Brave New Home

creating authenticity where it matters most

How To: Group Throw Pillows


down_pillow_inserts copy

If you’re like me, acquiring throw pillows is easy peesy.  Target, Ikea, Home Goods, every where you turn are fun/gorgeous/insert-the-adjective-that-makes-you-drop-them-bones throw pillows for the picking.  The hard part is getting them to all work together in harmony.

Personally, I’ve forgone throw pillows in favor of pillow inserts.  I stocked up on down inserts from Ikea for just $5.99 a piece.  I don’t have the space to be storing extra throw pillows; pillow covers on the other hand are real space savers and can easily be washed and swapped.  Plus, down doesn’t get lumpy and tired.  Standard throw pillows are 18×18 so at 20×20 inches these are slightly more difficult to outfit but my no means impossible.

Mastering the art of throw pillow mixing is a bit of a trial and error process.  While there aren’t any hard and fast rules (aren’t decorating rules meant to be broken anyhow?) here are some tips I developed in my quest for pillow perfection.  Keep in mind, lots of times the combinations that can’t be explained or broken down are the most interesting in the end.

1. Solid+ Pattern. This is a simple equation that goes great against neutral backdrops, like couches.


2. Bold Pattern + Small Pattern.  This is somewhat of an extension of the first “rule” because a bold pattern will almost make a small pattern look like a solid in contrast.


3. The Power of Flowers.  Just mix a bunch of floral patterns together.  When a pair of florals appear to be clashing, add a third.  Still not working?  Try a fourth!  And so on and so on.


4. Lots of Patterns, One Palette.  Use lots of different patterns all within the same color palette.  Pay attention to the pattern’s scale here; you’ll want to mix it up to keep it fresh.


5. Pick a Theme.  Pick a theme or a style and stick with it.  Here we have Suzani with ikat.  Both global geometric prints.


6. Big Geometric + Small Geometric + Bold Floral.  This combo is gold and the one I will be striving for. 


7. Just Make it Work.  Easier said than done but lots of my favorite combinations just magically work somehow.  You could deconstruct what makes it work but isn’t it fun to just enjoy it sometimes?


And a few parting pillow points: Go for an odd number of pillows, like three to a couch.  Using asymmetrical groups is a common decorating tool to create non-traditional (read modern) decor.  It gives visual balance and isn’t so ho hum.  And vary the size and shapes of your pillows for contrast.  An oblong pillow, tassels, you name it.  Vary the textures, designs, everything!

How much would you be willing to spend on a throw pillow?  Throw pillow cover?  Do you like the karate chopped pillow look?

Author: Jennifer @ Brave New Home

Hi! I'm Jennifer from Brave New Home ( I blog about overcoming fear and transforming a house into a home one DIY project at a time.

3 thoughts on “How To: Group Throw Pillows

  1. Pingback: Pillow Palooza | Brave New Home

  2. A mix of number 4 and 6 is right up my alley. I love lots of texture in neutral colors and then a punch of something more bold and colorful. I really like all the inspiration pictures you found!

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