Tuesday 23rd January 2018
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What throw pillows have to do with my love life

Recently, my friend Will told me that my apartment doesn’t feel like the person who’s living there is very settled. Mostly he’s referring to my supernatural ability to attract clutter, and my extra bedroom, which basically functions as a storage facility. His theory is that this puts guys off when I bring them home, a topic we were on because I was somewhat recently dumped by a man I had only been seeing briefly but liked a lot, and was entirely mystified as to why. I’m pretty much over the getting dumped part, but Will’s criticism stuck: I love and feel perfectly settled in my place, but the truth is that it is absent some of the kind of finishing touches that make a house feel like a home, like say throw pillows for the sofa. So I’ve been looking for some nice bright ones, cause my sectional is a lovely but somewhat boring grey. This one is from Liberty—it’s their Ianthe print, which is one of my favorites, and I think the colors are fantastic.

This is kind of retroish and cute.

Another rather retroish choice: it reminds me of the kitchen in the house where I spent my early childhood.

I like the geometric print here, and the unexpected mix of colors.

This one is so damn cheery.

Just a lot of nice reds.

I’m really digging the combination of army green and pink here, and of course it’s hard for me to resist including a leopard print.

A pricey but oh-so-beautiful choice from Missoni.

And here’s a not-especially-bright but very fun Marimekko print.

And finally: this is just lunacy, but I love it so much.

Posted on August 25th, 2017 32 Comments

32 Responses

  1. Heather says:

    Kim, I’m sorry about the breakup. They suck, and they don’t get any easier. I ended a relationship with a man I was involved with back in the spring, and I still feel waves of sadness.

  2. Audrey says:


    Also sorry about the breakup. In my experience, if you’re so mystified, it is frequently the guy’s issue, as why not explain something to you? Also, while I totally appreciate your wanting to change your living space, do you really think if someone was “all in” they would leave because you have clutter?

    Glad you are getting over it.

  3. Sue says:

    I was really moved by your honesty this morning. The real mystery is finding the one you want to live your whole life with. Deep breath. The right one is waiting for you around the corner! Also, thanks for your amazing site!!

  4. Ann says:

    That pillow reminds me of my childhood kitchen, too! We had wallpaper with giant orange and pink flowers and green leaves. It was insane.

  5. Sue says:

    I was really struck by your honesty this morning. The real mystery is meeting the man you want to spend your life with. Deep breath. The right one is waiting around the corner.

    Also, thanks for the your awesome site!

  6. Sheila says:

    It’s heartening to hear other GOACAs are also still navigating the breakup waters. I agree with Heather’s comment about the waves of sadness. I’m sorry you are going through this. The pillows are lovely–I like the Marimekko one with the animals a little too much. But you have such a good gut when it comes to home decor that feels good to you–please don’t let your friend’s comment undermine how you define your space!

  7. Sisty says:

    The pillows are adorable, but they are all too girly for your specific purpose. I’d go with something more neutral and more tactile. Have you checked out Amber Interiors? She has a ton of gorgeous pillows. Just my two cents, of course.

  8. Rebecca Too says:

    Your house, your stuff, your life, your choices…but not your job to make it look ‘homey’ for a guy.

    But I would trade all I possess for that Liberty pillow!

    Finally, F’ that dud3. You are amazing!

  9. c.w. says:

    The only person I need to make feel “at home” is me. Everyone else can deal.

    That said, who doesn’t need another throw pillow! Loving all of these. What a great selection. A neighbor once told me you can always tell when someone is about to put their home on the market because they’ve put new mulch down in their garden beds and have purchased a truck load of throw pillows.

  10. DeDe says:

    I say get one of each, put them all on the couch at once, and see what happens.

    Seriously though, I agree with others here – you’re a grown-ass woman and it’s *your* space. If a guy dumps you ’cause he doesn’t like it, honestly? That’s still on him, not you. You do not owe domesticity to anyone.

  11. Viajera says:

    These all look exciting – ya can’t miss!!

    I have some of the same challenges with the clutter. I work on it… when possible. ; ) It is more important that you have many people who love you and two cute little friends.

  12. Jaimie E says:

    While I don’t think throw pillows will attract love into your life, they are still crucial! Also, you can change them out according to the season or your mood. Love all of these, just make sure they’re comfy for taking naps zzzzzzz

  13. Mimi says:

    It’s funny. When I was dating I got feedback that my the post-divorce home I had made for myself was “too perfect.” Guys felt like they couldn’t move anything without disturbing my carefully arranged order. So, order, clutter, you can’t please everyone. And while I don’t know the details, I’d say a guy who is exposed to the wonder that is you and would be shallow enough to dump you because of your apartment’s vibe is no loss. Love the Liberty pillow and the Amara silk geometric. I’m always buying new pillows, get tired of them and being seduced by new ones. It’s a benign addiction.

  14. Dana D says:

    I am sorry about the break-up. Just simply sucks.

    I love the color pillows bring to the room, but if you don’t want pillows, don’t put them on your sofa. I don’t think you will buy pillows for the woman someone else thinks you should be. And I also think Will is truly trying to be helpful.

    My partner personally finds having to move the pillows to sit down quite an annoyance…

    That being said, we keep our separate houses.

  15. joannawnyc says:

    I highly recommend these throw pillows:


    IME, men don’t care about decor but I’ve been married to the same guy since 1989. I’m sure things have changed.

  16. Mae says:

    Every man I know tosses decorative pillows to the floor.

    • Lori says:

      Yes! My BF *hates* throw pillows, and so did his father before him. My own late father (an extremely clean and well-dressed guy) tolerated decor because my mother controlled the household — but if he’d lived alone, his place would have been visually plain, totally comfortable, and dominated by electronics. Decorate to please yourself! (-:

  17. Mae says:

    And every man I know who lives alone decorates for himself and will make space for a friend who’s crashing at his place from time to time. Which is what you should do, my dear.

  18. Mamavalveeta03 says:

    Will could be right, but I’ve never known a straight man who gave a damn about pillows….especially if the chance of sex was involved.

    Don’t you have some bright pink accents? Go with the Liberty or the pink/green…they’ll be great. It sounds very “Marie Kondo-ish,” but go with what you love and sparks happiness.

  19. Debra says:

    Just want to say that this pillows are ALL great! I’ve got nothing on the romantic thing but glad to hear that you’re relaxed about it and moving through.

  20. suz says:

    Huh. I am not sure men notice throw pillows except when they need one as a head prop, or when there are 800 of them and its a tribbles situation….

    I love all of these, particularly the last crazy comic book fire-bursty one. Which goes with nothing I own.

    Breakups – ugh. I am sorry. It’s hard sifting through and finding potential out there. And this could go towards pillow selection (as it is meant) and guys – you will know it when you find the right one. That sounds super lame but it’s true. Now go get some pillows.

  21. Gables girl says:

    Men are like throw pillows. After sitting on the couch too long you need new ones;)

  22. RebeccaNYC IG: @mybackstageopera says:

    wait just one stinkin’ minute here. your friend Will thinks this guy dumped you because your place has “clutter” in it? First off, clutter is a sign of genius, and secondly, what guy notices the decor when he has romance on his mind? I call BS on this whole theory and say buy all the pillows you want…but do it because they are absolutely beautiful and you want them.

    and I’m so sorry about the dumping. you’re a keeper, IMHO

  23. Lori in Toronto says:

    You’re a smart, funny, attractive, successful, bada$$ woman taking care of herself who has an unused bedroom IN MANHATTAN! You are perfect already! If any of those pillows spark joy (sorry!), get ’em. If not, don’t bother.

    As for me, in my head I am a great decorator, but once I’m in a store, I tend to confuse all the styles I like, and end up doing stupid things like buying throw pillows that would look great with a sofa I never did buy… I hate throw pillows…

  24. christine says:

    Hmmm, throw pillows to keep a man? What is this; 1954? Haha. Actually I totally get it if you were looking for some contextual type around some very cool toss pillows, but I also call BS on decorating for a man.

  25. Sarah says:

    I”m sure Will means well, but Will needs to STFU. If you wanted throw pillows, you’d have throw pillows. That said, the Liberty is beautiful and seems to suit you. As another commenter mentioned, they have to be functional, i.e. comfy. A pillow just for the sake of “adding a pop of color” doesn’t seem your style.

  26. Hick from Styx says:

    My dog loves throw pillows. Any chair or couch with a throw pillow is dog domain. They are a wonderful addition to any home where dogs live.