I never design a space without including fabrics for throw pillows because I truly believe they make or break a living room. Here are some guidelines to get yours just right:
1. If your cushions match your sofa (that's usually standard when you buy one), grab them and run, do not walk, to give them to your nearest thrift store!! That's the first step to update your look. The exception to this is if you have a large sofa or sectional, just as long as you also include the decorative ones that pull the room together.
3. If you do have solid coloured cushions, make sure they are pulling together other colours in the room. Here Jeffrey Bilhuber has repeated the caramel tones of the chair in the toss cushions on the sofa as well as the orange to work with the drapery and tie the room together.
4. If you buy a patterned toss cushion (instead of a solid, like the ones shown above), make sure that pattern picks up at least one colour that is already in your space. This toss cushion [below] would be fabulous on a black sofa, but not as coordinated sitting on a blue one.
Part of the reason why this room by Ralph Lauren feels so luxurious and comfortable is because of the layered area rugs and kilims in addition to the wonderful and skillful combination of solid and patterned cushions. Notice that every colour in this room has been repeated in the cushions.
5. The easiest way to buy new cushions (without taking your living room with you) is to take a fan deck of paint colours (you can get one in any paint store, and every home owner should have one) and find the paint chips that match the furniture already in the space. Then when you are out shopping, you will have an easy reference already in your wallet for determining if that pillow will look just as great in your bedroom or living room as it does in the store!