Selecting sofa pillows

Color Punch

Remember this easy trick the next time you're walking down the pillow aisle at your favorite home store: Pick up two pillows in a soft, solid color, and then buy a third pillow with a bright pattern. This combo will keep your sofa neat and simple but with a twist -- like hanging a vivid painting on a beige wall.

Asymmetrical sofa ensemble

Green Scheme

This is for anyone who doesn't have to have a perfectly symmetrical sofa ensemble. Place two of the same square pillows on one end, and toss a wool throw on the other because it gives the sofa a casual, please-sit-here attitude.

Hint: To get this look, first fold the throw in half, and then lay it slightly at an angle on one end of the sofa.

Use contrast when choosing pillows and throws

Warm and Cozy

Consider contrast when choosing pillows and throws. These larger chocolate brown velvet pillows allow the smaller cream felt ones to really pop. Put a pair in each corner, and then add a round orange silk pillow on one side to keep the mix from looking matchy-matchy. Fold a throw in thirds, and place it underneath one of the pillow sets.

Vibrant red kitchen

Kitchen: Red Hot

It's not surprising that the color red is associated with power and romance. Like your first crush, it packs quite a punch. The red-striped Roman shade revs up this otherwise neutral room. Continue the vibrant look by choosing bold red accessories, such as canisters and a tall pitcher. Add touches of yellow for extra warmth.

Soft white kitchen

Kitchen: Sweet Treat

If cottage charm is what you're after, begin with a generous dose of white: a bread box, a pitcher, a large pedestal bowl, and three canisters. On the window, add a pastel Roman shade to maintain the room's softness. The key is to keep it subtle.

Eclectic orange kitchen

Kitchen: Splash of Orange

For an eclectic look, pair accessories in several colors and textures. Sleek silver canisters pair nicely with a rustic basket. Like flowers on a green bush, a couple of bright orange containers can jazz up a green-and-brown color scheme. Bypass the florist, and pop a bouquet of utensils into a tall vase.

Arrange a shapely collection of accessories

Cool and Contemporary

Fill the prime piece of real estate in front of your sofa with the right building blocks. The key is to use objects of varying heights.

This dark wood table is a study in rectangles. Go with the theme, and arrange a shapely collection of accessories (square plates, tall cylinders, and an oval bowl) on top of it. The final result is like a geometry lesson with style.

Low: Apples are too traditional for this mod vignette, so opt for something with more zest. Limes are lovely on stacked square plates.

Middle: Sunny lemons become something special in a sculptural bowl. They also add a spot of cheerful color.

High: Gain height from a trio of slim bottles.

Warm up a sleek surface with a punch of color

Warm and Elegant

A two-tiered glass-and-iron coffee table is a great choice for an elegant look. Warm up its sleek surface with a punch of color. Accessories in red do the trick here.

Low: The coffee-table book is a classic choice. Pick one with a cover in tones of orange and red.

Middle: Granny Smith apples are the go-to accessories of photo stylists because they lend a striking pop of color. Put them in a red bowl.

High: A tall, spiky plant is dramatic, especially in a planter with a floral pattern. Such an addition brings life to the table's arrangement.

Choose an upholstered ottoman instead of a coffee table

Light and Bright

Instead of a coffee table, choose an upholstered ottoman with a crisp white slipcover for a soft, cottage-inspired look. (This piece can also be used for additional seating when entertaining.) A large, low basket adds a stable surface for display.

Low: Pretty votive holders set the color scheme. Plus, small candles are an easy way to light up any arrangement.

Middle: A decorative box adds hiding space for the remote controls.

High: A dramatic orchid stands tall over the basket. Its thin silhouette is unobtrusive.

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