Decorate in Style: Master the Art of Throw Pillows with 9 Simple Do’s and Don’ts

A great way to spruce up your home with some bright colors and personalization is to incorporate decorative throw pillows. These wonderful accent pieces have come into their own as one of the least expensive and most cost-effective ways to personalize furniture and change a room’s décor—they may even serve as a great conversation starter at your next party.

“The perfect scarf or bracelet can turn an ordinary outfit into an extraordinary one,” says Kris Woodcock, VP of Merchandising for Ashley Furniture. “In the same way, the perfect combination of toss pillows can turn an ordinary room into a showstopper.”

Many exciting new pillow trends are making their debut, from couture, nubby and boldly patterned choices, to a bolder mix of pillow styles together. But how do you mix and match decorative toss pillows to create a look that’s right for you?

Here are some great suggestions:

1. DON’T use cheap-looking pillows. Nothing ruins a good-looking sofa more than dated or poor quality pillows, while nothing transforms an inexpensive sofa more than high-quality, fashion-forward toss pillows.

2. DO match the mood of your pillows to the mood of your sofa. Choose toss pillows the same way you chose your sofa—based on your lifestyle and tastes. For example, use dressy pillows with a dressy sofa; casual pillows with a casual sofa.

3. DON’T use pillows that are duller, or a lot lighter than the sofa. There’s an exception to every rule, but decorators agree that decorative pillows look best when they’re darker, brighter or bolder than the sofa.

4. DO use pillows in a similar style. For an elegant look, stick with satiny or faux-fur fabrics. For a global look, stick with earthy or exotic fabrics. For a modern look, stick with bright or geometric fabrics.

5. DON’T use pillows too big (or too small) for the sofa. Large throw pillows on a small sofa will make it look even smaller. Small pillows (or too few of them) on a large sofa will look dwarfed.

6. DO use toss pillows with related colors. Forget about fancy color theories. Simply choose pillow colors with something in common, such as hues all inspired by a country landscape or a summer fruit salad.

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