My Best Tips to Display Throw Blankets In Your Living Room

I started my Design Mistakes series many years ago. It began as a way to showcase some of the mistakes I made around my own home while helping others to learn the dos and don’ts when it comes to home design. Well, it quickly turned into my most popular series here on the blog!

Here are some fan-favorite posts from the series.

Design Mistake – Displaying Throw BlanketsThrow blankets can make your couch look so much better. Here are tips on the right way to display throw blankets on the couch in your family room.

We are big fans of throw blankets. They cozy up a bare couch while adding a splash of color, pattern, and texture to the living room space. Plus, they’re essential when you want to snuggle up and get all comfy when lounging in your family room. Yep, throw blankets are a must for just about any couch space and they’re the best way to cozy up your home.

But, there is one design mistake we see over and over again when it comes to throw blankets…

How NOT to Display Throw Blankets

Paint Color: Benjamin Moore’s “Silver Satin” at 150% Intensity //  DIY Picture Ledges // Gray Couch // Marble Coffee Table // Table Basket for Polaroids // White Rug // Letterboard Sign

Far too often we see homeowners keeping their napping blankets out for guests to see. But even worse, we also see them draping the chunky blanket on the back of the couch for easy access. We’re definitely not judging, but we chalk this up as a rookie mistake.

Draping a blanket on the back of the couch is pretty much never a good idea as far as we’re concerned (again, not being judgy just trying to keep it real). The above picture is the “hot dog fold”, where the blanket is folded in half longways and placed on the back of the couch.

The next option is the “hamburger fold”, where the blanket is folded the short way but once again, draped on the back of the couch.

We don’t encourage either of these because they can make any couch look outdated and well…. ugly. But, the good news is we have a secret weapon to step up the couch style, while still keeping that warm and cozy blanket nearby and today we’re spilling the beans.

Throw Blankets Done Right

Now that you’ve seen some cringe-worthy blanket styling, let’s chat about the ways we prefer to style and use throw blankets in our family rooms…

Secret Storage

We all have those huge blankets that are so comfortable. You know the ones we’re talking about. The blanket that you and your significant other fight over when it’s chilly, and the one you wrap yourself up in when you’re feeling sick. It may not be the prettiest blanket around (and it’s usually oversized) but it’s oh-so-cozy.

We both have those blankets in our homes and we use them every single day, but you don’t see them when you look at our family rooms. Instead, they’re hidden in plain sight in a wicker basket.

See that wicker basket on the end of Casey’s couch? It’s full of cozy (not so cute) extra blankets! Every night Casey & Finn get out their designated blankets when they hang on the couch (always fighting over this one…) and they get warm and snuggly. Then, when it’s time for bed, into the storage basket those blankets go! 

This basket is from HomeGoods and it was such a good find.  Love that it has a top because you can’t see the slew of blankets thrown haphazardly inside. Although Finn thinks the basket should belong to a snake charmer…but hell, I like it! 

We used this large basket from Serena & Lily for the family room makeover we completed. It too holds lots of blankets and is a great place for a wide range of blankets!

Baskets without a lid are also an option (the one above is old from Article). Although you’ll have to be a bit more aware of the blankets you put inside. Ideally, it should still work with your home decor and the style of the room.

Now, let’s chat about your favorite throws that you want to display on your couch because they’re pretty or add a pop of color. Here are different ways to display those ones…

Folded Blanket

You can’t go wrong with your blanket neatly folded on the seat or arm of your couch. We often like to do this when the blanket is pretty thin and has a nice pattern. This can be on the arm of your couch, the back of your couch (folded in thirds, off-centered), or draped on the seat of your couch near your decorative pillows. This is a great option and an easy way to layer in texture and color.

Casey does this on the side of her couch with a throw that has tassels.

While Bridget has been playing around with this neutral patterned throw on her new couch. These throw blankets add texture, pattern, and a pop of color to our gray couches. Plus, they’re nice to quickly grab when you want to warm up. Although they’re not nearly as comfortable as the throw blankets we hide in baskets.

Draped Casually

Casey: Bridget is the queen of doing the effortless blanket drape on her couch. I’m always way too intimidated to try out that look because it often gets bunchy or messy on my couch. But somehow she can toss the blanket on the back of her couch and it looks chic and effortless. How does she do it?!

Bridget: The key here is using a thin, somewhat petite blanket. This is not going to work well with a bulky or large blanket.

Then all I do is spread it out up the back of the couch and drape it down into the seat of the couch. I let it sit pretty naturally and then play around with the areas that look a bit bulky by spreading them out. If there is a part that’s still not working well, usually I can hide that under the pillows I set on top of the draped throw.

I swear, it’s way easier than it even sounds! I usually use this styling method on areas of the couch that are a bit slouchy. This is a great way to hide any imperfections! For more tips on hiding an imperfect couch, check out this blog post.

Favorite Throws & Baskets

My favorite throw blankets and baskets

Curved Basket // Barefoot Dreams Blanket // Chunky White Knit Throw // Blue Throw // Storage Large Basket // Plaid Throw // Rope Basket // Faux Fur Blanket // Mustard Yellow Accent Blanket

So there you have it, the multiple ways to combat one of our biggest pet peeves in the family room! We are all about being cozy in our homes (hello,  Netflix bingefests), but there are ways to be comfy without compromising the look of your family room.

Hopefully, we can all say no to the hot dog fold on the back of the couch…

And enlist the help with a new basket and some throw styling to step up our couch game once and for all. What do you say?!

Throw Blankets – Frequently Asked Questions

My best tips to create a cohesive home

Here are some questions we often get about throw blankets.

How Many Throw Blankets In A Living Room?

I think it’s always a good idea to have a throw blanket on the couch and an additional one displayed on a nearby chair. Then, store blankets in storage ottomans or wicker baskets. That way everyone can have their own blanket for movie night!

Can I Put a Blanket On The Very Back of A Sofa?

The back of our couch in the living room

While I don’t love adding a throw blanket to the top of the couch (see the hot dog fold above), I do like it when a chic throw is used to conceal the back of a couch. For example, I have this gorgeous throw blanket tucked neatly onto the back of my white sofa to keep it clean and add visual interest and create a layered look. This one wouldn’t be for everyday use, but instead, it would act as an extra layer to the couch.

What Do I Do During the Cold Winter Months?

I usually suggest swapping out your throw blankets for heavier ones. A wool throw or knitted throw blanket is always a welcome idea.

What Do I Do During the Summer Months?

Just because it’s warm outside, doesn’t mean you need to put all of your blankets away (because the a/c is probably cranking!). I still think you should display a few pretty throw blankets on your sofa and in a nearby basket. You can change up the material and color for something a bit lighter.

Can Living Room Throw Blankets Be Washed?

Maybe. Check the tag on your specific blanket to see the care instructions. Most of mine can be washed in our washing machine and some can be dried. Others, I hang to dry. We use them so much and I want them to be clean and smelling good!

Should I Use a Blanket Ladder?

I think blanket ladders can sometimes work depending on the style of your home and living space. I love that they add vertical interest to your walls while providing functional storage.

Can You Share Your Favorite Blankets?

I love this one for styling and we own about four of these super cozy throw blankets. The perfect blanket for movie nights on the couch!

Do You Have Tips for Throw Pillows Too?

My best pillow styling tips

I’m breaking down my dos and don’ts when it comes to choosing throw pillows for your couch. Check out this post for all of the scoop.

My best throw pillow styling tips

Basilia Velvet Pillow // Striped Lumbar // Black Plaid Pillow Set // Green Velvet // Colorful Lumbar // Striped Set With Leather Detailing // Striped Pillow // Blue Lumbar


Catch up on More Rookie Mistakes

The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.