How to Choose a Decorative Pillow

Down Etc Decorative Pillows

When it comes to accessorizing your home, there are few better ways to add a pop of color or some personality to a room than with a menagerie of throw pillows. But selecting the pillows that will match your existing décor, pair well with each other, and create the look and feel you crave for each room can be a difficult undertaking, especially with so many options to choose from.

Before you get started selecting colors, patterns, and textures, there are a few general ideas to consider. First, you need to understand that if you have just one or two pillows, it's okay if they're the same. But if you're going for a full-out spread of several, you'll want to make sure they're different. This will help you achieve the greatest visual appeal with your pillows, and you should purchase a variety of shapes and sizes to create the look. And you might also want to find pillows that are firm, squishy, and somewhere in between so that everyone who sits can select a comfortable bolster.

You also need to take the time to find quality pillows for your pile. You'll know the cheapies when you see them - they're the ones that are sure to split a seam when you try to rip off the tag. Instead, opt for cushions that can be washed without fear that they'll fall apart. Or better yet, look for pillows that have removable zippered covers. These are going to be the easiest to clean and maintain. You can even consider making your own pillows or covers as opposed to buying them if you're handy with a sewing machine, or just add a couple of your own when you find a fabric you love. Now it's time to get started with a few stylistic options. 

Tone on Tone
Whether you like shades of white or you'd rather stick to a different color family, one of the best ways to add color to an otherwise neutral space is with a tonal array of throw pillows. Shades of white, ecru, eggshell, and even oatmeal can create a subtle and eye-catching effect in a whitewashed room with neutral furnishings. It's not for everyone, but it's definitely a clean, crisp statement. Or if you'd rather punch up a neutral room, choose a color family to display. You could feature a mix of crimson, coral, and carmine, for example, or opt for a gradient that goes from lime to emerald to evergreen. It all depends on the colors already featured in your home and the hues you'd like to add to the mix.

Mix-and-Match Prints
If you stick with a color family, mixing and matching patterns need not be difficult. Simply choose an assortment of prints comprised of different sizes and types of patterns. For example, you could pair a large floral print with a smaller geometric or tribal pattern. Adding different colors of patterned prints is a bit more difficult, but not impossible. A good place to start is by pairing black-and-white prints with colors and then experimenting with one added decorative pillow at a time to see how it fits your overall design.

Animal Kingdom
Do not fear animal prints! You don't necessarily want a mishmash of leopards, zebras, and tigers, for example, but when done in moderation, animal prints can make for a fun and exciting addition to your pantheon of pillows. Pair them with colored pillows to add some visual zing. Although you might prefer sticking to the faux throws, you can use animal prints to work some different textures into your décor, as well.

Pretty in Pink
There's nothing more feminine than an array of pretty, pink pillows. And you needn't go overboard with your theme when you choose the right hues. Pale pinks paired with blush and cream can create the soft, ladylike aesthetic you're looking for. And adding texture through textile (velvet, brushed shearling, silk, etc.) and pleating, just for example, can help to add visual interest to a look that might otherwise come off a little flat.

Rainbow Room
If you need to be surrounded by splashes of color, you can have a field day with your throw pillows. The best tip here is to opt for either warm or cool colors. Whereas pairing reds, oranges, and yellows makes for a bright and cohesive look, you could end up with a distinctly unharmonious aesthetic when you cross color lines and pair, say, green and orange. This isn't to say you can't get creative - flaming orange and royal blue are a classic pairing. But you have to commit to a specific look if you go this route. If you want bursts of color that are sure to blend, simply stick with warms or cools.

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