How to Choose Throw Pillow Combinations
01/11 Design Tips

How to Choose Throw Pillow Combinations

Our step-by-step guide.

We love a mixed and matched pillow combination look… 

but choosing patterns, textures, and colors for the perfect pillow combination can be easier said than done.   

After curating hundreds of pillow combination looks, we’ve learned that it all comes down to identifying a color scheme, mixing pattern type and scale, and adding dimension with textural solids.   

In this post, we’re breaking down each step and sharing a few of our favorite examples to help you create your own. 

How to Choose Throw Pillow Combinations

No. 1: Identify a color scheme  

Identifying a color scheme for your throw pillow combination will make the rest of the process much easier. We like to start by considering which accent colors we want to pull out or bring into the space. Throw pillows are a great way to introduce colors into a neutral space, create a new palette for changing seasons, or draw visual attention to complementing pieces throughout the room, like artwork or rugs.   

If you don’t have a specific color scheme in mind, take inspiration from your favorite patterned pillow and pull out colors from there to use as a jumping-off point.  

No. 2: Choose an organic print  

Organic pillow prints are often the most difficult to pair with others, so we like to choose them first. Organic prints have movement, curved, and are inspired by nature. This print is often multi-colored, but it doesn’t have to be!  

Organic printed pillows  

Danny Floral Print Pillow Cover
Eudora Pillow Cover
Anora Block Print Pillow Cover
Baylee Floral Pillow Cover
Clara Block Print Pillow Cover
Ada Pillow Cover

 No. 3: Choose a geometric print 

Geometric printed pillows come next. Characterized by lines, grid, and repetition, geometric prints balance out the movement of an organic print and create dimension and interest. When choosing geometric printed pillows, pulling out at least one color from your organic print is a simple rule of thumb.  

Geometric printed pillows 

Johnna Woven Pillow Cover
Emmett Pillow Cover
Jonah Pillow Cover
Mason Woven Stripe Pillow Cover
Isadora Pillow Cover
Helen Pillow Cover

No. 4: Choose a print with contrasting scale 

Once you have your first few pillow patterns and prints, it’s time to play with scale! Look at the scale of your current pillows and choose something contrasting. Whether the pattern is significantly larger in scale or significantly smaller, choosing something with stark contrast will make the look feel more curated and interesting.

 Large scale printed pillows  

Flint Pillow Cover
Saraya Pillow Cover
Zali Pillow Cover
Cecily Floral Linen Pillow Cover
Cohen Striped Pillow Cover

Small scale printed pillows  

Roselle Patterned Pillow Cover
Demi Floral Stripe Pillow Cover
Amara Outdoor Pillow
Louetta Pillow Cover
Gracie Block Print Pillow Cover
Fitz Pillow Cover

No. 5: Add in solids and incorporate texture 

Solid pillows help balance out a pillow combination and allow the patterns to speak for themselves. We use solids in pillow combinations as an excuse to incorporate texture and elevate the look. Whether it’s a subtle silk fringe or a cozy sweater knit detail, textural solids will add warmth and complete any pillow combination. 

Solid textural pillows 

Kara Linen Pillow Cover
Ribbed Pillow Cover
Neil Wool Pillow Cover
Hazelton Mushroom Fringed Pillow Cover
Evelyn Knitted Sweater Pillow Cover
Kamilah Pillow

Keep scrolling to see some of our favorite pillow combination looks in action! 

From our Mountainside Retreat Project

Jonah Pillow Cover
Huron Pillow Cover
Libbey Knitted Cotton Pillow Cover
Lily Woven Stripe Pillow Cover

From our McGee & Co. 2021 Fall Collection

Johnna Woven Pillow Cover
Neil Wool Pillow Cover
Leann Block Print Pillow Cover

From our McGee & Co. 2020 Holiday Collection

Evelyn Knitted Sweater Pillow Cover
Edison Gingham Pillow Cover
Saraya Pillow Cover
Mason Woven Stripe Pillow Cover
Liam Double Flange Pillow Cover

From our McGee & Co. 2020 Summer Catalogue

Abigail Silk Stripe Pillow Cover
Luther Pillow Cover
Jamille Woven Pillow Cover
Danny Floral Print Pillow Cover
Margaret Stripe Pillow Cover

From our McGee & Co. 2021 Winter Catalogue

Opal Pillow Cover
Boyd Pillow Cover
Ribbed Pillow Cover
Neil Wool Pillow Cover

From our McGee & Co. 2021 Winter Catalogue

Neil Wool Pillow Cover
Helen Pillow Cover
Isadora Pillow Cover

From our McGee & Co. 2021 Spring Collection

Kara Linen Pillow Cover
Saraya Pillow Cover
Rocco Pillow Cover
Tari Pillow Cover
Liam Double Flange Pillow Cover
Cohen Striped Pillow Cover
McGee & Co
Farin Indoor/Outdoor Pillow
McGee & Co
Amara Outdoor Pillow
McGee & Co
Trish Indoor/Outdoor Pillow
McGee & Co
Ivy Indoor/Outdoor Pillow

From our Pine Brook Home

McGee & Co
Zali Pillow Cover
McGee & Co
Luther Pillow Cover
McGee & Co
Gracie Block Print Pillow Cover

From our Beckham Project

McGee & Co
Liv Pillow Cover
McGee & Co
Archie Pillow Cover
McGee & Co
Flint Pillow Cover
McGee & Co
Dorian Pillow Cover

From The McGee Home

McGee & Co
Winifred Pillow Cover
McGee & Co
Danny Floral Print Pillow Cover
McGee & Co
Edison Gingham Pillow Cover
McGee & Co
Jamille Woven Pillow Cover
McGee & Co
Gina Patched Linen Pillow Cover
McGee & Co
Clara Block Print Pillow Cover

From The McGee Home

McGee & Co
Abbey Silk Fringe Pillow Cover
McGee & Co
Devin Silk Stripe Pillow Cover
McGee & Co
Demi Floral Stripe Pillow Cover
McGee & Co
Fletcher Pillow Cover
McGee & Co
Evelyn Knitted Sweater Pillow Cover
McGee & Co
Mason Woven Stripe Pillow Cover

From our McGee & Co. 2020 Winter Catalogue

McGee & Co
Mason Woven Stripe Pillow Cover
McGee & Co
Jada Colorblock Wool Pillow Cover
McGee & Co
Saraya Pillow Cover
McGee & Co
Maren Mohair Pillow Cover
McGee & Co
Lily Woven Stripe Pillow Cover
McGee & Co
Cecily Floral Linen Pillow Cover

From our McGee & Co. 2021 Spring Collection

Hazelton Pine Fringed Pillow Cover
Enzo Pillow
Lily Woven Stripe Pillow Cover

From our McGee & Co. 2021 Winter Catalogue

Ribbed Pillow Cover
Marla Block Print Pillow Cover
Hazelton Mushroom Fringed Pillow Cover
Round Linen Pillow

From our McGee & Co. 2021 Fall Collection

Opal Pillow Cover
Boyd Pillow Cover
Kara Linen Pillow Cover

From our McGee & Co. 2020 Winter Catalogue

Abbey Silk Fringe Pillow Cover
Archie Pillow Cover
Isla Pillow Cover
Show Comments
14 Comments
Studio McGee
  1. Yes!
    Thank you I get it now.Cushions have always bamboozled me….
    You’re sharing of expertise is most appreciated.
    Love your work!

  2. In love with everything you post! Please, please have a holiday sale on your lovely pillows. I’m sure you will sell out in no time! ?

  3. Great post! Curious if you ever do completely symmetrical pillow arrangements or do you always recommend mixing it up?

  4. Great post!
    I was wondering if you could provide tips on what color combo of pillows would work for a dark leather couch? Most couches you style are of light color…wondering if color combo would differ for a dark one. Thank you’

  5. I just love all of your designs!! This post answered so many of my questions. Styling pillows is tough!! Thanks for the great tips.

  6. I was hoping to find help from the design team with picking a rug from your collect that may work for my living room. My sofas are white textured linen. Pieces in the room from Mcgee collection; the cosette chair (flax color), the sorren media cabinet, and aldo leather poofs. The coffee table is aged natural oak. I also bought some pillows from your collection for this room and was hoping you could help me pick a rug that would work well with what I have going. The pillows are: Keegan mixed stripe 22×22, avery double stripe 20×20, oxford woven plaid green 22×22, bristol fern 24×24, nancy pillow 22×22, Kamilah 24×24. Based on this I feel the underlying tone of the room is like a hunter or forest green and was thinking this is what the carpet should be but given everything else is neutral, I am open to other options. Would a blue work base work? I need help 🙂 I also need help picking 2 more pillows another 24×24 and 14×20 to add more depth to the pillows
    Near by is the salamanca rug in small size at entry way. so just trying to tie it all together

    thanks
    Simie

  7. You have such great style, I love all of the sofas pictured in this pillows post. I’m looking for new sofas for my living room. Where can I find all of these sofas for purchase, please!! Thanks in advance for your help 🙂

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