How to Arrange Pillows on a Sofa

Updated April 17, 2017

Throw pillows are an easy and affordable way to dress up your sofa. Use them to bring together furniture that doesn't quite match, to add style to bland basics or to give your old couch a facelift. Whether you want to keep it clean and simple or pile on the pillows, decorating with throw pillows helps make your sofa look a little more put together.

Choose three square matching or coordinating pillows that are the same size. Choose pillows with colours in the same family---shades of blue, for example---so that the look is consistent.

Place the pillows on the seat of the couch against the back of the couch so that the pillows are standing up straight, at a 90-degree angle to the seat of the couch.

Position them so they are evenly spaced. If the couch has three cushions in the back, centre a throw pillow in front of each cushion. If the couch has two cushions, centre one pillow in front of the place where the two cushions come together, and place each of the other two in the centre of each cushion.

Choose five to ten pillows in coordinating colours and a variety of shapes.

Prop the throw pillows casually against the back of the couch so that the pillows are at a 45-degree angle to the seat of the couch.

Turn two or three pillows sideways and leave the others standing straight up.


Choose throw pillows with zippered covers so that you can easily change the look and remove the covers for washing. For simple pillow arrangements, choose two identical pillows and one coordinating pillow. Place the identical pillows on either side with the coordinating pillow in the centre of the couch. Build on these basic techniques to create your own style. For instance, you could layer a second row of smaller throw pillows over the first row in a simple arrangement to put your own spin on the traditional look. Depending on whether you have a long or short couch, add or take away pillows to get the right look. Keep in mind that odd numbers are usually more visually pleasing than even ones. Visit sites like Design*Sponge and Apartment Therapy to see other people's creative pillow arrangements and information about current throw pillow design trends.

Things You'll Need

  • Pillows
  • Sofa
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About the Author

Holly Roberts is an award-winning health and fitness writer whose work has appeared in health, lifestyle and fitness magazines. Roberts has also worked as an editor for health association publications and medical journals. She has been a professional writer for more than 10 years and holds a B.A. in English and an M.A. in literature.