to ground these two spring green brights! Crate and Barrel has a wonderful collection of velvets that provide great contrast to your patterns.

Now, let’s do a soft red, white, and blue for a bedroom. Pair a floral like this Schumacher one and some stripes by Kravet for a classic combo. And to make it modern, add in a fluffy texture. Can you believe these gorgeous navy furry pillows are from Quince? Such a deal.

Next, I love the pairing of green and yellow. This gorgeous cut velvet pillow will take you from winter to spring. Just pop a lumbar pillow like this yellow floral in front for a little sunshine. Lacefield is a designer secret – pillows with trim! And Ballard has some great fabrics. Do you like the floral or the ikat pattern?

Or maybe you’re ready for something a little more bold? Remember … this is just a pillow! We aren’t doing a pink sofa. Unless you want to…. (call me!) Try this fun butterfly floral, or this gorgeous block print or these fun pink speckles!

Or maybe you want something a bit more mod?  West Elm has fun colorful Geo patterns as does Spark Modern from Etsy. Check out Lulu and Georgia for beautiful nubbly textures.

And now for the HOT TIP on how to order pillow inserts. You must order the insert in the next larger size. Standard sofa pillows are 18” or 20” squares. If you order an 18” pillow cover, then order the 20” square pillow insert. This will ensure your pillow is stuffed and has a full fluffy feeling. For a soft pillow I recommend 10/90 down. If you have an allergy or like a firmer pillow then I recommend the poly fiber.

Sizing:  For sofas, try two larger (20-24″) and two smaller (18-20″) pillows to start (depending on the back height of the sofa) and fill in as wanted.  For lounge chairs, a standard lumbar is 12×20″, larger for a sofa or bed.

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Chrissie and Joanne love discovering, curating and creating. They developed FabList as a place to share their favorite finds with you.

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Joanne & Chrissie

Chrissie and Joanne love discovering, curating and creating. They developed FabList as a place to share their favorite finds with you.

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