This week we met with two talented home designers who got their start right here in Maplewood by designing the window of the new retail space Renew Integrative & Functional Medicine (163 Maplewood Ave.). They prefer to call themselves aesthetic engineers, to be more specific, as they work on many aspects of design including home staging and consult for interior design. According to “Kat Kuperman and Lauren Chapman — Aesthetic Engineers,” there is one sure way to brighten up any home in a matter of minutes (hint, you already have them laying around). These items in your house are getting overlooked in a major way—your throw pillows! Since getting a designer look has gone mainstream (Thanks to Target and HGTV), you need these tips to transform your couch today! Keep reading to find out the biggest mistake we usually make with our throw pillows.

Hearth: What is the importance of throw pillows in home design?

Kat and Lauren: They make the room cohesive. Throw pillows represent your style, say comfort, and are a personal expression at the same time. Are you a minimalist? You likely wouldn’t want more than 3 pillows on a 3-seater couch.

Sign Up for E-News

Hearth: Where is the best place to buy designer style on a budget?

Kat and Lauren: Target, Gilt and Marimekko at Crate and Barrel.

Hearth: What is the current trend in throw pillows?

Kat and Lauren: Blending textures. You can have a few different textured pillows of the same color on a bed or couch. Here are two examples:

Hearth: How do you match your pillows with the room?

Kat and Lauren: It depends on your style and your base. If your style is boho, you can mix and match a little more. But if your carpet is wild, you don’t want your pillows to be wild. Also evaluate how you use the couch.

Hearth:  Where else could you use throw pillows besides your couch?

Kat and Lauren: The bed, a bench in the mudroom, any chair you have in the living room. You can even use outdoor pillows for indoor use. Think outside the box on this one. See the picture below for a space that was completely unused and forgotten about until now. With just a few throw pillows, it transformed the space. 


Hearth: What is the biggest mistake people make with throw pillows:

Kat and Lauren: It has to be that people overpower the room and use too many pillows or they are too bold. The pillows should compliment your personal style and what you already have in the room.

Hearth: All this talk of couch pillows is leaving me dreaming of a nap. Which brings me to my bed. How do I make my bed look just as inviting?

Kat and Lauren: The answer is almost always shams. Sleeping pillows don’t look very good, so they really should be hidden.

Hearth: How do you display throw pillows on the bed?

Kat and Lauren: Lauren says it’s always changing and Kat says she has 5 on her bed currently and they are all in a row.

We loved learning about design with these talented women. They insist that in design there is no real way to be wrong. Other than not trying at all. Kat and Lauren each have a few dozen pillows in storage to pull out for seasons, holidays, etc. Having some extra pillows available is the perfect way to spruce up your house before guests come! No room for storage? No problem! They recommend these Jumbo Ziploc Storage Bags, a perfect solution.

Thanks for teaching us new ways to love our home, Kat and Lauren!