A few months ago, we shared the tips and tricks we do every day around our home to make this a happy, healthy pet friendly place to live. It’s no secret that Jack, CC and Libby rule this roost, and we try our best to set them up for success. Nothing in our home is too precious, and we truly think you can have a house full of furry loved ones and still surround yourself with things you love, too!
After sharing that initial post, the majority of questions we receive have to do with our decor buying habits in a household run by pets. More specifically, where do we shop for things that can take abuse on the daily and still look good months and years down the road? Recently, a reader came to us with this question:
Like you, we limit ourselves to pillow covers that can be removed and washed, which are EXTREMELY hard to find. Any chance you could provide a source list of pillow covers you’ve found through the years that can be thrown in the washer? Also, do you wash even the pillow covers that aren’t technically machine-washable? Do you throw caution to the wind and wash even “spot clean only” covers? – Cindy
We receive comments and emails like this quite often, so we thought it was time to share our favorite places to shop for removable, washable throw pillows with everyone all at once! Like Cindy, we used to be frustrated by pillow shopping (maybe I should take Scott out of that equation – ha!), as it seemed that inexpensive ones had non-removable covers, and the more expensive ones were made from wool and/or silk. Over the years, we’ve found ourselves shopping again and again at a handful of shops that are always guaranteed to have a wide selection for the hard-wearing home, and I’ll be honest, as long as something is made from cotton, linen or velvet, we do throw caution to the wind and throw them in our washing machine. (Yes, even if they claim to be ‘spot clean’ or ‘dry clean only.’) The verdict? Our pillow cases typically survive longer than I love the patterns themselves, so I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet to set your machine to the delicate cycle and wash away.
Below, we’ve rounded up all the places where we look for pillows (as well as almost 50 favorite pieces!), in almost the exact order listed. Scott has a strict one pillow in one pillow out rule, which I mostly stick to. (Hey, it’s hard being a pillow addict!) As a compromise, I do my best to try and purchase covers only, which are much easier to rotate and store away. In the case that a cover can’t be purchased without a form, I’ll keep the new form and donate the oldest.
One last thing to keep in mind: the ceilings in our main living spaces are close to 10′ tall, and as a result, we’ve found that pillows less than 18″ look too small in the room. As a result, we’re mindful to look for pillows that are typically 18-20″, if not upwards of 23-24″, and then we layer away for an extra cozy look.
Alright, enough chit chat, let’s shop!
Our favorite pillows from Crate & Barrel are, hands down, the velvet guys. They’re incredibly soft, wash (and dry!) really, really well, and they look brand new after having them for almost a year and at least 10 washings. In-between washings, I’ll run a damp microfiber cloth over the fabric to pick up all the stray pet hair. Many of the styles below also come in multiple sizes and colors!
CB2 is comparable to Crate & Barrel in quality and prices, but with options that lean a little more bold, less traditional. I always joke that CB2 is my ‘happy place,’ and we often pop by in person whenever we’re near our Chicago store on North Ave – even if just to gather ideas and inspiration. Tip: In-store, you can ask to purchase just the cover, and in doing so, you’ll save an easy $10-15 off the top.
I enjoy taking a look at H&M‘s home goods selection for their basics. They have a colorful selection of cotton canvas and linen pillows, all of which are incredibly inexpensive and great for throwing into the mix! Their patterned pillows keep getting better and better, too.
We can’t take a stroll through IKEA without stopping through their textiles department. Also good for basics, although if you’re willing to take risks, their BOKARV pillows are adorable (albeit slightly scratchy). It’s also where we pick up large 24″ pillow forms to use as dog beds!
Does it take more patience to seek out the perfect pillow on Etsy? Absolutely. But once you’ve nailed down a few favorite sellers, it’s easy enough to pop by their shop every now and then to see what’s new. Each of the items listed below come from great sellers with an expansive variety.
While I haven’t been able to find clothing at Urban Outfitters in years, they’ve been killing it in the home department! So. Many. Cute. Things. A lot of their pillows aren’t the most washable (there’s a lot of detailed embroidery to be found!), but there’s still some gems that are great for mixing and matching.
We might have the least amount of luck at West Elm, but if you dig deep enough, there are still some pretty adorable pet-friendly options! In our experience, a lot of their pillows throw in a touch of silk or wool, so it can be hit or miss.
Similar to Etsy, big shopping sites like Wayfair and All Modern take a bit of patience to sift through. The thing I like about these one-stop-shops is that you can easily set search filters. For pillows, I like to check off ‘cotton’, ‘cotton blend’, ‘linen’ and ‘velvet’. (Have you sensed a theme?) There’s even an option to search by ‘machine washable’! Yes, please.
For all the pet lovers out there (or those with sticky kids’ fingers, too!), do you have any other favorite places to look? Local craft fairs definitely deserve a spot above, as well as hometown boutiques and vintage shops. And for all of you that can make a mean pillow on your sewing machine, can we be friends?