Bedrooms have a huge potential for decoration and interior design solutions which could change the feel of a space entirely. One of those choices, which people make every year, is the decision to use pillow shams.
What is a pillow sham and is it necessary
Pillow shams are decorative pillow cases which differ from regular bedding with the fact they are often made from hard to wash or maintain fabrics. Their purpose is mostly decorative, though there are cotton pillow shams which could be made into a more comfortable and interesting pillow case.
The goal of this article is to dispel some mysteries surrounding pillow shams and to provide you with some basic information about the very much liked and sought after effects a pillow sham can provide.
1. They can, but should not be used for sleeping
While pillow shams are cases for a pillow, they are no ordinary pillow cases in the same sense that bedding is. They could be used for sleeping or napping, however, as you’ll learn later on, they are most often made to be pretty not comfortable.
They are hard to maintain clean, and like it or not, we sweat while we sleep and pillow cases should be kept clean in order to clean our faces and skin clean and problem-free.
2. There are different shapes and sizes
Choice of freedom becomes apparent and visually confirmed when you start making interior design choices. Achieving and combining different shapes, allows you to create an entirely different atmosphere.
Due to this, just like any other interior design element, pillow shams have differing designs, shapes, sizes, colors, patters and so much more. When combining a variety of sizes and shapes of pillow shams on a bed, you will create a more alternative sensation, as opposed to the classic pillow stacking method most often seen in magazines and movies.
3. Come in all kinds of textures
The texture of a pillow sham depends on the fabric which’s been used to make it. While there are cotton variations which are softer to the touch, there are embroider shams made from course, aesthetically pleasing, but quite uncomfortable materials.
It’s entirely possible to use beads and other sorts of decorations to pretty-up a pillow sham – you can use that to your advantage, matching it to other design choices you’ve made.
4. They come in different designs and patterns
Patterns are quite important for human visual recognition and play a huge role in the designing of an interior. While there are some pillow shams which have smooth surfaces, which provide a smooth feeling, there are patterns and designs which could a more three dimensional visual stimulation, allowing you to full up an empty space with fewer items.
5. You can stack them in a different ways
Pillow stacking is an art form which everyone could practice at home. It’s a way of presenting differing or alike in size and shape pillows, in order to achieve a monolithic or a more adjusted look. And adjusted look is something which is asymmetrical, but still has a sense of harmony and a flow of energy which could be very suitable for living spaces like living rooms, couches, sofas and bedrooms.
There are several ways to stack pillow shams clad pillows, one of them is a regular stack which basically separates the regular pillows from the headboard of the bed. The second variation is to stack them asymmetrically, utilizing different sized, color and shaped pillows, clad in pillow shams.
6. Should be chosen based on existing interior design decisions
Choosing harmony and balance over a more diverse look, is a choice which you have to make for yourself. Our recommendation is that you go for shams which are a throwback to a different aspect of the room – maybe you have an interesting door handle patter, or there’s a painting over the head, or the window shades have a specific style – use that and incorporate it into your bedroom pillow shams.
7. They vary in price and quality
While there are some extremely affordable pillow shams with interesting and simplistic patters, there are also extremely high priced shams. The difference is mainly based on the materials and complexity of the sham, which is not to say that there aren’t any elegant and affordable choices.
Silk shams are one of the most expensive ones, as well as quilted or complexly patterned ones, are some of the most costly but beautiful choices. There are DIY shams which are easy to make and are quite pleasant to look at, saving you a lot of resources and allowing you to personalize your environment.
8. Pillow shams can have flanges
Flanges are those little extra pieces of fabric which are almost like a frame for a throw or sham pillow case. Flanges are an interesting way to make a pillow look bigger, giving it a more interesting 3D look.
Flanges can be simply fabric, or could be made out of gilded rope which is then sawn into the main body of the sham pillowcase. There are huge variations of flanges which can accentuate a certain aspect of the space, or could be a standalone designer decision.
9. They can be envelope or zipper cases
Since a sham is basically a fancy pillow case for decoration purposes, you should be able to change a single pillow and dress it into different pillow cases. This could be made easy with the help of a zipper strip or an envelope-like case opening, allowing you to change, wash or improve on a certain design of a pillow sham.
The envelope case variation is a lot more common in the lower price range for shams, even though zippers are not as expensive. Envelope-case openings are a lot easier to incorporate in the back of the pillow and the technological time for creating them is a lot lower, requiring several folds to make a secure opening which helps you dress a pillow.
10. They are used for decoration
This should be made clear, and this is why we are putting it in twice – they are mostly used for decoration purposes and should not be used for sleeping. The idea of a pillow sham, is to diversify the look of your bed, making it look a lot fuller than it actually is – when making your bed for the night, you leave those pillows aside and use your down or memory foam pillows instead.