Design Inspiration Color & Paint

5 Unexpected Pillow Combinations You’ve Never Thought Of Before

Mix and match like the best of them.
Anna Kocharian Avatar
photograph by meghan mcneer

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Well-styled beds and sofas have one key detail in common: Their throw pillow game is always on point. A vibrant group of patterned cushions can bring a drab, dated sofa to life—a much more affordable alternative to purchasing a new sofa. On a bed, they double as an added layer of comfort. Oh, and bonus points for the fact that they are the ultimate tool for transitioning your space from season to season.

That said, as simple as choosing throw pillows sounds in theory, actually doing it can be a challenge. There are just so many options available. And figuring out a nonboring pairing is a whole different (read: even more daunting) story. That’s where we come in. Read on for five cool, unexpected cushion combos that get rid of the guesswork.

Checkered + Fringe

Consider it a foolproof way to master just about any combo: Pick a base color and run with it. It’s especially true in this case, when you’re working with a bold print.

Solid Stripes + Florals

Designate one of these prints to be the hero pattern—in this case, it’s florals—and complement it with a set of pillows in the other motif that borrows hues from the first.

Geometric + Hand-Dyed

Pair like fabrics with one another (here, the pillows are cotton and silk), then introduce a striking pattern in a hue on the same side of the color wheel to keep things dynamic.

Color-Blocked + Linear

Make neutrals more exciting by choosing cushions with tone-on-tone abstract designs. (We incorporated a hint of blush into the scheme to really elevate it.) Bring it all together with an unexpected pop of similarly graphic high-contrast stripes.

Abstract Shapes + Multicolored Stripes

Vary the scale of the patterns involved and hone in on one color palette to keep this look from appearing too busy. The eclectic mix here still feels sophisticated thanks to the grounding shade of navy found in each option.

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