Big pillows + trimmings + books

This is a bit of a scattered post but here it goes..see if you can keep up! This is how my crazy mind works . .

We talked recently about what a difference just larger sofa pillows can make…yesterday Cote de Texas mentioned using larger and few pillows on her “updating your decor” post..great post and I totally agree with what she says about losing fringe and over the top trimmings and simply using little flanges.  This is amazing to me because i loved fringe and trims, hello one of my favorite shoppes in London was VV Rouleaux on the King’s Road (see photo above).  BUT joni is right, the day of the tiny flange has is fresh and less fussy! My new sofa slipcover even has tiny flanges rather than welting!  Love it!  So all of this talk about large pillows inspires me to share this photo. And of course,  VV Rouleaux is still awesome!

I love Sarah’s little settee with the red/coral pillows!  And that trunk..i just love it all! Sarah is a design blogger in the midwest..check her out here.

. . . and her bookshelves. . . I love how some of her books are turned backwards, she says her husband kids her about this and MY HUSBAND would think it was nuts too but you have to admit this looks cool!

How do you feel about pillow trim and bookshelves with books covered or turned backwards???

[Edited to illustrate the look of a tiny flange shown at fab pillowmaker MY SPARROW on etsy]

In that gorgeous Windsor Smith fabric!  This is a TINY flange..I like it just a bit wider, usually 1/2″!

On the stripe shams in my bedroom I used a 1″ flange to trim out out the euro and its MUSLIN not even linen. Another note, notice the white linen sham has a ruffle obviously and then a tiny double ruffle… so i guess I am contradicting myself on the whole “keep it simple” thing..oh well!



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  1. What does tiny flange mean??

  2. Thank you for the shout-out, Holly!! I had so much fun designing that room.

    p.s. Heather, I think flanges are decorative fabric borders!

  3. I adore the books styled that way! So very cool!

  4. Lisa Parsons says

    I LOVE Sarah Bohl Designs!!! Great article!

  5. I agree! I am really needing to update my sofa pillows. Most of them have ruffles and ribbon trim! I definitely think less is more and fresh!

  6. Yep…trim is out [said with Heidi Klums accent!] I love a nice simple flange and bigger pillows. There is always something new……

  7. I still like welting, but I can do without all the “fringey” stuff. The books turned around would drive me crazy. We are big readers with mega 10 foot tall bookcases filled with books in our great room. BUT…all the different colors of the books in there drives me crazy too (must be an ocd!) I have considered covering all the books in kraft paper bookjackets and writing the titles on the spines…major big job. Have you seen that done anywhere?

  8. I love it all. I guess you can say I don’t descriminate. It all depends on the project though. I think the trick to using tassels and frings is don’t overdo it. I have to say though that I am not a fan of larger welts on pillows. Mostly because it makes square corners impossible and round corners drive me nuts. I love a tiny mirco welt though. By far may favorite trim to use is tapes and gimps. I love the added detail they bring while keeping it pretty tailored. I love the look of the books turned around but wouldn’t work if you needed to access the books a lot. I like the color coordinate books on shelves. It helps keep it from getting too busy.

  9. First of all, I think the client who choose the very large pillows is brilliant! 😉
    And for what it’s worth, in my non-designer’s opinion, I think beautiful, timeless rooms are a bit like a well balanced diet – it can all work in moderation. I still like my pillows with ruffles, and some beautiful trim here and there. Backwards books aren’t my thing even though they do look pretty amazing in the above photo. But I’m a reader, I LOVE my books and get joy seeing the titles and remembering the stories, I also think book cases look best when they aren’t too decorated. But that’s a whole other post. One I would love for you to do b/c the bookcases in your living room are PERFECT. I’m sure they are “styled” but they don’t look it.

  10. LOVE the tiny flanges. I do love the simplicity of it all, but still have a BIG place in my heart for VV. We need to go back…stat!!!

  11. I love the big pillows on the sofa, and I love how she did that room, the way the vintage trunk contrast with the more modern looking sofa. I like the flange look better than ruffles and trim, but that’s just me, I’ve never been one for fussiness. The books look amazing, but I’m with some of the other commenters, we read our books too much, we need to be able to see the titles, and I like seeing the titles. The books are like old friends. The mismatchedness of it used to drive me crazy, but I’ve made peace with it, and learned to appreciate the crazy quilt of color.

  12. I’ve really enjoyed the posts you’ve had lately. I like the big pillows and the flange as well, but am not crazy about the backwards books. In my small, southern, college town people would think I’d gone insane if I put my books backwards. You can’t easily remove them to read or loan if you can’t see the titles. I prefer to remove the jackets and group them by color or topic like everyone has seen a million times on the web. Of course, I’m not a designer so take my thoughts with a grain of salt. Thanks for all the wonderful inspiration!

  13. I agree Rachel..what looks cool for a display at Anthropologie or a booth at round Top isnt necessarily functional for everydy life..though i like the way Sarah did it..just turning a few backwards for visual pop…I actually love the mish mash of various book colors like the photo of my well used bookshelf in fact it reminds me of southern college towns and my brainy husband! but i do find myself liking the “books all covered” or turned backwards look in retail displays and photo shoots..that’s my problem i like it all!

  14. Holly, I love this post! Thanks for sharing the link…lots of fun information. Hope you’re having a gret weekend!

  15. I’ve never been a big fringe or trim person, it’s just too much for me. But I love both the double ruffle (with muslin) and your ticking stripe pillows. Both of the extras on them were worth it! They just add a little something that I love.

  16. Hey, that’s my pillow! Fun! I special ordered that color from My Sparrow and love it. I was drawn to her pillows over some other Etsy sellers because of the split flange (love it), but I’m especially pleasesd with how well made the pillows are. And Christina is a woman of many talents and very sesrvice oriented. Such a good purchase.

    I’m generally a fan of simpler finishes on pillows, though I do love some of Quatrine’s double welted finshes. Their pillows are amazing.

    BTW…love your new header! Ive been out of the blog world for a bit, but what a happy return!


  17. Wow every time I look at your blog it makes me want to go shopping!! Bad Stacie!! I am now looking to buy some pillows from My Sparrow!

  18. well, like i said – take it with a grain of salt. as soon as i say i don’t like trim, i find a pillow i like WITH it!!! crazy. those windsor pillows are so cute – i love that pattern. thanks for the shout out.

  19. Thank you for including the Riad pillow in your post. I am a tiny flange person. I just have a hard time with floppy.. 🙂 Just found your blog- it was such a nice surprise to see one of our pieces!



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