Switching out pillows is one of the easiest ways to freshen up the look of an outdoor patio area. Point of fact: no matter what performance fabrics say in their ads, they fade with the sun and time, and some stains just won’t come out.
This summer was my year to do a re-fresh, spurred by the arrival of some new patio furniture. Had no idea what I wanted to accompany that Perennials charcoal-hued fabric on the sofa and swivel chair, so I ordered a bunch of choices to try out from Pottery Barn and Serena & Lily.
I ended up falling in love with a lawn green woven placemat with ivory fringe that I bought from Crate & Barrel that day. It really went with nothing I have but I just fell in love with that color. When I got home, I tossed up against the new black sofa cushions and I was like bingo! Green is what I’m going for here! I took the placemat with me and shopped at a couple of local fabric stores, ending up making a couple of outdoor pillows with a similar green fabric by Perennials. I added them to the 20 x 20 squares and the rattan smaller square pillow with pom poms — all bought at Pottery Barn, which has a really nice price point. (Can’t say the same thing about Serena & Lily…)
Whether making or buying outdoor pillows, take the feel of the fabric. Run your hand across it. How does it feel to the touch? There’s a wide range of comfort levels among fabrics— from scratchy to soft. (Perennials fabrics, by the way, tend to be softer than Sunbrella)
Don’t have so many pillows that people have to toss them on the floor to sit comfortably. Get pillows that you can sit with or, if you have a larger sofa and the pillows are large, that you can push aside. Anything 20 x 20 or larger can be challenge to sit with. Lumbar pillows, which are easier to rest up against, can be one solution. If you need to remove pillows to sit comfortably, reduce your number or size of pillows. (I feel the same way about bed pillows; less is more)
Get a wide range of textures. High performance fabrics now come in a plethora of textures—woven, nubby, macrame etc. You no longer have to get all flat finishes.
If a store-bought pillow feels a little plain, add interest with high performance fringe or tassels. They are actually making adornments now to be weather resistant. You can often find these over by the Sunbrella or Perennials rolls at your local fabric store.
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