Try This: A Blanket over the Back of your Sofa as a Design Element

January 20, 2021

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You can find our living room sources here!

After the holidays, I shared how I spent some time playing musical furniture (a favorite game of mine), and suddenly home never felt so good. Even our living room, which has already evolved entirely since we moved in, received some zhushing and now all I want to do is cozy up and read a book under one of those lamps (I like to have options). There’s one thing in this space that really levels up the warm and intimate mood though. Any guesses?

You’re my kind of people if you guessed the blanket over the back of the sofa.  Not tossed over the side, but layered on the back–as a design element (although totally usable, too!)

If you have more of an open living space where your sofa ISN’T pushed up against a wall (a good idea!), then you’re probably staring at quite a bit of bare back. A large rectangle of one tone can easily be broken up with a tasteful throw across the back–it’s stupid simple but adds so much! An easy furniture glow-up. 

I don’t see this done enough and I have no clue why. It’s an instant way to add interest, so much so that it kind of feels like cheating your way into getting a whole new sofa without the actual money, commitment, and hassle (win, win, win). Plus the ease of switching the blanket around whenever you’re in need of a room refresh is what does it for me.

On our sofa upstairs in the living room (above) we folded the blanket over the back of the sofa long ways and in the basement (below), we folded it in half short-ways and folded it over, tucked behind the couch cushions!

See more of our basement and sources here!

Introducing a blanket over the back of the sofa brings a different textural element and yes, it’s a nice aesthetic touch to the space, but it can also protect your furniture from all sorts of daily wear and tear–especially in a high traffic area. 

Definitely use a throw blanket you already have if that works, but I thought it would be fun to include a few favorites that I think would look stunning over the back of a sofa. I would also love to see how you make this work in YOUR spaces so go ahead and tag me in your Instagram stories if you try it!


1. Boucle Faux Mohair Throw Blanket $25
2. Colby Handwoven Stripe Blanket $27
3. Solid Gauze Throw Blanket $29
4. Stitched Line Throw $35
5. Saro Plaid Cotton Throw $38
6. Sahara Fringed Woven Throw $39
7. Boucle Throw Blanket $40
8. Handmade Wool Throw $55
9. Fringed Striped Linen Blanket $55
10. Amorie Throw $75
11. Cashmere Camel Border Stripe Throw $84
12. Linen Throw $88
13. Broken Weave Cotton Throw $104
14. Lina Throw Blanket $110
15. Sojourn Throw $113
16. Akriti Charcoal Throw $450


Here are two more beautiful examples of this trend done right! See how it adds so much interest to the back of a sofa? Can’t wait to see what you do!

via Light and Dwell

via Amber Interiors

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What do you think?

  1. C Petry says:

    Amber Lewis has been doing this for YEARS! I remember seeing a picture of one of her living rooms and immediately going to my stash of throws to find a suitable one to drape across the back of our basement sectional. It really does add sooooo much visual interest! I’m wondering if this isn’t seen as much because so many people still just don’t float their furniture out from against walls? (But they should ????)

  2. Stacey Marcus says:

    I’m in LOVE with the sofa that has the blue pillows on it. Could you please tell me who makes it and what fabric you chose? Love it!

  3. Dawn says:

    It would be awesome if furniture designers added some built in ooomph to the backs of sofas like this. Hint, hint.

  4. KOK says:

    Love this. It’s also very functional for the people who are always cold — like myself!

  5. Rebecca says:

    I had to replicate this trend when you first showed your living room after rearranging it the last time ;) The back of our couch is close to our eating area so I used a large Turkish towel so it was an easy wash to clean it from little fingers. I think it turned out great!

  6. Karen says:

    I love seasonal throws for extra color and a cozy cover when I get chilly. But they become a practical consideration with my dogs. One dog is an absolute PigPen, and a washable throw keeps my sofa from needing to be cleaned so often. I just make sure they aren’t a weave or knit that can be destroyed by toe nails.

  7. Liz M says:

    Yes I love this. Our house is open concept so our sofa ‘floats’ and I love to switch up different blankets. For the winter I have a heavier wool blanket. For the summer its usually a lighter color/fabric. Now if I could keep my 4 year old from constantly pulling it off as he runs by :)

  8. Jennifer says:

    I just wanted to drop a note to say I appreciate how you always include the price of all your items next to their links. It makes it easy to narrow down what I know will work for my budget, instead of clicking over and being disappointed! It’s such a small thing, but it really does make my reading experience more enjoyable. (I know this might lose you some “clicks” as well, which is why I appreciate that CLJ has prioritized user-friendliness over making more cash.)

  9. Aminah says:

    It’s so funny because this was labeled a design mistake by the diy playbook a couple years ago. But I think they specifically meant draping the blanket over the back cushions, thus covering up the design of the sofa. I also recently did the same thing you did with the throws on the back of the leather lounge chairs and a couple days later I saw your story where you had rearranged stuff in your living room and I felt a little pang of pride because I had just done that, haha. Thanks for being a great inspiration every single day. Also Greta playing the ukulele yesterday was precious. God bless. :)

  10. Victoria says:

    We keep one on our sofa to reduce the impact oils/dirt/product from the head have on the sofa. It’s easy to change up seasonally.

    The best moment is when you need a blanket and realise you don’t have to get up! Just yank it over and you’re cosy.

  11. Cici Haus says:

    I’ve been doing this for years. It brings the color I crave to my neutral linen sofa, but allows me to change it up when I get bored. I’ve used a navy blanket with white polka dots, a brown plaid (similar to #6!) and now it’s a green army-style blanket with bright orange stitching!

  12. Saw Jenna Sue do this in her new playroom too- it looks so great and adds a lot of interest to an otherwise boring spot!

  13. Kelly says:

    I noticed the blanket over the back of the couch in your living room update post a while back and I was all *mind blown* “why didn’t I think of that!?!” My mom made me a beautiful quilted throw, but it’s quite big . It’s great for snuggling under, but I always struggled with where to put it because it is way to big to toss in a basket and even folded up it looks bulky sitting around. It fits perfectly over the back of our Charley sectional and shows off my mom’s handiwork! Thanks for another great idea!

  14. patricia says:

    I’m more of a leopard print lover myself, but that fits with the look of our living room. With our layout, I more often fold a blanket at the end of the sectional. I do appreciate the extra layer of color and texture blankets bring, especially in winter. I want to feel almost cuddled at home.
    All the better to read a good book and enjoy a cup of tea or cocoa.

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