Decorator Tips for Picking the Right Throw Pillows for Your Couches

Earlier today we talked about choosing the right sofa for your living room. But is it enough to simply choose a smart couch and forget about accentuation? Absolutely not! While your sofa style will set the standard for your living room decor, to take it a notch higher you need to find the right throw pillows. These are the perfect way to make the room feel complete and bring in a touch of colour and texture. Unlike choosing a bold print in sofa upholstery that you might love today but feel stuck with two years down the line, it is far more cost effective to update your decor simply by changing your throw pillows form time to time, or even from one season to the next!

ID-100102960A great pillow can truly make a room look perfectly balanced, but a bad one, or too many of the good ones, will reverse the effects. If you want to achieve a sense of style with a balance between colour and texture, you need to keep a few tips in mind.

Size –

Throw pillows and cushions come in many sizes. Your options in general are:

  •  – Standard squares of about 18×18 inches that nest neatly on sofas and can be used in clusters with ease.
  •  – Small cushions that are about 16x16inches and are perfect for a contemporary couch
  •  – Oversize pillows that are 24×24 inches that create a more casual, loungey feel.

You also have rectangular pillows and bolster style pillows to choose from, which could be paired with standard sized cushions for an attractive display.

Number –

Too much of anything is never good, and the same rule applies to throw cushions and pillows too. Use an odd number of pillows because when it comes to design, odd numbers tend to be more artful. Your best options are one (for an armchair or single seater), three (for a smaller couch) or five (for the large couches) depending on the size of your furniture and the look you want to achieve. There is such a thing as too many throw pillows’; so until and unless you are trying to achieve an eccentric decor, you should keep the numbers balanced. You want to accentuate your furniture, not hide it behind piles of cushions and pillows in varying sizes and colours! A good rule of thumb: if you have to move the cushions away to sit comfortably, you’ve got too many.

Display –

Try to create a “pillow-scape”, thinking of your pillows and cushions as works of art. A simple display style could be pairing matching square solids that contrast with the colour of your sofa, or using a rectangular or bolster pillow for the centre of the couch paired with two interesting small cushions on either sides, or pairing two solid colour cushions with a patterned and embellished one in the same colour palette for a touch of style. Don’t be afraid to layer your patterns. If you love bold, graphic prints, layer these with one or two pillows with a more subtle pattern to tone things down.


Texture –

Don’t forget to think of the texture. Consider the texture of your furniture—if you’ve got a leather sofa, try a grainy linen or soft velvet pillow. Tactile contrast creates an interesting look; it adds warmth and offers traction, so pillows don’t slide off smooth seats like those in leather and silk couches.

Quality –

There’s nothing worse than lumpy or misshapen throw pillow. Not only do they offer no comfort (the primary reason for adding cushions and pillows) it also sticks out like a sore thumb. Choose pillows with a high quality fill and make sure you fluff them up while dusting around the house for them to retain their shape.

An important thing to remember when you choose throw pillows is to address the whole room. Think of a living room’s cushions and pillows as a family; and while the cushion on the chairs don’t have to perfectly match to the cushion used for the sofa, they should relate to each other in some way – be it colour palette, style, size or texture, for the space to look unified and polished.

Image courtesy of ponsulak at & photostock at

5 Comments Add yours

  1. lianaghuzman says:

    great read! keep up the good job. Do you free lance?

    1. woodenitbeamazing says:

      Thanks! Yes I do freelance.

  2. Started wondering about reusing broken pieces of furniture yesterday, probably have a
    try this sunday.

    1. woodenitbeamazing says:

      Good Luck, Lounge Furniture. Reusing old furniture is great not only for your pocket, but the environment too. Reuse, Reduce and Recycle!

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