How to properly arrange throw pillows on a couch

The throw pillows on the couch are the final touch, a detail that is by no means insignificant, even though it is relatively small in scale. Coziness and color balance, mood and accent, harmony and originality – with the help of correctly selected textiles, all this is very easy to ensure. That is why designers insist on a reasonably serious attitude towards pillows. You should not arrange a chaotic jumble of accessories of different sizes, colors, and shapes on the couch – it is much better if you approach this issue more carefully.

So, if you have already bought a sofa, and the question of pillows has not yet been decided, it’s time to start the selection. We will try to make your work easier – and offer the most relevant recipes for a harmonious couch decoration from professionals. So let’s get started.

Selection of throw pillows for the couch: what you should pay attention to first of all

For some, this may seem surprising, but the placement of pillows on the couch is a rather subtle question and requires careful attention to all the nuances. Indeed, the harmonious arrangement of cushions on a sofa depends on several factors, and each of them needs attention. So, what you should definitely consider:

  • The size and configuration of your couch. Of course, a small sofa will require fewer accessories than a massive corner couch – and you will need to place them a little more compactly. That is why you should keep in mind the dimensions of the furniture at the stage of buying pillows, not to mention their arrangement.
  • The number of pillows you want to use. Each number of cushions has its own placement scheme. Below we will talk in more detail about the most popular sets of textiles regarding the number of elements.
  • The shape and size of the pillows. Perhaps you would prefer to settle for the usual medium-sized square accessories – and that’s your right. But if the soul craves creativity, everything possible is used – huge and small pillows, rectangles and circles, bolsters and something completely fancy. It is quite possible to streamline all this and bring it to a common denominator – the main thing is to act extremely carefully.
  • Color solutions and drawings. It is quite logical that on the sofa, we are eager to see more contrasting accessories, and many still do not mind adding patterns and ornaments, especially if the couch is monochromatic. Well, all this is not only permissible but also entirely in the spirit of the times. Many schemes are offered for the arrangement of colored and patterned decorative pillows – and you can choose the one that seems the most harmonious to you.

As you can see, every detail is essential in the pillow arrangement. However, this does not mean at all that the selection of such decor is comparable in complexity to a flight into space! Guided by the advice of designers and your own instinct, you will certainly achieve success.

Pillow sizes: starting with dimensions

So, the selection of pillows has begun – and you may well start with dimensions. Today, three sizes of decorative textiles are considered the most popular:

  • Small. This includes accessories with a side of 16 inches (40 cm) or less. These cushions are perfect for sofas with low backs, as well as for compact couches. In addition, the small cushions often complement larger decor compositions.
  • Standard. This group includes 18-20 inches (45-50 cm) square throw pillows. These are versatile accessories that match all sizes of couches and double beds.
  • Large. Large throw pillows are offered in a range of 22-24 inches (55-60 cm) on either side. If your couch is more than average in size, you will definitely not be able to do without them.

Depending on the size of the couch and your ideas, you can limit yourself to pillows of the same size. However, suppose you still want something more non-trivial (and almost everyone wants this, and don’t deny it). In that case, you should think about a combination of large, medium, and small pillows – this will make the sofa look much more enjoyable.

How many pillows should you put on the couch?

The number of pillows that decorate a sofa is a fundamental stumbling block, even for professional designers. Someone claims that there should be no less than two and no more than four, someone insists on a range of 3-6, and someone is adamant in his opinion about an odd number of accessories. And although all these opinions have a right to exist, we urge you to think more broadly – and not be limited to, albeit accurate, numbers trying to drive us into a particular framework. After all, decorating a living room is subtle and highly personal.

Experienced decorators by no means insist on specific ranges. However, when choosing decorative pillows, they still advise focusing on the size and configuration of the couch. Let’s take a closer look at how many and what pillows should decorate your sofa, depending on its dimensions.

2 Seater couch

Compact sofas and couches need pillows that can make them more comfortable and welcoming. You can use accessories in the following quantities:

  • one pillow – just add comfort and variety;
  • two pillows – a laconic, balancing, and simple solution;
  • three pillows – for light eclecticism and revitalizing asymmetry;
  • four – for greater depth and visual volume.

Of course, you don’t need to use pillows of the same color, size, or shape. Play with accessories – even a couple of different cushions on a small couch can work wonders.

3 Seater couch

Such models not only make it possible to stretch out with remarkable comfort but also become an excellent basis for a variety of options for decorating with pillows. You can hardly manage with one accessory here – we advise you to pay attention to the following quantity:

  • two pillows – the most concise option for a sofa with low-texture upholstery or for a minimalist interior;
  • three pillows – for light, but so trendy asymmetry;
  • four pillows – to create a more voluminous and balanced composition;
  • five pillows – for maximum comfort and a well-centered combination;
  • six pillows – for a spectacular design and the highest degree of comfort.

As in the previous case, you can feel free to experiment with colors, textures, and patterns. However, you should not forget about the principle of the color wheel or compatibility with the interior of your living room as a whole.

Corner sofas

We warn you right away: no one will mind if you decide to stop at one, two, or even three decorative pillows on a massive corner sofa. However, then do not complain that the accessories look entirely orphaned, and you can’t do any composition from them. Designers advise to start with four at once – and, if possible, increase this number:

  • Five pillows. The most straightforward solution for fundamental symmetry. Use two pairs of cushions, larger and smaller, on the sides, and place a bright, patterned accessory in the middle.
  • Six pillows. Place four large and medium pillows on the sides of the sofa and two smaller ones with the most striking design in the middle. This way, you can create a very cozy and visually detached space. Use different shades, patterns, and textures – it’s intriguing.
  • Seven pillows. In this case, the edges of the couch are decorated with cushions in the same way as in the case of the six accessories. However, you already have to place three pillows in the middle – and try to make a harmonious arrangement out of them. At least one accessory should be consonant in color, pattern, or texture to both the side and central pillows since with so many items, visual unification is crucial.
  • Nine pillows. Surprising as it may seem, this number of throw pillows is prevalent for corner couches. It is pretty simple to compose a composition from them: we select a maximum of three common color motifs and no more than one ornament and arrange pillows in groups of three in the center and on the sides. We take the most oversized and most monochromatic accessories as a basis – the rest are responsible for collating color and texture.

And now I would like to say a few words about the patterned pillows. No matter how you strive for minimalism, it is still impossible to deny the importance of textiles with an ornament: it is the pattern that sets the rhythm, liveliness, and unique energy to the interior. That is why you should definitely include them in the composition, especially if the couch is oversized and there are more than three pillows.

Many people often wonder how many ornaments can be used on cushions within one sofa. Designers claim that there are no more than three, and at the same time, they are guided by the simple formula “floral print + large geometric pattern + small geometric pattern.” Moreover, you should combine the patterns at least in color or theme.

Couch pillow arrangements: modern and trendy options

Placing decorative pillows on the sofa is a fascinating event and promises many unexpected ideas that were born in the process. However, if you don’t like taking risks and want the couch to look stylish, we offer you arrangement options that have proven themselves in modern interiors.

Great couple

Just two pillows on a small couch (we already wrote about this above) can make the couch much more comfortable. You can choose accessories made of fabric that contrasts with the upholstery, take one plain and one patterned pillow, or even stop at products in the color of the couch like a true fan of minimalism.


We take a plain sofa, put 3-4 large pillows against the back, put 2-3 smaller cushions in front of them, and put the smallest, bright or elongated ones in front. Let’s spice everything up with fashionable ornaments and contrasting shades – and enjoy the cozy and balanced design of the couch.

Timeless symmetry

The symmetrical arrangement of several pairs of pillows at the corners of the couch enchants with peace and harmony. Match shades, textures, and patterns and add balance to your living room.

Moving to the middle

Non-standard pillows (for example, round) and a sofa with a smoothly curved silhouette are an excellent reason to try the placement of pillows precisely in the middle of the furniture, with the number of three or more. You can also use this option on very long couches, where the pillows placed in the corners are lost and cannot create a single composition.

Variety of shapes

By combining classic square, laconic rectangular, bolsters, round, and unique pillows, you can achieve true exclusivity. The most important thing is not to overdo it: you should not use more than two contrasting patterns and try to find a motive that unites all the elements – for example, the material’s texture.

Well-chosen and no less well-placed pillows on the couch are evidence of your impeccable taste and the most sincere love for your home. This approach to accents makes your interior harmonious and shows your individuality in the best possible light.

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