A good throw is as comforting as it is beautiful, providing a little extra warmth whenever you need it and making a room feel more welcoming and relaxed.
“It’s a homey thing,” said Ameé Allsop, a designer in East Hampton, N.Y., who often creates minimalist spaces warmed up by textured linen and other textiles.
And throws aren’t just for winter, said Ms. Allsop, who recommended having one slung over the sofa all year long, but changing the materials with the seasons. “In winter, I look for textured wool, mohair or cashmere,” she said. “But in summer, having a linen or cotton throw is nice.”
Whenever possible, you should see a throw in person — and touch it — before buying it, to make sure it feels as good as it looks. A wool throw that appears thick online could turn out to be disappointingly thin, and one that looks soft could be scratchy.
Which kind of defeats the purpose. As Ms. Allsop noted, “It’s nicer when it’s buttery or fluffy.”
Should you choose a throw in a solid color or one with a pattern? Either is good, Ms. Allsop said, but “I tend to go more for texture than for patterns — the weave almost gives a pattern, but is more timeless.”
Where to put it? The sofa is an obvious place, but throws are just as inviting draped over the foot of a bed or on a chair in a family room or study.
Which materials are best for warm weather? “I use materials like a double-faced linen fabric that’s almost like a gauze,” Ms. Allsop said, for a soft throw that isn’t too hot.
New Zealand wool throw by Arthur Arbesser
$149 at Hem: 310-980-3029 or hem.com
AbcDNA Mohair Throw
Cushy throw made of mohair and wool
$350 at ABC Carpet & Home: 212-473-3000 or abchome.com
Henley Wool Throw
Chunky throw knitted from thick woolen yarn
$598 at Serena & Lily: 866-597-2742 or serenaandlily.com
Color Block Throw
Multicolored wool throw by Hella Jongerius for Vitra
$275 at Design Within Reach: 800-944-2233 or dwr.com
By TIM McKEOUGH