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Versatile Color Blocked Pillow Idea

Throw pillows are such an easy way to freshen up the look of a room, but I’ll admit that sometimes I’m reluctant to switch mine seasonally, which is a big trend, because I hate to store them – which is why this color blocked pillow idea is perfect for me!  I can keep these beauties forever, but still get a different vibe each day thanks to the mix and match sides.  Genius!

Our former toss cushions, the beautiful and airy Marimekko Lumimarja pillows, were a perfect fit for the living room a few years ago.  You can see a full tour of the living room during this “phase” by clicking here.

Choosing Fabrics for Color Blocked Pillows:

The pillows transitioned from our smaller cream leather sofa onto our large cream leather sectional nicely.  I also added some solid linen pillows (made in Canada) and a couple cheap aqua velvet pillows from IKEA.  In the fall we inherited five paintings from Hubby’s grandpa, when he passed away.  The paintings we chose were so bold (and so huge) that suddenly the printed pillows felt too busy with the art.  I wanted something solid and in a deeper hue, to bring out the richer shades layered in the artwork.

Luckily our local Fabricland was freshly stocked and I found a great mix of complementary velvet and tweed fabrics (below) – but I also mixed in some silk I had and the leftover teal velvet from my garbage chair makeover.  I’ve been waiting a long time to use that fabric and I love how it carries the teal from the office into the living room.  Achieving “flow” between all of the rooms has been one of my design goals since we moved here.

How to Sew Throw Pillows with a Zipper:

I’m chatting about this color blocked pillow idea because I’ve asked about my new pillows so many times on Instagram.  In this post, I’m just sharing a closer look for anyone who was curious about them!  I don’t have a tutorial, because I followed my own tutorial for how to sew a throw pillow with a flapped (hidden) zipperHere are all of my tutorials for how to sew throw pillows:

How to Match Up Color Blocking on Pillows:

I bought extra cream tweed and dusty blue velvet fabric, but otherwise equally distributed the fabric I bought for the pillow fronts/backs.  Figuring out the balance I wanted and how many pillows to make was the only tricky part.  Oh – and finding the patience to wait for a 50% off sale.  With the fabric in hand, I cut out the squares and then took a few minutes to pair them up before whipping them into pillows.   I used the same size for all of the pillows (previously they were different sizes) – except for the teal velvet, which I turned into kidney pillows because of the size of remnant I had leftover.

Look at the Different Looks Color Blocked Pillows Can Create:

The end result is amazing because I can change up the look with the flip of a pillow!  I can do all velvet for a rich look, or choose more greens for an earthier vibe – or if I’m feeling color overload, I can flip more cream tweed over for a more mellow look.  I love the mix of greens and blues and how they pick up on the depth of Bert’s painting behind the sofa.

Hubby loves these because he can literally fling them around on the sofa in any order.

That’s almost enough pillows for the sofa, lol.

If you’re digging the velvet pillows, but are in no mood to sew, I rounded up some faves and – at time of writing – they’re available and some are on a super good sale right now.  But seriously, if you feel like spending some time with the sewing machine, this color blocked pillow idea is so fun!



  1. Oona
    January 17, 2019 / 5:53 pm

    Hi, Tanya. I love your pillows, and I’ve been meaning to make some ever since your tutorial came out. My big stumbling block is finding good pillow forms to stuff them. I picked up a couple on sale a few years back, but they’re so firm and bouncy that I know they wouldn’t ever have that nice, soft, inviting look on the couch that yours do. Suggestions for sources?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      January 17, 2019 / 6:06 pm

      Thank you Oona! I don’t have a go-to source for pillow forms but I always get down – except for the boat, where I went with a really good synthetic that feels like down, and the bunkie where I just did cheap foam. In those places, I heard down wasn’t good for mold/damp concerns. But for the living room, I always use down and I’ve gotten them from amazon (I just bought these and used them for the kidney pillows) or recycled down inserts from other pillows I’ve bought over the years. One trick is to not pay attention to the size of the pillow form. I find sometimes if I buy a 22″ pillow form and sew a 22″ pillow, the pillow forms seem wimpy. I will sometimes do an 18-20″ pillow for a 22″ pillow form and then that feels better for me. I’m not sure what kind you’re using right now but I find down is a must for being able to smush and lounge on them.

  2. Oona
    January 19, 2019 / 2:10 pm

    Excellent help! Thanks, Tanya.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      January 19, 2019 / 3:20 pm

      always happy to help 🙂

  3. Lori
    July 30, 2019 / 4:32 am

    Darling room! You’ve done a great job with your decor . Can’t wait to try the alcohol ink diy’s. My daughter is looking for a cream sectional sofa , love yours, would you mind telling me where you purchased ? Thank you , Lori

    • July 30, 2019 / 10:23 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I purchased it from a local furniture shop which recently closed down. It’s made in Canada, but I do remember that they carried it at Sears also. I’m so sorry that I don’t have more info on the manufacturer.

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