You’ve got your living room painted, the rug hugging the floor, the art adorning the walls, but your couch is still empty. Mixing and matching throw pillows is a great way to bring your room together, but where do you start when there are so many different shapes, patterns, and textures out there? Whether you’re moving to a new space or just freshening up your living room, we’ve got all the styling tips you need to coordinate your pillows for an edgy, cohesive look. Read on to get mixing and matching!
[Edit]things you should know
- Choose 3 colors to use in your pillows that work together and are found throughout your space.
- Mix together geometric, organic and solid patterned pillows. Pattern sizes vary so some pillows have large, medium or small and subtle prints.
- Experiment with texture, combining shaggy, faux fur pillows with velvet, sequin, or woven pillows.
- Play with the size and shape of your pillow by mixing large and small pillows in squares, rectangles and circles.
[Edit]Choose a color story for your pillow.
- Pick 3 colors from your room to use as your pillow colors. The key to creating an adhesive pillow spread is to choose 3 colors that work together and are already in your room. Use your wall colors, the design on your rug and the details in the artwork hanging on your walls as inspiration. The colors you choose should be harmonious with each other and should match well with the color of your sofa.
- If you have a neutral vibe, go with cream, beige, and pops of color like blue, green, or orange for a tasteful and clean look.
- Colorful jewel tones like mustard yellow, eggplant purple, and emerald green provide a rich, luxurious aesthetic.
- If your room has a beachy, airy look, choose colors like navy blue, sage green, and blush pink.
[Edit]Choose from 3 different patterns for your pillow.
- Add visual interest by combining geometric and organic patterns. It may not seem like it, but combining the hard lines of geometric patterns with the curvy, abstract lines of organic patterns balances out your pile of pillows. The best way to combine these opposing patterns is to start with a bold print that encompasses your entire color story; It can be geometric or organic. Then, choose a pillow with a different pattern that features 1 or 2 of your colors. Your last pillow should have one of your colors.
- A tried-and-true pillow combination to start with is a multi-colored floral, a 2-toned stripe, and a solid.
- In general, combine at least one geometric pattern, such as stripes, checks, circles, or chevron prints, with one organic pattern, such as florals, paisley, or abstract, rounded shapes.
[Edit]Vary the size of the pattern on your pillow.
- Unify your pillows by mixing large, medium and small size prints. It’s important that your mix of patterns complement each other rather than distract from each other. Hence, work with prints that are big and bold and small and subtle. Create the pillow that includes your entire color story, your largest print. Then, choose a medium-pattern pillow using 1 or 2 of your colors. Your pillow that uses only 1 of your colors should have a small, subtle pattern.
- For example, choose a pillow with a big, bold geometric print. Then, choose a medium sized floral print in 2 of your colors. Set off these patterns with a pillow that features faint stripes.
- Choosing a pillow with a quote or phrase is a great way to add a subtle pattern to your pile of pillows.
[Edit]Work with different sized pillows.
- Make your sofa more attractive with large, medium and small pillows. Start with a large base pillow that fits the proportions of your sofa. Place it on the edge of the sofa and choose at least 1 other pillow that is slightly smaller to sit against. If you have a large sofa, place 1 or 2 small decorative pillows next to a medium pillow. This creates a beautiful, cascading look that adds depth to your sofa. 
- A large pillow can overwhelm a small loveseat, while a sectional can handle the size. However, if you want your couch to be filled with pillows, go for it!
[Edit]Play with the size of the pillow.
- Add dimension to your sofa with square, rectangle and round pillows. Work with shapes and styles that match your home’s aesthetic. Two large square pillows and one small rectangular lumbar pillow create a more traditional, symmetrical look. Or, swap out the lumbar pillow for a smaller cylindrical pillow for a regal vibe. If you have a modern design going on, adding a rounded pillow can soften the hard edges of your furniture.
[Edit]Bring in different pillow textures.
- Raise the comfort factor by adding fluffy, velvet and sequin pillows. In addition to looking attractive, pillows with different textures give you more depth of feel on your couch. Play with clothes that complement your vibe. If you’re going for a sophisticated, chic sofa, throw on fluffy and ruffled pillows. Or maybe you have a glamorous, romantic vibe going on, so add velvet and sequin pillows to your sofa.
- Choose accent pillows that also have fun embellishments, like tassels and pom-poms.
[Edit]Create symmetry with a matching pillow set.
- Anchor your sofa with matching pillows on either side. With all the different colors, patterns, sizes, and textures out there, add some symmetry back to your sofa. Buy a double of your favorite pillows, such as your large base pillow, and place them on opposite ends of your sofa. This balances out the look and feel of your couch.
- Of course, the amount you choose to match your pillow is entirely up to your taste. If you prefer to have matching pillows all on each side, do so. If you have more eclectic tastes, feel free to match none of them.
[Edit]Place an odd number of pillows.
- For a more modern look, add pillows in 3s and 5s to your sofa. If you’re going for an artsy, contemporary vibe with lots of visual interest, make your sofa asymmetrical. Stack your pillows 3 to a side, or even better, stack 3 to one side and 2 to the other. Mix up the placement with different sizes, patterns and textures as well.
- For example, add a large tufted square pillow with stripes and a smaller, shaggy rectangular pillow on one side. On the other side, place a small knitted circle pillow with pom-poms, a medium geometric patterned square pillow, and a large solid velvet square pillow.
[Edit]Put an even number of pillows.
- Or, for a more traditional look, make the placement of your pillows symmetrical. If you prefer a clean, classic style, throw in 2s and 4s on the pillows. Place 2 pillows on either side of your sofa, or add more interest by placing 2 in the middle and 1 on each side. An even number placement generally leaves your space with a more balanced, well-organized appearance.
- Play around with the size, shape, pattern, and texture of your pillow as well. Place 2 large matching striped pillows at either end of the sofa, pairing one with a circular velvet pillow and the other with a tasseled rectangular pillow in a subtle paisley print.
[Edit]Choose pillow filling that matches your style.
- Down feather or synthetic foam filling can change the look of the pillow. The combination of squishy, down feather pillows and firm foam pillows that hold their shape help bring balance and harmony to your sofa, too. Down pillows give your sofa a cozy vibe, while foam pillows add structure and dimension.
[Edit]Experiment with the placement and style of your pillows.
- Mix and match your pillows based on what you love. There are no real rules when it comes to decorating your sofa with pillows. While the suggestions above are general guidelines and a good jumping-off point, what’s most important is that you like the way your pillowcases are tied together.
- If you think bolder is better, fill your sofa with oversized pillows in bright colors and edgy prints. Or, keep your space simple with a few pillows in the same shape, size, and pattern.