How To Arrange The Best Throw Pillow Combinations

When decorating with throw pillows, can you ever really have too many? Let's say if you can't comfortably sit on the furniture you're decorating, you have reached the limit. Accenting your home with throw pillows is one of the simplest ways to introduce style and texture into your dwelling. According to Rave Home Staging and Training, they are the premier staging components for any interior. However, you don't have to be staging your home to amp up your throw pillow game. So how exactly do you create an interior designer-worthy display of throw pillows? With a little inspiration!

Maybe the endless variety, color selection, pattern, print, or artisanal creation of the pillows will spark your interest and get your creativity flowing. Use these elements and your personal preference to put together the perfect display of throw pillows on a sofa or bed for a cozier interior. With some investment, throw pillows can change the look and feel of a whole design. Browse below for inspiration on creating pillow combinations that will add a splash of color, dash of texture, and pinch of pattern to your lovely home.

Combine cohesive colors

Color choice is crucial when assembling throw pillow combinations for your interior, regardless of which room you're decorating. The wrong tone or shade can throw the whole arrangement off. Make combining pillows in various colors simple, and begin your look by selecting the anchor color in the room. This color anchors the rest of the space and is the one you want to highlight more of throughout the accent pieces. Then, add pillows in complementary tones that accentuate the base color choice. A combination of pillows in shades on opposite sides of the color wheel will provide high contrast and visual impact.

When decorating with pillows, you can create a professional appearance when the tones are of complementary temperatures. Which are you choosing for your interior? Let's find out. "Warm colors can make a room feel exciting and bold because they have a natural fun energy to them," interior designer Emily Henderson told Real Simple. "Cool colors are more calming, since they are the colors you would find in nature." What applies outside also applies inside, as reds, oranges, browns, and yellows are typically warm while shades of blues, purples, and greens appear cool. Even neutral and griege tones can be hot or cold. You can warm up a cool sofa or cool down a warm one with chic pillow combinations, depending on the vibe you want to create.

Play with patterns and prints

Decorating with throw pillows in visually pleasing combinations requires differentiation, not just in color but in the pattern. Make an impression on your interior by decorating it with throw pillows that contain different prints and patterns. "The pillow scene is embracing pattern mixing — I'm noticing stripes paired with floral prints, combined with fun textures and wild patterns," interior designer Eneia White told The Zoe Report. Don't shy away from patterns on your pillows. It's an effective method for adding texture to a sofa or bed.

How do you tell the difference between patterns and prints? Look at the material and take note of the design. Patterns are repetitive designs typically woven into the piece, while prints are stamped or printed onto the fabric. You can choose to furnish your space with one or both. If you're pattern resistant, begin with just one design you really love in an existing color in your interior and add more to the collection as you find them. Mixing and matching patterns will expand the design without overwhelming the space.

Mix the designs together

Now that you have a better grasp on how to coordinate pillows with solid hues, prints, and patterns, it's finally time to take what you know and blend them with one another on the same piece of furniture. Combining opposing styles helps generate a contrasting design scheme that will add interest to any space. When it comes to mixing solids and patterns it's all about maintaining balance. Solid shades help break up designs and are effective at grounding the overall aesthetic. You can totally pull this off.

"Try a solid with tape in the corners, then a pair of a punchy pattern like a floral or chinois toile, with an animal print in the middle," interior designer Maggie Griffin suggested to The Spruce. Solid color pillows pair with animal prints and stripped designs better than you might imagine. Use different shades with different patterns in similar tones for a cohesive design. In general, mix at least three patterns in varying scales amongst the solid color throw pillows. You can experiment with wild designs on the smaller pieces since the surface space won't overwhelm the other pieces. Always pay attention to the couch color and avoid using colors that are too similar. The goal is to create some contrast.

Size matters

How throw pillows look is one aspect, and their proportions are another. Remember, size matters when determining your throw pillow combination. There's a reason this feature is important when incorporating throw pillows into your interior. Size has a direct impact on visual orientation. Alternating the size of the pillows on a sofa or bed will instantly make it more inviting and pleasant to look at, even if they're all the same color or design. Odds are you will want to sink into a sofa or bed that has cushions in different sizes.

When you begin styling multiple throw pillows, place the biggest size the furniture piece can accommodate in the back. The average size is a 22-inch cushion, but larger sizes like 30-inch inserts are also an option. According to Studio McGee, once you have the desired largest size selected in your choice of pattern or color, begin arranging smaller-sized pillows in a triangle shape in front. Size increments of 2 inches typically work best. Pro tip: the pillow should not overwhelm the furniture items it's accenting. No peeking over the top of a sofa or swallowing the seat cushion of a chair, leaving it unusable. If the pillow is too big, try to downsize. If it's too small, find a large throw pillow that better suits the piece to make the scale appropriate.

Vary the shapes to improve functionality

Not only are throw pillows crafted in different colors, sizes, and patterns, but decorative cushions are also available in different shapes. Traditional throw pillows are typically square, yet more unique forms are available. Varying throw pillow shapes in your interior will increase the visual interest across the room without any other decorative additions. Choices can seemingly be endless, with basic variations including rectangles, bolster, and lumbar. There are also bolder shapes such as hearts, flowers, and stars. The best pillows are the ones you like and uniquely elevate the furniture you're decorating.

Varying the shapes of the pillows you are decorating with will create intrigue amongst your throw pillow combination and may even fit the furniture you are decorating better. Not in need of a square or rectangular-shaped pillow? No worries, find a bolster or small round one that suits your piece best. Consider sourcing lumbar pillows like this one available from Joss & Main for deep sofas or accent chairs. Alternating the pillow shapes is more than an aesthetic. Pillows like the lumbar style offer lower back support, relax muscles, ease pain, and benefit posture (via Casper). Don't hesitate to add more than one shape to the bunch. The differing forms improve functionality.

Choose quality over quantity

When decorating with throw pillows, consider the source. Eco-friendly finds crafted with sustainable processes are ideal for your home. "We're saying goodbye to mass-produced and hello to handcrafted," founder of Elsie Home and pillow designer Lauren Meichtry told The Zoe Report. "We're seeing people pair down consumption and choose quality over quantity. People want to know where their products are being made and what they're made of." The pillow development process is equally as important as how they look to some consumers.

If you are wondering how to make an eco-friendly impact, find out how your pillow is made and the material type. Aim to source pillows from companies that operate in a free trade environment or purchase creations crafted by local makers and sustainable materials. Etsy is typically a great place to find handmade pillows. One-of-a-kind pillows made with organic cotton, linen, wool, and other natural materials are more than just a stunning accent piece in your home. Consciously curated accessories are better for you and the environment. Environmentally friendly never looked so good on your sofa.

Include textural elements

The pillow-scape is coming along in your home, yet it still needs a little sprucing up. Freshen up the design with a bit of texture. You know, something visible and tangible featured on the throw pillows, like this wool material on a pillow cushion from West Elm. The textural detail should not only be something dimensional, but it should be perceptible enough to capture attention. Texture and all the items already discussed, including color, material, size, and shape, directly contribute to creating balance in a design.

You can find throw pillows with fun details like tassels, fur, fuzz, and pom poms. These textural elements increase warmth and comfort in an interior. Complete your combo by adding pillows to the home that are stitched, made of yarn, spun with wool, or have fringe. Choosing pillows with unique characteristics reduces the need for busy patterns but keeps the design interesting. Velvet pillows are soft to the touch, making them the perfect bedside accessory.

Pay attention to the furniture

Even after considering the other factors, decorating with throw pillows comes down to the numbers. Just how many pillows does one need for a piece of furniture? That depends on the specific furniture item. Prevent your pillows from adding to the clutter by decorating with the correct number of cushions for each piece. Not all furniture items require the same amount, size, or type of throw pillows.

When figuring out how many throw pillows you need for a perfect combination, consider the furniture item you are decorating first. What is it? It could be a sofa, accent chair, bench, bed, or outdoor couch on the patio. Try to note the size and shape, as the physical features will give you a starting point in determining the number of pillows needed. Remember, you still need to sit on the furniture after decorating! According to Studio McGee, typical sofas and benches can hold between three and seven accent pillows, while accent chairs should hold just a single lumbar or 22-inch accessory pillow. Sectionals can hold a 22 to 24-inch and a 20 to 22-inch pillow on each side. As a general rule, the accent pillow or combination should be no more than half the seat backing and not extend over the arms.

Opt for odd-numbered arrangements

Of all the bedroom elements, throw pillows is where your creativity can shine the most. They add texture, dimension, and personality. Fill your bed with a combination of plush accent pillows, the kind you want to jump into after a long day. "Ever wonder why some beds are covered with so many pillows? It's all about preference but follow the 'Odd Number Rule'," Karin Sun, founder of Crane and Canopy bedding brand, told Lonny. "Having an odd number of pillows on your bed removes symmetry and is pleasing to the eye." The odd number rule applies to style, color, size, and type of pillow combination in your sleeping oasis.

Designing a pillow layout can affect your perception and alter your mood. Opt for do not disturb and arrange your pillows on the bed like a pro by creating a combination of throw pillows in odd numbers. Spread the throw pillows across your bed in arrangements of three to seven. Position the plush accessories in at least two rows to show depth and dimension. A row of three similar pillows behind a row of two matching pieces is an ideal grouping. You can include a long lumbar pillow in front for an attractive vignette.

Don't forget about the corners on the couch

Now that you're officially acquainted with the Odd Number Rule for arranging throw pillows, take your knowledge back to the sofa. Give your living room an instant makeover by restyling the throw pillows on the couch into odd number combinations. Don't ignore the size of the furniture piece. Create stylish pillow combinations on your sofa using the designer trifecta — size, shape, and quantity.

As you know, three to five accent pillows should sufficiently fill the space without interfering with the seating capabilities on an independent sofa. Sectional sofas can hold a little bit more. According to Rapport International Furniture, decorating a sectional or sofa with throw pillows is not just about the middle portion. You also have to fill in those corners with accent pillows. The longest part of the sectional can support the most pillows, while the corners should hold one to three max without overcrowding and impeding functionality. You should be able to sit and enjoy your sofa at the end of the day.

Swap the pillows seasonally

Find inspiration from your favorite time of the year and get festive with the throw pillow combinations in your home. Crown the sofa, bed, and benches with pillows that reflect the different seasons. Update your space with new pillows or ones you already have from the past. You can decorate your house for the holidays with fun new colors, textures, or shapes. Swapping pillows as the weather changes outside is an enduring interior trend and one that can instantly give a space a whole new look.

When pumpkin spice hits the shelves, add a seasonal pop of color at home with throw pillows in deep reds and oranges, or make a bold statement with a pumpkin-shaped cushion nestled amongst the bunch like this piece from Pottery Barn. You can mix in plaid and gingham prints for the winter months and layer in soft pinks and blues or cute striped designs for summer and spring. Each season offers you the chance to introduce new textiles, patterns, and throw pillow combinations that suit the season and set the mood. Transform your space as much as you like by changing the throw pillows on your sofa or bed to make the room feel cozier and ready for the season ahead.

Right size, new covers

You may already have the perfect ratio of pillows on your sofa or bed. Finding new ones in the same size might be challenging, but you're ready for a new look. What do you do? Rather than shop for all new cushions, consider updating the covers in single amounts or sets like these available at Pottery Barn. Even with the smallest of budgets getting a whole look is possible by keeping your old inserts and purchasing just the pillow covers to zip over them. Effortlessly makeover your space to stay on trend without draining the funds.

Throw pillows are one of the most cost-effective, stylish design features to incorporate into an interior. They instantly brighten up any decor style and layer in tons of dimension and texture. Elevate the appearance of the sofa, bed, bench, or accent chair in your interior by compiling throw pillow combinations that help accentuate the features you love the most in your home. From modern farmhouse style to bohemian chic and all the traditional and eclectic vibes in between, find the perfect throw pillow colors, shapes, sizes, textures, and arrangements that complete the aesthetic in your humble abode.