How to Choose Throw Pillows for a Sofa or Sectional

Posted by Fran Hudye on

How to Mix and Match Decorative Pillows for a Sofa

This is a question I get asked a lot.  So I thought I would share with you today some tips and tricks to make it easier to decide.

How can I mix and match patterns?

Yes, you can mix and match a combination of pillows.  Just make sure they are within the same color family.  In this image below, white, orange, black and blue all look great together.  Place one cushion on chair then place the other three cushions on the sofa.  Place two pillows at one end and one at the other end.  If a larger sectional consider adding a larger size 24” x 24” cushion on one end and two smaller cushions on the other.

throw pillows for sofa


How many throw pillows do you need for a sofa or loveseat?

Bookend the pillows on your sofa. What I mean by this is; do a matching set of pillows in each corner. Same goes for a sectional- I like to do a matching pillow in each corner. These end pillows should be the largest- typically 22″-24″ depending on your sofa or sectional size.

Should I coordinate pillows on my sofa with pillows on my favorite chair sitting next to the sofa?

If your sofa sits adjacent to your love seat or armchairs you have created are a visual gathering so to speak. The pillow on a chair doesn't have to match the group on the sofa, but should relate in some way—color or style. This will make your décor feel unified and polished.

Can I place larger pillows on a sofa with smaller ones?

  1. Yes, you can.  Sofa pillows don’t always have to, but should vary in size and shape. For example; you can place a 24x24” pillow with 18x18” pillows on a sofa, so one large and two smaller on one side then two smaller ones on the other side.  You can then place a lumbar pillow on an adjacent chair.  So, in this example we have used three different sizes.
  2. Place largest pillows in the back (usually a solid color), and smaller pillows in the front.
  3. Here’s another suggestion; make sure at least one of the pillows on your sofa has some sort of texture. ...
  4. Use 2-3 pillows per side or corner of the sofa.

What’s the number of pillows I need to place on my sofa?

It is always best practice to go for an odd number, ie., three or five maximum.  Usually, the rule of thumb is three for smaller sofas, and five for larger ones.  For example, we like to place five—but our guidelines can be applied to sofas of any size.

Should my throw pillows match the curtains in my living room?

Yes and no is my answer to this.  If your curtain is grey then placing pillows with some gray in them would make the room look more unified.

How Often should I replace pillows placed outdoors?

It is best practice, if you can, to not leave the colored cushions too long outside in the sun.  Also, remove the cushions if you know it will rain and store until you are able to use them again.

Still have more questions?  Send us an email here; and we'll get back to you as soon as we are able.

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