One of the simplest ways to add elegance to your living room, family room, or bedroom is to use throw pillows. And, with so many inexpensive, lovely pillows on the market, it's a pity to limit yourself to just two or three solid-colored pillows—or, worse, the set that came with your couch. The first thing to keep in mind is that your pillows do not have to be the same colour. In reality, if they don't, you can get a more professional, elegant appearance. If you're not confident in your ability to pick pillows, the guidelines below will show you how to mix and match new patterns and/or colours to rapidly refresh your space with a coordinated but not matchy-matchy look.


There are many various methods to mix and match throw pillows, and it's true that it takes a trained eye at times. It is possible, however, for a space to seem highly polished and modern even if no two pillows have the same colour, pattern, or design. These guidelines are the perfect recipe to guide your decisions and simplify the process if you don't have the time or interest to explore or shop as much as you'd want.

Choose Three Colours

To begin, pick a "colour narrative" to guide your cushion choices. Use three distinct colours that come from various parts of the space, such as the wall colour, the rug, your bedding, or the curtains. Even if you pick a range of pillows with diverse designs, the effect will be coherent if they all have the same colour palette. Do check out our SHOP BY COLOUR section to choose your perfect colour. 




Choose Three Patterns

You may also mix and match three different designs as long as each one involves at least one of the colours from your three-colour tale. It's usually easier to start with your "lead" pattern, which is typically the biggest and incorporates all three colours in your colour story. The secondary designs you choose can then only comprise one or two of the colours. Working backwards, selecting a lead design from pillows you already own, is much more challenging.




Choose Three Pattern Sizes

When using the Rule of Three, it's crucial to consider the scale of your patterns since you don't want them to compete with one another. Instead, pick designs in three distinct scales and let one of them take centre stage.

The largest design in the bunch should be your lead, followed by a medium-sized print, such as a stripe or little houndstooth. The third pattern should be the most modest, such as a solid colour in an unusual texture, a dotted swiss, or a damask stripe with a light tone-on-tone pattern.






Break the Rules if You Want

Now that you've learned the tricks, keep in mind that all rules are intended to be broken—especially when it comes to design! It's fine if you start mixing and matching your collection of magnificent throw pillows using the technique explained here only to discover that you prefer four colours or two enormous patterns instead of one. In the end, all that matters is that you enjoy what you see, so utilise this Rule of Three merely as a starting point for inspiration. If you stick to the recipe, you'll get stylish results, but don't be afraid to try things until you find the right mix for you.

Additional Tips

Consider these other ideas employed by room designers once you've mastered the Rule of Threes:


  • Odd numbers appear modern: When arranging your throw pillows, bear in mind that odd numbers work best for a modern aesthetic—think three or five again. Odd numbers always appear more artful in most design tastes, and remember that a smaller number of larger cushions looks fresher than a tangle of smaller ones.
  • Even numbers seem traditional: An even number of comparable pillows, such as two or four, looks clean and ordered for a balanced and symmetrical look, especially on your bed or sofa.
  • It's also crucial to combine textures: Pattern and colour mixing are important, but texture should not be disregarded. Play around with the contrast between smooth and rough, soft and fuzzy. Faux fur, velvet, linen, knit wools, and tasselled embellishments come to mind. You may get creative with touch and sensation if you keep your colour and pattern theme in mind.