How to Mix Pillows Like an Interior Designer

How to Mix Pillows Like an Interior Designer
6 Start slideshow


Much like paint, changing up the throw pillows in your space can easily reinvent an entire room. The right mix can transform even the tiniest apartment into a cozy, personalized, put-together home, and allows you to exercise a lot of creativity with little risk (and a small budget.)

The possibilities of colors, patterns and fabrics are pretty much endless, so we sought some guidance from experts Julie Massucco Kleiner and Melissa Warner Rothblum of west coast-based interior design and decoration firm Massucco Warner Miller. Read on for their top tips on mixing and matching pillows like a pro.



0 Thoughts?
1 of 6

Go wild with a solid couch.
A solid couch is like a blank slate–anything goes! Kleiner and Warner suggested chunky linens, silk screened and hand-blocked fabrics in particular.

Photo: Tessa Neustadt/Amber Interiors

Photo: Tessa Neustadt

Mix shapes.
Long, rectangular-shaped lumbar pillows are another option the designers encouraged adding in. They look best against a sofa with a single back or single seat cushion.

Photo: Tony Vu/One King's Lane 

Photo: Tony Vu

Embrace textures
Varying textures from pillow to pillow is an effective way to add flair to a space. This is especially true if you're sticking to a monochromatic palette throughout the room. Velvet, canvas, shag, fur, cotton—go nuts.

Photo: Jenny Norris/Jenny J Norris Interiors 

Photo: Jenny Norris

Stick to simple with a printed couch
Putting a pattern on top of a pattern can look busy, so if you're working with a printed sofa add interest with various textures. Seek looped or nubbly boiled wool, cashmere and wool sateen in solid colors.

Photo: Massucco Warner Miller

Always seek balance
Be mindful of the scale of your patterns. A pillow with a bolder pattern that's geometric, for instance, is best paired with either a solid pillow or a pillow with a smaller pattern.

Photo: Jenny Norris

Make mixing easy by choosing the right proportions
Picking pillows of the same size allows you to easily switch up the arrangement and have it look good no matter what.  he Massucco Warner Miller team suggested using four 20" x 20" pillows for a standard couch (around 84"). They added that when they do veer away from this tip, they do so in pairs. Start out with two bigger pillows of the same size and two smaller pillows of the same size (18" x 18") and stack the smaller ones in front.

Photo: Brittany Ambridge/Domino


Photo: Brittany Ambridge

Next slideshow starts in 10s

The New Rules of Layering

The New Rules of Layering