One Room Challenge, Week Two: Selecting Outdoor Pillows

Hey, it’s week two of the One Room Challenge and I’m talking about selecting outdoor pillows — particularly, how do you mix bold prints?

Last week, I talked about the general plan for our outdoor space the and, over each of the next 7 weeks, I’ll walk you through the steps as I transform this space. I know my project isn’t as extensive and my space isn’t as large as many of the others in the One Room Challenge, so we’re really going to break it down detail-by-detail each week.

Selecting Outdoor Pillows (That are Budget-Friendly!)

So, let’s get into how you go about selecting outdoor pillows that will not only look great aesthetically, but will also stand up to the elements.

First of all, if you want the outdoors to feel like a true room, textiles are a must. From pillows to rugs to throws, outdoor textiles will add softness, texture, warmth, and color to your space. Think about it — do you want to plop down with a good book and a glass of tea on a wrought iron chair? Or one that has a cozy pillow on top?

But, not all textiles are created equally when it comes to standing up to the great outdoors. You can’t just throw a down pillow on your patio and call it a day. You want to look for pillows that are filled with poly and made of a cotton canvas, Sunbrella, or other coated synthetic material. We know that in a perfect world, you’ll bring your outdoor pillows in from the elements when it rains or snows or otherwise…but, that’s not reality. My outdoor pillows sat outside all winter long and, of the ones that will remain in our new decor, they still look as good as new.

I found all my outdoor pillows at Target. You can definitely find high-end options, but I didn’t see a need to spend much money on something that’s literally going to sit outside exposed to weather, water, and sun. And, these have held up beautifully. They’re a budget-friendly find that still packs a stylish punch.



one room challenge - selecting outdoor pillows - outdoor pillow print mixing


How to Mix Accent Pillow Prints and Sizes

While we don’t have room for the lounge-type seating that I’d love to have, we do have two benches and two chairs that needed accent pillows. So, I wanted to vary the sizes to keep things interesting. I went with two lumbar pillows across our freestanding bench, a large square and a lumbar on the bench that accompanies our dining table, and medium-size square pillows on each of the chairs. It’s enough to add color and height variation, but doesn’t overwhelm the space.

Last summer, when I first started to make an attempt to decorate this space, the leopard pillows and the turquoise pillows were part of that arrangement. However, the other pillows kept with this turquoise theme — and it just didn’t flow with the rest of our home. Our decor is grounded in black and gray. Even our house itself is black and gray. Something about these bright, jungle decor wasn’t jiving. But, I loved the leopard pillows and wasn’t willing to give them up. So, how was I going to make them work?

I ordered two black pillows thinking they would draw out the black from the leopard pillow and make it lean towards the dark tones rather than the light colors. It did the trick! And, as a result, the two turquoise pillows, which I was sure I’d have to get rid of, actually complemented the arrangement.

And, in regard to how I mixed 4 different bold prints, this is the key: all of the prints need to range in size and motif. The black pillows have simple geometric prints, with one leaning towards super minimal. The turquoise pillow has a softer print with rounded lines that covers the entire pillow — it picks up where the black pillows leave negative space. Meanwhile, the leopard pillow is a quirky, large-scale print that adds a bit of whimsy.

What’s Next for One Room Challenge?

What do I have on the agenda for next week’s One Room Challenge post? It isn’t 100% decided yet, but I believe I’m going to cover either:

  • Creating Waterproof Storage in a Small Outdoor Space
  • The Plants I Chose for Our Shady Urban Garden

Stay tuned to find out which direction I go in for next week!


one room challenge - selecting outdoor pillows - outdoor pillow print mixing one room challenge - selecting outdoor pillows - outdoor pillow print mixing



1 Comment

  1. May 18, 2020 / 1:47 pm

    These cushions are everything! It’s going to look so good!

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