If there's one thing you surely know about our shop, it’s that we have a pillow addiction!  Not only are pillows beautiful, affordable and plentiful, but accessorizing with pillows is one of the easiest and quickest ways to infuse style into just about any room in your home!  It would be a shame to limit yourself to two or three solid-color pillows…or worse play it safe with the set that came with your couch!

First and foremost – Pillows don’t have to match!  Often a more stylish and fresher look is achieved when pillows don’t match!  We are here to help!  If you don’t feel comfortable with your ability to choose pillows, we've shared some tips and suggestions to help you mix and match fresh patterns and/or colors!  This will quickly refresh your room with a look that is curated, and stylish but not matchy-matchy.

Pillows come in all shapes and sizes, colors and patterns thus creating many different ways to mix and match!  Although it sometimes does take a practiced eye to create just the right mix in the right space, it is possible for a room in which not a single pillow matches another in color, pattern or
style to still look incredibly polished and modern.

The Rule of 3

Pick an anchor color & create a color story -  It's best to incorporate three different colors pulled from other sources in the room, such as the wall color, the rug, your upholstery, bedding or the curtains. If you choose a variety of pillows in different patterns, the look will still be cohesive if they share the same colors.
 Color combinations we love:

  • Orange, Blue & Turquoise
  • Navy, Green & Lime
  • Brown Red & Gold

Choose patterns to mix & match - Patterns can be mixed as long as each pattern incorporates at least one of the colors have chosen. It's often easier to choose your inspiration or "lead" pattern first, which is generally the largest pattern and the one that contains all three colors. The secondary patterns can have just one or two of the colors. A few of our favorite pattern combinations are:

  •  floral + geometric +  solid 
  • check + toile +  stripe
  • ikat + dotted +  knit or faux fur
Play with proportion & shape- Scale of pattern is important to consider because you don't want your patterns to compete with each other. Instead, choose patterns in three different scales, allowing one pattern to dominate. The lead pattern should be the largest pattern, followed by a medium-sized print, such as a stripe or small houndstooth. The third pattern should be the most subtle, such as a solid color in an interesting texture, or a faint tone-on-tone pattern.

It's OK to break the rules! 
Now that you know the Rule of Three, remember that rules are also meant to be broken—especially in design! If you start mixing and matching your selection of  throw pillows and find that four colors work best, or that you like two large patterns instead of only one, then go with it!  Ultimately, it's only important that you love what you see.. So us this Rule of Three as a starting point for guidance. Don't be afraid to experiment until you find the combination you love!

Experiment with Texture - Play with the juxtaposition of smooth and rough, soft and fuzzy. Think about fur or faux fur, leather, velvet, linen, knit wools, tasseled and fringe accents. A shaggy fur or faux-fur pillow is a great option to stand on its own in a chair in a lackluster room. Its fun texture makes it the perfect way to achieve a wild aesthetic outside of color, print, or shape.

Think about symmetry -  If you like the look of asymmetry, try an arrangement that looks more random and effortless. A symmetrical approach is another great option, particularly well suited for bedding. Layer your throw pillows keeping the neutrals and larger ones in the back and let the more exciting pillows take center stage. Also remember that a smaller number of larger pillows looks fresher than a jumble of smaller ones.

Fill matters -   Consider the fill of the pillow and how it will affect the appearance. A feather-and-down fill has more "give" and a softer squish. Foam and other synthetic fills are stiffer. These pillows will hold their shape better but don't look and feel as luxurious.  All of the pillows we use  at ETC come with a 95% feather / 5% down insert, or you can always buy the cover only, just ask!

Once you've purchased your pillows, you might wonder, what now? Arranging your pillows by style is one way to ensure your space will look effortlessly chic. An easy way to start is by picking an odd number of pillows, with a unifying aspect, like a color or theme. If mixing patterns is not your thing, consider mixing textures of a same hue instead. Arrange the larger pillows to the side, with smaller ones in front, Most of all, have fun and enjoy your new look!