Choosing the Right Accent Pillows

Posted on: September 22nd, 2016

Everyone craves a change from time to time, but painting the walls a different color or reupholstering the furniture is not always the solution we can or want to go for. The easiest and affordable way to give your room and instant makeover is to add a set of decorative accent pillows. It’s this type of low-key modification that can give tremendous outcomes, and most importantly, it can be easily reversed if you don’t like the effect or get bored with it again. But how to choose the right one? And how many should we aim for? So here’s what you need to know to make the right choices:


1. Size

The size of accent pillows should primarily be determined by the size of your sofa or chair. The average size, will work for a larger sofa – small pillows will simply look out of place on a roomy couch. Oversize pillows create a comfy feel, but they should be reserved for really large furniture with ample seating room. If your sofa is modern and compact or you need a pillow for a delicate side chair, go for smaller ones. Otherwise, you will have to move them or take them off every time you want to sit comfortably.

2. Number of pillows

Most people will tell you that the rule of thumb is to always go for an odd number of pillows, but it is not necessarily true. There’s nothing wrong about a symmetrical look, so if you want to have four pillows, don’t give up on the idea.  Just choose 2 identical pairs, preferably one solid and one patterned pillow on each side.

A more important consideration is how many will be suitable for the size of your sofa. There is such a thing as too many accent pillows, and if you have to move them to sit comfortably, you’ve probably got an excess. On a very large sofa, five decorative pillows will work, but most couches look best with just three. For a small chair, choose one pillow while a love seat may get two. Of course, this is just a hint. If you crave the comfy feel of multiple soft pillows lining the couch, go with your gut.

3. Shape

There are 4 basic types of pillow shapes to consider – bolsters, squares, rectangles and rounds. How do you best judge what shape will work where? One thing to take into account when deciding the shape of accent pillow is how it will be used. If you need it to support your body while lounging, squares will provide the best full-back comfort.


They are the most common and versatile accent pillow shape, ideal for the back of a hard chair or to cozy up a sofa. Rectangles will support the lower back or neck, but if you have a leather sofa, perhaps you should consider bolsters as they don’t slip down and provide better lumbar support.


4. Patterns and colors

This is the moment that most buyers fear most, so here are some suggestions that may help:

a.     If you have two pillows sitting next to each other on an item of furniture, make them different, preferably one solid and the other patterned.

b.     For a large sofa, choose two solid pillows for the ends that contrast with the color of the sofa and pair each of them with a patterned pillow that pulls in the color of the furniture (or use one patterned pillows in the middle).

c.      Choose prints that include neutral colors, especially if you like bold patterns.

d.     Do not be afraid to mix patterns. Just make sure most of them have at least one color in common (beside neutrals).

e.     When you’re mixing different pillows, vary the scale of the patterns so that each can stand out on its own. If one pillow has a small intricate floral print, make sure the other has a large pattern or none at all.

f.      If you’re buying pillows for both sofa and armchairs, consider them as a group. The pillow on a chair doesn’t have to match the pillows on the sofa, but if you care for a harmonious, polished look, try to look for features (palette, patterns, style) that could tie the pillows together.


5. Style

Your room’s décor theme is another important consideration that comes into play and determines such choices as fabrics, colors, and texture of accent pillows. Velvet, silk, elaborate ornamentation and decorative trims work well in a classic setting. Modern design schemes prefer a limited palette, large geometric prints or no prints at all, and smooth fabrics such as cotton and linen.


If you prefer an eclectic look, you can have each pillow in a different fabric, but in order to avoid a random, incoherent look, it is wise to give them a common color denominator.



    Quote Me This Item

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Also contact me by phone.


    What State are you from?