Whether you are decorating your living room, outside space, or a bedroom, there are many aspects of the design to consider. Paint, color scheme, furniture, décor or wall art, rugs, the list could go on and on! Deciding to redo the look and feel of your space takes a lot of thought, time, energy, and of course money.

However, there is an easy way to breathe new life into a room, without breaking your budget. Throw pillows are small components that add to your space but they pack a big punch. Pillows that just blend in with your sofa or patio furniture won’t stand out or create a lasting look. If you want a room that speaks to those who are in it or make a statement, then adding the right touches with your throw pillows is the right strategy to use.

The fabric, texture, color, and/or design of your pillows creates a fresh look and it’s easy to find the right ones to complement any style of the room. While changing up your pillows may seem simply enough, there are effect tips and tricks that help pull together your space.

For a modern look

Traditionally, people place an even amount of pillows on a sofa. However, if you are going for a modern look, go for an odd number. This changes the symmetry in the room and your eye will likely be drawn to the three or five pillows on a sofa rather than skimming over the furniture.

The shape and size are also an important factor to consider when it comes to a modern style pillow. If you are really trying to go for something unexpected, try using oblong pillows. If you stick to the standard square shape try to choose a size between 18 to 24 inches across. Also, note that using a couple of different sizes may add a nice touch. This is easily done when you use an odd number of pillows.

For example, if you choose to place three pillows on your loveseat or sofa, two larger ones among a smaller one will provide a nice contrast. Just as two square pillows with one oblong pillow. Also, two pillows in one corner with one in the other will give the room a casual appearance. As if the pillows just happened to be lying that way.


If you’re a fan of symmetry and the idea of an odd number of pillows will drive you crazy, try using four pillows with two of different shapes. Place larger, square pillows behind smaller circular pillows for a look that’s symmetrical but still breaks up the eye.

Use the right style of pillow

If you think that all pillows are created equal then you’d be mistaken. When you pick your pillows, make sure they match the furniture. More importantly, take into consideration what the room is used for. For example, frilly throw pillows won’t look the best in outdoor patio sets. Likewise, if you have a neutral color scheme other neutral or solid pillow colors won’t stand out.

When it comes to picking your pattern, pillow style, and size, you have to consider these other factors. If you don’t there’s a good chance the throw pillows won’t make the intended statement you hoped for.

Don’t pick a boring color

When it comes to your pillow color, there is much to think about. Obviously, it’s best to choose a color based on the color scheme of your space. Depending on the look you are gong for, you want the throw pillows to either stand out in contrast with the sofa or chair or blend in.

Have FUN with IT!

Add many throw pillows to your furniture. They should add interest and comfort to your bed, sofa or chair.

Make sure the pillows fit properly

This one is simple. Large furniture needs larger pillows. Smaller pillows look better on small furniture.

Place patterns carefully

While patterns look great and are made to enhance colors, texture and interest to your space. However, too many busy patterns could do just the opposite. Loud patterns can come across as messy looking and overall visually displeasing. Small punches of patterns look best. You want to add interest visually but not overwhelm the eye.

Use embellishments sparingly

Embellishments such as emrroidery, tassels, fringe, and frills are fun details that add texture and interest to your furniture. Not to mention, emrroidered throw pillows have seen a huge swing up as the trend is resurfacing. While pillows are generally added to furniture to lean on or rest your head you also want pillows with visual interest.

Think about your fabric

The fabric of both your pillows and the cushions of the sofa or chair are important. You want your texture, patterns, and color to complement each other. For example, if you’re going for a modern look, geometric print pillows looks awesome on smooth, tightly woven fabrics.

Lastly, it’s all about the feel you want to achieve for your space. Cut velvet fabrics add luxury to a sophisticated living room or library. While paisley, chevron, and floral look great for indoor or outdoor sitting areas.

When Decorating Interiors

The tips above work well for adding throw pillows to both your outdoor and indoor spaces. However, there are certain tips and tricks that you should consider in that are specific to indoor spaces such as living rooms, bedrooms, dens, and libraries. Here are four rules to follow when it comes to redecorating your space with throw pillows.

Always add decorative throw pillows

When you buy sofas and large sectionals, its standard they come in one solid color. Throw pillows are the perfect way to break up the bland furniture and pull a room together. Update your space by adding pops of color or chic patterns. Plus, it’s much simpler to switch out these pillows rather than buying a whole new piece of furniture or cover.

Avoid matchy-matchy furniture

Pillows are a way to add pops of contrasting colors and/or patterns. For example, if you already have a pattern in the room, such as your ottoman, don’t match the pattern with your pillows. Instead, use complementing colors from that pattern in the throw pillows. Or, use complementing patterns such as striped pillows with a plaid or checkered ottoman.

This is an interior design tip that allows you add different patterns that give the room personality rather than looking out of place. The key is to use differing pattern within the same color scheme or using colors that pop against the furniture.

Pull colors from other areas in the room

Perhaps you like bold color, but don’t want to overwhelm your space. Pull pillow colors from a piece of art that is hanging in the room. That way you can use various different shades without the room looking jumbled or over the top.

Or, use the same color curtains and pillows in a room that have the same neutral wall and furniture color. This gives the space just a nice pop of bold color without changing the entirety of your space.

Play with patterns

From the most traditional of decor to the chic and artsy boho look, combining several patterns in your space can polish the look. Patterns give the room a sense of movement, and draw the eye- perfect for bringing in accent colors.

Likely the larger pieces of furniture in your home are neutral colors, which make the perfect canvas to embellish on. Fun colors and seasonal shades can completely transform the look of your space across the year, from light to dark, warm to cool so don’t be afraid to play around. Whether you want to add ethnic paisleys, fun polka dots, vivid tropicals, or intricate geometrics be sure to shop with a cohesive color in mind.

Say you have a warm, sandy taupe sofa and chair but you want Spring in your living room to have the feeling of a Caribbean beach- shop for patterns in matching shades of sea blue, accented with white embroidery or beads. To change the look to a tropical summer, compliment tropical foliage patterns with bright solids, to echo the color of bold blooms. But keep in mind- the colors you use need to be used elsewhere in your space, from picture frames to tabletop art to give your home a beautiful, cohesive look.

A Note on Outdoor Pillows

Lastly, we have to address your outdoor space. When it comes to adding pillows here, things can get tricky. Not only do you have to consider the visual element but you have to think about the natural elements as well. Weather conditions such as snow, rain, wind, and sun all factor into the care of your pillows.

Think beyond the couch

The first place people think of when it comes to adding throw pillows to their outdoor living and entraining space is the couch or chairs. This is obvious and you should have them there! However, take your decorative skills a step further by placing pillows in unexpected places that many guests either don’t usually sit or stay for very long.

Areas such as wooden benches in a garden are transformed with a couple of pillows. This will invite a guest to actually sit there rather than walking by. Or, if you have a brick seating area around a fire pit, adding several pillows with make for a cozy space that will keep guests warmer and comfortable as the snuggle up to the fire.

Pick the right patterns
and colors

Yes, we’ve gone over patterns several times already. However, it’s worth talking about yet again. Even for those who are usually conservative with patterns inside their homes, like to play it up on the outside.

Bold colors and patterns such as nautical, tropical or floral designs just look better in patios, gardens, and terraces. The key to picking patterns and colors that work well in the space is knowing how to work with what you already have. For instance, if your seating cushions are light or neutral colors, bright patterns with colors like lime green, turquoise, pink, orange, etc. all work great. Plus, you can easily play off the natural flora and fauna that is found in and around the outdoor space.

Mix up sizes and shapes

If you have a smaller outdoor space, an easy trick to add interest and change up the look with by using different sizes of pillows. Small, large, round, rectangular and square pillows will give your patio or deck a fresh new look.

Material matters

Lastly, probably one of the most important aspects of your outdoor cushions and pillows to consider is the material. If you have an outdoor living space, you probably are aware that pillows and cushions fade fast under the bright summer sun. Plus, in high traffic areas such as by the pool or fire pit, the pillow can wear even faster.

That’s why you have to pay attention to the material used to make them. Before anything always look at the label or description to see the outdoor specific features. There are plenty of pillow and cushions on the market that claim they are made for outside use, however, the material and fabric used to make them says otherwise.

If you want pillows that are made for outdoor use, make sure to look for outdoor fabrics that have the following qualities:

  • High UV ratings
  • Weather resistant
  • Made out of ring spun polyester or T-spun polyester

While the right fabric will ensure your pillows will last longer and continue to look better, taking good care of them will also help. This means if you can store the pillow in a safe area from sun exposure and rain when they are not in use.