Decorative Pillows: A Guide to Their History and Use in Home and Office Décor

Decorative Pillows, Throw pillows for couch, Abstract shapes in neutral tones on throw pillows.

In this blog post, we examine the history and practical applications of decorative pillows in home and office decor. We will start by explaining what decorative pillows are and the differences between them, cushions, and regular pillows. The unique features of decorative pillows, including their versatility, customizable options, and ability to bring color, texture, and comfort to a room, are then highlighted. Finally, we examine the ideal usage of decorative pillows in both residential and professional settings, emphasizing their ability to create a warm and inviting atmosphere, add elegance, and personalize the ambiance of a space.

Decorative Pillows Defined

A decorative pillow, also known as a throw pillow, is a small, plush cushion that is used to enhance the appearance and comfort of a room. These pillows come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns, making it easy to find the perfect match for any room. Unlike regular pillows, decorative pillows are not intended for sleeping or resting, but instead serve primarily as a form of home décor.
Decorative pillows come in a variety of sizes to accommodate different uses and personal preferences.
The most common sizes include:
• Square: Square pillows are the most popular and versatile decorative pillows. They are available in various sizes, with the most common being 16×16 inches, 18×18 inches, and 20×20 inches.

• Lumbar: Lumbar pillows are long, narrow pillows that are ideal for supporting the lower back while sitting. They are usually 12×18 inches or 14×20 inches in size.

• Bolster: Bolster pillows are cylindrical in shape and are commonly used as accent pillows or to provide support for the neck and back. They are usually 6-8 inches in diameter and 18-24 inches in length.

• Euro: Euro pillows are large, square pillows that are used to decorate beds and provide back support while sitting up in bed. They are usually 26×26 inches in size.

These are the most common sizes, but decorative pillows can come in a range of other sizes as well, including rectangular, triangular, and custom shapes. The size you choose will depend on the intended use and the size of the space you want to decorate.


Decorative pillows have been a popular addition to home and office décor for centuries, providing both comfort and style to furniture and spaces.

Ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians and the Greeks used pillows for comfort and support while sleeping, often stuffing them with soft materials such as feathers, straw, or even wool. The ancient Egyptians also used pillows as symbols of status and wealth, decorating them with colorful, intricate designs and precious materials like gold and silk.

In medieval Europe, pillows were similarly used for both comfort and decoration, with noble households displaying their wealth through the use of luxurious fabrics, embroidery, and intricate needlework. It was during this time that the feather pillow became popular, as it was seen as a symbol of wealth and comfort.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, decorative pillows became a staple in Victorian-era homes, with homeowners using them to add color and texture to their sofas and chairs. They also became more intricate, with the use of tassels, fringe, and lace becoming popular.

In the 20th century, decorative pillows became even more ubiquitous, with designers and manufacturers experimenting with new materials and styles.

From the mid-century modern aesthetic of the 1950s and 60s to the bold, graphic patterns of the 1970s, decorative pillows continued to evolve and play an important role in interior design. From Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics depicting the use of cushioning on seating to the plush and fashionable decorative pillows of today, this type of home décor has come a long way.

Difference between Decorative Pillows, Cushions, and Regular Pillows

While the terms decorative pillow, cushion, and regular pillow are often used interchangeably, there are distinct differences between them. A cushion refers to any soft material used for padding or comfort on a surface. Regular pillows are larger and meant for sleeping or resting. Decorative pillows, on the other hand, are smaller and serve the purpose of enhancing the décor of a room.

What Makes Decorative Pillows Unique

Decorative pillows are a versatile form of home décor, capable of adding color and texture to a room, complementing existing furniture, or making a bold statement with a unique pattern or material. They are also highly customizable, with options for size, shape, and material that make it easy to find the perfect pillow to suit any style or aesthetic.

Best Use of Decorative Pillows in Home and Office

Decorative pillows are best used in both home and office settings, providing a touch of comfort and style to any room. They are often placed on couches, chairs, and beds, but can also add a splash of color when hung on walls or used as floor cushions. Decorative pillows are a great way to personalize a room, allowing you to choose pillows that match your favorite colors or patterns.
In the home, decorative pillows can create a cozy and inviting atmosphere in the living room, bedroom, or any other space where you relax. They can also add a touch of elegance to a dining room or formal living space.
In the office, decorative pillows can add comfort to a seating area or make a waiting room or reception area feel more inviting. They can also be used to personalize your workspace, with the option to choose pillows that reflect your personality or professional style.


In conclusion, decorative pillows have been a popular choice in home and office decor for a long time and continue to be a go-to for adding a touch of color, texture, and comfort to a room. With a wide range of sizes, shapes, colors, and materials to choose from, decorative pillows are highly customizable and the perfect solution for matching any style or aesthetic. Whether you’re looking to create a cozy atmosphere in your home or add a touch of sophistication to your office, decorative pillows are an excellent option.