By Viktor Chong
The sofa chair is among the most important pieces of furniture to populate your living space. Guests spend an inordinate amount of time on it, since most of the conversation will flow there, not forgetting that family activities are likely to converge in this area. As much as they are critical towards the decor of your home, the fluffy accompaniment of throw pillows is equally vital.
These fill up the empty spaces on your sofa, adding a vibrant splash of colour here and there while giving them a sense of character. But throw pillows aren’t just plush toys we lob around on the seats for the sake of decorative formality. There are rules to it, but at times, even the rules can be broken. Let’s observe some of them.
Big to small
An old trick is to get all your pillows at the same size, but this uniformity is oftentimes overused and it can be banal. If you want to mix things around a little, then get them at different sizes. Arrange the larger pillows at the far corner, then progress towards the smaller ones as you move to the centre. This creates a visual that draws the eyes in while ensuring that the small pillows are not shadowed by the big ones.
Besides, the large pillows occupy more space and you do not want your guests jousting about trying to procure a spot on the sofa. That would defeat their primary function. Another point to remember is the ratio. Pillows should never be too big to overpower the furniture it is placed on, and neither should it be too small to be rendered insignificant. Use your judgement. Lastly, arrange them symmetrically to keep things looking orderly and neat.
Playing by the rules
You can’t go wrong if all the throw pillows you are planning to string along come in the same shade, which is easy to accomplish when bought in bulk. Another simple setup involves pairing them together in complementary colours, meaning that you choose the colour on opposing sides of the colour wheel. For example, bright red pillows on their own are popping, but match them together with forest green and you make them sing. Red and green are also naturally occurring colours in nature, often seen in flowering plants. Complementary colours are jarring at large doses, but they do well if you want something to stand out.
If you are opting for a less conspicuous colour combination, then go analogue instead by choosing four of the colours next to each other on the wheel. They appear different when singled out, but when together, form a smooth blend that is quiet and polished. Make sure you have enough contrast when going with the analogous colour scheme. Choose one colour to dominate, another to support and the third as an accent.
Let's talk pattern
Solid colours alone are good enough for your sofa but let's take it further by introducing some patterns, be they plait, checkerboard or graphics. The thumb rule is to get them in complementary colours, or of the same colour, but in varying degrees. Now if the sofa is already patterned, then you can tone it down by having the throw pillows with solid colours. Too much of something is never a good idea. Patterned sofas with patterned pillows make for a messy look that can be quite distracting.
If you are shopping for throw pillows, mostly likely you may be getting them in squares as they make up the majority of the products offered. It is a versatile shape and will look good on about just any sofa, bed or chair. Another variation of the square is the rectangle, which fits nicely at the centre position of most sitting furniture. If you want to add dimension to a spot, then go for the box pillows which can take the form of squares or circles, but with the added thickness. For a more antiquated look, get the bolster. These long, round pillows are usually found at the end of sofas, and were popular a few decades back.
To bling or not to bling
Not unlike colour and pattern, the texture of your throw pillows should be in a state of balance. Complement your soft pillows by layering them on something hard. The same applies to the ones with shiny surfaces, which can be coupled with something matte. By combining these varying textures, you create depth which is particularly important for neutral spaces.
You should also take into account the pillow embellishments, such as the presence of buttons and sequins. They work wonders in enhancing the look of your pillow but perform poorly at providing comfort. Such hazards could scratch or nick your flesh if you are not careful. Mix and match them according to style, functionality and comfort.