Image showcases throws from Urbanara.

The word ‘throw’ itself suggests something casual or an afterthought but trust me, when it comes to placing the perfect throw on a bed or chair to finish the styling of a room, a great deal of consideration has gone into selection and placement.

Drape, fold, cascade and fall are just a few things a throw can do. Whether it’s on the end of a bed, the back of a lounge or over the side of an outdoor chair, the type of throw and how it’s displayed will dramatically impact the feel of a space. Here are 5 tips to help you master the art of styling throws:

1. Mood

When used fittingly, a throw can influence the mood of a room. Something with a loose knit or natural fibre casually draped over the arm of an outdoor chair is an invitation to get comfortable with a book while keeping the evening chill at bay. Alternatively, a throw that’s finished with a classic print and neatly folded over the foot of a bed alludes to sophistication and formality. While one is more functional and interactive, the other adds a decorative touch.

Adding a throw to a nursery or child’s playroom is especially fun as you can replace the throws to adapt to your child’s interests. Neutral pastel tones for a newborn’s nursery is nurturing and comfortable versus a stimulating space-themed throw for pre-schoolers to read books under.

Always consider the intention or function of a space before deciding on a rug textile.

Image showcases products from Barefoot Gypsy.

2. Texture

Creating layers in a bedroom is a great way to provide depth and cosiness. In a fairly neutral bedroom, a heavy-textured throw draped over the corner of the bed makes it appear comfy and soft—the perfect place to hide from the world and blissfully lose an afternoon.

But for a more formal style living room, you might want to drape a fur throw over the corner of a leather lounge to create a textural contrast. Always remember, heavier throws work best in block colours and neutral prints or patterns.

Texture can also be a practical consideration, especially when using throws to style outdoor areas. A more tactile throw will hold up much better when exposed to the elements as opposed to something delicate, so don’t let your natural aesthetic overpower the need for a sensible choice.

When styling an outdoor setting, a throw can also trick the eye. A chair made from hard substrates such as iron can visually be softened and appear more comfortable when dressed with a soft and luxurious throw.

3. Layers

As an alternative to using a textured rug to create depth, you can always layer multiple throws to get a similar effect. Imagine a woven throw in pinks, blues, yellows and greens on its own. Now imagine that same throw on top of a deep blue cashmere throw. The look changes, bringing a real focus to the blue in the room.

Layers can achieve more than just a tailored aesthetic to the room; they can also fulfil practical requirements as well. A folded throw over the back of a light-coloured sofa may act as a protective barrier to preserve its delicate nature. If the opportunity has passed to protect your couch or chair, especially when little hands and feet are around, a throw may also prove an affordable stopgap, disguising the damage.

Layers on leather are especially helpful to carry the fabric through the seasons. A throw draped over the arm in winter is an inviting way to curl up and stay warm, where as a throw folded over the back of the leather lounge in summer is a more comfortable way to avoid sticking to the couch in the heat. The contrast of the leather and layered throw can make the room feel cooler or warmer accordingly. Consider alternating between a cotton throw during summer and a wool throw during winter.

Image showcases products from Barefoot Gypsy.

4. Colour

It’s refreshing to change the colours within rooms to move with the seasons. Blue will create a cool and calming effect in a summer living room, where as reds and yellows will warm up a space during winter. Greens will make us feel fresh in the kitchen and purples will activate passion and focus in the office. Using a throw with key colours in it will either create a pop of interest to the eye or can be used to pull together a room’s colour palette.

However when considering using a throw for the purposes of colour, it is equally important to consider proportions. Too much of one colour can make a space feel overwhelming and heavy. There are times when being cautious with your colour selection is the best strategy, and you should simply use the throw to pick up on existing colours used in your space.

5. Pattern

The pattern of a throw can really dictate the style of a room and bring some flair to the space. An Aztec print brings a bit of boho, while a coastal print connects you to the outdoors, and a bespoke illustration print may bring a bit of fun to a child’s bedroom.

Patterns come and go with seasons and trends, but it’s important to ensure the pattern you choose is a reflection of the interior style you’re trying to build. When used harmoniously, pattern is a great way to bring a dose of personality to a neutral room that may be in need of an energy lift.

Using the five key considerations above, throws can be a highly effective yet usually inexpensive boost to your room’s décor. Quickly and easily change the feel of a space to suit your room decorating requirements but always remember mood, texture, layers, pattern and colour!

Kerena Berry is co-founder and Head of Interior Design at Designbx.com, Australia’s first complete online interior design solution, home to over 12,000 home décor products, and the ‘personal shopper’ service that coordinates the supply and delivery of furniture and homewares.

Looking for a new throw? Look no further: