How To Style A Throw

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The clue is in the name: your throw is designed to be a somewhat temporary addition to your sofa, bed or chair, and it has a few other jobs too. It can be a blanket to snuggle up inside when there’s a chill or you just want to be extra toasty; it can be purely cosmetic, adding a splash of color or neutrality to an opposing piece of furniture; or you might just want it to breathe new life into a chair that’s still comfy but just looks a little rough around the edges. Whatever your styling needs, here’s how to throw it in your favor.

How to Put a Throw on a Sofa

Sofas are the natural habitat of the throw. And there are plenty of ways to apply the throw to achieve your goals. Let’s take a look at the best of them.

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The Coverall

The maximal way to throw on a sofa is to cover every square inch in your luscious new sofa throw. It can breathe new life into an old but perfectly functional sofa, or satisfy your need to have different looks through the seasons - a floral throw or blanket and a festive one to match the Christmas decor, for example. Covering your sofa also protects it, keeping it looking newer for longer, so throw one on if you have pets, children or wine-loving guests coming round. Check out our throw size guide to help you choose the best coverall throw.

Retreat Chunky Knit Throw

Over the Arm

Slinging a throw over just one arm of the sofa makes for a beautifully imbalanced piece of theater. The message is that you’re free to use it as a blanket or just lean on it for a bit of added comfort, and you’ll add a splash to an otherwise neutral sofa just where it needs it.

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Casual As You Like

Rules? Who needs ’em? Just let your throw live up to its name and have it lying around on the sofa, ready to use at a moment’s notice. The irony is that no matter how slovenly it appears to have been put in place, its imperfection makes it personal – guests won’t think it’s something that’s too scared to be touched and enjoyed, and your home will be all the more welcoming for it.

If you’re wondering how to dress a sofa with a luxury throw but none of the above appeal to you, there’s always the simple act of lying it over the back of the sofa. Again, it can add a little joie de viver to an otherwise uninspiring or unfashionable couch, and is a great opportunity to use a real head-turning image without too much commitment.

How to Dress a Chair With a Throw

All the rules for dressing a sofa also apply to chairs, except of course on a smaller scale. You might not want to hide your chair away behind an oversize throw, but you can still achieve the temporary re-upholstery that comes with an all-covering throw, just as you can with the sofa. Alternatively, drape it over the arm or the back, or simply leave it hanging randomly in the corner – it really doesn't matter, as long as it coordinates with the chair and does its aesthetic and utilitarian job.

Made Goods Mirror

How to Dress a Bed With a Throw

Finally, we need to know how to style a throw blanket on a bed to achieve that boutique hotel look in your own home. In many ways the throw is just a blanket that has managed to colonize living rooms and studies through its sheer coziness and color, so it should come as no surprise to learn that using one to dress a bed isn’t too difficult. With many of us switching the heat off overnight, it can form a grabbable extra layer that’s handy when you need it, and that also makes it a guest room essential. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a bit of fun with your bedroom throw – you’ll always be able to find something that brightens the most functional of bedrooms.

Blue throw on bed
K3 by Kenzo Takada

The Classic Runner

The commonest way to dress a bed with a throw is simply to have a narrow runner going from side to side, made from a half, third or quarter folded throw, with a small gap of 20–40cm before the end of the bed. There are also custom runners that fit on the various bed widths that are 40–60cm in depth, purely for the aesthetic appeal of the runner look. The optimum look is to match the runner with the pillows, so you’ll often find them in sets. It’s a neat, classic look that does a lot of work breaking down the vast expanses of a monochrome duvet cover.

Over the Edge

If there’s no footboard, you’ve got an opportunity to place your throw right at the end, overhanging the edge of the bed. Unlike the classic runner above, there’s no duvet cover showing beyond the throw, so you break the color or pattern into two distinct areas, for a modern, angular look. It’s perfect for adding contrast, as there is no reversion to the main sheet color, but you can also make your throw an intermediate step between duvet and carpet, or Ottoman, if there’s one at the foot of the bed.

Gray throw
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Nice and Easy

Finally, let everything hang loose with an artfully slung throw at a quirky angle to the bed, ruffled up and with no attempt made at contrast or complement. You can also have your throw pick out a color from elsewhere in the bedroom’s decor if you like. The pillows are ideal for this, but why not match the throw to a pair of bathrobes hanging on the back of the door? It’s the kind of unnecessary indulgence that is guaranteed to raise a smile.

Throw it Your Way

Hopefully we’ve given you a few ideas about getting that throw just right for living rooms, conservatories, lounges and bedrooms. The great thing is that there’s no commitment one way or the other – you can experiment with different looks and arrangements day by day, and you’re guaranteed to land on the perfect look sooner or later. Now you just have to resist giving it a cuddle, however cozy it looks.

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