Ten Best Ways to Arrange Pillows on a Couch

Updated: Sep. 29, 2023

Throw pillows are a quick and easy way to spice up your couch with personality and charm. Here are our tips for how to arrange pillows on a couch.

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Create a Base

An easy method to create a well-designed pillow look is to start with two large matching pillows on each end of your couch. The pillows can be in a solid color or a fun print. These pillows set the tone for your whole couch arrangement. Is there such a thing as too many throw pillows?

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Are patterns and/or layering designs not your thing? They’re not necessary for a good design— a bold color does the work of keeping things interesting, without a pattern in sight. See why pillows are one item you need to be washing more.

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Ficus next to brown couch with orange pillows in dark grey apartment interior. Real photo


Once you’ve got your pillow base, create another pillow layer in a different fabric and a smaller size. You can use two matching cushions for a formal look or two that don’t match for a more eclectic effect.

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Modern interior design of living room couch pillows
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Varied Sizes

Give your throw pillow combination a zing by including different sizes. Include varied sizes of pillows on to create a beautiful and comfy arrangement on your couch.

Add some throw pillows to an awesome game room.

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blue pillow on sofa at home.
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Mix Textures

In home design, texture mixing is the hottest trend, particularly with throw pillows. For this type of arrangement, more is more: aim for five or seven different cushions. A cohesive design idea (ex: bohemian, pastels, global) prevents the couch from looking like a big mess.

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Lumbar Pillows

Break away from standard squares on the sofa. A collection of lumbar style pillows feels modern and laid-back but still put-together. Plus, these pillows are great for your back!

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Odd Number of Pillows

When designing, odd numbers look more relaxed and natural in an arrangement. Use five pillows on an average sized sofa or three on a smaller one.

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Color Pallet is Key

Select one consistent color palette and stick with it throughout your design. You will get the most impact if all of your pillows are either in the same shade range or complimentary colors or shades. Need an easy formula for mixing pillows? Gaze at your room’s color scheme and choose the color you like most for an accent.

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Different Shapes

It’s fun to include odd shaped pillows in a couch arrangement. A couple pillows in a fun color, a weird shape (like the yellow knotted one above), or a textured pillow in faux fur or velvet. Check out these 100 cheap decor ideas that look expensive.

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Refresh Old Pillows with Pillow Covers

You can change pillow covers out regularly to keep up with seasons, holidays and even your mood without doing major living room makeover.

Next, learn how to whiten yellow-stained pillows here.