How to Mix and Match Outdoor Throw Pillows
We love a good outdoor pillow mix. Mixing color and pattern is an art form, but there’s also a “science” to getting that mix right. Putting together a good pillow combo can also be a unique and personal way to revive your outdoor space. That’s what makes it so fun. Kellie Smith, co-founder of SmithHönig, likes to push both boundaries and buttons, mixing color and texture with strategic abandon and always with an eye to glam things up. That’s how she styles her personal outdoor space, too.
Pictured here is the patio of her mid-century glam pad, featuring a personal mix of colors and patterns, including a chindi rug used as a throw.
Here are three of Kellie's design tips for mixing and matching outdoor pillows.
Pick an Outdoor Pillow Pattern to Build On
The Sebra Stripe outdoor pillow is a great base for mixing and matching. The abstract stripe helps ground other patterns, and the array of colors can tie various colors together, seamlessly. Try it with blue, pink, lavender, yellow, brown or rust. Used on it’s own, the Sebra Stripe pillow can go completely classic, as seen on simple iron outdoor chaises...
…or, as at SmithHönig co-founder Kellie Smith’s family lake house, the Sebra Stripe outdoor pillow can go unflinchingly bold. Here, it’s mixed with a bright orange Adirondack chair made using recycled plastic bottles. It looks fabulous with navy, too.
For a softer palette of outdoor pillows, mix in a shibori pattern in an unexpected colorway, like moss green or berry. Sarisa Munoz of @myindigoleopardhome created a stunning oasis in her backyard using a variety of SmithHönig patterned pillows. Total desert vibes here!
Use Outdoor Pillows to Create a Global Mix
Designer and influencer Seana Freeman, @bellybaila, shows off a fall outdoor makeover that celebrates color and comfort. “I love that SmithHönig boldly embraces color and pattern and influences from around the world, and actually spends time talking about where they came from,” said Freeman. She featured multiple outdoor pillows in her space and they all worked wonderfully together to create a bold, bright and inviting gathering spot.
Using a palette of blues, orange and pink, Seana created a luxe, layered space on her back deck that's full of pattern and color. Wicker, wood and lots of plants help ground her design.
Choose Outdoor Pillows in Soft Patterns
Want to master an outdoor mix of color and pattern, but in a slightly more subtle way? Choose two or more patterns in similar colors. Select less bold or graphic patterns and a more subtle palette for your outdoor pillows.
Bonus: Indoor Patterns Work on Outdoor Pillows
Get playful. Create something exotic. Create a sense of place. Be inspired by your favorite indoor patterns. Use leopard outdoors and layer it up! Hot!