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What is a Throw Pillow? Exploring Home Decor Essentials


The question, “What is a throw pillow?” may seem straightforward, but there is more to these decorative pieces than meets the eye. A throw pillow, also known as a toss pillow, is an essential home decor accessory, adding an artistic touch and comfort to spaces like living rooms, bedrooms, and even outdoor seating areas.

Available in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and patterns, they provide the perfect avenue to express personal style, set a mood, or update the aesthetics of a space. Seen as a cost-effective way to refresh interior design, they can transform a mundane space into a cozy sanctuary or a vibrant hangout. Read on to explore the dynamic world of throw pillows and their impact on home décor.

History and Origin of Throw Pillows

The journey of throw pillows from ancient to modern interior décor is truly fascinating. Originally, they were primarily used in the East, specifically in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. These pillows were made of stone or wood and were more symbolic than functional, often used under the heads of the deceased to ward off evil spirits.

Over time, the Greek and Roman civilizations adapted them using soft materials for comfort. Then in the Middle Ages, only wealthy households could afford these luxuries termed as ‘cushions.’ With advancements in textile production during the Industrial Revolution, these ornamental accessories, now known as ‘throw pillows’, became widely accessible and a staple in home decor.

Why are They Called ‘Throw Pillows’?

The term “throw pillow” might puzzle some of us. Why are these decorative items known as such? The name “throw” implies a sense of casualness and relaxed spontaneity. It suggests how these pillows can be “thrown” or placed anywhere, be it a sofa, chair, bed, or even on the floor, for added comfort and aesthetics. It’s this feature of effortless placement and their versatile use in adding quick style upgrades to various home settings, that justifies the term “throw pillow”.

Different Types of Throw Pillows

In the fascinating world of interior décor, throw pillows offer a riot of variations that let you experiment with every whim and fancy. So, let’s delve into the different types of these little soft furnishings that could empower you to become your own home stylist.

Categories Based on Shapes

 Square Throw Pillows

These are the ultimate classic choice and the most common shape in throw pillows. Whether on your bed or your couch, they are versatile and blend well with other shapes.

Round Throw Pillows

Looking to break the monotony of straight lines? Round throw pillows bring a fun, playful edge and work well in more casual spaces.

Bolster Throw Pillows

These cylindrical pillows, while providing excellent lumbar support, also act as a great tool for introducing new patterns or textures without going too heavy.

Rectangular Throw Pillows

These are excellent for layering with other pillow shapes or sizes due to their unique dimensions, hence offering more variety in pillow arrangement.

Types According to Materials

Cotton Throw Pillows

Durable, breathable, and easy to clean, cotton throw pillows are a perfect fit for those seeking a blend of comfort and practicality.

Linen Throw Pillows

With a natural, rustic charm, linen throw pillows bring an organic, relaxed aesthetic to any space.

Velvet Throw Pillows

For a plush, luxurious feel, nothing beats velvet. Velvet throw pillows can instantly elevate the glamour quotient of your room.

Variety based on Designs

Solid Throw Pillows

For elegance and subtlety, solid throw pillows are your best bet. They offer a canvas for other elements of the room to shine and blend seamlessly with any theme.

Patterned Throw Pillows

Feeling a little adventurous? Patterned throw pillows are perfect to introduce some drama and excitement. Stripes, florals, geometrics, and the patterns are endless.

Embroidered Throw Pillows

For those seeking intricate details and a vintage appeal, embroidered throw pillows offer a great aesthetic. They bring depth, individuality, and an artisanal touch to your décor.

Choices Based on Functionality

Decorative Throw Pillows

These are primarily used for aesthetics. They come in a myriad design and are the quickest way to jazz up your space.

Lumbar Support Throw Pillows

Combining comfort with style, these are typically rectangular and provide excellent support to your lower back.

Bed Throw Pillows

These are throw pillows specifically used on beds. They come in all shapes and sizes and aid in creating a layered, cozy appearance.

Throw pillows are your secret weapon in home décor. By experimenting with different shapes, materials, designs, and functionalities, you can create an ambiance that exhibits your unique style while ensuring comfort.

Role of Throw Pillows in Home Décor

The role of throw pillows in home décor extends well beyond mere comfort. They significantly contribute to the overall aesthetics of a room, offer functionality, and reflect individual styles and tastes, hence forming a key element of interior design.

Enhancing Aesthetics and Setting the Tone of a Room

Throw pillows can dramatically transform a space, setting the tone and enhancing the aesthetics of your interior. The wide variety of shapes, sizes, textures, and colors allows for limitless decor possibilities. Bold-colored or patterned cushions instantly bring life to a monochromatic setting, adding a pop of color and vibrancy. Soft-toned pillows create a calming and cozy ambiance, ideal for relaxation. Additionally, pillows can be used to either create contrast or complement the overall room décor. Therefore, the creative use of throw pillows can go a long way in establishing a specific mood or theme in your space.

Adding Comfort and Functionality

Beyond aesthetics, throw pillows contribute significantly to the comfort and functionality of our homes. Strategically placed, they provide extra support and ease when lounging on sofas or chairs, enhancing relaxation to a considerable extent. In the bedroom, they serve as essential elements for a comfortable reading or working environment. Plus, they are quick to grab for floor seating while hosting large gatherings or family game nights. Therefore, throw pillows effortlessly blend comfort with functionality, enriching the overall ambiance of your living space.

Reflecting Personal Style and Tastes

Throw pillows offer an excellent avenue for expressing personal style and taste. Whether you’re keen on floral prints for a refreshing spring look, geometric patterns for a contemporary vibe, or solid colors for a minimalistic style, the choices are immense. They are stylish yet cost-effective instruments to keep your décor updated with changing seasons or trends. Thematic cushions reflecting interests like music, travel, or art can serve as conversation starters, making your space uniquely ‘you.’

the role of throw pillows in home décor is all-encompassing. They not only enhance aesthetics but also increase comfort, and functionality and exhibit personal style. With a thoughtful selection and strategic placement, throw pillows can breathe new life into your home décor, providing a charming and welcoming environment.

Choosing the Right Throw Pillow

Throw pillows are a crucial component of home décor, offering an incredible fusion of aesthetics, comfort, and personal expression. Choosing the right throw pillow can seem tricky with myriad sizes, shapes, colors, patterns, and textures available. To assist you, we’ve developed this easy-to-read guide.

Factors to Consider

Some important factors when selecting throw pillows are size, shape, color, pattern, and texture. Firstly, size is crucial. Large pillows, around 24 inches, create a relaxed vibe, while smaller ones, around 18 inches, are suitable for most sofas.

Shape is another vital factor. Rectangular pillows offer excellent lumbar support, whereas square ones are versatile and fit well on most furniture.

In terms of color, pick shades that either complement or contrast with your room décor for a visually appealing effect. Patterns add character and brighten plain-looking furniture while adding diversity to your selection.

Lastly, consider texture. A combination of different materials like silk, velvet, linen, and faux fur can give your space an excellent facelift, contributing richness and depth to the décor.

Coordinating with Furniture and Overall Room Decor

Successfully integrating throw pillows with your existing furniture and overall room decor can effectively bring the room together. For neutral-toned furniture, vibrant and patterned pillows can refresh the outlook. For patterned furniture, solid-colored pillows can provide balance. Remember, your throw pillows should complement and not compete with your existing décor.

Expert Tips and Advice on Selection

Experts advocate the ‘Rule of Three’ where incorporating three different patterns— a simple print, a complex print, and a solid color— creates a balanced and appealing look. Another tip is to maintain the color palette but switch out patterns and textures for a seasonal refresh or to update your space.

Regardless of trends, the key is to select throw pillows that reflect your personal style and taste, making your space truly feel like home.

Overall, choosing the right throw pillow should be a blend of practical considerations and personal style. By taking into account size, shape, color, pattern, texture, and your overall décor theme, you can dramatically enhance the aesthetics of your space.

The Art of Arranging Throw Pillows

The technique of arranging throw pillows is an art in itself and can significantly elevate the aesthetic appeal and comfort of your space. Here’s an easy-to-follow guide on transforming your décor with an artful arrangement of throw pillows.

Basic Rules for Arranging Throw Pillows

A fundamental rule in throw pillow arrangement is symmetry for a neat, polished look. Start with larger pillows at the ends and gradually taper down to smaller ones towards the center. An odd number of pillows often works best, creating a dynamic yet balanced look. Also, don’t overload your furniture with too many pillows, leaving sufficient sitting space is crucial for comfort and functionality.

Comprehensive Strategies for an Appealing Setup

There’s more to throw pillow arrangement than merely placing them on a piece of furniture. Here are some strategies for an appealing setup:


Mix shapes, sizes, colors, patterns, and textures for depth and visual interest. This adds layer and complexity to the arrangement instilling a sophisticated vibe.


While variety is essential, maintaining some coherence, either color, theme, or pattern, helps bind the group together.


Spread out vibrant colors and busy patterns evenly to avoid a lopsided layout.


Experiment with leaning, stacking, centering, or even scattering throw pillows on your furniture.

Examples and Inspiration from Professional Designers

Professional designers master the art of throw pillow arrangement with their ingenious techniques. Here are some examples for inspiration:

Easily attain an eclectic vibe with a well-balanced clash of patterns and colors, as frequently showcased in Bohemian-themed rooms.

Monochrome schemes with a mix of textures and shapes create a chic and modern look.

For a classic layout, pairs of matching pillows at each end of a sofa, layered with a standout pillow in the middle are a popular choice.

The art of arranging throw pillows creates inviting and visually pleasing spaces. Remember, rules are made as a guideline, not a constraint. Feel free to experiment, take risks, and most importantly, showcase your personality. With the right tricks up your sleeve, you can elevate the style of your home décor through an exquisite throw pillow arrangement.

Taking Care of Throw Pillows

Throw pillows not only enhance the look and feel of your interior but also provide comfort. Knowing how to take care of them can help preserve their beauty, durability, and quality over time. Here, we provide easy maintenance, preservation, and storage tips for your throw pillows.

Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

To maintain the cleanliness and freshness of your throw pillows, check the tag for specific cleaning instructions. Certain materials are machine-washable, while others may require spot-cleaning or dry cleaning.

For machine-washable pillows, it is recommended to wash them in cold water on a delicate cycle and air dry to prevent shrinking. On the other hand, for spot cleaning, gently work on the stains with mild detergent and a soft brush, followed by blotting with a clean towel.

It’s also good practice to fluff your pillows regularly to keep them looking prim and plump.

Preserving the Durability and Quality

To preserve your throw pillows’ durability and quality, it’s crucial to protect them from direct sunlight, which can cause color fading. Also, consider alternating your throw pillows from time to time to prevent continuous wear and tear on one particular pillow.

For pillows with decorative elements or ones made of delicate materials like silk or velvet, minimize handling and maintain them with utmost care.

Regularly checking for minor damages and repairing them immediately can prolong the lifespan of your throw pillows.

Advice on Storing Throw Pillows

When it comes to storing throw pillows, cleanliness is key. Ensure they are thoroughly cleaned and fully dried before storing to avoid mold or mildew. Make use of breathable fabric bags or large plastic bins for storage and store in dry, cool places.

Avoid cramming too many pillows in one box which can lead to creases or disfiguration. Ideally, store them lying flat and refrain from placing heavy items on top.

Taking care of throw pillows can be easy and straightforward. By adopting the right cleaning, preserving, and storage strategies, you can maintain their aesthetics and quality, ensuring they last and continue to enhance your home décor for years to come.

Throw Pillows and Sustainability

Increasingly, homeowners are focusing on decorating their spaces sustainably, incorporating elements that cause minimal harm to the environment. Throw pillows are no exception. Here’s how throw pillows intersect with sustainability:

Eco-friendly Materials and Ethical Production

Opting for throw pillows made from natural, biodegradable materials such as organic cotton, hemp, or linen can significantly reduce environmental impact. These materials are not only eco-friendly but also durable, ensuring a long lifespan for your pillows.

Equally important is the ethical production of throw pillows. Look for brands that ensure fair-trade practices, decent work conditions, and fair wages for their laborers.

Recycling and Upcycling Old Throw Pillows

Another aspect of sustainability is the idea of reusability. Instead of discarding old or worn-out pillows, consider giving them a new lease on life. Transform them into floor cushions, pet beds, or even stuffing material for new pillows.

You can also opt for throw pillow covers that are replaceable, allowing you to alter your home décor while reutilizing the same pillow inserts to minimize waste.

Leading Sustainable Brands to Consider

Several brands place sustainability at the heart of their operations. Bunglo, for example, offers throw pillows with eco-friendly water-based inks, which are safer for the environment.

Another brand is West Elm, which collaborates with fair trade-certified factories and uses organic cotton in some of its pillow collections.

Etsy is also an excellent platform to search for custom-made, eco-friendly throw pillows from a wide array of global artisans.

Embracing sustainability with throw pillows not only contributes to an eco-friendly lifestyle but also introduces a unique charm to your home décor.

FAQs About Throw Pillow

What is a Throw Pillow?

A throw pillow, also known as a toss pillow, is a small, decorative kind of pillow that can be placed on sofas, armchairs, beds, or even floors for added aesthetics and comfort. It’s an easy and affordable way to enhance interior décor.

What is the standard size of a Throw Pillow?

While throw pillows come in various shapes and sizes, the standard size is usually around 16″ to 20″. The size ultimately depends on the intended use and the aesthetics you want to achieve.

What material is commonly used in Throw Pillows?

Throw pillows are often filled with materials like down feathers, memory foam, or polyester fiberfill. The covers may be made from a variety of materials including cotton, silk, velvet, or synthetic fabrics offering immense choice based on look and feel preferences.

How often should you replace Throw Pillows?

The lifespan of a throw pillow depends on the quality of the material and usage. With proper care, they can last several years before losing their comfort and aesthetic appeal.

Are Throw Pillows necessary?

While throw pillows aren’t essential for every living space, they can significantly enhance aesthetic appeal and provide added comfort. They are a practical and cost-effective way to change your home’s look and feel according to seasonal or decor trends.

Can Throw Pillows be washed?

Most throw pillows come with removable covers that can be washed. However, always check the care label for specific cleaning instructions as some materials may require special handling.

Where can I buy Throw Pillows?

Throw pillows are readily available on numerous platforms such as home décor stores, supermarkets, online retail giants like Amazon, and handmade platforms like Etsy. Always ensure to select a reliable source to guarantee quality and durability.


In conclusion, “What is a Throw Pillow?” is a question with a multifaceted answer. A throw pillow is not just a decorative element but a blend of aesthetics, comfort, and personal expression, adding a substantial style statement to any interior.

Whether it’s by complementing the existing décor or making a bold contrast, the versatility of throw pillows enhances your space, making it truly yours. Remember, the right throw pillow can transform your living area from ordinary to extraordinary.

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