When you redesign a space, most of your focus probably goes to the bigger furniture
pieces—the couch, the end tables, the piano, the bookcase. These do set the overall
tone, but you should never overlook the punch a couple of tasteful throw pillows can
give. If you lack the confidence to pick out a set yourself, here’s how to choose the
perfect throw pillow combinations for your space.
Build a Color Palette You’ll Stick To
In theory, you could spend days combing through pillows. Assuming you want a
quicker decision, narrow your color palette to a handful of hues (three works well)
that align with one another. You’ll still have plenty of room for creativity with size and
shape. Countless colors would work, but in general, it’s wise to adhere to the 60-30-
10 rule. This splits up colors between dominant (60 percent of the fabric), secondary
(30 percent), and accent (10 percent) colors so that you can ride the challenging line
between intriguing and cohesive.
Use Varying Patterns and Sizes, But Retain a Thread of Consistency
You should then focus on how you can vary the size and pattern while retaining
consistency between pillows. Short, wide lumbar pillows with solid shades are ideal
for the center of your sofa. Meanwhile, you may pair them with a 22-inch square
throw pillow on one side or a pillow on each flank. This uneven look affords a
modern feel, while an even number hearkens to tradition.
Your space definitely doesn’t have to follow this template, but it’s common for larger
pillows to lie behind smaller ones and for pillows to get smaller towards the sofa’s
middle. Whatever design you choose, ensure the color palette shines through, even
if it’s through a miniscule detail.
The final strategy for choosing the perfect throw pillow combination is to consider
their function. In a perfect world, people wouldn’t crowd their couches with more
pillows than they can count. Practice restraint when shopping for your own. Limit
yourself to just a few—perhaps a lumbar pillow for back support and two bulkier ones
for use along the sides—no matter how many look like they could fit.