Shape and Size

Throw pillows come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For the most dynamic look, vary the shape and size of the pillows you choose for a single piece of furniture.


Square throw pillows are the most common shape. They typically come in 16-, 18- or 20-inch versions, but can be found in larger or smaller sizes. If you like to change up the look of your décor frequently, stick to square throw pillows in standard sizes, which will make it easiest to find replacement pillow covers. 


Round pillows are much less common than square versions, but can be a beautiful choice when used to balance the straight lines of square and rectangular pillows. 


Cylinder-shaped bolster pillows get their name from their intended use: They’re meant to prop up your arms or back when seated, and are most commonly used on beds.


 Lumbar throw pillows have an oblong, rectangular shape. Like bolster pillows, they were originally designed to provide back support, but are now used more often for ornamental purposes, usually to offset square pillows or decorate an armchair.

The simplest way to choose throw pillows for your couch is by going the symmetrical route. Choose 2 of the same large (20-24 inch) pillows, 2 of the same medium size pillows (12-18 inch), and 1 small pillow. I recommend choosing 2 prints and one solid. Make sure there’s a mix of texture in there as well (my velvet pillow is the pop of texture). As for mixing prints, it’s best to choose one print of a smaller scale, and one of a larger scale. For instance, the larger pillows have a small scale print – meaning the print is pretty condensed. Although it’s bold, it’s not distracting. The medium pillows have the larger print – meaning the print is more spread out across the surface of the pillow. Then add a solid color to tie the prints together.