fbpx Skip to main content

How to Choose Throw Pillows for Your Modern Sofa

By January 13, 2021March 29th, 2024Interior Design Tips

Throw Pillows for a Contemporary Sofa

Throw pillows are one of the most versatile items of interior design. Switching your old pillows for new ones can breathe life back into a tired space. It can even help upgrade a room from one style to another, whether you are taking your home to traditional, contemporary, modern, or other décor. 

No matter which interior design style you prefer, accessorizing with throw pillows will enhance the aesthetic of any space. The challenge for many homeowners is knowing how to design their space with throw pillows the right way.

There are a lot of ways to mix and match throw pillows, especially in modern styling. It can take some practice choosing patterns and styles that compliment your sofa. To capture the perfect look, here are a few basic tips that you can follow.

Take a look at the formula our interior designers use when choosing throw pillows for modern sofas.

The Guide To Perfect Throw Pillows for Modern Sofas

Brown leather sofa with colored throw pillows

Choose a Color Palette

The first factor you should consider when picking throw pillows for your modern sofa is your color palette. To bring your room’s design together, pull different colors from other sources in the space, such as the curtains, the wall color, rugs, or bedding. By focusing on a complementary color scheme, you will create more of an impact. 

Color theory can also guide your choice of throw pillows. There are twelve main shades on the color wheel broken down into primary, secondary, and tertiary colors.

  • Primary Colors

The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. They are the parent colors that cannot be made by mixing other colors.

  • Secondary Colors

These colors are formed by combining any of the three primary colors. These include orange, purple, and green. These are also known as the color’s pure form or hue. 

  • Tertiary Colors

You create tertiary colors by mixing a primary color with its secondary color. For example, the secondary color of red is purple. If you combine the two, you make magenta, which is a tertiary color.

These basic color combinations will help you narrow down your choices of the primary shade of your room As you consider various hues, shades, tints, and tones, realize that color also has a “temperature.” Bright, vibrant colors such as red and orange are considered ‘warm’ while blues and greens are considered ‘cool.’ The temperature of the colors you choose can affect the mood of the space you’re decorating. 

Once you choose your primary shade and the temperature of the space that you’re going for, then you can decorate your room with throw pillows that fit your color scheme, whether you choose a simple complementary, a split-complementary, analogous, triadic, tetradic, or square color scheme.

By following some of the basic concepts of color theory when selecting throw pillows, you will implement a color scheme that has a professional touch.

Find Symmetry

White Modern Leather Sofa for a Contemporary Living Room

One of the main characteristics of modern design is simplicity. Professional interior designers will use symmetrical throw pillow arrangements to create a minimalistic look. You can create this symmetrical look by mirroring the look on both sides of your sofa.

Get started by choosing throw pillows in a set of two. Then, you can arrange the pillows symmetrically in the exact proportions on both sides of the couch.

Blend Patterns

Another factor you will need to consider is patterns. Finding a combination of different throw pillows gets complicated when working with different prints. A basic formula that professional interior designers use when styling modern sofas is combining one small print, one big print, and one solid.

These throw pillows shouldn’t be the same size, either. Instead, your largest pillow should include either the largest print or a solid color. The large print will set the tone for your arrangement, so take care when finding one that matches the style you are hoping to accomplish.

Arrange Large to Small

Modern Leather with small to large throw pillows

Speaking of size, when it comes time to arrange your throw pillows, arrange them from the largest to smallest. Placing your largest pillows on the far corners and the smaller pillows on the inside creates an optical illusion that draws the eye towards the middle of the couch. It also entices you to sit on the sofa.

Along with the visual appeal, this arrangement also increases comfort. Larger 22 or 24″ throw pillows won’t get in the way, and small 12×20″ pillows won’t take up too much space. It is the ideal arrangement for any couch dweller.

Mix Textures

Using different patterns and colors is important, but so is texture. Play with the contrast of different textures. Think of smooth and rough, soft, and fuzzy fabrics when selecting throw pillows, such as faux fur, velvet, linen, knit wools, and tasseled accents. These textures will draw visual interest, as well as stimulate tactile senses.

Emphasize Comfort

Modern Sectional Sofa with Throw Pillows Interior DesignAlthough throw pillows add visual appeal to any interior space, they should also add comfort. It can be easy to go overboard with too many throw pillows, making it more of a hassle than it is worth. This is not the arrangement you want to place on your living room furniture.

Simplicity is key. Pick six to nine pillows for your modern sofa, depending on its size. Remember that if you have to ask yourself if you have too many, you probably do.

Modern Interior Design at San Francisco Design

how to clean a modern sofa by San Francisco Design

Now that you understand the basics of throw pillow arrangements, it is time to select a set of throw pillows! The interior designers at San Francisco Design will help you find the perfect arrangement of modern throw pillows for your sofa. Together, we will create a design that compliments your space. Contact us or visit one of our Utah locations to get started.

You can also shop our collection of modern sofas that go with any throw pillows online at San Francisco Design.