Once you’ve got your living room all painted, a cozy rug in place, and some beautiful art on the walls, it’s time to address the final touch your couch. Adding throw pillows is an excellent way to tie the room together, but with the plethora of shapes, patterns, and textures available, How to Mix and Match Pillows on a Sofa. Whether you’re settling into a new space or just giving your living room a refresh, we’ve got the perfect styling tips to help you effortlessly combine pillows for a stylish and unified look.

How to Mix and Match Pillows on a Sofa

Elevating the style of your living room, family room, or bedroom is effortlessly achieved through the art of accessorizing with throw pillows. Don’t confine yourself to the safety of two or three solid-colored pillows or the default set that came with your couch there’s a vast array of affordable and beautiful options waiting to be explored.

One key principle to embrace is the notion that your throw pillows don’t have to match; in fact, a more professional and stylish ambiance can be achieved when they don’t. If the prospect of selecting diverse patterns and colors feels daunting, fear not. The following tips are designed to assist you in seamlessly mixing and matching, allowing for a coordinated yet distinctively unmatched appearance that effortlessly refreshes your room.

While there are numerous ways to expertly combine throw pillows, it’s true that it may require a bit of practice. However, even in a room where no pillow shares the same color, pattern, or style, a polished and modern aesthetic can be achieved.

To start your pillow styling journey, establish a captivating “color story” by selecting three distinct colors. Draw inspiration from existing elements in the room, such as the wall color, rug, bedding, or curtains. Opt for a trio of hues that harmonize with each other and the overall palette of the space. Even when exploring various patterns, maintaining cohesion is achievable by ensuring the chosen pillows share these three colors.

Dark blue + deep red + pink

Deep red + orange + deep green

Magenta + violet + mustard yellow

Dark green + gold + magenta

Sage green + peacock blue + gold

Choose Three Patterns

Dive into the world of pattern mixing, a delightful way to add flair to your throw pillows. Opt for three distinct patterns, ensuring that each one incorporates at least one of the colors from your carefully chosen three-color story. To streamline the process, start by selecting your “lead” pattern the largest one that encompasses all three colors. The secondary patterns can then incorporate one or two colors from your palette.

Adhering to the Rule of Three is crucial when selecting patterns. Vary the scales of the patterns to establish a clear hierarchy, allowing one pattern to take center stage without competing with the others. Begin with your lead pattern, the most prominent, followed by a medium-sized print like a stripe or small houndstooth. The third pattern should be more subdued, featuring elements such as a solid color with an intriguing texture, a dotted swiss, or a subtle tone-on-tone pattern like a damask stripe.

One floral + one geometric + one solid color

One buffalo check + one toile + one ticking stripe

One chevron + one dotted + one knit texture

Choose Three Sizes

When it comes to pillow sizes, embrace the Rule of Three to infuse your space with design intrigue. Opt for three distinct sizes, considering the proportions of your furniture. Familiarize yourself with standard pillow sizes to initiate your planning process. Square pillows typically come in dimensions like 16 x 16, 18 x 18, 20 x 20, 22 x 22, and 24 x 24 inches. Round pillows follow similar sizing conventions, while lumbar pillows, though lacking consistent dimensions like square ones, generally range from 10 to 16 inches high by 18 to 22 inches wide, with 12 x 20 inches being a common size.

Adjust pillow sizes to complement your furniture by incorporating smaller sizes for loveseats and larger or oversized pillows for sofas and sectionals.

When creating pillow combinations, allow for variations in 2-inch increments. For instance, consider layering a 22-inch square pillow with a 20-inch square pillow in each corner. In addition to experimenting with three different pillow sizes, introduce diversity by playing with three different shapes square, round, and rectangular to achieve an appealing Rule of Three grouping.

24-inch pillows + 22-inch pillows + lumbar

22-inch pillows + 20-inch pillows + lumbar

20-inch pillows + 18-inch round + lumbar

22-inch pillows + 20-inch square and round pillows + lumbar

Choose Three Textures

While pattern and color mixing is crucial, don’t underestimate the significance of texture. Infuse your throw pillows with a tactile dimension by selecting three contrasting yet complementary textures. Experiment with the interplay of smooth and rough, soft and fuzzy, incorporating elements like faux fur, velvet, linen, knit wools, and tasseled accents. Maintaining your color and pattern theme allows you to unleash creativity in the realm of touch and feel.

One large pattern + one small pattern + one solid texture

By integrating this approach, you’ll not only achieve visual harmony through color and pattern but also elevate the sensory experience, adding a delightful tactile element to your throw pillow arrangement.

Why Add Throw Pillows?

Throw pillows are more than just decorative elements; they swiftly infuse a room with design flair and personal style, utilizing a dynamic blend of color, pattern, texture, and varying sizes. Beyond their aesthetic role, throw pillows serve a practical purpose they enhance the comfort of furniture. Strategically placing pillows in the corners of couches and chairs or adorning beds not only imparts a cozy ambiance but also delivers additional comfort and support, transforming your living spaces into inviting havens of relaxation.

Why Are Your Pillow Choices Important?

While throw pillows may appear to be minor additions to your living room, their impact is far from negligible. Beyond providing an extra layer of comfort to your couch, the choices you make regarding the color, pattern, size, and fabric of your pillow covers can significantly alter the entire ambiance of the room.

Careful consideration is essential when selecting pillowcases and sizes, as well as determining the quantity of pillows to grace your sofa. Far more than just functional items, pillows serve as a canvas for expressing your creative flair. So, prepare to delve into the world of mixing and matching throw pillows, unleashing your inner interior design expert and transforming your living space with thoughtful choices.

Additional Tips

Once you’ve mastered the Rule of Threes, delve into additional principles cherished by room designers to elevate your throw pillow game:

Odd Numbers for Modern Appeal: Embrace an air of modernity by arranging your throw pillows in odd numbers think three or five. Across various design aesthetics, odd numbers exude an artful charm, with a smaller quantity of larger pillows offering a fresh and contemporary look.

Even Numbers for Traditional Symmetry: For a balanced and symmetrical appearance, especially on beds or couches, opt for an even number of similar pillows, such as two or four. This arrangement imparts a clean and orderly feel, ideal for those seeking a more traditional aesthetic.

Consider the Fill: When on the hunt for throw pillows, pay attention to the fill material and its impact on appearance. Feather-and-down fills, for instance, provide a plush and softer feel with more “give.” On the other hand, foam and synthetic fills are stiffer, offering better shape retention and often a more budget-friendly option. It’s a trade-off between luxurious softness and long-lasting structure.

By integrating these principles into your throw pillow styling repertoire, you’ll refine your design sensibilities and create a space that not only looks aesthetically pleasing but also suits your preferred style and comfort preferences.


In conclusion, the art of mixing and matching throw pillows provides a delightful avenue for transforming your living space into a haven of style and comfort. By embracing the Rule of Three in color, pattern, size, and texture, you can effortlessly create a visually harmonious yet distinctively unmatched arrangement. Throw pillows, far more than mere decorative elements, serve as dynamic expressions of your creative flair and contribute to the overall ambiance of the room. Whether you opt for odd numbers for a modern appeal or even numbers for traditional symmetry, careful consideration of color, pattern, size, and fill material allows you to curate a space that not only looks aesthetically pleasing but also aligns with your unique style and comfort preferences. So, embark on your throw pillow styling journey, experiment with different combinations, and let your living space reflect the perfect blend of design sophistication and personal expression.