Should Pillows And Curtains Match?

When you're working on creating that perfect aesthetic for your home, it's hard to figure out what needs to match. This is especially true when you're talking about your pillows, curtains, and almost anything else fabric-related. A common trend is to match pillows and curtains, but the question remains: is this really a good idea?

Pillows and curtains do not always have to match, but it's always best to coordinate them with either material or color. If you want to add some drama to a room's appearance, choose contrasting colors of the same fabric as your curtains. On the other hand, a more unified look can be obtained through matching colors or fabrics. 

If you are trying to give your room a unified look, it's important to plan out how you choose your pillows and curtains. This article will give you a better idea of what to expect in this design plan phase. 

White sofa with throw pillows, paintings and black table in a teal living room interior with red curtains, Should Pillows And Curtains Match?

Three Smart Strategies For Matching Your Curtains And Pillows

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Though there are plenty of different ways to make a room pop, it's often better to go for the "tried and true" methods. They deliver a foolproof way to improve the appearance of your home and give it that professionally-done look. These three methods work wonders for most rooms in your home. 

Coordinate (But Don't Totally Match) Your Curtains And Pillows

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Yes, it's true. You do not have to entirely match your pillows if you don't want to. However, a little bit of tactful mixing and matching is always a smart move. These tips below can help you learn how to mix and match like a pro:

  • Choosing two or three complementary colors (like red, orange, and yellow) is a good way to coordinate your curtains without having to match them with your pillows. Stick to matching those three colors, and you will have a matched (yet mixed) look to your home. If you have a penchant for patterns, you can also choose complementary patterns to use with this trick.
  • Use the same colors in different patterns on your pillows and curtains. This can add a little bit more busyness to your room, which can be a great thing if you have a room that feels still or stuffy.
  • Go for a monochrome look by having all your pillows and curtains run through various shades of a certain color. This is particularly popular with bold colors, such as red or blue. 
  • Or go with a full match of a specific color or a pattern, but mix up different textures. If you don't want to go for a full match, this is a good way to get the best of both worlds. 

Match Your Curtains And Pillows

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The easiest way to make sure that your home looks put-together is to match your curtains to your throw pillows, keeping your throw pillows as close to your curtains color as possible. This works particularly well with neutral colors, but there are other ways to do it.

You don't have to stick to the room's overall color theme with your fabrics to make this trick work. Sometimes, just choosing a bold color theme for your pillows and curtains in an otherwise drab room can give you the easiest "pop" you need.

Contrast Your Pillows And Curtains

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If you don't want to mix and match your pillows and curtains, there's another way to make your room look put together. Rather than match your pillows and curtains, have them contrast one another. For example, yellow pillows with royal purple curtains on a grey sofa will add action to your room in a way matching won't. 

What About Matching Other Stuff?

Pillows and curtains aren't the only items you should think about matching, mixing, and coordinating. Sometimes, it can also come down to bedding, tablecloths, or even your carpet. To help you figure out what you need to do, we're going to answer some of the most pressing questions you have. 

Should Curtains And Bedding Match?

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If you're working on a bedroom, then bedding will be a major focal point in your room. Bedding is one of those materials that should either match or otherwise be coordinated with your curtains. Because the bedding surface area is so large, having a bed that clashes with your curtains can be more visually jarring than what you'd expect with curtains.

The best way to treat bedding is to act like it's an extension of your throw pillows. If you've got coordinating throw pillows, make sure your bed coordinates too. If you have throw pillows going in a monochromatic style, make sure that your bedding has that same monochrome vibe. 

Should Curtains Be Lighter Or Darker Than The Walls?

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It's no secret that your walls' color should have an impact on the color of your curtains, if only because it makes things more cohesive. The truth is that there is no rule saying that curtains should be lighter or darker than the walls, but there is a general guideline on how curtain shades should work with your walls

A better way to think of your curtain color versus your walls is to think of color values. In most situations, your curtains should be a shade off of the walls. This gives your room the open look you need to add that luxurious flair.

Do Throw Pillows Need To Match?

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The cool thing about interior design is that most of the rules are flexible, and this includes the concept of matching throw pillows. While matching your throw pillows can easily make your room more cohesive, there are other ways to add that unity to your home. Some of the more common ways to improve your look without matching pillows include:

  • Choosing complementary patterns
  • Choosing contrasting colors for your pillows
  • Matching the pillow color but using different materials

How Many Throw Pillows Should You Buy?

Fur throw pillows in a blue couch

In the past, people would advise people to buy only two throw pillows. Truth be told, it's a classic look and will add a certain level of symmetry to your decoration. However, interior design techniques are starting to change, and now people are suggesting that you buy odd numbers, with three being the most popular choice. 

The "three pillows" concept seems counterintuitive, but it's not. Adding pillows in odd numbers has been proven to give your room a more natural and inviting ambiance. Some choose three, others choose five, but whatever you choose, it's best to keep things odd. It's worth noting that more than five throw pillows may appear too busy. 

Is There Anything Else You Should Know About Throw Pillow Matching?

There are so many different types of throw pillows that you can use to jazz up your home, and to a point, it can be daunting if you're not used to decorating. There's some good news and some bad news here.

The good news is that there are no written rules on what you should or should not do. It's all on a per-case basis, and what may work for one room may look jarring in others. As long as you stay creative and have a vision in mind, you should be alright.

The bad news is that it's easy to feel lost in decorating, especially if you have multiple ideas you want to try out. If you're feeling lost, it's totally fine to ask for help. In most cases, it's the smart way to go.

Bright home office interior with a sofa, graphics, desk with a computer, lamp and modern clock


If you're looking for a single method to add unity to your room, matching your pillows and curtains can be a wise thing. However, there's no set rule on what you should do. If you want to get more eclectic, do it. If you want to add different textures in the same theme, go for it. The world is yours when it comes to interior design.

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