How to Match Rugs & Pillows


Stylish interiors mix and match patterns in the same color families for a look that is simultaneously visually stimulating and harmonious. Throw pillows and area rugs provide an opportunity to bring some interest to an otherwise neutral space. As a high-quality rug can be fairly expensive, you should select one with longevity in mind. On the other hand, you can purchase pillows to match ever-changing interior design trends. Zip-off covers offer an option to update your look seasonally without spending a fortune.

Things You'll Need

  • Digital camera, optional
  • Color printer, optional
  • Photographs or fabric swatches
  • Take a photograph of an existing rug in your home that you want to complement with pillows. Print out the photograph on a color printer to bring with you on shopping trips for decorating accessories. If you are purchasing a new area rug, clip the photograph out of a catalog.

  • Analyze your rug to figure out its dominant color. Look for other accent colors in your rug. Note if your rug has an active pattern or a more subtle design.

  • Choose more subdued pillows in solid colors for a colorful, bold, patterned rug. Include a few pillows with small patterns or decorative details that correspond to motifs in the rug to tie these elements together.

  • Select a few pillows in one or two bold patterns to pair with an understated rug. Include other throw pillows in neutral or solid colors to keep the look balanced. Keep patterned pillows in the same color family for continuity.

  • Arrange the new pillows on the furniture near the area rug. Move the pillows around until you compose them in a way that looks pleasing to you. Return any pillows that do not match, or use them in a different room.

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