How to Decorate With Accent Pillows

Even though the focus of this photo shoot that Steph and I did was the coffee tables, we included accent pillows in our accessory “shopping list” because a sofa without pillows just isn’t quite complete (in our humble opinion).

We love the way pillows add texture, pattern, color and interest to a room.  They can be swapped out by season, or as our color or style tastes change.   A simple, versatile way to complete or refresh a space.

Good thing we added them, too, because way more of our Logan sofa showed in the images than we originally thought.  The accent pillows added a cozy touch and completed the looks we were going for.

Just a few accent pillows can completely change up a room

Here are some simple tips for using accent pillows in your decorating:

Be inspired.

Start with an inspiration piece that has the color mix that you like and add other pillows to compliment.

Your inspiration may be a pillow, but it could also be a rug, artwork, a piece of furniture – anything in the space that defines your palette.

Don't be afraid to mix pillow shapes for a more interesting arrangement.

Mix it up.

If you’re using patterns, make sure everything isn’t the same scale. Mix large, medium and smaller scale patterns and throw in a solid or two for good measure.

If you’re not a fan of pattern, make the mix more interesting by varying color and texture.

A fun mix of pattern and color in these accent pillows

Have something in common.

When mixing a variety of pillows, choose the ones that have something in common with the room or with each other.

They don’t need to match perfectly, but should relate.

Evenly Distribute

Our eye naturally goes to color, pattern and contrast, so evenly distribute color and pattern around the room for a balanced feel.  (If you have a completely neutral room and just pop color onto the sofa, for instance, it will become the focal point of the space.)

In this neutral room featuring our Lennon sectional, the rocker recliner is very light and the sectional is dark so we used a light throw and accent pillow to bring the lighter tones onto the sofa.

Cozy family room - white pillow and throw pulls the chair color across the room

Try different arrangements.

A common accent pillow arrangement is two matching pillows on either side of a sofa with an additional coordinating pillow on one side.  This will work almost every time, but don’t be afraid to step out of the box and try something different.

In the turquoise setting for our coffee table photo shoot, we decided to create a different look by centering matching lumbar pillows on either side.  This worked great since the sofa had two back cushions instead of three –  clean and simple.


The best interior design is the one that makes you feel at home, so start with these guidelines and tweak them to fit your personal style and taste.

Experiment until you find the mix that works for you.  If you feel like the mix isn’t quite working but can’t figure out what’s not right, try this trick.

Pillows with touchable texture

If you’re looking for great pillows for your space, we have so many great options in our stores, and any of our associates would be happy to help you find the right mix for your room.

Are you ready for a refresh?

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2 Responses to How to Decorate With Accent Pillows

  1. Bryan June 22, 2016 at 5:05 pm #

    Sometimes I feel like the pillow king because I have so many throw pillows, but you can never have too many though! Best part, and you touched based on this, is their versatility around the room. From sofa to recliner or on a accent bench in the corner, throw pillows can whimsically be used to achieve just the look you are going for! Love the idea of the lumber pillows as replacements for those dull default pillows we sometimes get stuck with–what a great way to play with color, texture and geometrics at the same time!

    • PK June 24, 2016 at 9:33 am #

      I agree you can never have too many Bryan! (Well, there might be a limit but… :-) ) It’s nice to have different options around for changing seasons and mixing things up once in a while when you get bored.


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