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  • Writer's pictureA/Reuter


Updated: May 9, 2023

How to Style Throw Pillows: 5 Simple Interior Design Tips

Do you ever page through decor magazines or scroll your social media feed & ponder how pillows can look so perfect? The positioning, the fullness, the angle, the pop…how can a pillow be so engaging?! It’s the art of visual appeal. Because yes, a pillow CAN be engaging!

I’m here to ease your mind & help you navigate the endless styles and placement options, and to reassure you that a “staged” look is completely possible in a lived-in home.

To give you insight on how to place and “fluff” your pillows, here are a few examples:

Two throw pillows, of the same size, placed adjacent to one another to add visual interest to a living room through pattern, color, & textural details.
Throw pillows adding interest to a living room through placement & ideal "fluffing."

1. Add Texture & Shape

Add interest to a neutral couch & background by placing two pillows, of the same size, with complementing patterns adjacent to one another. The placement of these functional accessories invites a hint of color & texture into the room. It’s also apparent that these pillows have a little bit of a “karate chop” in them, in general our team prefers the “throw” look of the “throw pillow” (as you’ll see in the rest of the images); however, this fondness is simply a personal preference, rather than a design rule. Both styles of pillow presenting are perfectly acceptable.

A bedroom with conversation sofa & chairs is decorated with throw pillows that are mostly in neutral colors & textures to allow for the 10' headboard in a colorful pattern to be the star of the show.
Neutral pillows allow for a bedroom headboard to be the star of the room by adding visual depth, while not detracting from the main show (the headboard).

2. Embrace Neutrals & Depth

In the bedroom above, the pillows are all very neutral to ensure the star of the show (the 10′ headboard) receives the attention. The euro pillows (big squares) on the bed are the same color as the bedding; and, the pillows on both the sofa & chairs are in the same color family as the furniture on which they are sitting. Keeping the majority of the pillows neutral allows the headboard to shine in all its glory, while still adding visual depth to the bedroom.

A living room decorated with throw pillows with pops of color and pattern that create a styled, cozy oasis of an interior designed residential space.
Pops of color and patterns on throw pillows turn a living room into a cozy oasis.

3. Pop Colors & Patterns

Bringing pops of color to this dynamic living room, the various sizes of pillows combine to complement the vibe of the space. Two 20″ square pillows on the outsides, plus two 18″ square pillows just to the insides, and then an 18″ x 24″ rectangular pillow to fill in the middle and create a cozy oasis. The color & size combinations allow the eye to have a playful experience within the inviting space. Sometimes you can’t help filling up the couch with pillows, especially when you love ALL the patterns!

A living room with coordinating throw pillows to create a stress free, easy residential interior design decorating scheme.
Coordinating throw pillows make for a stress free decorating presentation in a living room.

4. Coordinate & Play

To ease the stress of pillow placement, create a collection that compliments one another and the furniture on which they will be sitting. An example of what we mean is in the image above, where the pillows on the couch coordinate (but aren’t matchy-matchy) with the pillows on the chairs. Creating a curated collection is a bonus since the pillows can be all mixed up between your sofa & chairs without worrying about pillows being out of place.

5. Comfort & Creativity

In our opinion, comfort is key when it comes to the use of throw pillows; after all, spontaneous naps tend to occur on one’s couch…unless of course, you’re “just resting your eyes.” So when selecting your throw pillows, make sure they are something you’d like to lay your cheek on.

A dining and seating area with a bench, flower arrangement, plates, bowl, napkin, and throw pillows in front of a shiplap grey wall.  Interior design and decorating ideas.
A breakfast nook with throw pillows that can easily be changed out to update the design mood.

Above you’ll see another example of the “tossed” not “karate chopped” look with the pillows on the dining bench. By using throw pillows, instead of creating a custom cushion, the option to change the look & feel of the space as you wish is a simple decision.

What do you think? Are you a fan of a lot of pillows or just a few? Keeping it sleek or adding color pops? Karate chop? Or throw?

Want more information than just these interior design secrets? Ring us today for a complementary Design Discovery Call! 970.368.2817

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