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How to Layer Throw Pillows Like a Pro

We all know one can not have too many pillows, right? While this is pretty much established, putting them together, can be a tough task! Gone are the days of perfectly matched patterns (hooray!), but now what? If you’ve been wondering how to style throw pillows, don’t worry, I got you! I’m sharing my secret formula to show you how to layer throw pillows and create an overall cohesive, cozy vibe.

cozy bedroom with pretty throw pillows
credit: Bedroom pillow goals from Jindabyne

For so long the collective decor universe insisted on matchy matchy pillows. Nothing says 1990’s quite like that (earning it a spot in my 5 Outdated Home Decor Trends) so let’s find a way to do this pillow thing more authentically & naturally.

How to Layer Throw Pillows

To layer pillows, I use a combination of these elements:

  1. Solid (or mostly solid) color
  2. Pattern (one of the 7 elements of design)
  3. Texture (another key element)
  4. Bonus – variety of shapes & sizes

This combination is a sure fire way to create a cohesive grouping. Depending on the number of total pillows needed, I might add a few more solids. For example, a larger couch will need more pillows than a loveseat.

layering throw pillows

Favorite Throw Pillows

Ok, where to buy throw pillows? While cushions might feel like an “extra” – I still try look for high quality pillow covers and inserts that stand the test of time. I’ve had a lot of success with World Market, Target, West Elm, and All Modern.

These are some of my very favorite throw pillows, they’re all easy to layer and would look great in almost any space. I prefer neutral designs in general, which also makes it easier to mix and match.

how to layer throw pillows
  1. Faux Leather Pillow Cover
  2. Black Boho Pillow – this is one my very favorites in my home
  3. Off White Textured Pillow – great solid option to build from
  4. Woven Arches Pillow – I’ve got my eye on these one available in a few colors
  5. Black and White Geometric Throw Pillow
  6. Black Striped Pillow
  7. Black and White Mud Cloth Pillow
  8. Two Tone Linen Cover
  9. Black and White Woven Stripe Pillow
  10. Linen Lumbar Pillow with Tassels
  11. Natural Woven Lumbar Pillow – out of stock, similar Natural Textured Lumbar
  12. Embroidered Throw Pillow
  13. Neutral Geometric Pillow – sold out, similar Neutral Geo Lumbar
  14. Rust and Ivory Geo Lumbar – out of stock, similar Rust Colorblock Lumbar
  15. Natural Linen Lumbar Pillow with Tassels
pretty reading nook with soft and muted textiles
credit: pillow heaven from the ever-stylish Camille Styles

What are the best pillow inserts?

You might notice that many pillows actually come as covers only with the inside form available separately.

This can be kind of irritating, especially as it feels like an added After and it’s hard to find inserts that aren’t just flat pancakes.

After trying out dozens of different options, I have two very favorite form. The first is the West Elm Pillow Inserts which offers a down insert and an alternative in a wide variety of sizes.

I also really love the inserts from Linen and Cloth. I have several of their covers (#2 in chart) and inserts. Their pillow inserts are heavy weight and create that karate chop look!

bedroom with bed and large area rug
bed styling with long lumbar pillow

What is a Lumbar Pillow?

Lumbar pillows are typically longer, rectangle shaped throw pillows designed to support the back. The word “lumbar” refers to the lower back in general.

Not only do I love lumbar pillows as I find they make chairs especially more comfortable, I like the design aesthetic they offer. The longer shape mixes up the traditional throw pillow square. I include a mix of regular throws and lumbar pillows around my home.

If you’re actually looking for *where* to put all these pillows, check out my post with Living Room Sofa ideas, How to Decorate a Small Bedroom, and Tips for Styling a Multipurpose Room.

What’s Your Interior Design Style?