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A sofa is great, sure, but a sofa without pillows and a throw can feel a bit naked. Like pasta without the sauce; salad, hold the dressing. Hardly anyone would agree lettuce would be better off without that vinaigrette, so we thought we’d walk you through (both in video and written form) three ways to deck out your sofa whether your style is neutral, tailored or casually boho.

Watch this video below featuring our very own Kyle Schuneman, then read on for even more of a breakdown and all the shopping links you might need.

Of note: We used a lot of the same pillows throughout each look to show you that it’s not just about the style of the individual piece, but how you layer it all together that can change the vibe of the aesthetic completely.

The Tailored Sofa

***click the shopping cart on the image to shop these pieces***

GET THE LOOK: Samson Sofa in Evergreen Velvet / Pecan | Amini Ikat Knit Throw | Ladero Toss Pillow | Yochana Lumbar Pillow | Laveta Toss Pillow LARGE | Bellevue Toss Pillow | Olveira Knit Lumbar Pillow

Let’s start with our “tailored” look. Now, “tailored” here doesn’t mean super pared back or minimal. It just means it was approached with tidy layering and a cohesive palette in mind. For the sake of this style, we went with textural neutrals and a mix of navy patterned pillows to pop off the dark green velvet sofa.

As you’ll see in the video above, for one side, we have a simple grouping of a large square pillow and a lumbar, and for the other, a trio of varied sizes and patterns. The neutral on each side keeps things from look too overpowering. If your sofa is smaller, or five throw pillows on one sofa are too much for you visually, you could easily opt-out of one of the combos and keep things a little more asymmetrical.

For the throw, it’s folded crisply over an arm to keep everything looking architectural and purposeful. If you have a sofa with a chaise, you could also fold it into thirds length-wise and neatly drape it over the edge of the cushion on the side with the two (rather than the three) pillows.

The Casual Boho “More is More” Sofa

***click the shopping cart on the image to shop these pieces***

GET THE LOOK: Samson Sofa in Evergreen Velvet / PecanFaroe Fringe Throw NATURAL | Auden Toss Pillow | Yochana Lumbar Pillow | Creeden Lumbar Pillow | Laveta Toss Pillow LARGE | Giardia Toss Pillow

Eclectic looks, though they feel loose and free, can actually be a little harder to pull off because you want something that feels easy-breezy without getting too wild. Here, we actually started with the throw blanket where it serves as the backdrop to our pillow party.

Something with fringe and lots of texture (like our Faroe Fringe Throw) or pattern is perfect for a boho style, or really, anything that seems cozy and interesting. Just grab it on one end and toss off-center (and closer to one side of the sofa) so it’s loose and inviting. Don’t feel like you can’t do this a few times to get it the way you want (sometimes, throw throwing takes some practice, even for the pros!).

Then it’s about layering those pillows on top. In the video, Kyle went with a grouping of three in different textures on top of the throw, then balanced (without copying) the other side with two pillows of different sizes.

You’ll want to remember to vary the shapes of your pillows for that loose, casual look. Pair a square with a lumbar or two to keep the eye moving, and of course, use a mix of colors, patterns and textures.

The Neutral (But Not Boring) Sofa

***click the shopping cart on the image to shop these pieces***

GET THE LOOK: Samson Sofa in Evergreen Velvet / Pecan | Grantham Knit Throw | Giardia Toss Pillow | Olveira Knit Lumbar Pillow | Ladero Toss Pillow

And lastly, we have our neutral sofa. Let’s get this clear first, though: neutral doesn’t have to mean boring. The key is making sure that even though you’re not leaning into colors for variety, your pillows have some different things going on, whether it’s size, weave, or subtle pattern. If you’re doing all beige or all grey, don’t choose the same tone for everything. For instance, for a beige look, use oatmeal, off-white or taupe together. Not all oatmeal or all off-white. Couple up a chunky knit with a delicate linen to keep things interesting.

As for the throw, because we can’t leave it out now, fold it up and drape it over the seat to break up the sofa and then bookend with pillows.

And there you have it. We created three different styles with the same sofa and a lot of the same pillows. Don’t be afraid to mix things up and change up your look often to keep your living room looking fresh.

Check out all of our Furniture Fundamentals videos so that you can pick the best sofa—& make it look like YOU—for your small space, apartment or home!

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