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Tips on Decorating with Throw Pillows

by Julie Hampton

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Throw pillows

Throw pillows can bring together a room's color palette and design scheme, providing balance, elegance and visual interest to your home decor. Throw pillows can soften the look of a heavy leather sofa or add a punch of color to a wingback chair. Changing throw pillows is also an inexpensive and simple way to change the design scheme of a room. Either purchase new accent pillows or cover existing ones with new slipcovers, and then throw them anywhere, from your sofa to your bedroom chaise lounge.

Decorating with Throw Pillows:

  1. Arrangement. For eclectic or modern decor, group accent pillows in sets of odd numbers: use three, five or seven pillows in a room. Using asymmetrical groups is a common interior design rule for nontraditional decor; the room will feel more visually balanced. Vary the pillows' size and pattern. If you want a more traditional, symmetrical look, use even numbers.

  2. Size and shape. Vary the shapes and sizes of throw pillows. Standard pillows measure 18 inches by 18 inches. Add a contrasting shape or size into a pillow grouping for additional interest. Large pillows can make a statement in a room; choose one or two with fringe, tassels and trim for additional character. For example, place an oblong pillow in the center of a couch or a round pillow on a side chair.

  3. Fabric. Vary your throw pillows' textures and textiles for a rich yet subtle mix. Use fabrics from plush velvets to smooth silks. Mix and match pillows: pair stripes and plaids together or combine solid and floral designs.

  4. Color. Choose pillow colors by looking at fabric, artwork and other accents in the room. Decide on a common accent color and match the color to a paint swatch. Use the swatch to compare different pillows when browsing online. Pillows do not need to be an exact match. Some slight variation adds natural contrast and interest to the room. Add the accent color in a few other areas, including accessories, lampshades and other items of home decor.

  5. Storage. Put a decorative basket or storage bin in the room for holding accent pillows when they're not being used. For example, set a wicker basket behind the couch to toss pillows in while entertaining in the living room. Or hide pillows when they're not needed by keeping them in a plastic bin placed underneath the bed. The storage area keeps pillows fresh and clean.

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