It’s been said that cushions are the “red lipstick of the lounge”. That extra flair and touch which has great impact and can pull the whole room together.

We’ve pulled together some pointers to help you in the process of choosing and styling cushions for your home.

Scatter Cushions
1. Use Good Inserts.
You need a strong foundation and that means considering what is inside your cushion. Feather filled inserts are luxurious and our number one recommendation. They are more expensive, so for a more cost effective option, choose a good quality, plump, hypoallergenic fibre-filled insert instead.

2. What fabrics?
Try to go for the best quality you can afford; opting for natural materials like cotton and linen. These are healthier, wash well, and tend to be more durable. You also want to consider usage - e.g. if there are young children around the house and if your cushions are likely to get battered and subject to spills etc, you’ll want cushions that are washable and durable. We don’t recommend intricate, expensive embroideries and silks in the toddler years!

3. What size?
A square 50cm x 50cm is a good place to start - it’s neither too big nor too little. Consider a mixture of shapes and sizes - e.g mixing 50cm x 50cm square cushions with rectangular 30cm x 50cm cushions for variety and interest. An arrangement of square cushions (Some large, some medium) paired with a bolster cushion on a bed is particularly effective.

4. How many cushions?
It depends on the sofa or armchair. Too few cushions can look a bit mean and meagre while too many is...well, too much! It’s also usually not comfortable to sit against, so if you find you’re having to take cushions off the sofa to allow people to sit down, it’s probably too many. A good rule of thumb is to consider an odd number of cushions - groups of 3, 5 and 7 on sofas work well.

5. Mixing patterns and colours.
It used to be fashionable to go matchy-matchy with our cushions i.e. carrying the same cushions across all sofas and chairs in a room. It can look a bit dated now though so we advise mixing up your colours, patterns, and textures for a more interesting look.

A good way to do this is to pick a “hero” fabric - a fabric or cushion you’ve come across that you *love*. Use it as a basis for the whole cushion aesthetic. Pick two or three colours from the “hero” fabric and select additional cushions or fabrics in those colours. This creates a very cohesive but interesting scheme. For a real elevated touch, consider playing with the scale of patterns on your cushions - mixing large, small and utilising plain fabrics and cushions.

A helpful pointer is that if you have a neutral and muted room, you can afford to go a bit brighter and bolder with your cushions to add depth, interest and a focal point!

If you’re absolutely not in favour of pattern and colour on your cushions, create depth and interest by choosing cushions or fabrics in various differing tones and opt for lots of contrasting textures e.g. buttery soft velvet, slubby linens, lustrous silks, textural wool boucle.

Bonus Tip: Consider Trimmings
If you’re buying ready-made cushions, look for those special pieces that feature unusual or interesting trimmings - tassel fringes, beaded trims, pom-poms, button-detailing, embroidered braids etc. If you’re going bespoke, we advise you take full advantage of the beautiful trimmings available to really finish off your cushions, add that extra layer of luxury and ultimately elevate your room from “good” to “great”!

Remember, it’s all in the details!

February 20, 2024 — Catherine McMillan

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