How to Mix Decorative Pillows (+ 20 guaranteed-to-look-good combinations)
We do a lot of pillow combining over here. I feel like pillows and throws are the only accessories that everyone universally likes. Even minimalists that don’t like a lot of ‘decor’ still want a few throw pillows for comfort (there are exceptions, obviously, and I’m sure there is an anti-throw pillow secret society out there, but it’s doubtful that they read this blog.) If you are part of our pro-throw-pillow group, then keep reading.
There are millions of throw pillows out there, obviously, and you might like a ton of them but are unsure if they will look good TOGETHER. So here are some tips that we always use:
*Put larger pillows in the back – 24″ or 26″ squares for a big or high backed sofa, but could be 22″ square for a more smaller scale. Then layer your 16″ or 18″ squares in front and mix in a rectangle (16×20 is a good size).
*If you want to mix patterns make sure the size and scale of those patterns are not competing, aka they are different enough that you can decipher between them easily. One big, one small and one solid is a good formula. Remember this mixing pillows video I did 5 years ago? The pillows are dated, but the lessons and the tips are the same. The best/weirdest tip was to ‘blur your eyes’ by almost closing them, and stare at the two patterns. If you can’t really decipher the patterns when your eyes are blurred then they are too close and compete with each other.
*If you are opting for simple solids, then make sure to vary the textures. Three cotton pillows don’t do anything special for a room. Mix cotton, linen, wool, chunky knit, velvet, fringed, etc all together for a look that is safe and timeless, but still has depth and interest.
*Work with your color palette but don’t be too perfect about it. Your pillows should coordinate and share a similar palette. Mine, in the above photo were all in the blues, grays, creams, and light pink world. But the pinks don’t match perfectly, nor do the blues.
*If you have a more statement pillow (like above) then pull the rest of the colors out of that, almost like we would a rug. Let one bolder pillow create the color palette for the rest of them.
Those are general tips to help you, but you know what I thought would be even more helpful? Creating 20 different pillow combinations, in different styles and color palettes that we love. You’ll see that most of the time those tips above are applied. If you have a neutral sofa I’d go ahead and say that ANY of these are guaranteed to look great.
1. Cream Tufted Amal Pillow, Blue Patterned Pillow, Black and White Lumbar Pillow | 2. Pink Linen Sham, Sun and Moon Pillow, Berry Pintuck Pillow | 3. Pink Cactus Silk Pillow, Corte San Juan Sacatepequez Pillow, Cream Mudcloth Lumbar Pillow | 4. Blue Oversized Chambray Denim Throw Pillow, White and Navy Checkered Pillow, Potato Print Pillow | 5. Blue Plaid Pillow, Floral Pillow, Toddle Pillow | 6. Marble Pillow, Black and White Geometric Pillow, Black Diamond Lumbar Pillow | 7. Dark Green Velvet Pillow, Pink and Cream Linen Stripe Pillow, Pink Floral Embroidered Lumbar Pillow | 8. Pom Pouf Pillow, Cable Stitch Olive Pillow, Ombre Cotton Lumbar Pillow | 9. Fini Pillow, Trevino Blue Pillow, Chambray Striped Pillow | 10. Blush Faux Fur Pillow, Skylake Toile Pillow, Shadow Geometric Print Throw Pillow | 11. Cream Pom Dot Throw Pillow, Black Stripe Pillow, Black Lumbar Throw Pillow | 12. Reversible Turquoise Throw Pillow, Black and White Embroidered Diagonal Pillow, RoundVelvet Pillow | 13. Blue Luster Velvet Pillow, Black and White Striped Pillow, Santorini Block Print Pillow | 14. Pom Pom Embroidered Cover, Linen Cushion Cover with Centered Stripes, Hand-Knotted Melange Pillow Cover | 15. Light Blue Striped Linen Pillow, Pink Montauk Large Euro Sham, Katchen Pillow | 16. Linen Euro Sham, Geometric Throw Pillow, Blue, Peach Sorbet Velvet Pea Cushion | 17. Cusco Pillow, Asterix Geometric Pillow, Tassel Lumbar Pillow | 18. Linge Particulier Grey Chambray Pillow, Amalfi Stripe Cross Stitch Decorative Pillow, Robinson Linen Stripe Lumbar Pillow Cover | 19. Blue Stripe Throw Pillow, Brenner Velvet Pillow, Slate Grey, Square Fringe Pillow | 20. Estrato Pillow, Division Rust Pillow, Cream Solid Throw Pillow
There you have it. We’ve taken the guess work away from you, but hopefully if you have some pillows already and just need to add one or two more, those tips above will help. My favorites for our house are 4, 10, 11, 18 and 20, but I really like all of them.
Which one is yours?
***Photos by Tessa Neustadt