02/19/2014 05:17 EST | Updated 04/22/2014 05:59 EDT

Accessory Perfection: Styling Your Sofa With Pillows and Throws

One of the behind-the-scenes truths of television, like in design, is that so much can change at the last minute. Recently I put together a lesson on how to accessorize your sofa for Cityline, complete with looks to suit any mood, but at the 11th hour, the segment had to be cut for time to make way for some live coverage of the 2014 Grammy Awards.

One fun photoshoot later (improvised in the TIDG design studio), you can now see three of those looks, with lessons on how to achieve them -- when you too want a spur-of-the-moment change to your decor, consider these tips, and you won't have to wing it!


Look One: Classic Glam

-Mixing gold into a neutral scheme is one of the best ways to create depth and the feeling of colour without breaking out of your achromatic comfort zone, especially when mixed with hints of silver tones as well for understated contrast.

-One of the best things about small rugs like a sheepskin hide is they can easily move between rooms to create fresh looks, so why not try layering one on your sofa? The rich texture of the rug (now a throw) and the sequined pillows create the tactile feeling of luxury associated with Old Hollywood glamour.

-If you love your sofa as is, you don't have to fill it with pillows. Pick up one or two when you find one you love, slowly layering it until it feels right, and remember the rule of 3: this magic number is often the best choice for accessories (it's simply a number the eye naturally loves) so forget perfect symmetry and give your favourite matching pair a third companion for some visual interest.

Get the Look: Sheepskin - IKEA, Pillows - West Elm


Look Two: Sea of Calm

-If you want a stronger infusion of colour in your space, picking one hue is a safe start. Play with different patterns, textures, and sizes of pillows in the colour family, and you'll have a foolproof look.

-Blue and blue-greens are a major trend colour for 2014, but also ageless. Blue is so present in nature the eye is trained to see it like a neutral, so it's easy to match with any existing pieces -- some other colours may look harsh against black, but blue will always be a Breath of Fresh Air (which may be why this is the name of Benjamin Moore's colour of the year).

Get the Look: All accessories West Elm


Look Three: Rich Heritage

-Throw blankets are an overlooked way to transform the appearance of a sofa, and even an entire space. Because they can be folded or unfolded to vastly different shapes, they can create either a subtle accent or a big splash.

-Whether you like the relaxed appeal of a casually draped blanket or prefer the crisp formality of a perfectly placed pashmina, a throw can do so much more than drape over a corner. I often will use my own stock of throws at home to spread out over the cushions for an instant reupholstery job (than I can then restore instantly when my mood changes) - try covering just the seat, or draping the full back.

-A statement piece like this iconic Hudson's Bay Company blanket doesn't need much else. It adds a full palette of colours, so I paired it with just a small additional pop of red and let the bold stripes do all the talking.

Get the Look: All accessories The Bay


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