Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pillow Talk: The Artful Placement of Pillows Vol. I ~ Beyond the Fringe

The following post was written by a colleague, Kimo Stowell of Honolulu, Hawaii, who has graciously given his permission for me to repost it here.

Pillow Talk: the artful placement of pillows...

Pillows, like people, come in many shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. Some are firm and supportive, others just want to be seen and fawned upon; affirming that even the outrageous and impractical have a place in the world of design.

Pillows not only provide comfort, support, and a soft place to rest ones weary head, but these ubiquitous creatures give company to us in our most private spaces; laying about most exotically while expounding punches of color about the room. Sometimes these beasts are beaded and bear sequins, impossible fringe and tassels, that can strike fear in the hearts of men and passion in the minds of women.

When selecting pillows for a room, choose colors from the present interior to give depth and draw the eye through the space. Use a variety of materials, colors, textures, and sizes. I like to use at least five colors in my designs however, if you want a more subdued tranquil environment go with five shades of the same color. Pillows are relatively easy to make and offer and endless array of color combinations.

Baubles, bangles, and black shiny beads...

When placing pillows, place larger ones in the back and graduate the sizes forward and save your detailed and beaded pillows for the front. As a personal guide line, I like to cover no more then 25% of anything with pillows. When arranging pillows on a sofa or bed, asymmetry is preferred by most designers and often times an odd number is used. Personally, I find symmetrical patterning to work fine as long as it's not predictable. I like to use an odd number of high detail pieces that rest upon textural and complementary colored pillows.

Don't be too forward with your fashion...

Remember to stick to the design style of the decor. If it's modern use geometric pattern, solid color, materials that reflect the modern movement. Fringe is not a modern device, however, it all depends on the dynamics of the design. Traditional and transitional styles feature brocade, embroidery, fringe, and an endless variety of tassels and adornments. Natural fibers such as silk, flax, sea grass, and bamboo are known for their texture and are popular in Asian, Pac Rim, and Eco Friendly design.

Remember whose head will be resting...

Some designers say you can never have too many pillows and I say sure, if your decorating a harem. Too much of anything can be problematic not only when it comes to taste level, but practically and aesthetically speaking, as well.

Taking off and putting pillows back on a bed should be easy and simple; having to disassemble a mosaic before bed does not encourage peaceful sleep at night nor consistent bed making in the morning. If you have an occupied stage, nothing annoys sellers more than making them recreate your pillow palladium every morning before work. Keep it simple. Fringe, to many men is a golf term and for the most part they would like to keep it that way so go easy on the tassels, bells, and whistles when staging.

Keep eye an out for Pillow Talk: the artful placement of pillows vol II. pilling practicum

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Photos by Kimo Stowell Copyright ©2008. Article copyright by Kimo Stowell, 2008.

Kathy Passarette and Creative Home Expressions are based on Long Island, New York, and offer interior decorating, home staging, interior redesign, color consultations and a host of a la carte services. Please visit our website at for further information.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October Is Window Coverings Safety Month

Make the right choice, Kids – Cords - Caution

Mt. Sinai, NY – October 2008 – According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Counsel (CPSC) since 1990 approximately 200 infants and young children have died from accidentally strangling in window cords. Window Fashions Certified Professional Associate, Kathy Passarette of Creative Home Expressions (a Long Island based interior decorating firm), urges parents to follow the suggestions of the Window Covering Safety Counsel (WCSC) and only use cordless window products in young children’s bedrooms and sleeping areas. Owners and renters should replace all window coverings in the home made before 2001 with today’s safer products.

The WCSC is dedicated to providing consumer information and educational materials on window-cord safety. They also offer consumers free retrofit devices for addressing potential cord hazards on older window treatments, in other rooms throughout the home. You can visit their website at or toll-free at 1-800-506-4636.

Kathy Passarette and Creative Home Expressions are based on Long Island, New York, and offer interior decorating, interior redesign, home staging, color consultations and a la carte services. For more information and tips, please visit
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