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How to Mix and Match Throw Pillows

The “magic formula” for mixing and matching throw pillows like an interior decorator + the best resources for buying them.

It’s been way too long since I shared a post for the Simplified Decorating series!

If you’re new around these parts, every so often, I like to dive into one little decorating topic to break down the “rules” and make the process as easy as possible.

I’m by no means a school-trained interior designer. I’m just a nerd who researches stuff and learns things from the real “pros” and the good ol’ school of hard knocks.

Last week, when I put up a poll on my Instagram Stories, so many of you asked to see a post about how to mix and match throw pillows. So ta da! Here we are.

throw pillows on a bed

Since I decorated our master bedroom for fall (that really could transition on into winter), now seemed like the perfect time to mention my 1 main “Magic Throw Pillow Mixing and Matching Formula”.

Can you tell what it is?

throw pillows on a bed with black walls and linen headboard

(Some affiliate links are provided below. Full disclosure here.)

The Magic Throw Pillow Mixing and Matching Formula:

1 complex pattern/print + 1 geometric print + 1 solid/textured fabric

It definitely isn’t a rule, but it’s a good place to start of if you ever feel stuck and have to ask yourself, “Do these pillows work together?”


1 main color + 1 accent color + 1 neutral

On our bed, I used:

  1. A complex antique jade print
  2. 1 geometric stitched olive lumbar pillow
  3. 1 faux leather pillow

coastal style living room sofa with throw pillows

What sizes?

  • For sofas: I prefer 20″-24″ throw pillows at the ends of a sofa with a smaller 18″-22″ pillow next to it. If your sofa is deep enough, add a small lumbar pillow in front.
  • For beds: I like using euro pillows 24″-26″ euro pillows on beds accented by 22″-24″ pillows on either side and a long lumbar in front.

cozy fall throw pillows on a sofa

On our sofa, I used:

My Preferences for Throw Pillows:

  1. Aim to buy pillow covers only so you don’t have to put entire pillows in storage.
  2. Get down or down alternative inserts (these are my favorites) that are 2″ larger than the pillow cover. Pillows look more full and feel more luxury that way, even if you’re just using a $5 pillow cover.
  3. If you have to buy entire pillows, get ones that have a zipper so you have the option to change the insert later.
  4. Buy ones that aren’t very seasonal-specific. Ex: Instead of buying a Santa pillow, I prefer to buy a cable knit pillow so it will last throughout the winter (and even the previous months for fall).

(Although, sometimes I completely throw all of those preferences out the window if I find a pillow I really really love. In a perfect world though…)

My Absolute Favorite Throw Pillow Sources:

Does that help at all? Maybe? All rules are meant to be broken in decorating, but they’re good if you ever find yourself with “decorators’ block”.

Got any other favorite throw pillow sources you’d add to the list? Or decorating rules you live by?

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How to Mix and Match Throw Pillows | The "magic formula" for mixing and matching throw pillows like an interior decorator + the best resources for buying them.

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  1. This helps immensely! Question though, do you try to match the pillows on either end of the sofa? For example, do you put the same three on the other end and have them match? Or go with 6 possible different pillows? Thanks in advance! xoxo

  2. Thank you for putting this together. And thanks for the source list! I’d never heard of Boutique Rugs. I found so many pretty pillows there and found one that’s perfect for my living room 🙂