Say goodbye to all the throw pillow rules you know.

Just as you mastered the art of mixing different patterns properly and just as you finally learned how to spell symmetry, the design gurus change all the rules about the perfect throw pillow selections.

For decades the idea of symmetry has been queen.  You know the look…a matching pillow or two on either side of the sofa along with perhaps an additional one placed on a nearby occasional chair for good measure.  You can see this idea in this photo of a room designed by Joanna Gaines and it looks great and right in style.

But times have changed.  The days of matching end tables and lamps and pillows is long gone…to be replaced by items that look like they have been casually tossed about and chosen at random.  Although we all know that is not the case!

mismatched pillow from alexa hamilton via marcus design blog

Does anyone do it better than Alexa Hampton?

mismatched pillows phot by christopher shane design by andrew howard via house of turquoise

photo Christopher Shane   Room design Andrew Howard

The art of fabric pattern mixing has been a difficult one for many home owners to perfect.  The rule of three–one large, one small and one medium sized pattern–as a formula to follow is now outdated.  In other words, a check, a floral and a stripe, would create that relaxed and casually thrown together look many of us craved during our french country decorating phase.

Today’s look has no formula.  A floral pillow here, a striped pillow there, a few solid colors tossed about and various shapes thrown in for good measure.  The goal is to create a look that is truly casual and tossed together and, while it is sometimes tough for me to wrap my arms around the lack of symmetry, I do like the look when I see it properly executed.

I switch out my throw pillows throughout the year.  I usually “shop” from my own collection but often pick up a new piece here and there as in the case of the dachsund on a bicycle pillow I just could not resist.  Breaking out of my symmetrical comfort zone is not easy…How did I do?

The key to this look is to select pillow colors, patterns and sizes that complement the rest of the space and overall color scheme.  In these examples we show neutrals in an all neutral space, vibrant blues and greens with a bold striped rug and a mix of brightly colored pillows in an all white space.

The good news is that the pressure is off.  No more “rules” to follow; no more worrying whether you are doing it right.  And if you already have or find a pillow you like, no need to purchase two–just introduce it to all the other pillows you have stored in the closet and under the bed and in the garage and you can come up with your own eclectic combination that will be right on trend.

Is this a look you can embrace or is the serenity of symmetry more in your comfort zone?

About hayniedi

What about me? In a nutshell I am a middle-aged interior designer and freelance writer, mother of an amazing 27 year old daughter, wife to my semi-retired lawyer husband and step-grandma to two delicious babies. From my earliest memories I have been fascinated with interior decorating and love to share my passion for beautiful rooms with anyone who will listen. Join me on this blog as my husband and I enter our empty nest years and move back into the first home we bought when we were first married that has been a rental for the past 15 years. I will share our experience with remodeling as well as other ideas and thoughts that I hope will inspire you.
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