How to Mix and Match Pillows and Find the Right Insert

T hrow pillows are a quick and affordable way to spice up the décor of any room. So fluff them, pile them, toss them, and witness the personality they bring to your space.

But decorating with pillows is an art, and there are some tricks to help achieve the expected results. We’ve compiled some tips and ideas to mix and match pillows for that dreamy look. Let’s get started:

Choose a Tri-Color Story   

Odd numbers play a prominent role in interior designs and décor. So, you can simplify your color selection by choosing three different shades pulled from things like walls, curtains, and bedding in the room. As a result, your pillows will add a sense of belongingness to these items, even if they're all different.

If you want to stick to a monotone palette, using all solid colors with mixed textures can add visual interest. On the other hand, if your color story seems to lean toward light neutral tones, consider adding pops of color with an accent pillow.  

Mix Three Different Patterns

It's important to achieve the right balance by choosing different pillow patterns. However, selecting too many patterns won't lend a cohesive look and feel to your room. So, designers suggest choosing up to 3 different patterns. Each pattern you select should incorporate at least one shade from your color story.

It’s best to choose a lead pattern first, which is the largest one and contains all three shades of your color scheme. Next, two patterns can choose 1-2 colors from the scheme. Some pattern mixing ideas are:

  • One floral + one geometric + one solid color
  • One chevron + one dotted + one knit texture
  • One buffalo check + one floral + 1 vertical stripes 

Use Different Textures to Add Layers

Choosing different textures and fabric is essential to achieve a layered look. You can play with the juxtaposition with rough and feathery soft, smooth and fuzzy, or whichever you want.

Think about teddy curl fabric, faux fur, cozy knit wools, velvet, subtle silk fringe, bamboo linen, tasseled accents, and anything you like. Mixing up different textures will keep your décor from appearing monotonous over time while adding a creative touch and feel. 

Mix Up Different Shapes & Sizes

Another creative way to add layers and visual interest to your place is to combine decorative pillows of different shapes and sizes. Besides, it'll also keep your sofa, couch, or bedding from looking strictly arranged.

First, get two larger pillows on each end of your sofa, and then add different sizes to make it look less symmetrical. Similarly, you can group together different shapes like circular, square, and a nice lumbar pillowcase.  

Just make sure you keep the functionality in your mind. After all, you don't want to compromise the entire sitting space just for the sake of decoration.

Don’t Overdo It!

Anything that goes too overboard may look overwhelming and unwelcoming. For instance, too many different shapes and shades may make your sofa, bedding, or couch look unorganized and messy.

So, be careful and don’t overdo when choosing and arranging throw pillows. 

Tips to Find the Right Insert 

By now, you know how to shop for the best pillow cover. The next step is to choose the right pillow insert that fits the pillowcase.

We recommend going one size up if the insert is not overstuffed. Use inserts that are 2” larger all around than the size of the pillow cover. This ensures that your throw pillow looks luxurious and plump. Smaller inserts often make pillowcases look saggy.

However, there are some exceptions to this size rule:

  • For most lumbar and pillowcases smaller than 18x18, it’s best to choose inserts that are 1" larger. 
  • For extra-large pillows, which are 24x24 or larger, choose inserts that are 3" to 4" larger than the pillowcase. 
  • Extra dense inserts and small rectangular inserts (like 10x18) can have covers of the same size. 

Type of Inserts

There are the following main types of inserts you can choose from:

  • Feather and Down: Feather/down fills can be fluffed over time to maintain their volume and shape. The higher the down content, the better! 
  • Synthetic Spun Polyester: Synthetic fiber fills are comparatively lower in quality as they flatten, become lumpy, and lose their shape over time. These can be a good alternative for tufted pillows because, in this case, the insert stays in place better than down would. 
  • Memory Foam: Inserts made of this material can retain slight heat and contour the neck and head while sleeping. That's why these are popular from the health perspective. Memory foam inserts come in various designs, from ultra-slim to loftier. 
  • Buckwheat: These inserts are filled with buckwheat hulls – the hard outer shell of buckwheat seeds. The natural material is good for its usefulness and various qualities

Final Tips

It's okay if you break any rule unless you have a gut feeling that your combination looks best in the room. For instance, if odd numbers look modern, you can choose even numbers for a more traditional touch.

Hopefully, this guide helps you solve your dilemma and make things easier. Good luck!