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How To Dress A Sofa With A Throw

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For us, going to a well-designed hotel starts with the lobby or lounge. They’re there to make the first impression – and when it comes to hotels, those definitely count. A lobby should invite guests in, ooze comfort and act as the host to conversations over coffees or night caps. If you want to recreate this boutique hotel experience at home, a great way to start is by using throws to dress your sofa. 


If you like a country house look, then think natural dyed tweed and rich wool textures in rich earth tones like sage and aubergine. If you are more of a city slicker, then subtle toned velvets, neutral coloured cashmere or luxurious faux fur throws will give a sophisticated look to your living space. Ultimately, a beautiful throw will add style and flair to your home.

There are several ways to dress your sofa using a throw. The more casual it looks, the harder it is to place. So take a look below as we step through how to get that perfect look.

So, How Do You Arrange A Throw On A Sofa/Couch?

Placing a throw on a sofa sounds easy-peasy but it just isn’t!  It can make the room look a mess or just wrong if not styled carefully.  We are going to look at five sure fire ways to style your throw so that it looks perfect, from being neatly folded on the seat or arm of your couch to the ultra casual draped over the back.  Let’s look at each in detail.

Neat and Tidy

This is an understated look which gives a serene feel and is very easy to achieve.  Best to use a thinner fabric such as organic cotton or cashmere for a touch of luxury.  Fold the throw into 3 vertically, then in half on the horizontal. Fold it over the back of the sofa and tuck it into the seat cushion.  Make sure it is straight!  It can be placed in the middle or offset. This works best with minimal or no cushions on the couch.  Alternatively it can just be placed on the seat cushion, tucked in at the back and front – depending on your type of sofa.  If it has legs it looks good hanging over the edge.

Over the Arm #1

This works best with a smaller throw – the size will depend on how big your sofa arms are.  Fold into 3 on the vertical and drape over the arm of the sofa, extending slightly over the seat cushion.  If there is a fringe or tassels these should be displayed on the overhang.  This looks effective with a contrasting cushion placed on top.

Over the Arm #2

This over the arm style is a more relaxed version of the one above.  It looks great here using a contrasting colour to the sofa and a mix of cushion tones and textures.  Simply fold once on the horizontal, pinch the middle and drape over the arm.  Tassels and fringes look particularly effective.

The Waterfall

This is similar to Neat and Tidy but the throw extends along the seat cushion.  Fold into 3 vertically and simply drape your throw over the back, down the front of the back cushion, and down onto the seat.  You can have it just sitting over the seat cushion edge or down to the floor (but not onto it).  If you are going for contrasting colours this makes quite a statement and would suit a high drama palette.

The Flip and Toss

This is the look for ultimate comfort, imagine hygge and a roaring fire.  Best dressed with lots of contrasting, textural cushions.  Take a throw with a soft handle, faux fur, velvet or soft wool, fold in half vertically then hold it on the fold, in the middle.  Toss it to the back corner of the sofa.  The quicker the better and it should land beautifully draped.  Place as many cushions as there is room for and you will never want to get up again!

Dressing an L-shaped Sofa

A throw placed on the end of an L-shaped sofa, invites you to stretch out and watch that favourite film.  It can be folded neatly in thirds then placed so that there are equal lengths on either side, or as shown here, a more relaxed look with the drape extending on to the floor.

Throw in a Basket

Whilst the throw isn’t actually on the sofa, it is still dressing it by introducing other textures.  Set an artisan, wicker or felt basket beside the sofa and place in a couple of throws casually leaving some draped over the edge.  This creates a relaxed ambience and is very practical when you need to protect your sofa from a visiting dog!

How To Choose The Perfect Throw

With such a huge array of throws to choose from, it can be quite overwhelming to decide what to go for.  What look do you wish to achieve? Cosy and warm, smart and sophisticated?  Are you bold with colour or prefer a muted palette?  

If you feel unsure, begin by keeping the same colour as the sofa but try a shade lighter or darker in a different material.  If you have a linen sofa, try pure new wool with a relief pattern.  If you have a velvet finish, go for slub silk throw and cotton cushions in complementary shades.

If you would like to use a throw in a contrasting colour use a colour wheel to find the perfect shade..

The current trend for Organic Minimalism lends itself beautifully to dressing your sofa, and it is virtually foolproof.  Here’s our two step guide:

  1. Take one or two neutral colours from a natural palette
  2. Mix up the textures.  

Like we said, it truly is a foolproof process.

Is A Throw A Blanket?

A throw is a type of blanket designed to be more of a decorative textile piece than a functional blanket.  Of course throws can be used to keep you warm too, but they tend to be smaller than a blanket, which makes it easier to style.  They come in a huge variety of styles, materials and price ranges from under ten pounds to hundreds of pounds depending on the fabric and designer.

We hope this has given you some inspiration to have a go at dressing your sofa like an interior designer.  It’s a quick and easy way to change the look and feel of your living room without the expense of re-decoration or a brand new sofa.  This weekend you could be having your very own mini-break – at home.

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