How to Mix and Match Pillows on a Sofa (Complete Guide)

by Katie Williams
couch pillow

Mixing and matching throw pillows on your sofa is one of the easiest ways to add style into your room. Everywhere you look you can find beautiful and affordable pillows to accessorize with.

Pillows on a sofa is the perfect way to display your sense of style. Don’t limit your throw pillows to what came with your couch, for a minimal investment you can really add some fashion and color to your home.

The key to adding style to your room is knowing the throw pillows on your sofa don’t have to match. You can mix them up to achieve a more personalized style. Trying to mix and match pillows can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Combining patterns and pillows is simply picking out colors and patterns that are visually appealing to you.

Mix and Match pillows

Credit: blesserhouse

The following tips can help you mix and match patterns and colors on pillows, allowing you to add some color and life to your room without a huge investment.

How do you mix and match scatter cushions?

When mixing and matching scatter cushions it is best to look follow three rules that designers recommend. Consider your colors, your textures/patterns and your number of pillows. Learn more about each rule of mixing and matching pillows below.

1. The rule of color.

Color is one of the easiest ways to add character to your home. Bright and bold colors can make a big impact in a room. Simple, neutral colors such as black, whites, creams and grays can also make a large statement if you use the right pattern.

2. The rule of patterns.

Typically, patterns are categorized as geometric, floral, or boho. Geometric patterns are pillows that have more stripes, lines, shapes or are plaid. Floral patterns will be more botanical with colors and flowers or leaves. Boho pillows are more organic with small details and lines, and usually have more texture.

It is important to not let your patterns overrule one another, but rather let them complement one another. Use a floral pattern mixed with a boho/textured pattern to allow the floral pattern to add a flair of pattern. Read on to learn more about patterns and mixing them.

3. The rule of pattern size.

Patterns come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The most important part of this rule is varying your sizes. Don’t let your patterns be the same size.

Try mixing it up by combining a large pattern with mixed with a medium sized pattern and a small pattern. A solid-colored pillow could also be classified as a small pattern. It is important to think of this scale of patterns so that they try to dominate, but rather allow all your pillows to complement one another.

How do you combine pillows on a couch?

Once you have conquered these three rules you are on the way to successfully mixing and matching your scatter cushions. Keep in mind a few other things, like how many pillows to use, what the pillows are filled with and what kind of textures are incorporated with your patterns.

Throw pillows come with many different kinds of filling. Some filling has feathers and can be more comfortable to cuddle up with on a couch while watching a movie. Others are firmer and are better for a more formal sitting area. The firmer the pillow, the better it will help you to remember to keep your best posture while sitting. If you have a soft filled pillow with standard cotton stuffing, it is a great way to add comfort and style while keeping its shape even while in use.

Mix your textures. Add some depth to your sofa by mixing and matching your scatter pillows and the texture on the pillows. A lot of boho patterns will have textures that will add style and comfort to your pillows.

Don’t be afraid to break the rules. Now that you know the rules to mixing and matching your scatter cushions, don’t be afraid to break the rules! These are tips to help you successfully mix and match your cushions, but by breaking the rules you can really put your personality and style on display.

Show off what you love the most. You will be the one to look at the pillows the most, the most important rule is that you like what you see.

How do you mix cushion patterns?

When combining cushion patterns, it is important to view the scale of your patterns. What this is means is you don’t want three patterns that are largely competing with one another. You will want to find patterns that complement each other.

For example, start with your primary pattern pillow. This pillow will likely have the largest pattern and also contain multiple colors. When selecting other patterns, you can find a medium sized pattern that contains one of the colors on the primary pillow, followed by a small, subtle, or even solid color with no pattern that also contains a color from your primary pillow.

If you choose a large, medium and small pattern, but all three have similar colors, they will compliment with one another, rather than compete. The ability to mix patterns in your show pillows will really help complete your space. These is a great way to add visual interest to your room with your cushion’s patterns.

Do sofa pillows have to match?

Sofa pillows add a lot more style when they do not match. You can mix and match different patterns as long as your colors are similar and complimentary.

For example, you would not want to use all sofa pillows that are the same color red. Instead, use a pattern that has three colors, so you can grab colors from that pattern to incorporate in your other pillows. As mentioned before, patterns are categorized as geometric, floral, or boho/textured.

Here are a few ideas to try when mixing your sofa pillows.

  • One large boho pillow with texture combined with a medium size geometric pillow and a small floral pillow
  • One large floral pillow combined with a medium sized solid color pillow and a small geometric pillow.
  • One large geometric pillow with a smaller boho pillow and accent lumbar pillow with a floral pattern.

How many pillows should be on a couch?

There are several ways to combine your pillows on a couch. In order to make the couch comfortable and visually pleasing it is best to combine your pillows by sorting them largest to smallest. You will want to place your larger pillows in far corners and continue in order of size with your smallest pillows closest to the center.

For a more modern look you can combine large and small pillows across the couch. Although there are no set numbers as to how many pillows should be on your couch, there are limitations. Typically, standard size couches are best suited with 3-5 pillows.

You want to make sure you have ample sitting area, and that someone doesn’t feel like they can’t sit down because there are too many pillows blocking their way. Keep in mind the number of pillows you display will change the style of your home.

For example, even numbered pillows on a couch, like two or four or six pillows will make your house feel more traditional and looks cleaner and orderly.

A larger number of pillows and an odd number of pillows that complement each other will feel more playful and add more a modern design element to your home.

How many pillows should you put on a sectional?

Similar to a standard couch, there is no set number of pillows that you should display on your sectional. Sectionals tend to add more room to display pillows, so naturally you can fit more.

If you only put 2 pillows on a sectional it will likely feel like too few. Use the end pieces of a sectional to display a mix of pillows as well as the corner piece of your sectional is a perfect place to add more pillows for a more visually pleasing element.

The short answer is if you have too many pillows on your couch or sectional and your guests have a hard time sitting down, you have too many pillows.

In Conclusion.

Mixing and matching throw pillows and scatter cushions on your sofa is one of the easiest ways to add style to your room. Use a mix of colors and patterns to add a visually pleasing look to your room while adding some character.

Mixing and matching pillows patterns and colors doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but rather can be a fun and exhilarating way to change up your home on a budget.

We touched on several different styles to decorate with throw pillows, but the most important thing is to have fun with it! Throw pillows are not permanent and can be changed out easily depending on the season or your style.

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