The One Where I Designed Pillows

One of the main reasons behind starting Somewhat Styled was to create a space where I could share artistic projects I’ve been working on, and I’m excited today to be sharing one of the smaller projects I recently finished for my home.

I (like so many) have spent a lot of time in my home since March of 2020. A lot of things have happened since then, but one of major changes was that after a few years and one pandemic of living together, my sister and I decided it was time to part ways as roommates and start living in (and personalizing) our own spaces. All of which has led to a complete overhaul of my townhome, a lot of existential decorating decisions, and a few major purchases in 2021.

It started with the living room, which after a year of staring at two couches that were not wearing all that well and that I had never really loved to begin with, I (dramatically) determined needed to be replaced. I wanted my home to be filled with only pieces that I really loved and would want to keep for a lifetime, and to have a collected, cohesive style.

A few months ago I took a chance on a beautiful cream colored linen couch from an online retailer, and also pulled the trigger on two accent chairs I had been in love with for a few years. The couch had a few hiccups (it came with the wrong color wood base, but turned out to be a happy accident), and the chairs will be delivered in a few short weeks.

I have been dreaming about these chairs for years, I love the idea of them so much — and I hope the reality is as good as what I’ve envisioned! They’re a little bit of a statement, in peacock colored velvet, with brass legs. I knew I wanted  beautiful and unique pillows to tie the chairs to the couch, something more sophisticated and chic than anything I could find at any (reasonable) price point online.

Exhausted by what I wasn’t finding in my search, I pulled out my paints and started experimenting. I’ve been trying to loosen up my artistic style, which is sometimes a little too detailed and precise for my liking, so I played around with watercolor, letting the colors seep into one another as they formed abstract shapes.

I was really happy with some of these little abstract blobs, so I scanned them into the computer and painted a teal background to match the color of my accent chairs. Combining the pieces and layering them to create a pattern, I fell in love with this odd little abstract design. I showed it to a few people to make sure I wasn’t totally crazy, and then sent it off to be printed on satin fabric, keeping my fingers crossed that the resolution and the scale would turn out well for the pillow dimensions.

The finished fabric arrived quickly and I was thrilled! The design was crisp and clear and the colors were so vibrant. I ordered a couple pillow inserts and just needed to sew the pillowcases at that point, which was easier said than done. I’d like to say that my background in apparel design instilled enough confidence to easily whip up a couple of pillowcases, but I really haven’t sewn much in recent years. After a little (okay, a lot) of procrastinating, I finally put it all together and I couldn’t be happier with the results. They look great on the couch and I can’t wait to see how the rooms comes together once the chairs arrive.

I think to someone else this might seem like a trivial project, but to me it was really encouraging and I feel so accomplished that I was able not only to achieve something better than I had even envisioned, but that it’s something I totally came up with on my own — they’re special and unique to me, and I truly consider them little pieces of art. It really is amazing the resources we have available now —  to be able to have fabric printed with my designs would have been beyond anything I thought possible just a few years ago even, and now it’s so easily done.  This project has been a sort of catalyst for many more things I’m creating for my home —  each project gives me just enough confidence and encouragement to move on to the next new venture, and I can’t wait to show you all the progress along the way.

My hope is that this small project of mine encourages you to celebrate your wins, big or small, and test the waters to do something new —  something that you’ve always wanted to try or that just pushes you out of your comfort zone a little bit. You might just love the results!

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  1. Becky wrote:

    These are awesome!

    Posted 10.22.21 Reply
    • Thanks Becky! It was a fun project, and I’m hoping to make more soon!

      Posted 10.22.21 Reply