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Decorating Your Sofa: How Many Throw Pillows is Enough?

We’ve all been there — you’re in the midst of picking out the perfect accessories to match your boho-chic decor when you start to question your design skills. How much is too much? Where am I going to put everything? Have I overdone it?

Not only do these thoughts make us question our judgment, but they also impair our creativity. 

But don’t fret! We’re here to guide you on your throw pillow journey, so you can decorate with confidence. 

We’ll answer all your questions from “Do couches need throw pillows?” to “How many throw pillows on a loveseat is too many?” Plus, we’ll give you all of our secrets on creating the perfect pillow arrangement.

Whether you’re unsure about pillow size, pillow shapes, or mixing throw pillow patterns, we’re here to help transform your leather couch or accent chair from simple to stunning.

do couches need throw pillows

Can You Have Too Many Pillows on a Couch?

Is there such a thing as too many pillows on a couch? We hate to break it to you, but there may be. 

While everyone loves a living room sofa adorned with decorative throw pillows, it is possible to go overboard. If you have so many couch pillows that your guests can’t sit down, it can be a sign to dial it down a bit. 

Don’t get us wrong — a sectional sofa covered in a ton of your favorite pillows may be fun and cozy, but it’s not all that practical.

From a design perspective, too many sofa pillows may feel overwhelming. If your couch is crowded with a ton of pillows in a bold color palette and a mix of patterns, it can be a lot. In fact, it can make your entire space seem chaotic. 

On top of that, your accent pillow can lose its charm if it’s competing with too many others. And that pop of color you added just won’t stand out! 

With that said, throw pillows are one of the best practical ways to spruce up your area. Cushion arrangements are simple but punchy decorations that give you a chance to add your personal flair. Plus, they’re oh-so-cozy and welcoming. 

So, yes, while it is possible to overdo it, chances are you won’t. And as long as you love your space, it’s a sign you’re on the right track. 

Where Do You Put Throw Pillows on a Couch?

how many throw pillows on a loveseat

After choosing all your favorite pillows, the next question is: where do you put them? Here’s how to achieve that gorgeous, magazine-worthy sofa decor. 

  • Consider your corners. Couch corners are a natural focal point of your furniture. They’re already visually exciting due to their arms, so playing off that is a good idea. Add bigger base pillows to the corners, then throw in some medium and smaller accent ones as you work towards the middle.  
  • Don’t forget the middle man. If your couch is large enough to handle it, try adding some especially decorative cushions to the center. Your shorter rectangular or lumbar pillows will work best here. This middle piece helps connect the dots between the decor at the edges of your couch, creating a nice, appealing line for your eye to follow. 

How Many Throw Pillows Is Enough?

A standard decorating rule — and the general rule of thumb for all art — is to do everything in groups of three. Whether you’re placing pieces of furniture, hanging picture frames, or choosing a variety of textures for your pillow covers, threes reign supreme. 

Still, how many pillows on a couch you need depends on the size and type of furniture. For example, you may not have room to fit three square pillows on your favorite chair, while three oversize pillows on a larger sofa may be far too few. 

In cases where threes just don’t ring true, aim for odd numbers instead. 

Are you considering decorating a specific piece of furniture? Here are the best numbers of pillows for any seating you may have in your living room. 

Sofa

The ideal number of pillows for your sofa depends mainly on its size. You’ll want to make sure both corners have a complimentary pillow, so consider two to be the minimum. However, a nice pop of color goes a long way, so don’t be afraid to toss in a decorative cushion to boost the awe-factor of your sofa. 

For most three-seat sofas, five pillows are often a safe number. Still, go for more or less based on what feels right in your space. You know it best! 

And a pro tip: if things start looking clunky, try swapping some out for smaller or differently shaped pillows.

Sectional

Sectionals have a lot of surface area, which gives you a lot of room to work with. When it comes to these couches, you’ll have an extra corner to think about, so don’t forget about that L-shaped edge! 

Most sectionals have a naturally welcoming feeling, so embrace that aspect by adding even more fun and cozy pillows. With these larger couches, less isn’t always more. Don’t be afraid to try out seven or nine cushions as a starting point. 

This is a fantastic opportunity to play around with accent pieces, maintain a theme, or contrast funkiness with simplicity. 

Chair

Chairs are the easiest seats to decorate. All they need is one pillow. That’s it. 

A little goes a long way when working with a small space, and anything more can feel overwhelming and uncomfortable. 

Feel free to choose a pillow that may not work elsewhere in the room, like a round cushion or a pillow cover with a unique texture. Make that lone cushion count! 

Creating the Perfect Sofa Pillow Arrangement

how many throw pillows on a loveseat

It’s easier than it seems to make a dreamy sofa pillow arrangement. There are a few rules of thumb in the designer world that you may want to consider, but then let your creativity shine. This is your masterpiece! 

  • Think in odds. Not only do odd numbers matter when thinking about the number of decorative pillows, but also for other style elements. Figuring out a color scheme? Decide on three or five shades. When shopping, choose one lumbar pillow instead of two or pick out three designer fabrics to use in your arrangement instead of four. Follow this simple formula, and you’ll boost your room’s aesthetic appeal. 
  • Add texture. Don’t be afraid to play around with textures. Stick to a few main finishes like woven, cable knit, or corded, but add a couple of velvet or faux fur pillows to keep your designer layout interesting. 
  • Pattern it up. A little pattern never hurt anyone! The trick to keeping patterned pieces coordinated and not overwhelming is through maintaining some consistency. Instead of going all over the place, play around with one design but introduce slight variations. Try it in different sized prints or colors, but don’t let them stray too far away from each other. And don’t forget the importance of having solid color pillows too! 
  • Keep it consistent. Much like with patterns, consistency helps your eye make sense of the pillow combinations. Too many shapes, textures, or colors can be easily overwhelming. Instead, maintain your color scheme, minimize the number of textures you have, and choose a few shapes. Even the same pattern in various-sized pillows can be equally refreshing and exciting. 
  • Play with size and shape. Adding depth makes a considerable difference style-wise. Choosing pillows of different dimensions entices the eye, so explore all your options. Toss in thicker rectangular pillows alongside your round cushions — maybe even add a lumbar pillow! 
  • Take a risk. Solid printed neutral tones will always match any space, but why not take a risk? Are there some accent pillows you’re dying to buy? Do it! Anything can work in your room if you do it right. When in doubt, find your all-star focal piece and decorate accordingly around it. 
  • Consider your colors. When choosing your color palette, be sure to include at least one color already present in the room. Complementary colors and various shades of the same tone work exceptionally well together. Feel free to have a bold or bright color too! And when in doubt, neutral colors and solid pillows are always safe. 
  • Infuse your personal touch. At the end of the day, this is your space. So much about interior design comes down to personal preference — the only person you have to impress is yourself! Break the rules where you see fit, and choose the decor that makes your heart sing. 

Final Thoughts

Always think in odd numbers when doing any type of decorating — especially with pillows. While it is possible to have too many cushions, as long as it looks great to you, stick with it! And don’t be afraid to play with color, texture, and pattern. Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong way to decorate your sofa. Trust your artistic instincts! 

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