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When your inner design lover nudges you to explore how to mix and match pillows on a sofa, you listen. Because when you unlock that magic combination, your living space feels cohesive in an instant. Although the perfect arrangement is highly subjective (all matching throw pillows or no?), we do have a solid place to start: Choose a decorative focal point, like this living room’s vibrant geometric triptych. Below, Domino‘s style director, Naomi deMañana, takes us through three pillow layouts. (Bonus points if either set of pillows complements the rug pattern or color, like the back row here.) Read on.

Brighten up your living space with these Domino picks:

How to Mix and Match Pillows on a Sofa

The Supplies

It Takes Two

Sofa, American Leather; Pillows, ABC Carpet & Home; Coffee Table, Jeff’s Warehouse; Rug, Halcyon Lake; Painting, Aviva Sklan.

DeMañana nodded to the geometric artwork with two sets of cushions in similar but toned-down shades of the rainbow. “Maybe you have a gold velvet sofa; the trim on the pillow pattern could match the sofa,” deMañana explains. “It’s easier to buy the right color pillow than finding the perfect piece of art.”

Prop up two matching pillows on either end of the sofa, a few inches away from the arms. Then place the other two cushions in front, leaving only half of the back ones visible. This setup subtly frames the sofa while still leaving enough room for friends to comfortably sit.

Alternate Patterns

Switching the print or material on every other cushion creates visual balance (whereas all matching pillows would pull the eye to the center of the sofa). Lean one patterned pillow up against the sofa on the left-hand side. Then situate a textured pillow directly next to it, allowing the corners to touch. Repeat with the next two pillows for one long row.

Turn the Corners Up 

Here, deMañana creates a structural contrast between the sharp pillow edges and the sofa’s softer ones. Alternate prints as before, but this time angle each cushion with one corner pointed up so it slightly overlaps with the back of the sofa.

Simply the Best Throw Pillows