Project Description

Outdoor Throw Pillows

Outdoor throw pillows serve many purposes in your lounging areas. They can be used to tie in color accents within a room, often drawing on the colors of area rugs, drapes or décor. They can provide the opportunity to breathe new life into your outdoor space by simply changing the covers. If you choose outdoor throw pillows with texture, not only do they add warmth and interest they also add traction to keep the pillows on the seats.

In the image above, the white, tan, yellow and green pillows add a spring-infused energy to the seating area. The pillows are from Serena & Lily, one of my favorite places to find pillows, throws, and bedding in cheery bright patterns. Here is their advice on choosing outdoor throw pillows.

ONE // SET YOUR FOUNDATION
Color sets the tone for how you’ll layer. Pick a shade you love and the rest will follow.

TWO // ADD TEXTURE
A woven detail, a tassel, a fringe – a rich mix of materials and motifs makes things interesting.

THREE // MAKE IT POP
A tonal blend can be calming and sophisticated, but don’t be afraid to add that unexpected pop of color.

“In addition to color, pattern, and texture, the perfect pillow mix owes a lot to scale. Tighter prints against larger graphics, pillows in different shapes and sizes – layering a few of these into your arrangement add dimension and creativity.” ~ Serena & Lily

Ballard’s Guide to Choosing Throw Pillows
source: Ballard Designs

1.  Choose one cohesive color palette and do not veer from it. You’re going to get the most impact if all of your pillows are either in the same shade or in a pair of complementary shades.

2.  Shoot for a symmetrical arrangement, whether it’s on your couch, bed, or a window seat. When you’re layering several different fabrics on top of each other, things can get really busy, really fast. We like a symmetrical arrangement because it keeps things feeling orderly and polished.
One simple print, one busy print, and one solid. This is a basic formula that’ll help you narrow down your options. Another way to think about it is — one small print, one big print, one solid. Your busy/large print should be on your largest pillows or the pillow that is front and center, as this print will usually set the tone for not just your pillow arrangement but the rest of your room. Plaids and stripes work well as small/simple prints.

3.  As your move towards the inside of the sofa, the pillows should get smaller. Visually, your largest pillows should be in the far corners, and your smaller pillow should be on the inside. But also for comfort, it makes the most sense to add the large 22 or 24″ pillows on the sides, where you won’t need to move them out of the way. A small 12×20″ pillow right in the center won’t make you feel like you’re perched on the edge of the couch because the pillows are taking up all of the room!

4.  Although decorative, pillows are really meant to add comfort to your upholstered furniture pieces, so don’t go overboard! We’ve all sat down on that couch that is so packed to the gills with throw pillows that you feel like you’re being shoved into a bag of marshmallows. This is not the situation you want to create, so if you have to ask if you have too many, take on or two away!

If you want a modern look, its best to stick with odd numbers, like three or five than more traditional pairing. A few big pillows look cleaner than a jumble of smaller ones, which can seem like “too much punctuation,” says T. Keller Donovan, an interior designer in New York City and Miami. For a more traditional look, two or four large pillows arranged on either side of a sofa impart symmetry and order.

Image courtesy of: Serena & Lily

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