Vicki Zajac Interiors
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Custom Pillows - What's Involved

There are parts of my job that I do on automatic, one of them is figuring out how I am going to use custom pillows in my design so the entire space will look high end, and one of a kind.

In most of my designs I will incorporate some store bought pillows with custom pillows. Sometimes a client will fall in love with a fabric that is very expensive, so I might make a large rectangular accent pillow out of that material for a bed for example. The other decorative pillows might be a solid and something store bought. In the end, the eye is drawn to the amazing one of a kind fabric, and the store bought pillows provide a beautiful background.

In the picture above the bedding was store bought including the two matching shams. For me, it was simple. I look at the wall color, the colors in bedding and I can see that something in a tangerine orange color is going to look amazing. You can see the full picture of the room below. I kept this design simple because it’s in a rental home so no need for too many pillows to keep track of.

I selected the wall color (in a separate paint consultation). I also selected the bedding at Bed Bath and Beyond (this client was remote so I had inspiration photos to go from). Then I took one of the shams with me to three different fabric stores to find the right color fabric and one that would be soft but durable. It’s not always straight forward finding a solid in just the hue you want. I already knew this was a queen bed so I would want three euro shams. I ordered three feather inserts. Then all this was delivered to my workroom. When it was ready I picked it up and delivered it to the house and made the bed as you see it.

How much time was all of that?

  • 2 hours - Paint consultation (3 colors selected for entire house)

  • 3 hours - Review client inspiration photos of bedding, email clarifications, then physically shop for bedding

  • 2.5 hours - Take pillow shams to different fabric stores in search of tangerine color fabric for Euro Shams and order inserts

  • 1 hour - Pick up fabric and inserts and deliver to workroom

  • 1 hour - Deliver pillows on site and make bed.

You’ll see in the picture that there are beautiful turquoise bedside lamps. That took some time to find as well.

In the end, though, this room looks put together, and when people see on one of the vacation rental website, it’s very inviting.

All in all there are many steps involved in getting custom projects done. If I’m doing more than one room in the house, as I was in this house, I can look for fabrics for everything in the same visit which helps with hours.

Hope that clarifies what’s involved in the designing of a custom pillow.


If you are need of any design help, whether it’s an area rug, furniture selection, or just a consultation, I would to hear from you!

Please note that some of the items I post about contain affiliate links which means that I may get a small commission if you order online and my referral code at no cost to you.