In the Throw of It | A Bevy of Blankets to Keep Everyone Comfortable this Season
As temperatures begin to fall, the blankets and throws found in your home can take on greater importance. While these accessories can be overlooked, they are a great way to brighten a room, update a space, add visual interest and texture, and keep everyone comfortable on chilly days.
Mady Greer, interior designer at Curtains, Blinds & Bath in Forest, notes there are differences between a decorative throw and a comfort throw, with decorative throws typically more delicate than those used for snuggling. “Every now and then, you hit the jackpot and get two in one,” she says. “Most of my customers want fashion and function. You have to decide what’s best for you.”
When thinking about complementing or elevating a home’s décor, Greer advises coordinating blankets with throw pillows and even investing in a fancier throw, for high impact. “You can find a specialty piece that maybe isn’t going to be the easiest to take care of, but will add so much oomph and presentation to your décor,” she says, pointing to mohair as a luxury texture that requires extra care but is deliciously soft.
Another way to heighten a room’s appeal, especially if the space follows a neutral palette, is to add texture. Throws that are boucle or knotted bring layers of visual appeal that won’t clash with what you already have. Greer says 100% cotton throws are always popular, especially those with tighter weaves that resist pulls from fingers or pet claws. “Cotton is harder to pull apart [than more delicate fibers] and is washable,” she notes. “It’s more expensive than a microfiber throw, but it has a whole different quality and look and is well worth the investment.”
Greer also advises customers to have a variety of blanket weights on hand. “Everybody has a different internal temperature,” she says. “It’s so important to keep whatever is comfortable and functional for each member of your family.”
But they don’t all have to be on display. While Greer recommends intentional placement – check out Instagram for ideas – some just need to be close at hand. “Maybe keep one out that goes with your color story and adds texture, and the others can be in a basket right beside the couch,” she says.
WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH A THROW THAT HAS SENTIMENTAL VALUE, BUT DOESN’T WORK IN MY SPACE?
“IF YOU REMEMBER YOUR GRANDMA MAKING AFGHANS, SAVE A PIECE OF IT AND MAKE IT INTO A FRAMED PIECE OF ART. YOU DON’T HAVE TO KEEP THE WHOLE THING.”
— MADY GREER, INTERIOR DESIGNER AT CURTAINS, BLINDS & BATH
Alex Wood, who co-owns the Farm Basket in Lynchburg with her husband, says she finds customers are buying throws for themselves as well as others. Blankets make great gifts for weddings, new homes, and graduations.
“The trend is not to be trendy,” she says, noting that the most popular throws in her shop are those in earth tones, powdery pastels and soft colors. Popular and easy-to-style patterns are simple and classic, like window pane and herringbone.
Plus, it’s now possible to find blankets that are eco-friendly. The Farm Basket recently added a line of throws made from recycled materials. “They’re super soft, and you wouldn’t know they include recyclables,” Wood says.
When it comes to updating or tweaking a room’s look, Wood says blankets are an affordable way to make a change.
“We went through this big gray, sleek, modern [look],” she says. “Now people want something to cozy up those rooms. And if you have a tighter budget, putting a throw on the back of a sofa or on the end of a bed is an easy way to give impact without a great investment.”
Wood points to throws made of cashmere blends and soft wool as options that feel luxurious but won’t break the bank, cost-wise. “If you spill on them, and it’s a blend you can’t throw in the wash, you’re not going to have a heart attack,” she says, recommending that customers be thoughtful about their goals.
“There’s functionality and also the look and the feel [throws] give a room; you’ve got to purchase with those uses in mind,” she says adding that in her own house, she has a blanket in a little-used den that just sits. “I invested in it, and it’s a focal point and it’s pretty, but it’s not functional. We are all thinking about that a little bit more – not just decorating with stuff.”
If a throw no longer matches your home’s style, it can be moved to another location or donated, if its condition is acceptable.
Both Wood and Greer agree there comes a time when a blanket or throw should be replaced. “A well-made blanket should last,” Wood says. “When tassels or fringe start unraveling or look dirty, or when you see pills, that’s when it’s time.” ✦