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In this post: Confused at how to mix throw pillows and patterns so they look good? Here’s a handy cheat sheet for you! 

Like the earrings of an outfit, throw pillows can complete a room’s look. They are also a fun way to play with color and pattern in a relatively inexpensive way! Especially if you know where to shop for them (which I’ll show you in a minute). But sometimes it can be tough to know which patterns and colors go with which, how to mix throw pillows and patterns with style. You know, without creating a chaotic, messy look. Which is definitely NOT what we’re going for, right?

Finally decorate your own home – with confidence!

You’re so much closer to a beautifully-decorated home than you think. You just need a little help to get there!

mix throw pillows and patterns easily

So I came up with a little formula to make it easy for you…

Here’s how to mix throw pillows and patterns effortlessly:

Pattern + Solid + Whimsical
in any colorway you like

three patterns

An easy way to choose a combination of pillows is to simply lay pillows on the floor together to see what goes well together. Add or subtract pillows until you get a mix you like. You can do this with toss pillows you already have at home, or even in the aisle at the store.

The Shortcut to Perfectly Coordinated Colors and Patterns:

all colors in one and then choose

Simple choose one pattern that has all of the colors you’d like to use in your room, and then select two or more additional patterns that each have just a single color in them. Voila! Instantly coordinated mixing of patterns!

Here are a few examples of our throw pillow combos:

Farmhouse style living room sectional with blush and neutral pillows for Spring.
AKA Design Basement Pillows on Couch
toss pillows
grey sectional with blush pillows
white sectional lots of pillows

Obviously, I prefer a more neutral look to our pillows, but the PATTERN + SOLID + WHIMSICAL trick still applies. 

So where do I buy pillows?

Well, first of all, I use only feather pillow inserts and separate covers. That way I can keep a few plethora of throw pillow covers in a Rubbermaid tote, and just change them out with each season or when I want to freshen things up. AND feather inserts take the beating that throw pillows seem to have to take – and yet they never stay flattened or misshapen because they fluff right back into shape. But I’m sort of cheap and I NEVER buy the super expensive inserts. Instead I buy mostly the $8 IKEA feather inserts. If you don’t have an IKEA nearby, you can also find fairly inexpensive feather inserts here as well. If I fall head over heels with a pillow that has a removable cover over a foam insert, I simply swap out the foam insert for a feather one. 🙂

As for throw pillow covers, I have bought my favorites from a variety of online stores and shops, including….


Etsy Porter Lane Home Pillow Covers

Favorite Shop: Porter Lane Home


Craftberry Bush Throw Pillows

Favorite Shop: Craftberry Bush

I’ve also bought toss cushion covers from Ikea, Homesense, Wayfair, Birch Lane and Chapters/Indigo.

Get the FREE Easy Throw Pillow Mixing Formula Cheat Sheet

Throw pillow and pattern mixing cheat sheet

To help you choose and mix throw pillows and patterns with style, I created this visual cheat sheet printable. Grab it below!

Happy throw pillow and pattern mixing, friend.

shannon photo and sig oct 2022

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  1. This is such a useful post Shannon! Thank you very much for this – my own challenge with throw pillows is my magpie nature – I am drawn to too many different things 🙂 and restraint is not my middle name. The result is a mish-mash that rarely works well. This post will be super helpful in editing my pillows. Thanks again!

    1. All the pretty, shiny things, right, Anne?! I hear you. But you hit the nail right on the head – editing is one of THE keys to a well-decorated home. I too LOVE so many things but also can’t stand clutter or too much visual chaos. So I’ve really had to practice the editing I’m preaching!

  2. Love the cheat sheet! My confusion comes from the fact that I have a patterned sofa so I need a cheat sheet part 2. I need to know how to mix patterns and colours

    1. Ah yes! Fair enough. That’s when you’d include the couch pattern as one of the patterns. Be sure to use a solid color that’s taken from the couch pattern and then mix in others. 🙂 It’s easier than you think. Promise!

  3. Thanks for the tips! I recently discovered the wonders of pillow slip covers…makes washing a snap. Now if I could only get the kiddos to keep the pillows on the couch instead of the floor! 🙂

    Have a question for you though: would your suggestions still work even if couch is not a solid color? We recently acquired blue floral couches (which actually go better with my farmhouse chic stlye than it sounds lol) but I’m struggling to find the right mix of pillows for such a “busy” couch.

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated! Thanks a bunch!

    1. Yes. You’re the second person to ask that. 🙂 You can absolutely still use the suggestions. Just use the couch pattern as one of your patterns, add a solid blue or two solids even.

  4. Hey hello,

    I’m so happy I found you! I am obsessed with creative designs and keeping up with the latest oh so chic ever changing decor.

    I’m designing my friends first baby room and with the help of your brain I already have some fun ideas.

    Please forward anything, anytime.

    Make it a great day!

    1. I’m so glad you found us. Have fun with that baby’s room! Have a look through the archives and let us know if you have any questions.

  5. I have a question about the feather inserts. Do the ones you use allow the feathers to poke through the cover? I have a couple pillows that I bought at Home Sense and the feathers are constantly working their way through the covers. I would love to find feather inserts that don’t do this as it drives me crazy!!

    1. No, sadly I’ve yet to find one that doesn’t shed its feathers. I have the same issue. I just vacuum them up every few days.

    2. What about putting the feather into a tightly woven secon casing such as pillow covers many of us use for our guest pillows? This might make for fewer feathers making their way to the surface at least….?

  6. Thanks for the great advice. I’ve been obsessing over and hording luxury decorative throw pillows for some time now!

    1. Lol. I don’t know about luxury throw pillows – my dog and kids sit on ours all the time. But throw pillows for sure!