Throw pillows 101 – or how to coordinate pillows

How is everyone doing? Here we have been fortunate to have some amazingly warm weather and bright sun. Which of course makes my thoughts go to Spring. And then they go to switching up my throw pillows. So how about some throw pillows 101 to get you in that spring mood.

How to coordinate throw pillows
Throw Pillows 101

To coordinate throw pillows, the first step is to pick at least three fabrics.

  1. A solid fabric
  2. A pattern – pull your colours from this fabric. It can be a small, medium or large scale print
  3. A graphic – small, medium or large scale print, should not be the same scale as #2.
  4. If you go with a fourth fabric, it can be any of the above three but if patterned, the scale should be different from #2 and #3.

Then consider the fabric’s texture, linen, cotton, velvet, knitted, faux fur, embroidered, etc… as well as the size and shape of the pillows. Vary these to great effect.

I started with the floral as it had the colours I was looking for, including a neutral that works with the sofa fabric. Then I pulled colours from that fabric.

Throw pillows 101
Floral pattern first, choose other colours from this pattern.

I chose a velvet in the background colour of this first pillow. The result is good as you can see above, but not as interesting as adding a third fabric.

Throw pillows 101
Second and third fabric selection

I pulled out the yellow in the floral pattern, but did it in a graphic print. In this case the floral fabric is a medium scale and the yellow fabric is a large scale. I could have also gone with a small scale graphic print, something like a polka dot which I considered but this fabric was a better colour match to the floral pattern.

Coordinating fabrics for throw pillows

Then I made another smaller pillow in the floral pattern. And with that last pillow the sofa is done.

Coordinating fabrics for throw pillows
Three coordinating fabrics for throw pillows.

You can switch up the positioning of these pillows but I usually gravitate to putting the solid at the back and the prints in the front.

Hope this helps you to bring a little spring freshening up to a sofa near you.


If you, like the rest of us, have a lot of free time on your hands, you may be planning on painting some rooms in your home over the winter. And if you like, a lot of my clients, have a home that has some beige fixtures and are struggling to add some cooler tones that will update and work with the existing flooring, counters, cabinetry, here are a few of my favourite warm greige paint colours that you can try. 

As always, with paint, painting a board with your paint selection and testing it on a few walls at different times of the day and in different lighting is strongly advised. Paint colour is subjective and is greatly influenced by surrounding light, colours and fixtures, and this extra step will ensure you are thrilled with your results.

If your home is dark and you want to lighten and brighten, these paint colours are a great starting point to find the perfect hue for your home. 

I’ve also done up a little cheat sheet that you can download and keep for future reference.

These are the colours that I go to, time and time again. This first one is my favourite and most used paint colour:

1. Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter – HC-172 

A true chameleon this colour is very subjective, it can look green, blue, grey and beige depending on it’s location. Testing is essential with this one.

It is a warm grey paint that marries well with warm toned flooring, tiles and counters. I have used this colour for many clients, and myself and we’ve all been thrilled. 

warm grey paint colours
Revere Pewter

This is a corner of my principal bedroom at my log home with Revere Pewter on the wall. This is a true testament to Revere Pewter’s compatibility. All that orangey pine and the paint colour just cools it down a touch. To read more about my log home and it’s many updates and renovations, you can click here.

2. Collingwood OC-28 

This greige paint, again with warm and cool tones, is somewhat softer than revere pewter. However, Collingwood is a tad more warm than cool, so it is a great one to use to avoid a blue toned grey.

warm grey paint colours

This was a client’s office that I did a few years ago and Collingwood worked perfectly with the warm greys of the file cabinets and the oak flooring. With this colour, the artwork popped against this background colour. 

3. Fossil AF-65  

Fossil typically reads more beige on the wall. With its touch of grey and pink, it is a great one to use with beige/pink fixtures. I used it below in my sunroom to cool down my beige/pink floor tiles. You can read my post about updating my previous home by clicking here.

warm grey paint colours

4. Wish AF-680

Wish is a soft, warm grey. Its warmth works well with earthier tones and it updated my office, even though it had dark brown furniture and a taupey rug.

warm grey paint colours

5.Thunder AF-685 

I would call this the big brother of Revere Pewter. Darker and with more grey than beige, Thunder still feels like a neutral warm paint colour. Ideal to use with existing warm finishes to update them without feeling too cold. 

warm grey paint colours

 I have found that this colour brings out the gray tones in brown granite countertops, like this one shown below.

warm grey paint colours

6. Picket fence  CSP-370

This colour is in Benjamin Moore’s Colour Stories palette, which is available only in the Aura line of paints. It is a beautiful neutral grey.

I loved Picket fence so much, I painted it throughout the main rooms of my previous home. It feels calm and has a wonderful depth to it. It is quite similar to Collingwood and Balboa mist. 

warm grey paint colours
Picket Fence

Here it is in my previous laundryroom with it’s cherry toned cabinets and pinky beige tiles. And it also worked with a faux black granite countertop, by pulling out the gray tones in it.

I hope this helps to start you on your painting journey.

Happy Painting!