Throw Pillow Combinations: My Easy Formula for Styling Your Throw Pillows

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Raise your hand if you have ever been intimidated by the idea of buying and styling new throw pillows for your living room or bedroom. (I’m raising my hand over here.) It sounds silly, but for the longest time, I avoided buying pillows for our new couch and our bedroom. Simply because the choices available were overwhelming. I would get lost scrolling on websites, not really sure what I was looking for, and then finally just shutting my computer. Or strolling through a store and seeing a wall of nothing but pillows. I’d get overwhelmed and just leave.

I didn’t know what I needed or even how many I needed. It finally hit me that I needed a formula. If I had some type of template, or formula to follow, I could just fill in the blanks. I definitely tend to gravitate towards structure and check lists, so this was an obvious solution. (This shouldn’t come as a surprise to you if you’ve been following my blog for a while. I shared a formula for styling a nightstand a few months ago here. This is just one example of how a checklist can help you with design.)

A few tips to help with this formula:

  • Keep the colors in the same family. This formula can work with any style; just try and keep the colors so that they compliment each other.
  • Keep one element in this formula somewhat neutral. If all of your pillows have bold colors/busy patterns, it can look off.
  • With that being said, don’t be afraid to mix patterns! As you can see, I have three different patterns in my pillows, but my large pillows are very understated and act as a neutral backdrop.
  • Pick oversized pillows large enough to hide your sleeping pillows, or use the pillow shams that came with your bedding and place those on regular pillows behind the oversized pillows so that your sleeping pillows don’t show. (That is what I did.)
  • Keep it all symmetrical. Sure you can line pillows up with no order, but having some kind of symmetry will be a little easier on the eye.

A few variations…

If the combination above feels like too much, or maybe you just don’t have the room, I’ve put together a few collages to show you how you can simplify this formula even more.

These combinations follow the formula for the most part, but take a more minimalist approach. Notice that at least one pillow in each combination is pretty neutral, so it allows for a bolder pairing.

Couch Pillow Combination

A few tips to help:

  • When pairing pillows with a smooth leather couch, choose one with a little texture for visual contrast.
  • If your couch is darker, go with lighter pillows for more contrast. (Or if your couch is light, try using darker pillows to really make them stand out.)
  • If you love order and symmetry, keep both ends of the couch the same; Or if you want to change things up, try throwing off the symmetry by adding a third pillow to one end. I tried that and ended up loving it!

I hope you found this post helpful! You can see more of my home styling by signing up for my blog newsletter here, or following me on Instagram and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!

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