Decorating Guides

The Formula for Perfect Pillow Arrangements

When decorating with throw pillows, I’m a loyal believer in the 2-2-1 ratio. It’s a simple notion that accomplishes spectacular results. Simply decorate your couch with two square pillows of one size and pattern on the ends, two smaller pillows in another pattern next to them and one jazzy rectangular pillow to the center. The graduated sizing generates height intrigue, while the contrasting patterns and colors add whimsy. It’s especially endearing when one cloth sets the tone and the others are chosen with its color scheme in your mind. Use this styling trick to spiff up your couch quickly, easily and affordably.

Caitlin Wilson Design

Celerie Kemble’s Hot House floral pillows set the tone to the other cloths chosen here. You can observe that the blue and rust colors of the middle pillows were pulled out of the floral scheme.

The Decor Fix

Heather Freeman made the art above her couch to match the color scheme and patterns of its five-pillow arrangement.

LDa Interiors & Architecture

The 2-2-1 ratio also functions on beds. Rather than organize the pillows from the outside in as you would on a couch, organize them from back to front.

Beth Dotolo, ASID, RID, NCIDQ

Both couches within this modern Texas living room feature exactly the same throw pillows in the 2-2-1 arrangement.

Studio Marcelo Brito

While this is technically a 2-2-2-1 arrangement, the effect is exactly the same. Take note that the middle cushion is in exactly the same cloth as the room’s striped upholstered seats — this really is a great way to tie things together.

Caitlin Wilson Design

Think about using only two materials for your own 2-2-1 arrangement. Here you might find that the center bolster pillow’s toile fabric smartly matches that of their finish pillows.

Michelle Hinckley

Michelle Hinckley produced these striped pillows from Target’s DwellStudio baby blankets.

Anna Lattimore Interior Design

The N.4 Blue Coral Pillow takes center stage whilst attractively coordinating with the wall color.

Tobi Fairley Interior Design

Both sets of square pillows feature a trellis pattern in different colorways, while the center pillow is at a brand new pattern but features both colors.

Spinnaker Development

While the pillows on the endings are not exactly the same pattern, their similar coloring and size contribute to the 2-2-1 effect.

Tracy Murdock Allied ASID

Using only two colors, Tracy Murdock place the ratio to good use with solid cloths and embroidery details.

Tobi Fairley Interior Design

The 2-2-1 ratio matches daybeds, too.

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