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The Do's and Don't's of Decorating with Couch Throw Pillows

It is safe to say that throw pillows are now considered an integral part of most modern living rooms. Once thought of as irritating accessories that got in the way, they have continued to grow in popularity and are now used by interior designers to accentuate existing aesthetic choices.

However, despite their simplicity and versatility, they can still be divisive when utilised incorrectly, and there are still certain unspoken rules regarding pillow etiquette.

That is why we've put together this handy guide detailing how to get the most out of your decorative pillows while also highlighting a few things you should look to avoid.

What are throw pillows?

The term 'throw pillow' comes from the fact that they aren't usually part of any pre-assembled furniture set. Instead, they are 'thrown' onto couches, sofas, and beds as an addition to what is already there. They are also often referred to as scatter cushions.

They also differ from standard pillows in that they are designed to be aesthetically pleasing rather than functional. Though they can match the size of sofa or bed pillows, they aren't usually intended to be slept on. Pillow covers can also be made from less comfortable textures, so they are not always the best item on which to rest your head.

Benefits of throw pillows

As mentioned above, throw pillows are not always the optimal choice for getting a good night's sleep. However, there are not several other benefits and reasons why you should look to decorate your living room or bedroom with these charming accessories.


Depending on the material and plushness, throw pillows can still be a comfortable addition to your sofa. Many high-quality textures, such as faux fur, are still pleasant to the touch, and thicker varieties, such as our chevron cushion, can still be extremely comfortable.


Thanks to the enormous range of textures, colors, and sizes that they can be designed or manufactured in, throw pillows have the potential to add visual appeal and a cohesive look to all types of aesthetics. Vibrant sofa pillows can draw attention to certain aspects of a living room, while smooth and serene shades such as those from our Gemma decorative pillow variety can help to instill a more tranquil mood.


Throw pillows come in all shapes and sizes, including certain varieties that can help alleviate back pain and other ailments. A lumbar pillow such as this offering from Ethnicraft is shaped so that it supports the natural curvature and contorts of your spine and can provide comfort and pain relief simultaneously.


For the impact that they can have on a room, throw pillows can often be very cost-effective design accessories. As with most decor items, this can vary widely depending on the brand and material, but there is no doubt that throw pillows will be available no matter what budget you are working with.

Decorating with Throw Pillows - Things to Consider

Now that you have an understanding of why they are such a great addition to a living space or bedroom, it's time to take a look at what you should and shouldn't do when it comes to maximising the impact of your throw cushions.

How many pillows on a couch?

Often a subject of heated debate, the ideal number of pillows for your couch depends on a number of factors, such as the pillow size and the length of the couch. There is no magic number to this - you are free to have as many cushions as you wish. However, when you reach the point of your guests having to put them on the floor just to sit down, it may indicate that you have too many pillows.

As a general rule, a two-seated sofa or couch should have three pillows, while for the more extended three-seated variety, you could potentially go up to five or more. Interior designers often recommend having an odd number of pillows as this is considered a more modern look and can remove stilted symmetry from your designs.

Layering your pillows

If you are looking to implement a higher number of pillows, you should opt to mix and match their sizes. Similarly to the previous point, a universal size may create a slightly bland, uniform look.

Having multiple pillows, with the smaller varieties resting in front of the larger ones, can create quite a striking look. The largest pillow cushions should be placed in the corners of the sofa.

Avoid diverse colors and textures

A great benefit to throw pillows can become a hindrance in that sometimes there is too much choice. It can be tempting to pick a selection of the best throw pillows in the hope that they look good together.

As with all design choices, the throw pillows you select need some form of careful consideration. Even if they all look great individually, pillow colors that don't complement each other or textures that clash will not create the aesthetic you are after.

Instead, stick to one color scheme already present throughout your room. Make sure your pillows are made from the same fabric or texture, such as our collection of abstract detail cushions.

Be bold and creative

There is a difference between selecting pillows that clash and being bold in your choices. If your room already has a range of feisty colors and patterns, you will want your throw pillows to emulate this. Many throw pillow cover patterns are very elaborate and will instantly draw the eye of your guests if used correctly.

To avoid overloading the senses with an abundance of color, try incorporating a couple of neutral pillows into the setup to retain some balance to the overall aesthetic.

Final Thoughts

There is no hard and fast rule that you need to stick to when it comes to throw pillows. Their beauty is their versatility and how easy they are to remove if they no longer suit your purpose or preference. You don't necessarily have to get rid of the pillow - separate pillow covers provide more scope for design choices and aesthetics.

At Viesso, we pride ourselves on our diverse collection of accessories and products designed to suit homes of all sizes. As with all our collections, each piece we curate has been manufactured by creators who share our vision and principles of sustainable, eco-friendly practices.

If you would like some assistance in choosing what's best for your home, or if you have any other questions, do not hesitate to get in touch. Additionally, why not check out our article on the top 10 interior design trends that have dominated this year.

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