Did you know that breathing new life into a seemingly dull room can be accomplished by simply switching out your throw pillows?  Grouping new fabrics and colors can give your space a totally different feel.  The overwhelming selection available, however, can make the process confusing! Consider this a good guide to choosing the right throw pillows for your room.

First, there are a few things you should always keep in mind:

  • Address the room as a whole.  Choose one cohesive color story and stay with it. You will get the most impact if all of your pillows are either in the same shade or in a pair of complimentary shades. The pillow in the chair does not have to exactly match the pillows on the sofa, but should relate in some way (color palette or style) so the space feels unified.

  •  Pick similarly sized pillow to bring together a diverse collection.  I generally like a few large square pillows (18-22 inches) versus a confused mixture of smaller ones.

  • Stagger your size. As your eye move towards the inside of the sofa or bed, the pillows should get smaller. It makes the most sense to add the large 20 or 22″ pillows on the sides, where you won’t need to move them out of the way. A small 12×20″ pillow right in the center won’t make you feel like you’re perched on the edge of the couch because the pillows are taking up all of the room!

  • Symmetrical groupings bring order. When you’re layering several different fabrics on top of each other, things can get really busy, really fast. I like a symmetrical arrangement because it keeps things feeling orderly and polished.

  • Be open but not random. One simple print, one busy print, and one solid. This is a basic formula that’ll help you narrow down your options. Another way to think about it is — one small scale print, one large scale print, one solid. Your busy/large print should be on your largest pillows or the pillow that is front and center, as this print will usually set the tone for not just your pillow arrangement but the rest of your room. Plaids and stripes work well as small/simple prints.

  • Don’t go overboard!  Three to five pillows create pleasing asymmetry without cluttering the sofa.  You want your pillows to look as if they just happen to be there.  For a casual feel, you can try two pillows in the corner with a third at the opposite end.

  • Use bold solids.  If your room already has a lot of patterns, like a patterned sofa, dramatic curtains, or a vibrant rug, keep your pillow fabrics solid. Or if you really like color but don’t want to use a vibrant hue on large pieces (like your sofa) just use solid pillows as the punch. I personally like to a fabric, an art print, or an accessory as a jumping off point to inspire the colors I bring into the room.

  • Monochromatic can be dramatic.   If you want a group of pillows in just one color, varying the patterns or textures that work together will enhance the space. For this combination,  a color palette of off-white, taupe, and chocolate works well.

*Some images provided by Bernhardt & Kravet.
  • What’s on the inside is just as important as the outside. Pillows are meant to bring extra comfort and cushion to your sofa or chair, so it’s important to use good quality inserts. For lounging support, choose inserts that include both feather and down so they’re able to form to a person’s various seating positions. Another secret when you’re choosing inserts for your pillows, when using a down blend, upsize your insert (for a 20″ cover, use a 22″ insert).

Implementing these principles, your pillows will surely add “punch” to your room! Nicole Arnold Interiors would love to help you get creative and have fun with your unique design. Call today for your personal consultation!




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