Content may contain affiliate links. When you shop the links, I receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting my small business.

Throw pillow covers can make a significant impact on your home’s aesthetic, allowing you to transform your space quickly and affordably.

In this article, we’ll explore valuable tips on pairing throw pillow covers, I’ll teach you the art of mixing and matching patterns, plus my favorite sources for throw pillow covers. After reading this, you’ll have all the help you need to get a fresh new look with minimal effort!

Pillow Covers: My Not-So-Secret Design Weapon in Home Decor

Do you ever feel like your living room or bedroom is missing that extra touch of style? One of the easiest ways to inject some personality into your space is by accessorizing with throw pillows. But with so many colors, patterns, and textures to choose from, it can be overwhelming to figure out how to mix and match them like a pro.

Luckily, interior designers have shared some tips and tricks to help you create a cohesive and stylish look with throw pillows. By following a few simple guidelines, you can easily mix and match patterns and colors to create a look that’s uniquely yours.

From choosing a color story to layering pillows in odd numbers, these tips will help you create a pulled-together look that’s sure to impress.

Short on storage? Decorative throw pillow covers are your solution. Swap out patterns and designs seasonally without the need for extra storage space. And while square throw pillows are timeless, introducing various sizes can create a more dynamic look.

Although you can never be steered wrong with square pillows, opting for a few different sizes can add extra interest and might just be the perfect decorative accents to finish off your couch or bed.

Pillow Covers

As someone who enjoys updating their decor easily and quickly, you’ll find that throw pillow covers offer a practical solution. Instead of changing your pillows entirely, using pillow covers allows you to keep the original pillow insert and avoid excess waste. This choice is not only eco-friendly but also saves you much-needed storage space.

Throw pillow covers in different shapes, sizes, and designs bring an extra layer of character to your living room or bedroom. However, picking the right one may feel daunting. With these styling tips, you can create a visually appealing and cohesive look in your home:

  • Choose a 2-3 color palette that complements your space’s interior design and textiles. This can either be a harmonious color palette (colors next to each other on the color scheme or complementary colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel).
  • Mix and match pillow shapes and sizes, such as square pillows and lumbar pillows, to add variety and depth.
  • Select pillow covers with different textures and materials to enrich your room’s visual interest.

Pattern Mixing Formula

There’s a simple formula that I use that guarantees beautifully styled and matching pillows every time:

pattern mixing formula with text overlay
  1. Pick a Dominant Pattern: The first step is choosing a dominant pattern. Think of this as a busier print, maybe featuring large scale floral prints or geometric patterns. You can pick something with only a couple of colors or many colors. This should be the “busiest” of your different patterns. From this fabric, you’ll pull your other colors.
  2. Pick a Solid Color: Pull one of the colors from your dominant pattern. It doesn’t have to be the main color, any of the colors in that pattern will work. Usually, picking from a secondary pattern or the least obvious actually looks the best. Also, it doesn’t have to be an exact match but should be pretty similar in tone. Add interest to solid colors by picking different textures like faux fur or leather, or a heavier knit or some sort of fringe detail. Layering textures is the ultimate way to get achieve a level of style equivalent to that of interior designers.
  3. Pick a smaller scale print in either the same accent colors as the solid pillows or another color pulled from your dominant print. This smaller scale print could be a simple pattern such as polka dots, subtle stripes, a gingham print or even a solid print with a lot of texture that gives the effect of having a print on it.

My go-to for three pillows is a solid color, a geometric and another pattern. Using odd numbers of pillows creates a contemporary look. The geometric print can either be the large scale pattern or small scale pattern, with the third pillow than being the opposite.

Texture also works in place of the smaller scale pattern, and/or can be part of the solid-colored pillows, too. I think it’s always important to vary the textures on throw pillows to really elevate the look.

Watch The Video Tutorial

The above examples use a a simple two color formula – all blues and white (or off-white). When you’re only dealing with two colors, mixing and matching these colors will always guarantee success as long as you are following the pattern mixing formula.

But What if You Want More Color and Variation?

This is the next step in the process! It’s not any more difficult than pattern mixing with two colors, and follows the exact same formula. Instead of only using two of the colors from one of your patterns, you simply use three!

When you get comfortable with the basic formula, you’ll find it easier to train your eye to pull in additional colors that complement the pillows and form a cohesive color scheme.

A graphic showing three examples of properly styled throw pillows

Study the images above. In the first example, I’ve pulled out 2 of the colors from the patterned lumbar pillow to get coordinating colors – a warm camel color, and a darker blue (the less evident color in the pattern). You’ll notice very organic patterns that are easy to use with different pillow combinations.

In the second example, I again opted for the less obvious colors. I could easily have chosen a sky blue solid pillow, but it would look flat and lifeless.

an example of three matching throw pillows

Instead, by choosing the deeper blue that’s evident in the threads, as well as the neutral color between the knit texture, the pillow combo really comes to life. Once you start recognizing these elements, it will become easy to match pillows.

Finally, in the last trio, I opted for the darker shade of blue as well as the darker neutral shade from the pattern.

an example of three coordinating throw pillows

I could have just as easily pulled out the green, or even that pretty dusty pink color. In fact, let’s take a look at how that would look…

an example of three coordinating throw pillows

Using the dusty pink color as the solid, I opted for a less red version of the red in the pillow, with the fig colored small scale pattern.

Then below, I pulled out the warm golden tone for the small scale/textured pillow as well as the green from the floral stems and leaves.

an example of three coordinating throw pillows

Owning a patterned pillow like the lumbar that I’ve been using in this demonstration, is such a great piece to own because it’s so versatile!

Should Throw Pillows Match?

No, it’s not necessary for throw pillows to match. In fact, it’s more important to create a layered, visually appealing look.

Mixing and matching different colors, textures, and patterns can lead to a more professional and polished appearance in your spaces.

Remember to play with odd numbers, such as arranging three or five pillows together, as this design rule helps to create an interesting visual dynamic.

Keep in mind that professional designers rarely use identical pillow covers, so don’t be afraid to deviate from traditional matching sets.

The Best Places to Buy Throw Pillow Covers

There are many sources for throw pillows that offer a wide variety of style, from affordable options at HomeGoods and Amazon to high-end options at Pottery Barn, Serena and Lily, and Williams Sonoma. Etsy is also a great source for unique and handmade pillows.

a collection of several pretty throw pillows
combo 1 // combo 2 // combo 3 // combo 4 // combo 5

I adore the throw pillows from Serena and Lily but they are pricey, so I always wait for a 50% off sale before purchasing. The quality is really good and the prints are timeless and classic if you like the coastal look. They have many popular choices and a wide variety of styles for those of us who favor a coastal color palette.

Pottery Barn is another favorite of mine. While they’re not cheap, they are a lot less expensive than Serena & Lily and the quality is also really good. I also highly recommend their pillow inserts. They are excellent quality.

For solid color pillows in particular, I buy a lot from H&M Home, HomeGoods and even Amazon. Additionally, The TJ Maxx website regularly has Serena & Lily dupes that get snatched up quickly. The quality tends to not be as good, but for the price they can’t be beaten.

How Many Throw Pillows Should Be on a Couch?

The number of throw pillows you should have on a couch depends on the size of your couch and the look you’re going for.

For a couch, the traditional approach is 4 pillows – 2 on each end. For a more casual contemporary look, opt for asymmetry with an odd number of pillows.

For a sectional, 7 – 10 pillows is the norm. Two on each end, three in the corner, and then more if needed. Again, keep the numbers even for a more traditional look or work with odd numbers and asymmetry for a more casual style. Just be careful not to overdo it, as too many pillows can look cluttered.

Importance of Size and Scale

When it comes to throw pillows, size and scale are essential. The size of your pillows should be proportional to the size of your furniture. For example, if you have a large sectional sofa, you’ll want larger pillows.

Likewise, if you have a small accent chair, you’ll want smaller pillows. Keep in mind that larger pillows can make a bold statement, while smaller pillows can add a touch of elegance.

Color and Texture in Throw Pillows

Color and texture are essential elements of throw pillows. When choosing colors, consider the color of your walls, rugs, and other home decor items. You can choose pillows that match or contrast with your existing color palettes. Texture can add depth and interest to your pillows. Some popular textures include velvet, faux fur, linen, and knit.

How to Make Throw Pillows Look Fuller

When aiming for a full and picture-perfect look for your pillows, consider these tips:

  • Choose a high-quality pillow insert
  • There are two primary types of pillow inserts: down and polyester. Both work well, but down inserts usually feel more luxurious and are easier to fluff.
  • The key to a nice full throw pillow is using inserts that are a size larger. This typically means that if you have a 20-inch cover, that you’d use a 22-inch insert.

Final Thoughts

I hope you found my tips helpful! Just remember, practice makes perfect! Don’t be afraid to pull out a bunch of decorative pillows in the store and get your pattern mixing on while you’re there. Pottery Barn in particular is a great place to do this, as they usually have a couch right in the pillow section!

When matching throw pillows you don’t have to follow any strict rules and can have fun expressing your own personal preferences.

Looking for more? Follow me on social media for lots more home decor & DIY content!

Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook | LTK

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One Comment

  1. This is excellent. Now. How do you arrange them on the sofa? Sectional and chesterfield. I never know where to stick the lumbar pillow on the sectional. My chesterfield has 6 pillows, 2 of each one. How do I arrange those? I love and loathe symmetry.