With such a huge selection of pillows out there, your choice of the right additions to your sofa can be a daunting task. In this post, we’ll show you how to match the right throw pillows to a brown couch. We’ll go over your options and show you a couple of dozens of examples too.
Brown couches or sofa come in a range of designs. Leather or velvet, large or small, modern or traditional – the list goes on and on. Whatever your main choice for a living-room centerpiece was, you’re now trying to match the right fluffy accent pillows to that couch.
Consider your overall style and color scheme
While it’s tempting to just look at that brown sofa, consider the entire room. Your design needs to have a general theme and the throw pillows need to match that, as well as the couch. Is your overall theme traditional? Mid-century modern? Maybe Scandinavian or rustic? Your choice of throw pillows should reflect that.
Your color palette matters too. The pillows can echo the colors of the curtains, walls, or decor items – and thus create a harmonious look even when their color is vastly different from that of the couch itself. We’ll show you several examples of that as well in this post.
Considering a different kind of couch? Check out our post about throw pillows for a black leather couch for more ideas.
This guide was originally written in 2019. Now updated with a fresh 2021 version!
How to match the pillows to the couch
When you match the color of the pillows to your living room couch, you have four basic options:
- Stay with the Neutrals
- Go for contrast
- Throw in a bit of color
- Keep it bare (no pillows at all).
Of course, the actual color, shade, and hue of the sofa play a major role here. A brown couch can be a deep rich chocolate brown, a bright reddish copper shade, or a light neutral beige-ish color. Keep that in mind as we explore the various possibilities.
So, what colors go with a brown sofa?
One of the first things to consider is color matching. The basic color theory offers us several combinations with each color. Here are some suggestions.
A monochromatic palette using brown for the base color calls out for other browns and creams. If you want to spice things up just a bit, orange is your color of choice. Orange and red are your complementary colors in a palette that relies on the two closest colors on the color wheel. You can definitely liven things up by opting for contrast. A triad (3-color) palette with contrasting colors calls for blue and green as your colors of choice, in addition to the base brown. Finally, a tetrad (4-color) palette will have mustard yellow, blue, and teal as the complementing colors.
1. A Neutral Color Scheme
The first example on our list is all about a neutral relaxing color scheme. The light-brown couch is a perfect match for the tile flooring, the marble coffee table, and the walls. The same neutral shades are retained in the choice of throw pillows.
Note how the designer added a tender touch of variety in the choice of pillows. They may be of the same shade but they sport two different patterns. That’s a great way to add some interest without straying away from the neutral palette.
You can achieve a similar look with this set of five decorative pillows available here on Amazon.
2. Mixing in some bright blue pillows
In this gorgeous living room, the couch is also light brown but here the designer used the throw pillows to take it in a totally different direction. Instead of sticking with the neutral color scheme, you have several cushions that stand out in blue. They really draw the eye to the furniture, making you want to sprawl and enjoy the peaceful setting.
Note how the other throw pillows keep the placid beige hues but play them up using texture and pattern.
3. Bright orange pillows on a brown couch
Speaking of colorful pillows. This ultra-modern minimalist living room combines bright orange pillows with a brown vinyl faux-leather couch. The orange is complemented by a large lampshade of the exact same color.
The designer keeps the look crisp and clean by minimizing the use of color elsewhere in the room. Even the wall decor is limited to two empty-white squares which match the shelves too.
4. A Minimalist Look with Tan Pillows
One last minimalistic living room. This one using two plants as the only colorful elements in the room. The rest is all about mocha and beige, in their grayer forms. Three pillows in lighter tones, make the couch match the two-toned wall to a T.
5. Keeping is simple with brown patterns
6. Make the brown couch your focal point
A simple brown living room set of a leather brown couch and a light-colored armchair, really makes this sofa the star. The throw pillows complement this couch, without stealing the show. All of the pillows share the same humble pattern – all in brown shades – and the brown color is also present in the pictures on the wall above the sofa.
A wonderful mid-century design – just check out this gorgeous three-legged coffee table! – with a brown leather two-seater that proudly takes its place as the focal point in the room. Not to distract from the beauty of the item itself, the designer chose to match it with simple square throw pillows in three shades of brown.
7. A touch of industrialism softened with pillows
A more traditional living room, with a nice industrial touch brought forward by the palette-based coffee table as well as the wheels under the sofas and table. The mocha couches are complemented by the neutral shades of multiple throw pillows, in a range going from cream to coffee, as well as a variety of geometric patterns.
8. A dark brown sectional with neutral pillows
Moving on to deep coffee L-shaped couch in a mid-century modern living room. The original large cushions in the same deep brown offer a nice contrast with the simple square cream-colored throw pillows. Note how these pillows also match the rest of the furniture in the room, fitting the overall coffee & cream color palette.
9. A fluffy touch of comfort
A more eclectic living room, with a southwestern rug, oriental bamboo plants, a rustic huge wooden coffee table and a Scandinavian-themed ottoman and decor items. With the single throw pillow, the designer added another Scandinavian motif, choosing a bright white faux-fur item.
10. Geometric patterns on pillows add detail to the couch area
This luxurious lakeside living room has a matching opulent leather couch. The cushions are lavish enough that they only require a minimal addition of a few small square throw pillows. If you look closely, you’ll notice the geometric patterns on these pillows have red in them, matching the red touches in the red decor items around the room.
11. A dark brown sectional with classic pillows
A traditional living room, with beautiful wood flooring and a fireplace. The dark brown leather couch strengthens the overall sense of masculine opulence. The throw pillows don’t steal the show here. They’re few and far between and match the room color palette, keeping the overall look warm yet subdued and respectful.
12. A classic cozy living room
A more vibrant feel and look in this eclectic living room design. The couch happens to be a bright reddish-brown and the throw pillows are all about comfort. They are in easy-on-the-eye simple shades of cream and brown, and fun knitted patterns.
13. Mixing neutral pillows on Mocha couch
This tan-brown L-shaped couch leaves the stage open for a gorgeous, unique coffee table made of wood and a huge slab of marble. The throw pillows are there for comfort, providing a touch of variety with their color. One pillow is a deep chocolate brown matching the table. The other two are striped pillows, mixing the dark brown with the tan shade of the couch.
14. Combining traditional comfort with opulence
This wonderful open well-lit living room has a traditional velvety tortilla-colored sofa. Its three-sided shape creates an intimate island within the open home layout that makes you want to lie down and read a book – or take a nap! And you have a selection of fluffy pillows in neutral shades and patterns that will make you feel all cozy and protected. And a throw blanket too for good measure.
15. Brown sofa style with a single matching cushion
Beautiful modern eclectic apartment living space with a dark grayish-brown chestnut-colored couch. One monochromatic dark brown pillow is contrasted with a single yellow pillow, matching the flower arrangement on the coffee table.
16. Going wild with the number of pillows – but mild with colors and patterns
This desert-sand sofa in an industrial-style reading corner has a row of light-colored cushions, in various shades and geometric patterns. They match the industrial look quite well, even though they look soft and inviting.
17. A stylish Bohemian living room
Check out this boho-style living room. A gorgeous reddish-brown couch is adorned by a variety of fabric colors and textures that go so well with the overall retro-chic look!
18. Shabby chic pastel pillows on a brown couch
Love this feminine shabby-chic living room where a floral throw pillow ties together the painting on the wall as well as the flower arrangement. The couch itself is dark chocolate brown, brought to life with an assortment of three pillows, one of them a fluffy furry white rectangle one.
19. Red pillows for a deluxe decorative effect
As we said in the introduction, you can have colors too! Look at this beautiful living room, where an umber brown sofa and cushions are brought to life with deep red throw pillows. These are perfectly matched to a few other decor items, and to the patio furniture too! The overall impression is of a lavish traditional living room.
20. A fresh and stylish look
A deep brown couch and chaise lounge are the focal points in this otherwise white, light, and airy living room. So airy, it even has a mirrored wall! To break away from the somber brown, the designer used light-colored throw pillows. Note the brilliant use of sage green throw pillows and one hot pink throw pillow – that matches the green and pink floral pattern on the chairs.
21. Matching the rugs, walls, and furniture – and cushions too!
Another colorful option – a single teal throw pillow is all it takes to echo the teal wall. The brown and teal rug ties the look together, including the chocolate brown opposite wall. An additional cream pillow matches the Ikea armchair. Overall, a very pleasant and welcoming look.
22. Brown and yellow can look great together
A gorgeous eclectic living room, bringing together modern, industrial, and Asian elements. The careful choice of colors brings the entire design together for a perfectly matched look. The two bright yellow throw pillows echo the bright yellow armchairs. They’re complemented by the brown bolsters and those at middle-ground pillows in a geometric pattern that encompasses both brown and yellow.
23. Going without
Last on our list, a great example of the fourth option we mentioned in the introduction: No pillows at all. A great-looking leather couch works well with no pillows at all. It still managed to be a centerpiece, even in a room with such a beautiful array of plants.
We hope these tips and pictures helped and we’ve inspired you to make the right choice of throw pillows for your brown couch!