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How to Decorate with Colorful Accent Pillows

Our editors share five sure-fire ways to spruce up your home with colorful pillows.

1. Make It Pop

Boring be gone! Color can be intimidating, but throw pillows are an easy and budget-friendly way to experiment, so go crazy with your favorite bold pattern or print. Here, a striking hot pink throw pillow adds vibrancy to the room.

Despite the multitude of colors and patterns—white, black, grey, light blue, and three different woods—the strong punch of color draws the eye, making the other colors and textures act as neutrals in the room. The best part of this quick update? If you want to change it up, it's as simple as switching your pillow cover.

Tip! If you're using a bright pillow as a focal point, look for an interesting texture or pattern. Beading, embroidery, and special dyeing techniques all elevate a pillow to the next level.

2. Dream Theme

Florals, ikat, or kilim—whatever you love—pile it on!  When you're working with the same pattern or theme, colors don't matter. The blue, purple, orange, pink, and green pillows all work together to create a purposeful feel. 

Here, everything has a bohemian style, despite the differing patterns. In the same way, nautical pillows or rustic-themed pillows could all coexist easily because of their theme, not the color or pattern of each individual pillow.

3. Opposites Attract

Not for the faint of heart—it takes a bold decorator to look across the color wheel and choose the color least like all the others. 

Yet, complementary colors inject the perfect juxtaposition to a room, and there's a scientific reason. Different colors are picked up by different photoreceptors in the eye, so having two opposite colors let those receptors relax. Besides the science, the mix of a "warm" and "cool" colors somehow just work.

Tip! Still looking for color help? Check out our Color Guide for all you need to know about coordinating hues.

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4. Use an Accent Color

Another easy way to inject color into your room is to draw from the accent colors. Here, a neutral room gets a color boost from a bold red pillow that coordinates with both the ottoman and the
arm chair.

Though highly saturated, the pillows don't overpower the room, nor take away from the serene, more traditional aesthetic.

Tip! An accent color can be ANY color also present in your home. Try pulling colors from your favorite artwork to create your look.

5. Keep it in the Family
If you love color, but are wary about mixing tones, stick with ones you already have. Double up on the hue of your sofa, bed, or chair with matching pillows. Like layering scents, layering like shades increases the color power, really emphasizing that hue.

For a real punch, take a cue from this couch pairing and match the fabric as well. Especially with luxe fabrics like velvet, satin, or brocade, layering fabrics increases the sense of decadence. (Layer burlap on burlap and you'll be in farmhouse heaven.)

Tip! While silk on silk creates an ultra-luxurious look, it's also ultra-slippery, so keep the feel—not only the look—in mind when mixing fabrics.

Design: Susie Herr

Bonus. Forget the Rules

If you like it, use it! With hundreds of patterns, and nearly every fabric under the sun, it's easy to find the perfect pillow for your tastes.

Filling your home with pieces you love injects personality, and creates a space in which you'll want to spend time. And isn't that the whole point? 

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