A flattened, limp throw pillow doesn't do its job -- making the sofa look more inviting and comfortable -- in fact, it may even detract from the sofa's appeal. Fluff up those lifeless pillows again by giving them a good dose of fresh air or fluffing them by hand. Practice your karate chop for yet another pillow-fluffing technique.
Pillows on the sofa may withstand a lot of abuse from kids and pets or from someone leaning or lying upon them every day. Pillows that used to be fluffy benefit from a dose of fresh air once in a while. Fresh air helps dry out fibers that become damp from humidity or from continual use. As the air circulates through the pillow, the fibers fluff back up once again; this works especially well for down and feather-filled throw pillows. Set the pillows outdoors in a somewhat sunny spot for several hours, or on a protected porch if you're concerned about direct sunlight. Choose a non-humid, warm day for best results. As an added bonus, the fresh-air treatment helps remove stale odors.
The Side Squeeze
Shake and smack the pillow while holding one corner of it to help redistribute the filler material and to check for lumpy areas.
Smooth out lumps by rubbing over them with your fingers or hand. Continue shaking out the pillow from one corner at a time to loosen the fibers inside a bit.
Set the pillow up vertically on the sofa -- as you would when displaying it -- then press both sides in toward the center at the same time. This makes the center of the pillow look full and fluffy.
The Karate Chop
The "karate chop" method is similar to the side fluff, but it focuses on the top of the pillow. Set the pillow upright on the sofa; then "chop" downward with your arm along the top edge. Grab the two top corners and tug gently outwards to soften the indentation.
Arranging the Pillows
Arrange pillows of various shapes, styles or filling materials for a layered look. Place a large fluffed pillow at each corner of the sofa, for instance, arranging additional pillows at each end, each pillow slightly overlapping the previous. If you have a few synthetic pillows that always look a bit flat no matter how many times you've fluffed them, layer those in between fluffier pillows for a lush look.